4th month, 20th day

The first time I soaked reeds was in high school. It was a natural progression at the time, as I’d been soaking twigs already for a little while. A few of my boys had feelers they could use to find the best reeds to soak, and soak we did. Many times we’d gather at M’s house, pull out the tongs, soak a bunch of reeds, and play Goldeneye on Nintendo 64. It was only a now-and-again occurance at that time, as I had other extracurricular activities to attend to. Things would change shortly after graduation.

As many of you know, I-66 U (henceforth referred to as U-66) is an HBCU, and one thing I learned very quickly after arriving at U-66 is that the supposition that my cohorts really liked to soak some reeds was not without merit. In fact, it was hard not to soak reeds. Yours truly was soaking reeds a few times a week, many times after a visit to the 7-11 for a six of something, as drinking greatly enhanced the reed soaking experience.

I learned a lot of things as a result of reed soaking during those few years. The most important thing was to stuff a wet towel under the door because the smell of reeds being soaked is very easily recognized, and the administration probably didn’t want a bunch of reeds being brought into the dorms from who knows where smelling up the hall. I also learned that if there’s even a hint of a chance that someone would stumble upon us soaking reeds that the evidence must be prepared for destruction in short order. As our dorm was not “coed” at the time, the sound of a girl knocking at our door was alarming, so T grabbed our reeds, the wipe we were using to soak them, and stood perched on the window sill of the 8th floor room with his arm extended ready to drop the evidence. There was another knock, and J opened the door a crack after spraying febreze all over the place to reveal a girl who’d snuck into the building (not the security guard we feared, as they were the only women permitted in the dorm). She ended up being at the door of the wrong room and J told her to go away so she did, but not before asking if she could soak some of our reeds. He shut the door in her face.

One day in 2000 I dared myself to quit soaking twigs and reeds (of course only after finishing off the last few twigs I’d gathered). I haven’t regressed back into reed soaking since, and I can count on one hand the number of twigs I’ve soaked since. Still, every now and again, about once a year around this time even, I’m reminded of my reed soaking days. I wonder why that is…

Leave a Reply