Northern Michigan University, 1975. The place where I squandered 5 semesters drinking, smoking pot, and just generally doing those other squandering type of activities that are especially prevalent among young men of a certain age. (Note: this was the pre-electronic game era so the digit activity piece generally included girls.)

Spring semester I acquired my second roommate whom a chap down the hall by the name of Chip nicknamed ‘The No-Eyes’. I think the nickname was hyphen-less but now somehow the hyphen seems essential given the formal requirements of the written word.

The No-Eyes was legally blind but could somehow see shapes and stuff. Sorry, but I never saw his medical files so the extent of his infirmaries shall always remain a mystery.

What I do know is that he [also] was an unexceptional student, loved playing the electric guitar, didn’t do drugs, and wasn’t especially popular with the ladies; something that truly bugged him especially given the then present cultural climate that included lots (and lots) of promiscuous behavior. But he was funny as hell which was why we included him in all our madcap adventures.

The No-Eyes was at NMU on a free ride because of his sight condition. He got free (audio) books, free tuition, free housing, and a generous living expense stipend to boot. The freedom that went with his student lifestyle became so pleasureful in fact that he spent 10 years pursuing a bachelor’s degree. It wasn’t until some minor bureaucrat down in the state’s capitol became hip to the fact whilst doing the books that some almost middle-aged guy was, 10 years on, still sucking at the proverbial state educational benefits tit, so it was decided shorty thereafter to ‘graduate’ The No-Eyes on some sort of general diploma.

I have lots of The No-Eyes stories which I might save for a subsequent post concerning some of our more depraved dorm living experiences like streaking the campus in ’76 under the influence of copious amounts of Jack Daniels. But I will end with the ironic fact that the same State of Michigan that financed this prolonged run at a BA was the very selfsame entity that turned around and gave this same person a driver’s license just a couple of short years later.

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