Dave was bored.
Dave was in a fraternity – he went through the motions, he did the parties, he raised the funds.† †He didn’t particularly like the Greek life, but they threw a spaghetti social twice a year that was to die for.
Overall though, the fraternity was boring.
His school work was no different. He was majoring in Business.† He didn’t particular like business or understand much about it, but they had coffee stand just outside the Hall and fantastic bagels. He did alright in his classes, but did not do much else: he wasn’t particularly athletic, nor did he like to drink.
Therefore, school was also boring.
He served bar on weekends after work, mostly at catered events. They were easier, you had to talk less but set up more. Only distant uncles spent their time talking to wedding bartenders.† There was always someone getting married or something to celebrate.† His job, though mainly focused around parties, was very boring.
Dave sat on the edge of his bed.† He was playing an old Nintendo 64 game. His character, a large green lizard, was currently helping a similarly sized monkey level a small cartoon city.
‘Maybe you should drink?‘ offered Chris.† The ‘boys’ called him C-Money but his parents called his Christopher Bell the Third.† He drove a yellow Range Rover and arranged his schedule so he could start ‘raging’ by noon.
‘Yeah,‘ Dave agreed and placed his controller on his lap.
‘Or get laid, hey-‘ Chris turned before exiting the small room, pointing dramatically over at Dave, ‘Rager tonight!‘
There was always a rager: this was Tisch and more importantly, this was New York.† Ragers would one day turn to benders, but for now, it was all in good fun.† Chris closed the door to the room and Dave looked back to the television.
Dave was bored.
Dave finally dragged himself out of the room, sliding himself into a pair of ripped jeans and a Godzilla t-shirt that was a size too large.† His worn rainbow sandals thwacked against his feet as he walked beside Chris.† Chris sipped from a can of soda as he walked, but most people knew him well enough to know that it was likely a well disguised beer.† ‘Who’s gonna know?‘ he would ask.
‘Dude, I’m telling you, Susan is into you.‘
‘Really?† I don’t know,‘ Dave slipped his hands into his pocket. Dave had never been good around women and Susan had played Ophelia in an off-broadway production of Hamlet.† Rumor had it she was even being offered a role in the revival of Dreamgirls and Abrams might be representing her.
‘Yeah, bruh!‘ the pair stopped for a moment so that Chris could talk to someone he knew.† Dave gathered that his name was Tim and he was in economics with Chris, but beyond that he spaced on the conversation.† Something about alcohol or drinking it or something.
This was an awkward moment as Dave didn’t know Tim and did not know what to do.† Dave’s life was full of awkward moments: that very night he would throw up on Susan – not because of alcohol, but because of the baby-sized burrito he had eaten hours earlier. Dave was lactose intolerant and like many people who were lactose intolerant, he did not care that he was.
Needless to say, Susan would lose interest in Dave after that.
Dave looked up.
‘Dude, I can’t believe you hurled on Susan!‘
Dave was wearing a pair of shorts and Jesus slippers.† He had on a shirt from high schools production of Metamorphosis – he had helped build the set for extra credit, but found it a bit too pretentious to sit through the entire thing.
It was a different day.† A different day but somehow just the same.
‘Yea, I guess I had a lot to drink.‘
He did not.
Dave and Chris pushed their way into the mail room.† It was their turn to post the flyers around campus for the upcoming mixer.† Mixers, ragers, benders – one thing lead to another.† There were a few students standing at their respective mailbox, mostly freshmen – you could always tell the freshman based upon the level of dressed up they got.
‘I can’t believe we’re mixing with the Betas, tonight.‘
‘Yea.† It will be a real event, that’s for sure,‘ Dave tried his best to sound enthusiastic about it, ‘I need to check my mail.’
Dave left Chris to tack the flyer to the board and talk to some of the newer students. He had not checked his mailbox in a few weeks but most of it got forwarded to the frat house.† His family never seemed to get the memo so he always had to stop by.† He dug out his key and then flipped open the small box.† A single letter sat inside.
He flipped the envelope over.† No other clues to who may have left it.† He checked around himself to make sure he wasn’t being watched before realizing that he didn’t stand out enough to be seen, let alone surveilled.† Dave ripped the letter open and pulled out a small memo.† It had a crudely drawn picture of a stegosaurus head on top of a beer keg and the word, ‘Keggasaurus‘ underneath it.† On the other side was an address and two simple lines:
It’ll be Pre-Historic.
‘I can’t believe your skipping out on the party tonight, it’s going to be a rager!‘
The two paced down the aisle of a bodega not far from campus.† You could find anything in a bodega and often times not where you would expect it to be.† Chris pulled open a cooler and selected a bottle of High Water.
‘This one will be Pre-Historic,‘ Dave offered optimistically.† High Water was what happened when Milwaukee Beast had a love affair with Four Loko.† It was bottled and shipped up from New Jersey and you could taste it in every drop.† In the party scene, they called this pre-gaming.
‘I don’t know man, the Beta Gammas are wild.‘
‘Yeah,‘ Dave said simply and left Chris to wander the store.† You could find anything in a bodega and never anything you expected.† Sometimes you found what you needed and sometimes what you needed found you.† Dave lifted a rubber tyrannosaurus mask from the shelf, ‘Wild.’
Chris finished paying and fumbled with sliding the can into the cola sheath.† Who’s gonna know, after all?† Dave held up the mask.
‘How much for this?‘
Dave looked down at the invitation and back up at the building. He confirmed the address once again. There was nothing there except an open manhole.† The street was as busy as any random New York street might be.† Some cars honked on the street and there was always someone to be seen, but nobody seemed to be here for any sort of event.
‘Guess I’ll go play some Sega‘ he muttered to himself – he almost had Diablo’s Incinerator down.† He fumbled in his pocket for his phone.
‘You here to get wild?’ a voice said and he turned around.† Two women, roughly his age, wearing leather thongs and not much else smiled over to him.† They held a similar memo that he had in their hands.
‘Ye I guess.‘
‘Well let’s go!’ with no hesitation, they began lowering themselves down the manhole.† He stopped worrying about his phone,
‘Here goes nothing,‘ he thought, and followed them down into the hole.† It was a short climb and somehow surprisingly clean.† The room opened up to a door and the girls seemed to have already gone through.
He pushed the door open, the music filled his brain.
Watch out beneath?
Deep, primal, and electric – the music took control.† Dave looked around the crowd – a sea of faces and forms.† Some people wore leather, others wore dinosaur costumes.† Everyone looked to be in their own zone.† He looked at his mask.
?Please sir, can I do another?
‘What the hell.‘
How about we shake things up?
The blaring music disoriented Dave. He stared through the small holes.† Cavemen and cave women.† Pterodactyl and triceratops.† The strobes flashed through his mind. He pushed further into the room, the bodies bounced against his.
?I’m bloody invincible with this?
Dave spun and moved and as he did, he started to feel alive.
The cavemen bounced against him, but Dave was no man.† Dave was a dinosaur.† He flailed, he spun.
?I’ll bite you bastards to death?
Dave the Dinosaur let out a roar as a form slammed against him.† He swung, he battled, he fought, he won.
He roared again.
?I hope someoneís taking notes!?
It was Pre-Historic.
Dave’s eyes opened to find Chris sitting on the edge of his bed.† He turned to the clock.
He didn’t remember coming home or much at all from the night before.† He did remember that there was a shockingly sanitary sewer and music.
A roar echoed through his mind.† Was he a dinosaur?† He looked down at his hands.† They were shaking, but otherwise human.
‘Normal,‘ Dave whispered to himself, almost disappointed.† Chris continued.
‘You missed a rager,‘ he said, flashing some pictures at Dave on his phone.
‘Yeah,‘ Dave said, sitting up.† On the bed beside him sat a mask.
He remembered the music, the rhythm, the lights – he touched it with his hand.
Dave opened his eyes.
‘What are you wearing?‘
He looked up.† Chris stood at his door, looking cautiously inside.† He was dressed in a toga with his hair pulled back into what could be described beat as a loose man bun.† Dave glanced at the clock.
Was time moving backwards?
‘Bro, ditch the mask – it’s a real rager tonight!‘
Tim held a red solo cup in a hand. He too wore a toga, but his hair was much too short to pull into a man bun and instead opted to spike it straight upwards. They casually watched a game of beer pong.
‘Yeah, I don’t know man, Dave’s being weird.‘
‘Is he sick?‘
‘He’s been sitting in his room with that weird mask, yelling or something,‘ the table erupted as a ping pong ball dropped into a cup. The drink is emptied and set aside. Jurassic by Midnight Tyrannosaurus comes on and the volume is turned to the max, ‘Maybe it’s for a play or something.‘
Just little old me, is it?
?Don’t worry guys, Iíll finish what we started then?
?Alright, let’s do this?
A blood-curling scream tore across the room and the crowd became silent.† Chris looked up to see Dave standing in the doorway wearing nothing but the rubber tyrannosaurus mask.† He roared, flailing his arms
‘Dave man…‘ Eric said, reaching out a hand.† Eric went to City College and was a point guard – not a starting one, but he still played.† Eric knew Dave through Tim who met Dave through Chris.† His hand touched Dave’s shoulder.
Dave wrapped himself around Eric and the pair went crashing to the floor.
‘Dave!‘ shouted Chris.
Eric held a bag of peas to his face. Most people had cleared out after Dave started screaming, but Eric held his cool and helped hold the naked masked man down long enough for them to get a robe around him and shove him into his room.† Dave the Dinosaur continue to roar – continued to smash.
It was a real rager.
‘He’s lost it man,’ confirmed Tim
‘Maybe he just needs to get out some aggression?‘ Chris offered.† Of everyone there he knew Dave the best.† Yeah, that’s what Dave needed.† That or to get drunk.† Chris fumbled with a nearby beer can.
‘How do you plan to get that aggression out?† You going in there?‘
Chris shrugged, tipping the half empty can of beer back.† He could take Dave right?† He looked to Tim for mental reassurance but got none.
‘Nah man, I’m buzzed.† Maybe we can find him like…a sparring partner‘
‘Bro, all the chicks left,‘ Eric moved the bag of peas from his face.† Dave had somehow head-butted him in his naked frenzy and a large welt was forming just above is eye.
‘No – I mean like boxing.‘
‘I don’t think dinosaurs can box,‘ Tim corrects.† The trio sits silently.† A banging can be heard and then a loud crash followed by more yelling.† He scrolls absently through his phone while Chris drinks absently.† Tim’s eyes light up and he flashes his phone to the other two, ‘Check this out then, there’s a wrestling event.‘
‘Can dinosaurs wrestle?‘ Eric listens in against the door. More crashing.† More yelling.
‘I mean…dude how the fuck would I know?† You want me to sign him up?‘
Tim and Eric look over to Chris.† After all, Chris knows Dave best.† Chris nods his head and Tim began to fill out a form.
‘Samson? Sampson?‘† Chris couldn’t remember.† Everyone just called him Dave.† He was Dave, dude.† Dave, man.† Dave, bro.
‘I think it’s Samsa,‘ suggested Eric.† His two companions considered for a second before agreeing to disagree, shaking their heads simultaneously.
‘I’m just gonna put Dave the Dinosaur.‘
Tim, Chris, and Eric stand in a semi-circle in the back yard.† Dave the Dinosaur stands still, staring off into space.† Tim aims a small camera at Dave.
‘Look we gotta shoot a promo video.‘
‘Why?† He’s already trending on TikTok,‘ Eric shows the video of Dave tackling him naked.† 3 million views – Naked Dinosaur rages mixed with Capone’s ‘Oh No‘.
‘Shut the fuck up about Reels.‘
‘Okay, Dave like…do it more like this,‘† Chris approaches Dave and emulates a tyrannosaurus roaring, his arms crunched against his chest or at least, that’s what Chris believes he’s done.† Eric stares over at him.
‘Was that a chicken?‘
‘No dude, it was a dinosaur.† Dave, look…‘ what Chris does now definitely resembles a chicken in a coop, scratching at seed. Dave does not turn so he does it more furiously.
Dave finally turns, tilting his head slowly.† He begins to prowl forward only a step.† The pair of non-masked men stop and look at one another.
Dave turns fully towards Chris, arms lifting above is head as he runs straight towards him.