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11.1.1986 – Chaos

Note: My short-lived attendance at Ricks College in the small town of Rexburg, Idaho twenty years ago was a defining stage of my life. Mostly for unpleasant reasons. Taking an extremely impulsive anarchist skate punk from California and putting them in the Rexburg of 1986, what can you expect? My being an 18-year-old with the maturity of a 9-year-old didn’t help, either. But it was in Rexburg that I fell in love with photography and abandoned my academic career to follow my passion.

These entries are written from the journals I kept when I was 18. Of course, at 38 today, I do not advocate any of the illegal activity discussed here. -Trent

Saturday, November 1 – Monday, November 3, 1986

(38: Readers, this is where things get really crazy. To update you on several factors that came into play on this Halloween weekend, remember that A) Some of the roommates forged one of Charlie’s checks to buy pizza and cokes; B) Tom, Larry, Drake, Ray and I have been making multiple outings to deface and destroy campaign signs throughout southeastern Idaho; C) Tom and Larry, previously best friends who drove out from the east coast together, are now at each other’s throats; D) We, wait…I, have been repeatedly prank calling the guys in #18, saying only the words “urine bomb,” threatening to leave a open-mouthed piss-filled bottle of gatorade leaning on their front door, where it will empty into their apartment the moment they open their door. They are getting very pissed off and respond with profanity-laced tirades and multiple threats of ass-kickings if they find out who is making the calls. E) The six guys who live in #18 are huge, football playing hulks. Got it straight? Here we go…)

On Saturday, the tension between Larry and Tom boiled over and their friendship ended forever in devastating fashion. While Tom was gone, people ate his food, erased his floppy disks, and even took a load of his belongings down to a pawn shop; though the pawn shop refused to take any of his stuff.

After a trip to Idaho Falls I came home to find Tom was moving all his stuff out of Larry’s room and into Charlie’s room. He had had enough of rooming with Larry. Roommate Jeff was taking Tom’s spot in Larry’s room. Charlie wasn’t around to find out that Tom was moving into his room, his third roommate in two months.

We went to a party (Ray and I) at Tina’s. It was cool. When we got back, we all waited for Charlie to come home so we could see his reaction to his new roommate, Tom. He finally came home, went into his room and closed the door. They talked quietly for a long time and then Charlie came out and asked, “Who is going to reimburse me for the check you guys wrote?” Tom had told him everything. The guys all denied it.

It was late. Larry, and Ray and I went out driving and talked. This was really bad. Tom had been out with us on several sign-destroying and graffiti missions. He knew all about our stolen groceries and just about everything else we had done, all of which would certainly get us kicked out of school and in trouble with the cops. Not to mention there were people who would certainly kick our asses if they knew who we were. Since Tom and Larry were now enemies, and Larry was part of our group, Tom would certainly finger us all.

We came back after midnight, woke up Drake, and loaded our huge stolen grocery stash into our cars. We drove out to the sand dunes and buried it in several plastic garbage bags. Early the next morning, we went back, dug it all up, and moved it to a new stash spot. It was an abandoned sugar beet factory in Rigby. To scare people off from stealing it, we spray-painted a bunch of satanic stuff all around our hiding spot.

During all of this, Drake and Ray were freaking out. They were sure that Tom go to the cops, putting us all in some serious trouble. They kept talking about running off to Canada to escape the law. They said they would take Larry’s car and send him back the money. The biggest problem in this plan that I saw was that Larry’s car was a piece of junk and probably wouldn’t even make it there. My car was new, and I had given Drake had a key to my car. It was obvious they would realize this very soon. Once they started talking about running away to Canada, I started parking my car in different parking lots every night so they wouldn’t be able to take it. Sure enough, Drake later told me that they had planned on taking my car.

On Sunday, Ray, Drake, Larry, and I were home, sitting in the front room. Tom was home, but because of the tense situation, he was staying in his room with the door shut. He had been in his room all day. Larry couldn’t stand it. He wanted to throw a rock at the beehive. He got his camera, went into Tom’s room and snapped a picture of him and then came running out. Tom chased right after him and they started to fight. It was a furious, physical fight right in the kitchen and we all just sat there, stunned and watching these two former friends battle it out.

It’s hard to say who won, as it was pretty vicious on both of them. Tom got in some good licks and backed off when he realized that there were three other guys watching who were siding with Larry.

After the fight, I drove over to my aunt’s house for dinner, elk-steak. It was really good and I enjoyed the time at their house with their family. It is such a peaceful home. Little did I know that that hour and a half at my aunt’s would be the only peaceful moment I would have for a while. Things were completely spiraling out of control.

I came home to find out that Larry had been taken to the hospital for his wounds from the fight. Tom had vanished. Drake and Ray were also unaccounted for. Charlie said he thought that Drake and Ray had gone after Tom and “hurt him.” Larry was home now, with a seriously bruised hip. He was on codeine and really mellow. Things were falling apart all around us. Our apartment was in complete chaos. The once-mellow Charlie installed a lock on his door.

Tom never came back to #20. They moved him out of our apartment. And guess where he ended up? He’s now moved in with the jocks I’ve been prank-calling over in apartment #18. This can’t be good for me. How long before he tells them who their tormentor is? How long before he spills the beans on all of our other activities?

On Monday, Charlie went down to the bank and reported the forged check. Things in the apartment weren’t normal after this weekend. They never will be. I’m writing this nine days later and I haven’t been to any of my classes since that weekend. I’m so confused about everything. More events follow…

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