The Game by Jack Stone
Back at Mower, Minehan is waiting. He shakes me by the shoulders, breaking me out of my funk.
“We got too much ta do for ya to be moping. Tim’ll be back before ya knowed it.” Good thing the boy is straight.
He insists he get another swim lesson from the girls. All of us are in the pool, cheering him on. He completes all four required laps. He is ready for his test. I tell everyone about riding on Tim’s back as he played dolphin in Miami.
“He liked it even more,” I counter. The girls look at each other and giggle.
“Can’t stop bein’ a perv,” David snarls.
“I’ll buy pizza, if you stop being a homophobe.”
“Deal,” since he has no idea what that word means.
Off we go to ‘Noch’s.
The seven of us, including David, go to Monday’s noon mass at St Paul’s. While eating lunch with Father John, Dr Marier sits with us, asking to see the golden tear drops. Minehan has several in his pocket, which he holds out.
“Ya can’t touch ‘em,” he orders.
“I just want to look,” the school director states. “Cardinal Medeiros spoke with Cardinal Cooke. The ones from St Patrick’s are diamonds. Why did we only get gold.”
“Maybe ‘cause St Patrick’s a cathedral and St Paul’s just a parish,” David has a solid sense of values.
“Maybe because Tim was playing ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ at St Patrick’s, ” is my opinion.
“Just the same. The Archdiocese is treating yesterday as a possible miracle. You boys will be questioned as to what you saw.”
“Well, Tim’s the saint. He’s already in LA,” I explain.
“No one’s a saint yet. The boys are already worked up enough about it. What have you been telling them about ghosts and spirits?”
“Did Cardinal Cooke tell you about Teen Jesus?”
“Oh, Lord. What are you boys up to?”
“Since the gospel doesn’t speak about Christ in his youth, a policeman in Miami called us Teen Jesus after we were singing ‘Amazing Grace’ in the street. He wondered if Jesus had been a rowdy teenager. Previously we played at our bass player’s Baptist youth group. A girl thought she saw a spirit or ghost hovering above us.”
“Be ecumenical, Doctor. We all pray to the same God.”
“So you encourage kids to follow you like the pied piper due to their belief in Jesus.”
“That’s backwards. Jesus is in their hearts and they trust us because we all share him.”
“Why were the police involved?”
“You need to talk with Tim. I joined the band after his best friend Jace was killed. The spirit of Jace is Teen Jesus. I can attest that he continues to inspire us. I replaced him on guitar but it’s like he never left. He’s in my heart, even though I never met him in the flesh.” Little did I want to discuss how well I know him.
“And Tim left town.”
“He starts a new job today in Los Angeles. What happened at Sunday mass was a shock to all of us. The boys played the song that was played at St Patrick’s, ‘Wish You Were Here.’ We all want Jesus to return.
“So rock and roll is the new way to pray,” he is being sarcastic.
“When it is spiritual. It comes from gospel music. That’s why the Baptists are more attuned to it. The Church has only come around since Vatican II.”
“We need to speak with Tim when he returns. Cardinal Cooke says he purposely avoids him, as well.”
“He doesn’t want to be treated like a saint. He’s not Teen Jesus. Jace was not perfect, rowdy and promiscuous, smoking and drinking. I never met him because he always skipped school.”
“You’re not making a strong case for yesterday’s ‘miracle.’”
“We don’t promote Teen Jesus. We tell everyone that Jace’s mission is to make kids safe. Can we go help the boys with their guitar lesson now?”
“I think we need to investigate what happened yesterday more before allowing you to teach the boys,” Dr Marier is asserting his authority. I know what that means.
“Well, let us speak with Father John. He’s fully capable of doing the teaching. His heart is pure, unlike we rock sinners.”
“I’m not saying you’re sinners,” Dr Marier tries to seem reasonable. “I’ll go get Father John to meet you here.”
I realize I better not do my confessions at St Paul’s. I’ll call Father Frank. Franciscans are much more tolerant.
“We’re no longer allowed to teach the boys,” I tell Father John.
“I was afraid of that. What happened at Sunday mass was beautiful. How that can be prohibited makes me question my faith.”
“It is the elders who have lost faith, Father. You still have a trusting heart. Luckily, you learned all that is necessary for you to teach soul music from the heart.”
“I’m not Black. How can I teach soul music?”
“White soul, brother. White soul.”
He smiles and our mission here will continue. At least we don’t need to attend daily mass anymore.
It’s mid-term exam week in classes. I use my left hand to submit the exams for Tim. When the blue books are returned, several professors praise Tim’s improvement, as he finally gets decent grades. I know he doesn’t care. We’ve been speaking nightly by phone. I relate the test topics and argue with him, as he had his own contrarian views on the subjects. I insist he needs to at least embrace what I submitted for him. Otherwise, we both will be expelled for cheating. He complains ‘m cornering him into my lame regurgitation of the professor’s ideas. Three thousand miles away, he can care less if he’s expelled. Minehan slaps me out of my dismay about Tim’s defection from our common cause. David yells at Tim the next night, insisting we share the call. Tim just laughs and agrees to go along with me and my unoriginal ideas. David worries his grades on his midterms will be as dismal as Tim’s had been, but he is improving without copying me.
Minehan contacted Joey at Rahar’s. The Neighborhoods are booked there the next weekend. Joan and Trudie are happy we’re coming to Smith again, especially since we warn them in advance. Troy agrees to take the five 3D girls in the Dodge Dart after I assure him that none are lesbians stalking Smithies. I will ride in Jim’s car with the band. Carol asks to ride with us. David beams from the unexpected bump of his sex appeal. Carol tells the other 3Ders she will out them as lesbians if they let anyone else know she is dating a high schooler. I tell her to not call it dating, rather she is mentoring the poor boy. Good luck, Carol.
We all eat at Friendly’s. I beg Troy to go easy on the Awful Awfuls. He has no memory of their late night regurgitation. Because Minehan’s band opened at Rehar’s previously, they are bumped up to second on the bill. He takes advantage of the pitchers of beer Joey provides all the bands and is completely wasted when he goes on stage. He alternates between leaning on the mic stand and draping himself all over his bassist Jim. They now have a ten-song set, but between Minehan’s slurring of the words and the speed of the songs, they pretty much all blend together.
He kept dedicating each song to Carol, slipping up only once and saying Roxanne by mistake. They finish up with ‘Roxanne,’ which leaves Carol confused. I tell her that Roxanne has dumped David. She has nothing to worry about. She sighs, “High School.”
I walk Joan and Trudie back to their dorm so they can make the ten o’clock curfew. The house-mother, Mrs. Battle-axe, notes the time as we stand on the old dorm’s porch. I hug Trudie, who is missing Tim. Joan and I french until we both are squirming. Mrs. Battle-axe flips the porch lights on and off, as curfew is being exceeded. I totally understood the girls’ desire to follow the rules. My dick is completely confused. It’s ready and able after having resolved sexual identity issues.
When I get back to Rahar’s, Minehan is passed out on the front steps. He mumbles that he had been thrown out when the headline band refused to let him join them onstage. Wise move.
“It’s not as friendly as the Rat,” I console him.
“Fuckin’ hicks in the sticks,” he complains.
I deposit him in the back of Jim’s parents’ station wagon, where he completely passes out. I remove the sports coat he wears as an homage to the Modern Lovers and lays it under his head to catch any vomit from ruining Jim’s car.
Joey corners me when I go inside.
“Where’s Tim? I expected him to keep that kid under control,” Joey complains.
“He’s in LA. He’s got a job on a movie there. He’ll be back in the Spring.”
Joey gets a faraway look in his eyes when I say LA. You can take the boy outta the gutter but not the gutter outta….
“Com’n and meet the 3D girls. They’re our groupies,” I encourage him to forget about Hollywood.
“I thought they are all lesbians.”
“They’re totally into Tim. They know we’re boyfriends but they don’t care.”
“Hah. That boy’s learned all my tricks.”
“And a few more along the way.”
The headline band is still pissed about Minehan trying to upstage them. The 3D girls have all sat back and ignored them. The band blames Minehan, for upsetting the groupies.
“Ya never should have let him drink. He’s 17 and too skinny to drink, even beer.”
“Now ya tell us.”
“Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention, having to keep my girlfriend and my roommate’s girlfriend entertained.” I’m such a hetero-stud.
“We’re telling all the bands out here to never let The Neighborhoods go on before them. They’re show-stoppers.”
“I think they’ve graduated from opening act.”
“You need to play the Rat,” I advise.
“No way. That’s a pit.”
“Ya gotta staht somewayah,” I fall into New English. Just hanging with the locals.
We loaded the equipment into the station wagon, moving Minehan into the middle bench seat. Carol looks anxiously at the senseless boy, realizing the pitfalls of dating a high schooler. Perhaps they had further plans for the evening. The Irish curse trumps those plans. I actually miss him when Jim drives off to Waltham. The six of us pile into the Dart. Joey has continued Troy’s access to free liquor. He had to be propped up in the back while I drive. Jill and Carol sit with me while Trixie and Jean were squeezed into the back with Troy. We chat up front, while the back seat sleeps. I never knew that girls snored before. Jill and I sympathize with Carol’s dilemma; I miss Tim; Jill missed him too but is not saying so. Finally kidding her for still crushing on him, I tell her that Tim has no problem sharing his love. I explain that Trudie and he accommodate my being his only boyfriend. We have a long bull session about the differences between straight and gay affairs. It comes down to possessiveness. I can’t believe I’m defending open relationships when I was so jealous of Tommy, the junior high kid.
“Tim was dating a junior high kid?” she’s shocked.
“They escaped from juvie together and lived in the swamp for four months. The boy was so horny for Tim that anytime Tim was even slightly nice to him, the boy had involuntary orgasms.”
She gets wide-eyed, and then accuses me of making it all up.
“Jace is satisfying Tommy’s gay needs. He has a girlfriend now. He’s in 9th grade.”
“What was sick was my being so possessive that I made Tim throw him under the bus last Christmas. I escaped from Switzerland and moved to Iowa. I almost died in a Baptist snake ritual.”
She just laughs, sure that it’s all made up. “Just like you claimed to be surfers from Malibu when you got to Harvard.”
“That was a joke. We stopped lying when we saw that some people actually believed us.”
“I don’t believe Tim would date a little kid.”
“You’re right. Tim’s way too mature for 14-year-olds.”
She just shakes her head. I put my arm around her and she snuggles in. Now I feel guilty. I believe there’s something in the Northampton water that makes girls hypersexual. No wonder they have a lesbian reputation. Too much Kool-Aid.
I park Troy’s Dart and with the girls’ help got him safely to his dorm. No Awful Awful Offal this week. Even Troy is more mature.
Jill and I continue working together in order to complete the Barbarella of Boston article for the Lampoon’s The Game issue. Minehan is pushing to get the 100th Anniversary Playing Card set done and printed, so he can start pocketing the cash from sales. A proof set is printed, but we kept changing the faces around, never agreeing on who was Stubby, Limpy, Minuteman, and the other derogatory names. Fatty Terry’s face is assigned to be the Joker. We work hard on these projects, no longer needing to attend intern duties at the Lampoon Castle.
Mid-term grades come back. Minehan is stunned to find he has joined me on the honor roll. The girls accuse him of copying my work. I know better. He gained praise for his original thought on assigned topics. Whereas Tim comes across as arrogant, David is too insecure about being exposed as still in high school and presented differing points of view in a more respectful manner. I feel like his manners mentor.
The Boy’s Choir project is entirely in Father John’s hands. We honor Dr Marier’s prohibition against working with the boys. It’s a surprise when they show up at our door in Mower. I’m taken aback at the sight of them. It’s bad enough having a high schooler secretly living there, but two junior highers visiting is too much. I’ll ask Mick to keep the kids out of the Yard.
“Have Father John come with you,” I tell them.
“We don’t know why you stopped giving us lessons,” Kevin explains. “Father John is just learning with us. You’re already a rock star.”
“Hardly,” I demure. I feel the loss and yearning in their hearts. They are so innocent. “Once Dr Marier decides we aren’t a bad influence, we’ll come back. You played the Processional so beautifully, it overwhelmed him.”
“We still have our golden snowflakes,” they pull out their souvenirs. Jace appears and the tear drops/snowflakes start to glow.
“Make sure no one else touches them. Unbelievers make them dissolve.”
“We feel so blessed just being with you,” they gush. I knew from the yearning in their hearts that they want to be hugged. My heart let them know I want to hug them, leaving it at that. I know that I’m acting perverted.
“Have Father John contact me. He’s your ally. We want all the choir to love the music as you do.”
“Okay, Jack,” Liam says, turning to leave. “I love you.”
We all turn bright red.
Once they leave, Minehan started laughing. “Guess ya got new boyfriends, Gaybo.”
“You can call Tim that, but call me Jack-off, Gumby.”
That breaks the tension and we laugh all the way to ‘Noch’s. Pizza solves all dilemmas.
“Don’t your folks keep track of you? You’re seldom home,” I quiz him while we scarf a large pepperoni and onion.
“They just think I’m at school or working with the band. They don’t really want to know unless I get into trouble, which is not unusual. I’ve been ‘good’ for two months now. It’s a record.”
“What about your friends, other than Jim and Mike? Don’t they miss you?”
“I ain’t got no friends.”
“’My troubles never end,’” I quote the Ramones.
“’Daddy don’t like men,” he misquotes them.
“That explains the homophobia,” I laugh.
“What the fuck does that mean?” he really doesn’t see his own behavior.
“Phobia is a Greek word for fear, so you fear homos.”
“I ain’t afraid of you, Jack-Off.”
“You make fun of me because underneath you feel uncomfortable.”
“So claustrophobia is fear of being in the closet?”
I choke on half a slice of pizza. David jumps up and slaps my back until the pasta regurgitates, landing in the middle of the pie.
“Pizza Pizza Projectile,” he points at the mess. Our dinner is ruined. Off to commons for cafeteria food.
Jill’s article is ready for the mockup;
‘Some people call me Bossy, just because I’m a woman. I prefer Boston Barbarella. I am the new Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Lampoon. 1976 is our 100th anniversary. In 100 years there has never been a female editor. The day I first walk in, I tAkE charge. The previous editor laughS when I announce I am replacing him. I flash my boobs at him, reducing him to ashes. The staff takes note. There’s a new sheriff in town. Tetas trump cajones.
Time for changes to reverse 100 years of sexism. One staffer jumps up and proclaims he already has a feminist perspective. I call him a pussy and make him clean up the bathroom with his feminist perspective. Another staffer gives me ‘the eye.’ I know what he needs, leading him into my office, strapping on my dildo, and giving his love canal a thorough cleaning. There will be no more come hither looks from the staff after they hear him crying and begging for mercy. By the time I get off, he is begging for more. The way to settle all sexual harassment suits is to make sure all parties are fully satisfied.
The next day I post new rules for the reign of Boston Barbarella:
1. The dress code for males requires tight jeans that accent butts and packages.
2. No more standing up in the bathroom to pee.
3. Leaving the seat up is cause for termination.
4. Female staffers are to be addressed as ‘Yes, my mistress.’
5. Males are to be addressed as ‘honey, or ‘sweetness.’
6. Casual Friday means all male staffers work shirtless.
7. Hygiene for males means clipped toenails, shaved underarms, and bikini waxes.
8. Male staffers are required to stay in the dorm when it is that time of the month.
9. Sexual relations between staffers end only when the woman is satisfied.
10. The Ibis on the masthead is replaced by a nesting bird.
11. Accusing a female of being a lesbian for refusing to date a male staffer is subject to the lash.
As I proclaimed the new rules, a foolish male staffer complains. I bend him over and tell him to take it like a female and ‘woman up.’ His voice permanently rises two octaves. Staffer Terry goes missing after being sent to Radcliffe and is harassed by chubby chasers. ` I refuse to pay the ransom demand. No one stands up for him. His miniscule penis is delivered in a cardboard box. Previous editor Kurt and I goto Radcliffe to negotiate for Dickless Terry’s release. After Kurt fails to sexually satisfy all the chubby chasers by going down on them, both boys are executed for failing to perform cunnilingus. They are barbeque’d on a spit on the spot. The Amazons of Arlington, as they called themselves, are hired to replace the two boys, promising to instill a real feminine mystique at the Lampoon. Female staffers are allowed cuts in line to the one bathroom. All male staffers are required to attend sensitivity and self-esteem classes at Radcliffe. They never return. I march into Dean Epps office and demand Harvard be merged into Radcliffe. All Lampoon staffers will be female for the next 100 years. Male staffers will be permanent interns. Thus I became known as Barbarella the Beneficient, Ruler of the Yard. The stork mascot is replaced by a bloody Tampon.
Long live Women’s rights, equality for women and slavery for men.’
Kurt laughs several times while reading his copy.
“You realize I was killed twice in this story,” he notes.
“Just proves how hard it is to take down a tyrant,” Jill answers.
He glares. We changed his first death from reduced to ashes by Barbarella’s boobs to reduced to a blubbering bowl of Jello. Barbecuing him on a spit is too delicious to remove.
His glare softens as he looks at the playing cards with caricatures on the face cards. David whoops when Kurt approves the full printing of the 100th anniversary set, already counting his profits. Kurt also approves using the face cards with graffiti scrawled across the caricatures. Our first Lampoon assignment is complete – no reverting back to intern status. Kurt presses us on an inside story of the 3D girls’ Mower dorm exploits. We need their permission to lampoon them. The cat is out of the bag on that project, as the 3D girls refuse to be exploited. We suggest a fictional version at another dorm.
“After The Game issue comes out. We don’t want to be seen as the defender of Harvard women,” Kurt demurs.
“Why not?” I ask.
“Because officially, there are no women at Harvard. Jill and all your girlfriends are still Radcliffe girls.”
“One step forward, another one back,” Jill complains.
We left it at that. Time for cheer squad practice.
We find an ally in the Cheer squad’s advisor, Chuck. A younger faculty member, he had been a college gymnast and was enthusiastic about incorporating music with the squad’s field routines. Once the male cheerleaders get over their jealousy about the ‘hot’ outfits that Mummy funded, they appreciate the reception the fans in the stands give to their joint efforts to inspire the football players as the spirited 12th man. Victory over Princeton also raises their morale. Chuck suggests I participate in their practices with the aid of my MOOG. I became a regular up in the press box improvising music to make the cheering skits into dance routines, as Harvard Stadium rocks out to my MOOG. The Boston Herald hears about our practices and photos appear regularly in their sports section. My ego love that I’m back in the news, no longer on Page Six but in Section C – Sports. I’m even given a cheer squad sweater. Mummy is proud. Dad amused.
The next football game is at Penn. My phone calls with Tim have changed from daily to sporadic. I speak more often with Tony than Tim when I call Doug’s house. He explains that Tim is working day and night as the movie ‘Animal House’ nears the beginning of its shoot. He suggests I call Jimmy at Larrabee Studios to catch Tim. Jimmy is helping Tim round-up talent for the movie’s sound track. He gets Tim calling me more often. My immediate hope is that Tim will meet us at Penn. That’s not possible with Tim’s busy weekends in Hollywood.
“The twins are coming out from Iowa. I have to be there. Also, Kurt wants my first hand report on the movie’s progress. I’ll be there,” he reassures me.
It makes me miss him even more. I haven’t had a chance to tell him about the fallout from Jace’s apparition at St Paul’s. I have been speaking with Father John who brings Kevin and Liam to several band practices at the Mower boiler room. David’s Neighborhoods are also coming regularly. It’s like a three band jam. Father John obtains permission for the choir boy’s band to perform at their annual Christmas celebration. It helps that I’m dragging everyone to morning mass. The Christmas performance means I’ll be staying in Cambridge for the first week of Christmas break. Finals are coming up, so the extra time from not teaching rock to the choir means more preparation for my and Tim’s exams. Carol had taken over as David’s tutor, much to his glee. Everyone still relies on my lecture notes. I agree with Tim that the subject matter in freshman classes is not ground-breaking, but I certainly am learning time management skills.
With David sitting in Tim’s seats for lectures, the teaching assistants keep Tim in good standing on attendance. David has high hopes to pay for his tuition with the profits on the Lampoon anniversary playing cards . His backup plan is to prove his commitment to Harvard by making a substantial contribution toward the $3000 bill his parents will soon receive. He has joined the girls as a new member of the cheerleading squad. After they refuse to provide him with the male uniform, he appears for practice in a short skirt and a tight sweater. His long bony legs and no tits don’t do justice to Mummy’s uniform. The boys relent when they realize that Carol was now his girlfriend, proving he isn’t another ‘gay’ like Tim and me. He wears his cheer-leading sweater all the time. He’s working his official admission to Harvard in reverse order, piling up good grades in actual Harvard courses and adding extracurricular activities in Harvard organizations – the Lampoon, the cheer leading squad, and of course, the semi-official Harvard Sitting Band. He has avoided trouble with the Campus Police and even gets a commendation from his friend Mick. From dropout to overachiever, he proves that a Harvard education is worthwhile. We settle into a normal roommate relationship as I don’t need private time to be with Tim. He seldom goes home to Waltham, continuing to eat at commons on Tim’s meal ticket, complaining that the food is below his mom’s standards. We’re typical Harvard freshmen.
The trip to Penn for the Saturday football game: Good manners gets me into the press box and the MOOG on their stadium PA system. We devised a boxing skit between William Penn and John Harvard which requires a ragtime sound track to go along with the pratfalls of the boxing and a Keystone Cop routine as our females chase the male Penn cheerleaders around at halftime and their females harass our male cheerleaders.
It was an easy 20-8 victory for the footballers. The many Harvard fans from Philadelphia greet us after the game, claiming they have never cheered so hard at football. They also had not known there are women students at Harvard now. I speak with Dean Epps, who is observing our interactions with the alums.
“You seem to be the leading advocate for Harvard going co-ed,” he observes.
“Just standing up for the Mower girls.”
“I hear you refer to them as 3D girls.”
“That’s the room number where we all hang out. They are at Harvard, not some two-dimensional image. They are real. Get used to it.”
“Have you thought about a career in public relations and advertising.”
“Dad would not be pleased. The career I’m concentrating on is my career at Harvard.”
“You’re doing better at that than I had expected after your multiple visits to my office in September.”
“You were a good influence on Tim and me,” my good manners take over.
“About Tim, why is he taking 24 credits this semester? At this rate he’ll graduate in two years.”
“The Lampoon wanted us separated. He’s on work-study in LA. I send him class notes and submit his assignments. He comes back for exams.”
“Maybe Tim is the problem. Without him, you’re thriving. I even got a call from Cardinal Medeiros about your activity at St Paul’s Choir School.”
My heart sinks that Tim is seen as a bad influence. I bite my lip to keep from complaining.
“Dean Epps, Tim is a wonderful boy. The Church is watching him for possible sainthood.”
“I find that hard to believe. You’re the one who has done so much for Cardinal Cooke and the New York Archdiocese’s homelessness project,” the Dean seems to know everything. “Maybe Tim’s an instigator and you’re the one who gets things done.”
“We’re a good team, but don’t underrate Tim. I would still be at home playing D&D if he hadn’t come into my life.”
“What’s D&D?” he asks, worried it’s something to do with S&M or B&D.
He stops listening about ten seconds into my explanation. I will always be a nerd.
I tag along with the 3D girls as the male cheerleaders drag us to various frat parties at Penn. The guys appreciate the welcome they got, arriving with five beautiful co-eds. Minehan has to be on his game to defend Carol. Jill attached herself to me, which I play up. Dean Epps would be pleased to see how straight I can act. I reflect that, like Tim, we defy the stereotype that college is the place to be your real self . I was a gay rock star in high school and now a straight frat boy in college. David is a high school ditcher who has to prove himself in college by actually being a good student. Lessons in irony.
It’s a long bus ride back to Cambridge. As we drive across the George Washington Bridge, I kick myself for not taking the 3D girls and David to meet Mummy, our costume patron, at the Dakota. Next time. As we get close to Boston, I miss my room in Mower. It is the first place that was just my place, except of course for roommates, Tim and David. I like that I’m just a college student, maturing at the normal pace. Tim faced so many challenges already. He’s ready for anything. I’ll follow him anywhere, but it’s nice to be going in my own direction. I tear up that we’re on separate paths. Jill notices. We spent the rest of the bus ride discussing Tim.
“You really are a nerd,” she concludes, as we pull into Harvard Square.
“Let’s get pizza,” David shouts as we disembarked. My BankAmericard takes a thirty dollar hit. No time to be an introvert.
The following weekend is The Game, against Yale. Football frenzy grips the campus. Harvard’s football team was 3 and 2 in the race for Ivy League Championship. Yale is undefeated. They even have a graduate playing quarterback in the NFL, unheard of in wimpy Ivy League football lore. He was also the star of the Doonesbury comic strip. Harvard players feel intimidated. Our only hope is tradition. The Game, as it is called, has a history of unlikely upsets. It’s a Harvard home game. I would have full access to the stadium PA system. The innovations by the Cheer leading squad – girls in short skirts, musical skits and constant pop music to pump up the home team and deflate the visitors – raises the student body’s expectations. All students, except for the most dedicated Widener Library recluses, are planning on being in the end zone seats. Any lingering animosity between the guys and girls on the cheer squad is lost as we came together to inspire the footballers. I ask Father John to have the St Paul’s Boy Choir sing the national anthem. The Band’s director reluctantly agrees it is a good idea in settting ‘a tone’ for The Game. I credit Dean Epps of putting in a good word for me. My emotional high comes from anticipating the return of Tim from LA, the girls from Smith, and the Twins first visit from Ames. Nothing can stop me. The Cheer Squad and the Band hold our final rehearsal on Friday afternoon. I have Jill and David sing the Tom Lehrer mash-up of ‘Fight Fiercely, Harvard.’ Everyone loves it but the Band Director nixes it being played during The Game. I figure we can hold it back for dire emergencies.
The Smith girls arrive and we all go to Logan Airport to meet the twins. Tim’s flight is not arriving until much later. After settling all the girls into the Mower third floor, we all dress up for the 100th anniversary publication party at the Lampoon Castle. Jill was especially excited about the reception of her article on reverse misogyny, featured in The Game issue being released. Joan and Trudie have taken the twins under their wings as outsiders to Harvard tomfoolery. With free beer and an open bar, the Castle is throbbing with cocktail party excitement. Many alumni Lampooners are attending, as well as the usual Harvard ‘swells’ who always knew where to find free drinks. The Castle roof is populated by pot smokers who disdain the older alcohol consumers. Everyone is reading the anniversary issue, laughing at the articles. My and David’s caricatures of the older staff members
create a stir as everyone runs around trying to identify the staffers in the sketches.
David takes charge of sales of the anniversary playing cards. I paid for the printing of a five hundred decks, way more than I figure he can sell. David sets the astronomical price of $6 a set. He plans to sell all of them. The profit will completely cover his potential tuition bill. It takes all of us to carry the boxes to the Castle. David has set up a booth as his sales headquarters, manned by Jim and Mike from The Neighborhoods. David’s irresistible sales technique is to meet each and every guest, remind them that they were drinking free, and their ‘donation’ for the cards would assist Lampoon interns to afford the astronomical Harvard tuition. He is quite successful with the older alums, who love being hustled by a teenager. It all comes to a screeching halt when one of the abused staffers actually opens his pack and recognizes himself as the Queen of Clubs. He runs around and rallies his fellow staffers, who are equally outraged.
They cornered David at his sales booth. Jim and Mike are not up to facing abused college seniors. It is Bossy (Boston Barbarella) to the rescue. She gathers all 9 of the 3D girls (including visitors) and forms a phalanx in front of David. Reprising her role from the lampoon, at her signal, all nine remove their tops and flash the males. The staffers are reduced to ashes and slink away whimpering. The guests applaud our live reproduction of Jill’s article they have just read. David immediately is back in super-salesman mode. The entire run of cards is sold. Kurt stands there shaking his head. He looks at his card, the King of Spades, making an identical facial expression to his card.
“That boy knows how to sell his wares,” Kurt walks over and remarks.
“Wait until you hear his band,” I responded. “He sells himself in their performances.”
“When can I do that?”
“You’ll have to go to the Rat in Kenmore Square, if you want to really see him in his environment. But tomorrow we’re all playing a spirit rally in the Yard.””
“You’re saying he’s a rat?”
“No. The Rats-killer.”
“Oh, in that foreign country; you’re our correspondent from there.”
“Yeah, the fiefdom of South Boston.”
“You think he’ll share some of the profits with the Lampoon?”
“Highly unlikely. It’s his tuition money. Why not send a solicitation to my dad. He’s a soft touch.”
“Really? Most businessmen are tight with their money.”
“I’ll put in a word. The Lampoon has been good for me. They expect I’d join Hasty Pudding.”
“You’re a natural here. Still upset we separated Tim and you?”
“He’s flying in at ten tonight.” My heart skips a beat at his mention of Tim.
“Will we see you both before he leaves?”
“Not if I have any say about it,” I joke.
The party was at full roar when I left alone to meet Tim’s flight. I’m being selfish, wanting him all to myself.
The flight is on time at ten o’clock. I’m at the head of the jet way, anxiously searching for his face among the arrivals. I know he won’t fly first class, but as the stragglers start coming out, I panic.
“Is that everyone?” I ask the gate agent as he shuts the jet way door.
“Sorry. Maybe you missed them. Check at baggage claim,” he suggests.
I half-ran the concourse and take two steps at a time down the escalator. He’s not at baggage claim.
I get on a pay phone and call Doug’s in West Hollywood. It’s still early in LA. Doug answers. The boys are working already.
“Where’s Tim?” I ask. “He wasn’t on his flight.”
“Oh. I didn’t know he was going back to the City.’
“He was coming to Boston. His sisters are here for the weekend’s football game.”
“I don’t know. He hasn’t been staying here the last few nights. I think he’s with his new friends.”
“What new friends? Those punk friends we met last time?”
“I’m sure he’s okay. Tony would have told me.”
New friends? I’m in a panic. I call Jimmy at Larrabee Studios.
“Yeah. He’s been around. Some movie deal he’s working on. I think he’s staying with Joan’s friends in Hollywood. They’re looking for a house band to play in the movie.”
My heart sinks. He can’t have forgotten this is the weekend of The Game.
“Thanks, Jimmy. Tell him to call me if you see him.”
I take the T back to Harvard Square. I won’t cry on the T. I want to just mope back to my dorm, but I return to the Lampoon Castle. The party is going strong. It’s mostly older Lampoon alums. The younger ones are up on the roof in the pot garden. The current staffers were routed by ‘Bossy and the nine pairs of boobs.’ Legend is made for the 100th Anniversary.
“Where’s Tim?” the twins run up, followed by the others. Minehan is counting his profits.
“He missed his flight,” I suppose.
“What?” everyone shouts. “When’s he getting here?”
“I don’t know,” and I break down crying.
The 3D girls are in shock. Joan comes over to comfortin. Trudie looks stunned.
The twins are angry, “We flew a thousand miles and he’s a no-show?” Angie is the most upset. Amy looks confused.
“Maybe he’ll be here in the morning,” Jill tries to rescue us.
Even Minehan has come over to our little pity party. “We don’t need him. We’re ready for this weekend, with or without him.”
I’m crying again.
Minehan rolls his eyes. I know what exactly what he’s thinking, ‘Fags.’
“How about more pizza?” I gulp. No one objects. We go around the block to ‘Noch’s and spend the time waiting for our order by ragging on Tim, mostly for my benefit. I barely smile. I’m not giving up on him so easily.
Minehan sleeps over that night, sending the rest of his band home. He gives them one hundred dollars each for helping. The $2800 from that night plus the $200 from Rahar’s means he earned his tuition. I’ll forgive the printing costs. I guess it means we really are roommates. It’s unlikely he’ll tell his friends that he’s rooming with the gay enemy. I decide that if Tim fails to show up tomorrow I’ll turn straight. Watch out, Joan. My maturity takes a hit.
The approved football rally is scheduled for 11 o’clock in front of Mower. Minehan posts a ‘Check your Pot at the Door’ sign with a bowl for discarded joints by the entrance to the Mower Quad. An arrow points the potheads to a location behind Mower where they are out-of-sight, out-of-mind to the campus police. David says it’s his friend Mick’s idea.
By the time we’re ready to start, the lawn is jammed with students, dates, and lookie-loos. We turn the amps up so even those unable to get into the courtyard can at least hear us. I keep a watchful eye out for Tim. My hopes are fading as the time to start approaches. We decide The Neighborhoods will open the set, to get everyone a’goin’. Just thinking like a hick makes me more depressed. Joan and Jill corner me.
“If he shows up, it’ll be a big lift. If he doesn’t, we’ll still be a hit. Think about the fans and how great it is that Harvard embraces rock n roll,” Jill claimed.
“Yer right,” I fall into Country Speech. “We gots ta put on a show that gits ‘em a’movin’ and a’groovin’ across to that there Stadium.”
The girls stare at me in wonder, finally breaking up and slapping me on the back. I run up to the mic.
“Wake up Harvard. It’s time to start The Game, right here in the Quad. If you don’t leave ready to make noise at the Stadium, then please go home and die. Or. at least take a nap. Any Boola Boolas out there?” I ask. There are a few hurrahs. “Ya might as well go Crimson, ‘cause we know how to party.”
That gets a loud cheer. I wave The Neighborhoods to come up and get ready to open the show.
“Y’all knows Minehan ‘cause he’s so friendly at Hahvahd – like a pig in shit.” That gets a laugh. “He’s brought his band The Neighborhoods from across the River where they play at The Rat. He’s gonna show y’all that Rock n Roll Never Dies.”
David had taught his boys the new Neil Young cover, ‘Hey Hey My My.’
I pull out my harmonica and do my best Dylan impression as David keeps the rhythm going, coming back with the vocals
‘Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
It’s better to burn out
Than to fade away
Hey hey, my my.
Out of the blue
and into the black
They give you this,
but you pay for that
And once you’re gone,
you can never come back
When you’re out of the blue
and into the black….
The king is gone
but he’s not forgotten
This is the story
of a Johnny Rotten
It’s better to burn out
than it is to fade away….’
SILVER FIDDLE MUSIC
As he finishes the cover, Minehan turns up the energy, jumping up and down and cranking old rock with maximum distortion, making some obscure joke about Arrowsmith.
The crowd is hopping up and down, thinking more about Johnny Rotten than Stephen Tyler. The 3D girls are all in front, doing their strutting and sashaying like they expect ‘Walk this Way.’ Instead, David surprises the girls with a love song, “Prettiest Girl’, which he dedicates to Carol. She about swoons as the other 3Ders tease her.
Minehan grabs a beer from the front row, pours it over his head, spiking his hair and does his version of Sid Vicious voodoo doll mania.
The crowd is in shock at the energy and antics. The girls turn around and charge into the crowd, scattering hippies and half-asleep Deadheads, circling back to the front, bouncing and shaking their tits at the shocked students. First one, then several bold boys join them bouncing as the girls shimmy for them. The band turns their amps up and never stops playing between songs.
Finally I grabbed the mic from Minehan.
“Ya ready for them Yale Boola Boys now?’ I challenge the crowd.
I pull Jill up and she sings her mashup of the Tom Lehrer ‘Fight Fiercely, Harvard.’
The students recognized their song and were singing along. Once she finishes, Steve gives her his bass. I goto the MOOG and yelled at David, ‘False Gods.’
I set the tempo on my keyboard, with the moody electronic sound backed by the bass and David on rhythm guitar. He stepped up to the mic.
“This song is for Tim – gone but promising to return in 20 years or more.”
‘Where others feared to tread,
they gave us up for dead,
memories linger eternally,
as Lucifer’s proud plea,
a world of our own,
on high a black throne,
sing to make them see,
happy for eternity
…we are False Gods, we are False Gods…
a world so meek and blind,
we laugh at all of mankind,
we’re Satan’s band,
a world of endless flaws,
facades and miracles applause,
eulogized but despised,
shed your false disguise,
fall to your knees,
utter useless pleas,
…we are False Gods, we are False Gods…
pray in foreign tongues,
shoot your useless guns,
sacrifice hallowed sheep,
shun cold, dark streets,
you’re just nasty fleas,
Set your minds at ease
…False Gods, False Gods…
we live eternally,
we hear your painful screams,
Just wait 20 years or more,
You’ll know just what we mean
….We are False Gods, False Gods..
… False Gods”
“Tim will return,” I scream. “Then his excuse will be ‘Life’s Lies”
“This is our life,
our pride alive
Its our times
Lost our minds
Stupid rules rule
Demand we act
Just like fools
To be like you.
Look at me, you havta scream.
You think we be freakin’
You gotta be fast to not be seen.
No wonder we’re always sneakin’
Then we went right into:
Never been caught
All over town
Better than not.
Thrill’s in the chase
No time to waste
Folks on my case
All is in haste.
Waiting’s the worst
You were my first
I need you now
We’re on the prowl.
Back of an alley
Sprawled in the dirt
No time to dally
Who will cum first.
shaka shaka love?
‘shaka shaka love shaka shaka
Shaka shaka love shaka shaka.”
The girls turn around and are shimmying to the shaka’s. The boys all hopped up on testosterone, bouncing to the vibrating boobies. David calls them out with
‘“I say, …you…
You’re such a fool
You’re just a tool
But I love…you
I say…. you…
What can we do?
You said we’re through
What can I….. do
I say,…. you…
We break the rules
We act real cruel
I really need…. you…
I say, …you..”
He collapsed into Carol’s outstretched arms. Jill goesto the mic.
“Time for football gentlemen. And no better way to start it off then with Jimi Hendrix’
I use the MOOG to start the Star Spangled Banner. Minehan abandons Carol, grabs his guitar and rips into the distorted psychedelic riffs. Jill sings the actual words. Half the crowd moans and whines the words as Minehan goes off on guitar. He even does the teeth slide move. I’m afraid he’s about to do the Pete Townsend smashing guitar finale. I play the final crashing chord, ending our set.
“Time to kick ass at the Stadium,” I yell into the mic.
The crowd roars back and charges out of the Quad across the Charles to football. Minehan is on his back. Jim throws himself into Mike’s drum set. Jill keeps playing the bass lines, until everyone is gone.
“Not bad,” is Minehan’s critique. “Ya don’t need Tim. We’ll keep this lineup as the new Neighborhoods.”
Steve and Mike look upset.
“No way. This was rock n roll history. You go out and make new history with The Neighborhoods,” I tell him. “Anyway, time to be cheerleaders.”
David and the 3D girls change into their cheer outfits. I tell Joan and Trudie I need to go to the Lampoon Castle to use a phone to find Tim. Jim and Mike join us as we walk across Mass Avenue. I try to find Tim in my heart but he’s closed off. I get really worried and start signing with Jace. He also can’t reach Tim. Post-performance blues descends on me.
“What are you doing?” Jim asks about my signing with Jace.
“I asked that band spirit I told you about to contact Tim, but he isn’t able to.”
“You can talk to each other like reading each other’s minds?”
“Sort of. I can ask a question and my heart will tell me what he says. Not today. We’re cut off.”
“I’ll bet he’s on drugs,” Jim surmises.
“When I do downers, it’s like I can’t feel anything. My feelings are numb.”
“Fuck,” I say. “Tim’s been hanging around junkies in Hollywood. I can’t believe he’ll do it. It really messes up his cousin.”
“Sounds like a family gene,” Jim obviously knows his drugs.
I’m in a real funk. We walk into the Lampoon Castle. The older staffers are cleaning up. They hope we’re there to help.
“Just need to use the phone,” I ask Kurt.
“Go ahead, use my office,” as Kurt corrals the others for clean-up. Teens are easy to boss around.
I call Doug’s, letting it ring until Jimmy finally picks up. It’s only 10 am in LA.
“S’up?” he asks once I tell him who I am.
“Know where Tim is. He was supposed to fly to Boston last night.”
“He’s been working during the day, some movie job,” Jimmy burps, barely awake. “He doesn’t always come here at night. Hanging out with Hollywood punks. They stay up all night.”
Now I’m worried. “He with Joan Jett?”
“Mostly some rich bitches from West LA. Joan’s friends with them when they’re holding.”
“Is he doing drugs, you think?”
“Everyone’s doing drugs in Hollywood.”
“Anyway to get a hold of him?”
“If you wanna drive around and find him, we’ll just ask some punks on the Boulevard.”
“I’m in Boston.”
“Oh. Well, I can get Tony to drive around, but no one’s up this early, especially junkies.”
“Could you? I’m really worried about him.”
“He’s my hero, too. Call back in six hours or so. I’ll leave a message with Doug if we find him.”
“Ask him to call me.”
“Good luck on that one.” He’s used to runaways hiding from their families and/or the cops.
“We’ll find him. Be patient.”
“I can’t,” I sniff.
“Hey, drugs ain’t that bad,” he tries to make it seem better.
One look and Joan comes running over, followed by the others.
“Looks like he’s doing hardcore drugs and doesn’t care,” I explain, then burst into tears. Kurt and the other staffers look embarrassed for me. Fuck ‘em. It’s Gay Rights to be wimpy.
“There’s nothing we can do,” Trudie s practical. “You have to get to the stadium. The Game will start soon. You need to get your MOOG there.”
I feel like I’m slogging through mud, barely able to move my feet. Jim runs back to Mower for my MOOG while the rest of the group drag me to the stadium. Ralph the Stadium announcer is relieved to see me walk into the press box. He tells my minders they can’t stay – university rules. I set up just in time to participate with the Marching Band’s pre-game performance.. The Band Director looks up at the press box when it’s time to introduce the cheerleaders with fanfares. He raises his baton. I play the organ part, followed by the horn section’s response. The cheerleaders run out, to much cheering from the students in the end zone. Even the old alums are clapping, having heard that Harvard now features female cheerleaders. They run onto the field and build a pyramid with Jill at the apex. I play the fanfare organ part and the trumpets herald her flip off the pyramid’s top into waiting arms on the field. I feel better with so much to do. The cheer squad is running through their regular tumbling routines. I play background chords to keep their rhythm up. Except I keep slowing down and have to up my tempo. The 3D girls cast looks in my direction. I have to concentrate on the performance and forget about Tim. It’s hard.
Ralph took over to announce the starting players for both teams. As he announced the Yale side, I play their Boola Boola fight song.
The Band Director is not pleased that I was welcoming the opponents. I let him lead the Marching Band in playing the Harvard fight song
I turn on my mic and sing the fight song’s words, getting the crowd to join in. There’s a big cheer. My nemesis, the Band Director, casts another nasty look my way. I’m obliged to counter the fight song with our version of Tom Lehrer’s ‘Fight fiercely, Harvard,’ tuning the Moog to sound like a honky-tonk piano. I sing Jill’s version
Fight on Harvard, fight, fiercely, fight!
Impress them with our prowess, do!
Make Crimson bright,
Stout heart and true.
Come on, chaps, fight for Harvard
Peachy if we win the game?
Not to shame them, (But, for fame!)
Fight, fiercely, fight!
Don’t be rough, though!
Fight, fight, fight!
Do fight fiercely!
Fight, Fiercely, fight!
Original © Tom Lehrer (1953).
The students erupt with cheering, as the old alums sit glumly on their hands at the desecration of Crimson tradition. The Band Leader looks apoplectic.
Luckily, the St Paul’s Boys Choir marches on the field at this moment. They are ready to sing the National Anthem. Mr. Band Director has to settle down his band to accompany the boys.
Ralph gives them an introduction. “Everyone rise, please, for the National Anthem, sung by Cambridge’s St Paul’s Boys Choir, and led by Director Dr Ted Marier.
As a cheer rises up at the last line, ‘.. home of the brave,’ the choir decides to take an encore with ‘America the Beautiful.’ The band is unprepared. I seize my opportunity and come in on the Moog at the second bar.
The older alums are mollified with the patriotic moment, after years of student dissent. They fail to observe the contra temps between me and the band director. The cheerleaders run back and forth in front of the Harvard stands, getting everyone to cheer, ‘Go, Harvard; Go, Harvard.’ The choir and then the band march off the field. The coin-toss is held and Harvard, winning, elects to receive. Ralph proceeds to announce his play-by-play. I wait for the cheer leading skits to come.
Suddenly there was a pounding on the locked press box door.
“Let me in,” shouts the irate Band Director.
“No one’s allowed in,” Ralph shouts back, winking at me.
“Send that student out, then. He has no right to interfere with the Band’s performance.”
“Looks to me like he saved your asses on ‘America, the Beautiful,” Ralph is enjoying tweaking our mutual nemesis.
“Let me in,” he reiterates.
“No way, you Nazi creep. You’re interfering with my play-by-play. Go away or I’ll have you removed.”
That shuts him up. It is the highlight of my day. Ralph high-fives me, the old goat. Meanwhile the football team has jumped out to a 7-0 lead, inspired by the student antics and alumni cheers. The Yale team has been disorganized and dispirited as Harvard marched down the field to score. Our announcing and adding MOOG music to the cheer skits, keep the stands cheering. Yale tightens their defense and the Harvard lead holds until half-time.
The band marches onto the field. The cheerleaders brought out the bulldog-costumed boys on their hands and knees, snapping bull whips at them as they scurry to avoid the lash. They circled the band as the musicians set up for their half-time show. Several over-excited Yalies run onto the field to rescue their bulldog mascots. An over-zealous Harvard cheerleader uses his whip to actually strike an intruder who falls to the ground. The bulldog-costumed squad rescues him, dragging him to the Yale side of the stadium. I played Keystone Cops organ music as these antics play out.
The cheerleaders run back to the Harvard side. Yale cheerleaders ‘capture’ their mascots, to protect them from the Harvard cheer squad. Caught up in the moment the mascots instantly change sides, exhorting the Yale fans to cheer for their team.
I stopp playing as the Band tuned up to begin their performance. Jace appears, looking very perturbed.
“What’s up, gay ghost,” I joke, still amused by the mock battles on the field.
“Yer not gonna like it,” Jace murmurs. “I finally got Tim to open up to me.”
I look in my heart, but Tim is not there. “What’s he doing?”
“He’s on a two-day drug bender in LA. He has new friends and they’ve been in a one room apartment in Hollywood doing dope.”
My heart gives a sharp start. Tim wakes up to me in my heart.”
“What do ya want?” he complains. I feel a coldness in him, like never before. It’s worse than just missing him.
“Well?” he asks.
“I thought you hated heroin?” I know what is making him shut down.
“Don’t get yer panties in a twist.”
“What do you expect. You were supposed to be here. It’s halftime at the Yale game.”
“Yeah, The Game,” he remarks sarcastically.
I start to sniffle.
“Jesus, stop crying. Ya gots a girlfriend. Man-up, fer Christ’s sake.”
The coldness of his tone envelopes me. He fades from my heart. I couldn’t tell if I shut him out or if he just cut me off. Tears are streaming down my cheeks. Ralph is busy announcing the band’s movements and their obscure meaning. I’m alone.
Not for long. Jace summons all my friends into my heart, as I sit locked into the press box. They know what happened with Tim. Their sympathy pushes me over the edge. I’m sobbing uncontrollably. Ralph looks over, concerned. Caught in the middle of his announcing, he is unable to help. I know I have to stop sobbing. I harden my heart as best I can. It feels like it will shatter. All my feelings shut down. Jace is holding me as clouds of darkness swirl. I forget about football, about Harvard, about Tim. I just need to play my MOOG. I revert to dirges and chants, not caring who is listening (about 35,000 football fans), playing to myself, maybe to Tim if he can listen. It feels like I’m in the Mower boiler room, playing to make the dorm’s brick walls moan and groan. I start in with ‘Knights of White Satin.’
I don’t really sing, just mumbling the words, unaware I had a live mic. Ralph never turns me off.
‘Just what the truth is
I can’t say any more
‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Gazing at people some hand in hand
Just what I’m going through they can’t understand
…. Nights in white satin
Never reaching the end
Letters I’ve written
Never meaning to send
… Just what the truth is
I can’t say any more
‘Cause I love you
Yes I love you
Oh how I love you
Oh how I love you’
Songwriters: JUSTIN HAYWARD
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
I continue to riff on these English blues. The Moog creates eerie, soulful, moody sobs that echo my heart’s longing for Tim. I’m unaware of what was happening in the Stadium. Football plays on. My friends and fellow students perform as my dark music casts a pall over the playing field. I end with Procol Harem’s ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale
‘We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray
And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale
She said, ‘There is no reason
And the truth is plain to see.’
But I wandered through my playing cards
And would not let her be
One of sixteen vestal virgins
Who were leaving for the coast
And although my eyes were open
They might have just as well’ve been closed
And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale
And so it was that later’
Songwriters: GARY BROOKER, KEITH REID, MATTHEW FISHER
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, T.R.O. INC.
I play on with the MOOG, running up and down the keyboard, creating my own songs. Descending into minor chords and recovering with up tempo finger notes. I finally collapse on top of the keyboard creating a dissonance of mashed notes pulsing to the rhythm machine. Ralph pulls me away. I first hear, then see that the game had ended. The main stands have emptied but the student end zone is still filled. They’re cheering and calling for more. Ralph opens the box’s window, holding me up so the crowd can see me. The cheers of ten thousand students ring back at me. I sit down fast, the darkness returns. I play Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Sounds of Silence.’ It is my final encore. I’ll never sang again.
‘Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools” said I
“You do not know, silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the signs said
“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whisper’d in the sounds of silence’
Songwriters: PAUL SIMON
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
Final score – Yale 21 Harvard 7