Walter: An Outline of Dirt
Now Derek plays the drums for The Natural History, who you can read a little more about here.
Somewhere in the Internet's basement I managed to find a Derek Vockins story captured in print form, which I am going to republish here.
Walter was from Blacksburg or Roanoke, Virginia, I can't remember exactly. He was from a town that was big enough to have a mall with a Chess King, because he worked there during high school. I think he may have been paid in clothing in lieu of currency, because there were three piles of Chess King clothes on the floor of our room, about two and half feet tall and five feet in diameter. It was like a Chess King Giza.
Despite his passion for Chess King, Walter wasn't very dapper. He didn't bathe very often. He didn't wash the Chess King Necropolis very often, if at all. Necropolis is an appropriate metaphor - the piles smelled like something died inside them. Something old and mystical from an ancient civilization.
Walter used sheets on his mattress for about a week. He couldn't be bothered with sheets after that. He would sleep on the naked mattress. Walter had created a silhouette of himself on the mattress with the filth from his unwashed body after about a month. The silhouette was not exclusively grey as one might expect. There was plenty of dinge, but the dinge was punctuated by red. This was because Walter had chosen to pledge the TKE fraternity, and he was often painted the fraternity colors during the hazing period. This phenomenon inspired the creation of the art rock band Walter: Outline of Dirt.
Walter's family came by for visit once. I could smell them from the stairwell on the first floor and my room was on the third. It was a pioneering, groundbreaking stench. Walter's family was like the Picasso of body odor. His mom also had some weird condition - diabetes? There was all this fat or fluid on the thigh, but her knees and calves were normal. The excess thigh just folded over her knees. It made her look like she was wearing clamdigger shorts made out of her own flesh.
Despite all of this, he was an OK guy. Probably the first person to make me appreciate Shakespeare. He moved across the hall after first semester anyway.