The Walk of Shame

Katy decided she was going to find herself an older man.  A rich one, someone who would take care of her, that’s what she wanted.  She was tired of sleeping with the same stupid fraternity boys anyway.  They didn’t care about her.  She’d known this for a long time, but had refused to let it bother her until now.

The fraternity guys called her names, called her over in the middle of the night, sometimes they didn’t even try to mask the fact that she was their last choice.  They referred to her as “Last Call.”  She thought maybe her reliability might grow on one of them, maybe endear her more than the other girls who were never consistent.  She thought it might at least elevate her in one guy’s mind to girlfriend status.  “It only takes one,” that’s what her mom always said.  Unfortunately, she’d been in the sorority for over two years now and had been with more guys more times than she cared to remember, getting nothing out of it except for a couple fraternity guys’ oversized T-shirts.  Those came from the nice ones, the few guys who took pity on her when she had to her walk back in the same outfit she’d clearly worn the night before.  

Somehow the pink mini skirt and tight black top with a pair of stilettos didn’t look so good in the daylight, especially while walking back through fraternity row to her sorority house on the other side of campus.  It made her a target.  The worst part about the walk home was the other fraternity brothers, those who might have hit on her the night before, or slept with her the night before that.  It was those who hadn’t passed out yet, the guys who’d partied all night that would sit up on the roof, waiting sometimes into the early morning, just to have the opportunity to insult and throw smashed beer cans at Katy and other girls.  The same ones who’d spent the night, or at least part of it with their fraternity brothers; sometimes even the guys who’d just been with a girl would join in with their buddies on the roof. They just loved catching girls like Katy, those not good enough to really stay over, those not good enough to have earned the title of ‘girlfriend.’ Despite this taking place every morning, each night it went back to same thing again, girls like Katy presumably forgetting about the insults, ignoring the bruise on their back from the last beer can.  It was just easier to pretend these things had never happened.

Katy didn’t understand why the two stood so far apart, the sorority houses and fraternity row.  In some ways, the term “fraternity row” always reminded her of “death row.” It was a death row for the girls, she thought, that damned walk in the morning.  She figured the sorority houses were probably built back before girls did that – “hooked up,” drunk-ass – on a regular basis.  In some ways, she believed girls like herself, those not quite cute enough, or sweet enough, or smart enough, had always played the same role in history.  Her ability to find favor with the boys through the one way she could catch their attention, through sex, easy sex, was something she provided that the others did not.  She made less demands, but she also genuinely felt something, no matter how brief the encounter.  Katy enjoyed catching each boy in his moment of weakness, these fraternity boys, who thought they owned the world.  Even if they called her names the next day, and cursed her from the rooftop, she took joy in knowing that she’d been in charge sometimes only minutes before.

Katy tried not to be too self-reflective though. It was easier not to think most of the time in her sorority, since nothing very good ever came of it. Walking back at 5am, dodging beer cans, all after her sisters had cut her best friend from home, made it hard not to wonder what it was she was doing.  Most of the time she spent her nights with these stupid boys, partially because it was what was expected of her.  As her pledge trainer had told her class, “it’s important to keep the right boys in the right fraternity on good terms with our sisters, if you understand what I’m saying.”  

Still after last night, and especially this morning, it was hard to avoid the elephant in the room, which is what Katy had become.  She liked to joke that she was as big as both her roommates combined, in the same way she often said she’d slept with as many SigEp’s as she had freckles splattered across her forehead.  She was a red headed Irish Girl, so oftentimes the freckles ran into each other, forming constellations.  When Katy was young she used to look for constellations on her forehead.  She was a Sagitarious, one day short of Scorpio, which is what she wished she was.  A Scorpio would have helped to explain what she considered a healthy sex drive, as well as a hard exterior.  Criton, or something, she couldn’t remember exactly what the scorpions shell was made of.  She remembered only that it was tough enough that it was almost impossible to crush.  Her grandfather always warned her to grind her heel into the ground when smashing a scorpion, because the force of one’s weight alone wasn’t enough to kill it.  You really had to grind. 

That’s what she felt like this morning though, a smashed scorpion.  After the elimination of a friend, a real friend from home, someone who really knew her and was willing to join her in this game. They could have run the ‘walk of shame,’ together.  So this morning, it felt as if the Greek system had stomped her and ground her flat, hard shell broken, bleeding, gushing into the dirt.   She thought at the very least her sorority sisters should have allowed her out to meet and greet, since they always expected her around at night.  But instead they’d stuck Katy in the kitchen out of their prospective girls’ view, in the back with the Alumnae pouring punch.  That bitch, the rush chair, hadn’t even let her out when her best friend from Longview was coming through the house.  That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Instead of laying back and taking it for England, she had spent the last two years bent over taking it for Tri-Kap.

So Katy had decided that afternoon to find herself someone a bit more senior.  Her grandmother always said marry someone ten years older, because then you’ll always be the younger woman.  She wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it, but she figured it must be even easier in Austin than in Longview, and a girlfriend of hers had found a doctor twenty years older than her there.  Granted, Katy wasn’t too sure she wanted to find someone twenty years older, but a nice round thirty was sounding pretty good to her right now.