This is what happened:
Everyone on campus knew of him. The wiry, athletic boyish body (5'7" and 120 lbs.) with a shock of white hair on top...the quirkily ill-fitting 50's thrift shop clothes...the white tennis shoes he'd dyed bright pink with Ritt dye from Woolworth's...and, of course, his bright yellow plastic Fiorucci briefcase. I was in love with his style; to me, it showed fearlessness, which was a huge turn-on. And I wanted not just to be with him; I wanted to be him.
So, when we began to cohabit a few months later (in the apartment we dubbed the Honeymoon Cottage), I got to wear his clothes, which were even more ill-fitting on me, since I was a few inches taller and 20 pounds bigger. Then we started to shop for clothes together, got matching barbershop haircuts and looked like twins, which didn't exactly thrill the independent-minded Duane, but made me the happiest boy in the whole U.S.A. This was exactly how I felt:
But what does all of this have to do with my stopping writing? Well, Duane was not a writer. (He was barely a speaker; I did most of the talking and he loved to listen, or so he said.) So, I stopped writing. But he was very talented at visual arts and our apartment walls were filled floor-to-ceiling with his drawings. Here I am admiring his work at the time:
Duane had a double major of Economics (to satisfy his mother) and Art History (to satisfy himself). As you've probably guessed, I soon switched from English to a double major of Economics and Art History, neither of which particularly interested me, but I wanted to be in all of his classes and I wanted to be him.
Eventually, I developed my own sense of style and identity (once Duane graduated and I moved back into the dorms) but I didn't return to my childhood passion of writing until years later, when I began to do stand-up comedy and wrote a solid hour of strong material for myself. And now, I write the routines for Dick and Duane, with a lot of input from the Ape himself.
I love that Duane the former non-writer is doing this blog with me. Maybe after all these years, he's become a little more like me, too.
However, we definitely have different eating habits.