College is good.
I somehow became part of a group of students who would commandeer a cafeteria table from morning till night. The way it worked, a few of us would gather for breakfast at a round table, then others would join in gradually. Council Members, a mix of character types, came and left as class schedules dictated. Lunch time was a full, loud table. Food, music, discussion, laughter, fun, flirting, panicked last-minute plagiarism. As evening approached, numbers thinned as Council Members left for home with aching ribs and tall tales.
Man perpetrates many errors, not all of which qualify for Hague Trials. A Miss Take is someone you do, irregularly, just because you can, and without a proper understanding of her consequences. In the wake of seismic shifts in my social life, Miss Takes seemed therapeutic. Thesis: loneliness correlates positively with Miss Takes. Youth too. Plus an Alter Ego which cheers you on with the tagline “Play the game!” Plus a Council with many women proud to be associated with it.
This is how I rationalized this period of my life (me, or Alter Ego, or perhaps it was unanimous): the actions of my friends had brought me to look down on relationships in general. I had seen Angela paired happily with violent and cheating partners, had seen Best Friends Forever in a love triangle, had seen my own girlfriend turn out to be my non-girlfriend-for-real after all, etc. It was all a bunch of games in my head, where everyone was trying to grab the best deal out of everyone else.
At some point The Council considered registration as an official club which would focus on the core business of sitting around cafeteria tables and chatting about whatever from dawn till dusk. That plan didn't go far. Neither did a plan to have 'one of our own' infiltrate the student government body yield fruit. Most items on The Council's agenda involved such diabolical schemes. (That one was called “Diabolical scheme to run SAC forever.”) One day The Council decided by a 'vote' that one of the aspiring club's Diabolical Objectives was to find me a girlfriend, even against my own wishes. Consequently there was a brief romantic confusion with the Council Treasurer - but I embezzled the experience somewhat sensationally.
The Council eventually fell apart after the rise and fall of relationships within it caused too many sensitive cracks in its foundations. We scattered in all directions after the crash. To this day some former Councilors still hold me responsible for the disintegration of the Council into semi-autonomous individual personalities. The way I see it is different, though. First of all, their nostalgia is coloring their emotions. Secondly, just because the former self-appointed Chair-lady developed spectacular mood swings in my presence shouldn't automatically mean I did anything bad. She should change her attitude, that little lady with a correspondingly massive temper. At any rate I believe I was too marginal a character to cause any real damage to The Council even if I wanted to. Those guys were sharks compared to little quiet harmless me, I, who couldn't hurt a fly if it wasn't looking to hurt me first.
Why am I explaining myself?