December 10, 2020
I’m so glad I stopped being Muslim once I came back to Ann Arbor. Wild to think I even tried that out for a minute. Shit was so wack. I even like stopped drinking and eating bacon.
Thank God (SWT) that's over now though cause this fall semester was honestly pretty sick. Most of the boys were back and we’re all living in the house now.
I gotta say, the masks and shit have been annoying, but mostly things have been pretty tight. We played a shitton of slap cup and beer die in the backyard when the weather was good, and girls from Chi O showed up a decent amount. They always sucked ass but it was still fun.
One time, this senior Alex Ruder who was DJ’ing left his phone plugged into the aux while he went to go take a piss so I took over. I pulled up this new playlist I had just spent like weeks putting together (“Late Summer Vibes”); it had some stuff like Sigala and Loud Luxury, a Galantis x Mr. Probz collab, Louis the Child...basically all the stuff you want to hear at a pregame. And what does this fucker do but come back like 2 songs in and be like “Yo what the fuck?” Girls were literally dancing and like complimenting it and shit but I didn't want to make a scene so I was like “Oh my bad” and gave him the phone back.
Schmutz lowkey has been bringing a couple girls back here and there. I'm not supposed to tell anyone but he told me. One time it was Chloe Moskowitz. This was in like September and she snuck in through his window after we all went to Bill's Beer Garden. Chloe is hot as balls, and I was honestly trying to talk to her that night, but I guess he won. Made me sad, so I went into my room and tried to not cry.
The other night, I heard a girl’s voice across the hall in his room and went to go listen in by the door, and I could totally tell it was Rachel Butler. What a dick, I literally had dibs on her from last year. We even texted for a bit when I was Muslim. Felt so sad again. (Hope no one finds this journal lol.) I went back in my room and felt like drinking. I had a few different bottles of alc in my room (Bombay, Kamchatka, Henny, Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey), and I wanted to see what would happen if I mixed them all together, so I poured a shot of each one into an empty Gatorade bottle and shook it up. It was gross. But for some reason it made me feel nice. Like my arms felt stronger or something.
Idk. Can't really explain it.
I have an Econ final tomorrow that's being proctored through Zoom. In the beginning of the semester whenever they said “proctored” it was pretty funny to me. I made some memes for the GroupMe like these:
About to try out my new Bose QuietComfort 35 with my studying playlist (“Working Vibes”)—it’s mostly Gesaffelstein.
December 15, 2020
Decided to stay through winter break this year. I thought Dad would be more upset, but he took it pretty easy. Mom has been working like crazy for the past like 7 months so I don’t even think she cares.
I called her the other day when she had 5 minutes of free time. Here’s what it went like:
“How is work?”
“Busy. How’s school? Are you staying safe, healthy? Are you getting enough to eat? I don’t know what this house chef is feeding you guys…”
“Yea, it’s been tight, I guess. Hung out with this new girl at the SKrappa mixer last week and we made out. But I haven’t heard from her since.”
“Oh, that’s nice, honey. Jesus…I—My god. Is he ever going to concede? This is ridiculous! It’s been over for a month!”
“Did you hear what I said? We made out. I kind of wanted her to give me a handjob at least but maybe next time. Maybe I’ll text her again.”
“Sorry, honey—yes, yes, that sounds nice. Just watching the news. I can’t believe this clown. If his supporters keep believing this stuff…yikes. Can’t imagine what they’ll do. Meanwhile, more and more people dying every day…my god, I can’t take it anymore.”
“Mom, you’re not even listening. I’ve literally been sad because of girls. Girls are making me sad. Not COVID-19. Girls. I even drank by myself the other day: mixing together 1 part each of Bombay Sapphire, Kamchatka, Hennessey, and Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey. It was like I was, like, depressed or an alcoholic. Weirdly it made my arms feel like stronger, but that’s not the point. I’m sad cause of girls.”
“Huh…interesting. I’m sorry, honey, I’ve got to go.”
“You’re making me want to become Muslim again, Mom.”
But by then she had hung up the phone. Then I went to go play pickup with the boys. Kyle works at the IM building so he can sneak us into the actual gym these days, it’s so sick. I brought my TriBit XSound Go to play one of my more hype playlists (“TFW You’re Playing Pickup”). I took most of the songs off of this kid I knew from high school’s Spotify (he’s Black).
January 1, 2021
Last night’s New Year’s Eve party was so fucking epic bro. We didn’t social distance or use masks at all lol so people are probably pissed, but who gives a fuck? It was New Year’s Eve, and we legit threw a banger.
First of all, it was straight -10 with windchill outside, so we did it inside. There were a ton of people. (Cases in Michigan are definitely rising and they might be out of ICU beds [?], but I think it’ll be OK—we asked everyone before they came inside if they like felt sick or had a fever or whatever, and even if they were too drunk to answer, I could pretty much tell no one was sick).
Immediately the vibes were better now that it was inside. We set up like 3 BP tables in the basement, the strobelight situation was on point, and a ton of girls came. Like SKrappa, Theta, ADPi, Chi O—so many girls. And they were all so down to like take shots and clown. A lot of them were wearing hot clothes. At one point I suggested strip poker as a joke, but they got uncomfortable. I still think it’s so funny. Strip poker lmao. Still laughing.
I had a dope outfit on—J. Crew salmon-colored Oxford button-down and Rag and Bone skinny jeans. I had on the CDG Converse too. This girl at one point told me they were “very three years ago, bud” but I don’t believe her? Whatever. I also borrowed some of Schmutz’ cologne—“Sauvage” by Dior. Smelled so good.
Best part is I also got to DJ from like 10 - 11pm. This is the best hour of any party, in my opinion, and the fact that I was chosen to DJ for it legit almost made me cry. Really made me realize how much of a brotherhood we are, and how the bonds we’ve forged in our short, tumultuous time here have ossified into robust friendships—ones that are difficult to come by in the real world. So often do we dismiss male-to-male connection as something facile, merely surface-level explorations of wings, beer, sports, and girls, but what, I ask, about when your boys give you the aux cord at the New Year’s party? Is that not a signifier of something real and true? Of souls now connected in this lonely and unforgiving world? Do these interactions not count, simply because they don’t fit the traditional mold of vulnerability and empathy?
I had a playlist ready to go for just this moment (“That Midnight Kiss”), so I let it rip, and people just start fucking getting after it. I’ve literally never felt so good. Straight vibes. Niiko x SWAE, Mike Posner, Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas Is You”…I mean, this shit was fire.
After that things got interesting. I wanted to get some fresh air, so I mixed a batch of my new favorite drink (1 part Bombay Sapphire, 1 part Kamchatka, 1 part Hennessey, 1 part Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey) and stepped outside. But there were already these two sober monitor pledges on the porch so I tried to act cool.
I hit em with the “The fuck are you guys doing out here?” and they were like “Oh shit we’re sorry we’ll go back inside.” Then I was nice and was like it’s fine, then asked them what they were up to. They said they were just talking about the election, and how it seemed kind of suss. I asked them what they meant. Then one of them was like “Don’t think you think it’s all a little suspicious? Like he was literally blowing him out on Tuesday night, and then all of a sudden by Friday Biden’s won Michigan and Arizona? And Saturday he gets Pennsylvania? Where did all the votes come from?” It was a lot at once so I was like please chill bro, the election is over, Biden won. Then the other kid started saying something else about how the vaccine only got approved right after Biden was elected, of course. That made me pause for a second. And then I was like, “What do you mean they kept finding votes?” “Like they literally just kept dumping votes from all these counties after the fact. We don’t know that they’re real—some of them are straight dead people voting, I think. And like if you look at the maps, how is like each state 90% red and only the cities are blue but then the whole state goes blue? Like don’t you think that’s suss?” I started thinking about that too and was like oh shit you’re right, I never thought about that. Then the other kid was like “What are you doing next week? Do you have classes?” And I didn’t think he was talking to me at first, but he was, so I was like, yeah, I mean, I do. “Why?” And then the two kids looked at each other like they were about to let me in on a secret and then asked me if I wanted to come with them down to DC to this kid’s parents’ house next week, said they’re going to an event I might be interested in. At this point I was super fucked up from my drink and I agreed. Then we started talking about the movie “1917.” I told them that obviously it wasn’t all filmed in one shot, they stitched it together, and they were pretty surprised.
Writing this the morning after. I don’t really want to go to this random pledge’s house in DC, I don’t know why I agreed. But he was making some good points.
January 6, 2021
The guy next to me is screaming some crazy shit, and the guy in front of me is banging a pole into the window. I don’t know if that’s legal but he’s just going for it, banging away. There’s also a woman next to me who keeps chanting, “Where We Go One, We Go All.” I tap her on the shoulder and ask her what she means and she grabs my face and looks me dead in the eyes and goes “KENNEDY KNEW!!!” I wish she were wearing a mask cause I don’t feel that safe honestly.
The guy breaks through the window and we start climbing in. At this point I’m straight up in the Capitol building. I don’t know why it’s spelled Capitol building, cause I thought D.C. was the “capital” of the US? Just another fucking thing this country lies to us about, I guess. The mob is moving pretty fast and I don’t know where I’m going, but they’re kind of ushering us through these like Hollywood ropes.
I figure it’s going to be kind of a long haul so I pull out my AirPod Pros and turn on Transparency mode and throw on my “Weekend Chill Vibes” playlist even though it’s a Wednesday. We keep walking through and a few guys kind of splinter off to take photos. I think a guy behind me is livestreaming on Twitch, so I turn around to say hi to the camera. It’d be sick if I become famous from this lol. There’s also a group of kind of hot girls in front of me wearing Trump hoodies. I wonder whose office they’re going to break into. Then I realize they might be in like high school.
The two pledges are nowhere to be found. I think I lost them sometime around the rally where Trump spoke, and I’ve just been kind of chilling since then. The police have been pretty tight honestly; they kind of just let me in and pointed me to the staircase. Reminds me of when we’d get caught with coke at a party in high school and the police would come and everyone would get in trouble but since I was always with Kevin Minassian and they were tight with his dad so we just kind of walked home.
After a while of kind of shuffling around the place I find AOC’s office and grab the first pair of her shoes I can find, and I make my way back to that pledge’s house. Honestly have no idea why he wants these.
^ Tried writing this in the present tense, felt pretty good. Might keep doing that for all the future journal entries. I actually didn’t know it was called the present tense until now when I looked it up, I just tried this thing where I was writing it like it was happening at the moment and it turns out there’s a name for it. NOTE: BUY ELEMENTS OF STYLE BY STRUNK AND WHITE
January 8, 2021
I’m in a holding room and it’s hella scary. Like no real lights and shit, and this chair sucks, but they gave me some water and food.
I never thought I’d be detained by the FBI, but honestly I don’t know what got into me yesterday. I just got swept up. We all just kept calling each other “Patriots” and it was like hella invigorating and nourishing for my soul and shit. But I feel kind of guilty now. Like we destroyed a lot of property and I think most of it was like owned by the federal government, so it’s going to cost a ton of money to fix I bet.
In fact, now I’m starting to question it all: why did I agree to this? Was there something buried deep inside me, some insurrectionist flame I had long ago failed to extinguish? Was I secretly a fucking nutso at heart? I start hyperventilating, gasping for air. This can’t be true. I’m a brother of AEPi at the University of Michigan, not some freakshow MAGA guy. I’m from Calabasas. This is not who I am.
I clutch my hand to my chest and keel over in shame. Desperately, I try to remember anything, anything at all, from the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH). But nothing comes to mind; it appears I truly am no longer Muslim. I bang on the table, loudly—someone come and get me. Please.
A man buzzes into the intercom system. I tell him I need to make a phone call. A long pause, and then he obliges. I’m dragged out, handcuffed, and taken to a dusty old landline phone in a closet. The guy asks me what number to call. My brain is clouded, foggy, and I can’t remember her number…Goddammit. What’s her number? Just please, somehow, can you get me in contact with Kimberly Hammer at Moderna? Two minutes later, he hands me the receiver.
“Mom?” My voice is trembling.
“Oh, honey…oh, honey…why?” I can practically hear her shaking her head, the shame coloring her every word.
“I don’t know, Mom.” I can barely get the words out behind my heaving sobs. If only PJ were here to see me now…
“I can’t do anything right, Mom. It’s all so fucked.”
“Honey, that’s not true. I swear to you, it’s not true.”
I’m inconsolable at this point. I want to hang up. It’s not worth my time, or hers. She pauses and sighs.
“OK. I haven’t told you this because I’m legally not allowed to, but…but I’m going to. Honey, do you know what’s in our vaccine?”
What? What is she on about?
“It’s remarkable, honey. We couldn’t crack it for months, and then all of a sudden, you did it. You want to know what’s in it, in this vaccine that will save so many lives? I’ll tell you. It’s one shot of Bombay Sapphire, one shot of Kamchatka, one shot of Hennessey, and—”
“—and one shot of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey.”
“Yes, honey! Yes. That’s right. It was all you."
At this point the guy takes the phone away from me cause I’m like lying on the floor crying. Holy shit dude. I literally invented the fucking Moderna vaccine cause I was sad about girls lol. That is insane.
Hey, this was really funny. I wasn’t drinking milk, but some came out of my nose anyway…
Is this the establishment of the Low Lift Ask cinematic universe? Is this frat guy somehow related to these notifications…?
This week, I’ve been thinking about Among the Thugs by Bill Buford. The book examines the structures and violence around (UK) football hooligan culture and rioting in the early 90s. I’ve spent my entire life avoiding violence; I abhor it in all its forms, as I think most of my peers do, and I found the minds of those who relish in it inscrutable, if not terrifying. The book opened my eyes to the ease and power of mob violence, even if its rooted in something dumb and sort of meaningless like a football match—it seems to be this sort of animalistic unstoppable tide, something fundamental to our base instincts. I can’t tell if it’s because we’re wired to follow our peers or whether we’re actually suited for violence, but either way, it doesn’t bode well that a stupid and silly movement like QAnon champions violent people as the saviors of our nation. But you all knew that anyway.
Maybe this is reading too much into a movement composed of guys named “Keith Hartfeldt” who work as sales reps at a mid-size Indiana lighting chain, spend all their time on /pol talking about how they have wet dreams about The Dark Ages, and won’t listen to their wives asking them to come to bed because they’re busy watching this:
This was fuckin wild
You know in like superhero movies (huge fan here), where the normal dude puts on a fake mustache and all of a sudden he’s a different person even though it’s the same guy. That’s nabeel and this journal-keeping frat guy.