What Happens In A Christian College Dorm Room

I’m at my Christian alma mater, about to have dorm room sex for the first time. I feel cheated, humiliated, horny. Like being turned on in a dental chair—one of those has to go. I never had this experience; I never had any college experience here save for studying, transcripts, unknown loan collector area codes. This school, they breed you for suburbia: trying not to let you know about the Twin Cities secular lifestyle while marketing that they’re so close! They don’t tell you about the isolation, that most students live with their parents and leave for the weekends to wash dirty clothes.

I met her in a coffee shop. The one where Bible studies meet in that circle of scavenged chairs, where only the attractive women wear wedding bands or are chained to their initial-inscribed sacred texts. You know the ones. That suburban happiness: too happy for their own good, like they are running from something.

Me: all faux-angst artist-for-the-night, journal in hand, burnt tobacco cologne, the hollow/ forced can I sit next to you when the place is clearly empty and about to close. We talk about things that are not our school—my broken engagement, my recently diagnosed ADD/ psychological issues, problems with Christianity and my family. I may have used the term black sheep, and this is a word my mother uses. Jesus, so many Cliff Noted, sentimental, dad-joked sob stories work with the broken, searching, desperate ones. It seems I have a type.

Hers was this new dorm—all cinderblock, sterile, white—looking down the hallway was one long boring geometric proof they probably use to make criminals confess. We sit on couches made for the specific purpose of chastity—medieval torture devices seen on public television documentaries. I think there are spikes in the cushions; I can’t feel my legs; I think a cast iron mold for my penis was attached as soon as I entered the building. I have no key. Sober students pass us, all of them as if C.S. Lewis had written Lord of the Flies: bland, allegorical, deceptively placid. I was there once.

Back in her room, she takes off her pants and all I can think about is her wedding night. That: I’ll be there like my own funeral. Hell, I’m already gone. The walls are as bare as they were during my neuro-psych exam. Circle one:

(Seldom/Often/Always) I wish I were the opposite gender.

(Seldom/Often/Always) I’d rather be a city planner than a gardener.

(Seldom/Often/Always) I have a low mood or am depressed.

I keep thinking about her father (yeah the wedding thing again), standing up there, all vaguely proud and paternal. I will never meet this man. Don’t think about wasting time, about feeling old. Goddammit: I’m thinking about fathers and life events for someone I barely know when I should be all here—turned on, sexy, ready to go. And, this:

Maybe there’s so much God/ The Universe/ Science doesn’t know, like how we easily forget great books or sentences. There is so much lost in creation; there is too much to remember and care about. It is all too much, like Noah’s Flood—hell, any early civilization creation/ destruction narrative—sometimes everything must go.

But for now the only sound is the computer’s whirring fan. I won’t count our breathing. I tell myself to kiss the moles on her back, in order, like the constellations. It’s a shame to think we’ve run out of stars to name. TC mark

image – Fabritzio Monti

More From Thought Catalog

  • guest

    “I won’t count our breathing. I tell myself to kiss the moles on her back, in order, like the constellations. It’s a shame to think we’ve run out of stars to name.”This. 

  • guest

    “I won’t count our breathing. I tell myself to kiss the moles on her back, in order, like the constellations. It’s a shame to think we’ve run out of stars to name.”This. 

  • Anonymous

    That was fantastic. Unlike most stuff that seems to appear here, this feels much more like a real short story than an article about relationships. Very Chuck Palahniuk as well. More of this, please.

    • Enah Cruz

      It’s not very Chuck Palahniuk, because Chuck Palahniuk is shrewd, honest and to-the-point, matter-of-fact. 

      • http://twitter.com/mung_beans Mung Beans

        also boring and repetitive, don’t forget that

  • cecile

    That. Last. Line.

  • merav

    this is the first piece of art on TC in a long-ass time
    well done, keep writing

  • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

    Liked the last sentence, but the comment stating this is like CP’s work ruined it for me. :|

  • SusanDerkins

    Nope. Maybe I just don’t get it. This is overwrought and dismal for no reason other than the person writing it is dismal, seemingly for no reason. I was raised a super conservative religious home. I wonder if this is what I sound like when I complain about the people I grew up around. No more. 

    • SusanDerkins

      Aw, hell. *raised IN a…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500654073 Kevin Kelly Kenkel

    i’m really not sure what this is. is this dramatic writing? there is so much of this on thought catalog. i mean, it’s certainly dramatic. but for no reason. so, um, you were nervous? and you’re worried about breaking those sacred Christian rules? why don’t you just say it, instead of coming up with a thousand kinds of allegory, jumbled into one essay.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500654073 Kevin Kelly Kenkel

      also, i was totally let down. i thought this was gonna be some real talk, hard hitting, behind the scenes insight on the goings-on at a christian college. sounds like it’s just as boring as i always expected.

      • EP

        You’re an idiot. Appreciate quality writing when you see it.

      • SusanDerkins

        If you’re calling people names based on their opinion of an essay you both read on the internet it’s time to do some self assessment. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500654073 Kevin Kelly Kenkel

      also, i was totally let down. i thought this was gonna be some real talk, hard hitting, behind the scenes insight on the goings-on at a christian college. sounds like it’s just as boring as i always expected.

  • Natalie

    But did you bang her??

  • Natalie

    But did you bang her??

  • Earlybirdchirp

    What?

  • EP

    Great article. Well written. Thanks for writing on TC, you make it bearable to read!

  • EP

    Great article. Well written. Thanks for writing on TC, you make it bearable to read!

  • Guest

    It’s poetry by a person who doesn’t have the guts to write it as a poem (a format in which it wouldn’t have been so overwrought).  Also by a person who needed to go to a more science-heavy school.  We are not out of stars to name.  At all.

  • Nick

    Probably one of the best pieces I’ve read on TC. Then again I’m a sucker for existential turmoil/sex.

  • Anonymous

    this is terrible. it is terribly written.

  • http://dirtyyoungmen.wordpress.com Maxwell Chance

    The only time I think of a girl’s father during sex is when he bursts in with a shotgun.

  • Amnesiacsiblings

    I’m scared that this is what people think is fantastic writing. And that stuff about stars is a nice, poetic sentiment but it makes me want to go name a star after myself right now for $19.95. Sometimes I wonder about the fact that there are so many stars in the universe that people can pay money to name one and the supply never runs out… that maybe somewhere in the universe there is a star that in human records we have named after somebody’s ex-girlfriend that is actually the sun for some kind of crazy planet with aliens on it that have named the Earth “Samantha” after some alien’s ex-girlfriend. Or, how many of those stars that are named are actually stars that have been gone for millions of years, and we can only see the light from? Do you get to pick which star you want to name, when you do those star registery things? Because if so, I could totally do some research to find an unnamed dead star, and then the next time I’m having some kind of sentimental sexual moment I feel like intellectualizing I’ll whisper, “I named a dead star after you.”

    • EP

      I’m sorry it’s no JK Rowling. Please, enlighten us on why this isn’t great writing. And then write something better.

  • Dixon L. Creasey, Jr.

    I clicked on this article because I went to a Christian college (and boy howdy, do I ever know what goes on in one!). I see things haven’t changed much in 34ish years.

    *cues sappy Christian pop music–probably early Amy Grant*

    Ahhh, Suburban Spirituality! White-picket-fence-onna-second-mortgage Christianity! Avoiding poor people except in the pursuit of Community Service credits! Furtive, sweaty, guilty SEX! Wondering if you really ARE going to Hell for masturbating! Discovering how to make the Bible back your point of view up, no matter what! Learning that Jesus really WAS a Republican!

    I have no problem with your angsty prose. That’s how one feels when you are young, religious and out of the house for the first time.

    My first sex with another person was dorm-room sex at Trinity College (now Trinity University…really?). I went through all the guilt, confusion, terror–we went bareback–and relief when she got her period. We bought condoms, then poked holes in them in an attempt to stop having sex…then went out and bought more.

    I understand.

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