Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Chapter 18

Friday, October 2, 1964

I didn't get wind of the depth of the problem until Friday night, after I followed the sounds of the Notre Dame Victory March to the pep rally for the first home game. We'd be playing Purdue, our interstate rival. I had no intention of getting caught up in the sweaty cattle drive into the old field house, but the Irish Marching Band was the pied piper and we were the rats. I, at least, had the strength to remain on the peripherybut I did not doubt the attraction and enjoyed being on the edge.

I waited outside of the Huddle, my arms folded enjoying the sound of the band and the students "mooing" in the crush of sweating bodies of entering the field house. Two seminarians, engrossed in conversation, passed right in front of me without seeing me. I had that capacity sometimes. All I could make out as they passed was "BJ and the boys." At that point, I should have known. 

When the flow of students entering the field house diminished to a trickle, I headed over to the library. I didn't expect my wife to be there, but tonight it would be quiet but not isolated. My kind of place.  

By the time I got back to HCS, it was pushing 10 p.m. The house was quieting down. The lobby was empty. I was tired and began the trudge up three flights of stairs. On the top floor, I paused, out of breath, and lost more oxygen. The door of Bernie's room was covered with a collage, similar to the first one I had seen. In th middle of this one was a giant "BJ" composed of two separate letters like a ransom note. 

Yes, we had a problem.

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