Satire | Pitt student loses mind after all his friends go home for summer


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Halket Street in Oakland.

By Thomas Riley, Opinions Editor

Many students welcome the start of summer, the long-needed break after an arduous semester. Without schoolwork taking up their evenings, students can spend more free time with their friends — but what about those whose friends moved back home for the summer?

The months of May through August can prove difficult for many underclassmen who must leave their good college friends and return home to their not-as-good high school friends, but incoming Pitt junior Charlie Wilson believes he got the shortest straw for summer vacation.

Wilson, well aware of the potential consequences of his actions, signed up for a summer internship, opting to stay in Pittsburgh while all his friends went back home to stay with their parents. He currently lives in a one-bedroom apartment on McKee Place.

“Me? I’m doing great,” Wilson said. “It sucks not having my old college pals here, but, seriously, it’s just swell here. My new roommate has been a riot — we’ve made so many great memories in the few weeks we’ve been living together.”

Wilson suggested his roommate, Cain Friend, could contribute to the story. Wilson walked into his bedroom and returned a moment later carrying a plush dog. Shaking the dog up and down, Wilson spoke in a silly voice out of the side of his mouth to create the illusion the dog itself was speaking.

“Oh, I love Charlie!” Friend, allegedly a sophomore English writing major, said. “Remember the other night, Charlie? When we spent the whole night laughing? I don’t even remember why. You and I just laughed hysterically for hours and hours and hours.”

“My goodness, yes! Our neighbor even called the police because they thought they heard an animal being tortured! Well, they can lock us up when having fun with your best friend becomes a crime.” Wilson kissed Friend tenderly on his cloth head.

While he was originally upset he wouldn’t have anyone to talk to about his thoughts throughout the day, Wilson said he found comfort in journaling. When asked why he doesn’t just text or call his long-distance friends, Wilson chuckled and reminisced about a night when Friend “just wanted to see what would happen if he hit my phone with a hammer over and over again.”

Wilson presented three journal entries that he felt comfortable sharing with an audience. 

The first was from the first week of summer — it was a lovely exploration of Wilson’s honest feelings about living alone for the first time and his plans to cope with his solitude. He detailed an itinerary of activities to do throughout the week.

The second, from a couple weeks later, had very little writing — it was simply a still-life illustration of Friend slouched in a chair in Wilson’s room. He captioned the piece, “When I’m tired, I can hear you whispering.”

While Wilson claimed he was comfortable sharing the third piece, dated only two days prior to the interview, I felt uncomfortable sharing the contents on his behalf. I have never seen a pen with ink this specific shade of crimson red.

“Sometimes I do miss my friends, but at least I can still talk to them!” Wilson said. “After Cain smashed my phone, I made wax models of all my friends so it’s like we’re all hanging out again.”

Wilson led me to his refrigerator. Inside sat four cold heads, their expressions lifeless yet horribly tormented. Wilson explained this was the only place cool enough to store wax during the summer, noting that the fridge didn’t provide enough room for their whole bodies.

“The wax heads are of my three best friends,” Wilson said, closing the refrigerator door. “I can only talk to them for a half hour at a time, but it’s — SHUT UP CAIN THAT’S NOT TRUE!!”

Wilson apologized for Friend’s “interruption” and explained that his stuffed dog sometimes gets jealous when Wilson talks to his heads. The two have a very intense friendship, one that is “more akin to a bond between man and deity than an earthly connection,” as he puts it.

The nice thing about not having his friends around is that Wilson reportedly has more time to focus on his internship. Wilson is a psychology major and is currently overseeing studies intended to better understand the human psyche.

Most of his work involves observing the effects of social isolation on young adults.

“The internship is truly fascinating,” Wilson said. “It’s amazing to see how poorly some people operate when they don’t have social stimulation every five minutes. I’m so glad I’m not like that. Right, Cain?”


Thomas Riley primarily writes social satire and stories about politics and philosophy. Write to them at [email protected]