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    The Skunk House

           The Skunk House. That’s where I lived my last two years of college. Like all iconic residences, this one had a name, a lot of character, and a lot of characters in it. Seven guys. Five bedrooms. Three floors. One bathroom. It was glorious.
           Our abode got its name because it housed four of the six members of my band, The Albino Skunks, a fifties band, who’s repertoire also included some early sixties hits. The band was my brain child, from conception, to image, to costume design, to naming the band. My twin brother Mike and I played in it together. A shit load of fun. I’ll write a post someday about that band. But today, I’ll tell you about the house where most of us lived (not Mike, he lived across town). The Skunk House was, in the little world of Villanova, as infamous as the band itself.
           Not everybody was thrilled when we found the house in the spring of my Sophomore year. In the words of my father, “Johnny”.....(my dad rarely called me Clint) “that place is a God Damn Shit Hole!”. These words were said in front of some of the guys who eventually inhabited the place. They have become a part of folklore amongst many of my Villanova comrades, and the phrase is often repeated whenever we get together, complete with my dad’s Boston accent.
           Dad was right. It was a shit hole. All my housemates knew it. But we didn’t care. Because the only thing that mattered to the seven of us was that we lived together. It didn’t matter where. As long as we were in it as a tribe, all was right with the world.
           I remember getting into debates, even arguments, with my father about living there. He was of the opinion that we would all end up hating each other, because the place was such a dive and much too small for seven young men. Dad meant well, trying to protect his son and the relationships he knew meant a lot to him. My father had the tendency to be over-protective, and thought that he always knew best. God bless him. He meant well, and I knew it was coming from a place of deep love.
           But he was all wet about this one, and I told him so. I was adamant about living with all of these guys, in this house, for the rest of my college days. And I did. Around graduation, my dad admitted that I made the right call, and that I had assessed the situation soundly. The house actually brought us all closer.
           I knew it would, because I knew how we all felt about each other. There was a tremendous sense of camaraderie between us. We were like a gang. We hung out together. We had each other’s backs. We respected each other. We were all very different and yet very similar.
           Bottom line, we loved each other. I knew that. I felt that. Even at the tender age of twenty, I was keenly aware of how deeply I felt about these guys. And I experienced a wonderful sense of acceptance and affectation from them. They loved my spirit, my uniqueness, my unconventional approach to, well, everything. They loved me for who I was. And I felt the exact same way about them. Intense male bonding, before the term gained mass popularity.
           Okay. I’ve set the stage. In part two, I’ll give you the play. In beautiful, gory detail.

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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