Walled In: The Life of Henry David of the Row

Kevin Kilgour

Henry David of The Row was having an existential crisis.

The budding freshman had taken a strong interest in environmental studies and philosophy, but found his life overwhelmingly consumed by fraternity life on frat row. Henry had rushed the fall semester, and though he was at first suspicious of Tau Alpha Chi’s (ΤΑΧ) hierarchical structure, he was enchanted with the rebellious attitude Greek life espoused.

Henry had always hated rules. The gentlemen of ΤΑΧ gave off a disaffected vibe that resonated with Henry’s aversion to authority.

Even the drinking he found appealing. Any government that thinks it can control who does and does not drink is clearly stretching beyond the appropriate limits of authority. Fraternity life spat in the face of this unthinkable restriction. The opportunity to break the law with such glee and determination was a dream come true for the young transcendentleman.

Now that he had finally escaped from home and into the wilderness of collegiate fraternity life, Henry thought he would find meaning and happiness. But, as is often the case with such things as opening a bar in your apartment, living in the woods, and online dating, reality rarely lives up to expectations.

The process of sequestering to his superiors’ every wish in the house was the first hint that fraternity life might not be the wilderness excursion Henry had pined for. And sure, his brothers broke plenty of rules, but they didn’t take any joy in it. Henry was interested in the inherent value of anarchy: his housemates always seemed to have other motivations at heart.

When Henry suggested to his brothers that they stop paying the campus activities fee as an act of defiance against unwarranted authority, they laughed off his proposal as nothing more than an inebriated jest. When he pitched a tent out front of the house and encouraged others to join him in the celebration of nature, they smiled awkwardly as they slowly backed into the inner recesses of the ΤΑΧ house. When Henry was a few drinks in on bid night, he declared for all to hear: “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth!” His brothers in the house looked at one another and knew that something had to be done.

“Like, Henry is pretty dope and stuff, but he just doesn’t fit the TAX life,” Chad concluded. Brad and the other lads concurred.

Following a highly democratic voting process, Henry David was voted out of the house. Most of the brothers were apathetic, saying they thought Henry was a “chill bro,” but the fact that Henry had decided to stop paying dues was a major blow to his hopes for retaining membership.

Exiled from frat row, Henry wandered campus with no purpose and no home. Maybe his house brothers didn’t understand him, but at least he was starting to understand himself, and that was enough for now.

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