Indian Student Association barn dance, an event that plays minimal Indian music and does not provide refunds.

I was at this barn dance with my girl at the time. Not a big, red barn like Old McDonald’s, but more a one-story warehouse-esque hall with a DJ and party lights.

Someone gave me a beer. Because this was during a time when I didn’t drink, I placed the can on the ground nearby, which attracted a fellow patron’s attention away from his enjoyment of the night.

He approaches me with no hesitancy, and addresses me with immense certainty.

Esteemed gentleman: “Drink that. Don’t be a bitch.”
Vivek: “I don’t drink.”
Esteemed gentleman: “Oh…respect.”

Respect??? What????? What breed of respect are you even giving me, considering your behavior a moment ago…not yet addressing the call out I received for my refusal of a drink?? And if you “respect” someone who does not drink while you criticize someone who declines a drink, what does that say about your point of view??? Did someone shame you or something, are you good…what just happened, and why, and how????????

He was not trying to be wild, yet I ended up bewildered.

Pleasant night.

Picture: I couldn’t find a photo from this event, and while going through my gallery, this picture made me feel something in my heart/chest. It’s the walkway to the fountain next to the Alice Campbell Alumni Center, up the street from the Illinois Street Residence hall, where I lived for two years, and down the street from the Merry Ann’s diner, where I fed myself for the next two years!

The gate to the fountain by the University of Illinois’ alumni center at night