Title: Cookie Girl

Date Occurred: September of 1992 through April of 1994, if it occurred at all.

Date Written: May 30, 2019

Copyright (c) May 30, 2019

Written by: Joel T. Kant


When I lived in Columbus, Ohio from September of 1992 to June of 1993 to attend The Ohio State University (OSU), my mind played tricks on me as if I were still a very poor undergrad who could do no more than get a minimum wage until the diploma was reached. The reality had not emotionally sunk in that I was an electrical engineer with five years of completed work experience at the prestigious MIT Lincoln Laboratory. I had a fair amount of savings from that experience. When finding a place to live in Columbus for my first year there, I made my life much more miserable by selecting in an apartment in easy walking distance from campus. I found the other grad students who had cars, as did I, deliberately lived farther than walking distance from campus. Living further away greatly reduced their trials and tribulations that came from wild campus life that made my first three quarters in Columbus so difficult.

As I type this in 2019, I have been told by many people that for twenty-first century OSU students in Columbus, life is vastly tamer than it was in the early Nineties when I was there. A couple years ago I roamed the campus area where I had once lived on a visit to Columbus, the difference was dramatic. If anybody had been to NYC around Times Square in the late Eighties then visited again in the last decade, then it can feel like such a dramatic change that it can feel like a completely different place. I found the changes around OSU in Columbus were similarly dramatic. My daughter Katie who is about to start her senior year of high school decided not to include OSU as one the colleges that she will apply to even though it is much cleaned up from my time there. Perhaps my stories set in the early Nineties scared her off, which might not be fair to the modern OSU.

One interesting aspect of living in that apartment building close to campus was meeting the wild characters who were my neighbors. It might be silly to do this story referring only to Cookie Girl, Band Guy, and Drug Dealer, but I do not feel like coming up with replacement names. Thus, we will treat Cookie Girl as if a proper name, first name Cookie and last name Girl. For Drug Dealer, it is like her first name is Drug and her last name is Dealer. Written many years later, this story should be treated as fiction.

I met Band Guy the first day that I moved into the apartment building. He often played his electric guitar. However, unlike my neighbor in Platteville, Wisconsin who loved playing his electric guitar at top volume right after bar time, Band Guy was considerate and never played it loudly late at night. That did not mean he and the others in his band did not sometimes play late at night, but either they kept the volume down or all of them put on over-the-ear earphones.

Band Guy had formed a band, with himself as lead guitarist. He was an undergrad at OSU studying Business as well. He had just turned twenty-one.

Constantly when I was at OSU, I was struck by the contrast in undergrad life that the raising of the drinking age from eighteen to twenty-one had caused. I also found out that back when the drinking age was still eighteen in Wisconsin, Ohio had different rules. Before the nationwide rise to a twenty-one-year-old drinking age, those in Ohio age 18-20 could only buy "three-two." When I first heard this, I had no idea what it meant. It means maximum allowed percent of alcohol. It is very close to modern Lite beer, which I think is around 3.4% alcohol. However, that three-two had disappeared back in the mid-Eighties when Ohio made all consumption of alcohol illegal until the age of twenty-one.

Band Guy and the regular members of his band of the bass guitarist, drummer, and keyboardist were all twenty-one.

Others liked to show up at Band Guy's apartment. Some who could play instruments wanted to "jam" with them, even if not officially members of the band. Some just came to hang out and listen. Not too surprisingly, some who came to listen to the four guys in their rock band practice were female. That fit the rock band stereotype to a tee. No women I met were ever coming to watch me or my fellow male grad students program their computers or solder up their circuits!

One of the girls who regularly showed up at Band Guy's apartment looked so young and slender that she seemed to belong in high school, not college. Out of all the band members, she gravitated to the lead guitarist, Band Guy. Band Guy seemed very fond of her as well.

Band Guy told me a little about her, and later I talked to her a little myself. Despite her youthful appearance, she did have her high school diploma achieved in a very small Ohio town. She was eighteen, and moved to a very small apartment all by herself. Her apartment was in the much older building next to the one I lived in. Both buildings were owned by the same company, and those from her building had to come to our building to use the coin-operated laundry machines in our basement. Unlike most of those of college-age in these two apartment buildings, she was not an OSU student. She was not a college student at all. She worked for minimum wage at a cookie store at a large mall that sold very large but overpriced cookies.

Band Guy soon found out the eighteen-year-old girl did not know the simplest things like how to set up a bank account to cash her paycheck. He discovered she went to the pay-a-fee-to-cash-a-check place. He also learned she had paid her rent in pure cash. He helped her set up a bank account so she could cash her paycheck without being charged.

I noted that while Band Guy and Cookie Girl seemed very interested in each other, she seemed to only tolerate me because Band Guy liked me. While Band Guy was twenty-one and Cookie Girl was eighteen, I realized to them I was an old guy of twenty-nine! When I had spare time, I occasionally gave free math tutoring help to Band Guy, who picked up mathematical ideas rapidly and well. It reminded me of being a math tutor back when I started college back at UW-Platteville. However, often my own studies kept me too busy to do this more than occasionally rather than as often as Band Guy would like.

Unlike some others in this apartment building including Band Guy, I had a car. I had already at this point in grad school gotten rid of my 1981 Honda Accord since at 170,000 miles the clutch was slipping, the gas tank leaking, and the fenders had rust holes. I replaced it with a 1986 Suzuki Samurai with four-wheel drive and 88,000 miles. Band Guy and another guy from our apartment building asked for a ride to the Big Bear supermarket. It was about two miles away, which while easily walkable is quite a distance to carry groceries. I needed groceries myself, so the three of us piled in my Suzuki and went.

Those two bought a fair amount of booze along with groceries. Even the cashier remarked it looked like preparing for a party. Band Guy admitted he and the other guy were doing just that.

We got back to the apartment building and unloaded. To my surprise, the other guy dropped off a case of beer with Cookie Girl. She was only eighteen. Band Guy noticed this too, and told me Cookie Girl had asked him to buy her beer for the party on Friday, but he refused since she was under the legal limit. Band Guy then said I could then stop by at the party. It was not at his place, but another apartment in the building rented by a woman who was completing her Masters degree in Education.

I guess I was overly suspicious because when Friday came, I was astonished to see Cookie Girl show up with her entire untouched case of beer. Not one can was missing. In the Platteville years, one case of beer might last one guy only one evening if a Friday or Saturday, but maybe three days if normal weeknights.

Cookie Girl proudly put her case of beer with the reset of the beer, wine coolers, vodka, soft drinks, and the like on a table in the apartment with the party. I contributed one bottle of red wine, a merlot. It turned out I and a Vietnamese guy were the only ones at the party that liked dry red wine. Others preferred the sweet-as-soda-pop "wine coolers" or else some of the other beverages. I found out the Vietnamese guy, who was studying mechanical engineer, was much more a wine connoisseur than I was. He had not brought his own wine since he didn't find most other students like the kind of dry wine he did, and he had been correct about that.

After talking to the mechanical engineering student about wine for a while, I noticed Cookie Girl was only drinking soda pop as she talked to Band Guy. Cans of beer were disappearing from her supplied case, but none were taken for herself. As with most apartment parties, nobody was checking I.D.'s for being twenty-one or over.

Band Guy went to get his second beer. While he did that, Cookie Girl left with another woman. I noticed Band Guy was then standing alone, peering around. I went over and asked Band Guy about why Cookie Girl brought beer, then didn't touch any herself. He said that she liked pot, but not alcohol. He added that she brought the beer just to fit in.

The owner of this apartment threw back booze back like I used to see at Platteville and Madison. She scorned how the Vietnamese guy and I were still sipping away on our first glasses of wine while Band Guy was only on his second beer after almost an hour. Others shared her opinion, guzzling their drinks and getting more to guzzle.

Band Guy seemed to have no interest in this prompting to increase his alcohol consumption. His lack of caring and response to the push to drink more was very different from what I saw earlier at Platteville and Madison, as was the woman in education seeming to so easily give up on all three of us guys. Band Guy came over and asked the Vietnamese guy and I what had happened to Cookie Girl. I explained I had seen her leave with a woman I didn't know. I gave a brief description, and didn't understand why that seemed to make Band Guy so unhappy. Based on my description, he knew the name of the woman that had left with Cookie Girl.

The owner of the apartment and her closest friends now tossing back hard liquor with abandon. They got louder and ruder.

The owner of the apartment then bragged to all who would listen that she had bought every paper she had ever turned in at OSU. She was graduating this quarter with a Masters in Education. She said only one time, she got caught. Not for buying a paper, but the guy who wrote it had plagiarized. Once she figured out what the offense was, she said she cried a lot and promised not to do it again. The prof relented with just a zero on the paper, so it was still possible to get a C in the class. She said the prof was so stupid that he never suspected she hadn't written one word of that paper, nor any paper she ever turned in to him.

Others gathered around to hear this story. Many seemed eager to beg for knowledge for where to buy papers that other that one time had passed muster!

I hate to use the term "loser," but I felt it fit somebody with the idea of buying every paper to get a degree as a victory. Granted, I don't have any proof. I merely heard an inebriated woman telling stories. Yet, I suspect it was a case of the saying, "In vino veritas." That translates to in wine, there is truth. Yet, the Vietnamese guy and I were the only ones drinking wine. What she and her friends were drinking was much more potent than wine.

As I was about to leave, Cookie Girl finally came back. Although I never saw her touch ethanol at the party, she acted in a much mind-altered state on her return. Band Guy seemed to latch on to her, but she seemed to be now avoiding him. I had seen enough of this kind of behavior in the dorms at UW-Platteville and UW-Madison to have a very good guess why Band Guy was so distraught when he learned Cookie Girl had left with this other woman.

I tended to avoid parties with the people from that apartment building and the one next door after this party. I was extremely busy studying EE and BME in grad school, so had little patience and less interest in this kind of childish drama. I had missed going to parties of this sort when an undergrad myself since back then a strict teetotaler. Now, I would occasionally have a glass of wine, but found I fit at a party like this about as badly as before.

One day after the party, Band Guy came with what he considered great news. His band had a gig to play at a bar in Columbus on an upcoming Saturday night. There were going to be three bands playing at the bar, with his band as the third.

I was quite curious to see his band perform in public. I worked hard that week to get as much ahead as I could so one Saturday night seeing the band would not really hurt my studies. Grad school was often so intense that I did have to make a special effort just to have a Saturday night free.

I got to the bar in time to hear the last song of the first band. That band was terrible!

The next band then took the stage. They sounded better than the first, but their playing seemed limited and very repetitive. Each song sounded almost the same as the others.

Band Guy came over to talk to me as the second band as still playing. Along with his band members, he had other friends in the audience. He made introductions.

He said that this bar "cards," so only lets in those twenty-one and older. Thus, some of his friends could not come to hear them. That included Cookie Girl. He said that some other bars in the area have sections where booze is served and other sections where booze is not allowed. At these other bars, those eighteen-to-twenty can come hear a band as well. This bar just wasn't one of those places. He happily announced that after getting this gig, in two weeks, they had already gotten another gig at a different bar that did although those younger than twenty-one to hear the band.

Having this gig and then another two weeks later had him feeling proud. Soon, he had to leave me to join his band mates in preparing for their turn on stage.

I am not much of a judge of bar bands in the rock style, but I liked Band Guy's band much better than the first two bands. Since the last band of the night, unlike the previous two bands, Band Guy's band had an intermission of maybe fifteen minutes before doing their last set of songs.

For the intermission, Band Guy left the stage to see me and his other friends twenty-one and older who had come to hear his band. The other three band members did not want to stay and chat in the bar.

The bass guitar player told Band Guy, "We're going outside for a smoke."

Band Guy said, "I'll be with you shortly."

Back in Kenya a year earlier, I had found to my surprise that going out for a "smoke" seemed usually not to mean tobacco. I was more experienced now, and noted lots of people in the bar were smoking cigarettes because there was no cigarette smoking ban in this bar. Thus, I doubted it was tobacco they were going outside to smoke since that could be done right here.

Band Guy asked his other friends that had come to hear the band and me, "Do you guys want to join us for a smoke?"

A few of the others said they would, while others like me declined.

I added, "When I had a security clearance, I had to avoid things like 'smoking.'"

Band Guy responded, "You're just a student now."

I responded, "I know, but I might end up back in that world after I graduate."

Band Guy thought a bit, then asked with his friends also paying attention to my answer, "Does smoking a joint prevent one from getting a security clearance?"

I replied, "I knew a few people who had clearances who admitted smoking marijuana in the past. It was frowned upon but they still got their clearances. It was not to be done anymore once one had the clearance, though."

One of the others who had already agreed he would come out and join them for a "smoke" described how he had some sort of part-time minimum wage job that required a drug test. He'd stayed clean long enough to pass it, but was back to using after landing the job. I forgot what his minimum wage job was, but I was surprised it took passing a drug test for such menial work.

Band Guy and the other smokers then left, to reappear about fifteen minutes later.

I felt the playing got sloppier after the smoking break. Yet, Band Guy and his three band mates acted after returning from their smoking break acted as if they now thought they were the best bar bands that ever was.

Jumping stories here, this reminded me of how back in Boston and working at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, I had a friend who hung out with an audio engineer. The audio engineer said that for many musicians, the musician believed the more "high," the better their music. Wanting to keep his paying job, the audio engineer didn't debate them. He said that a certain level of "highness," it seemed the musicians were just wasting their recording-time money. The musicians themselves would listen to the tapes and figure that out, but next time in, it would still be a repeat of before.

To me, it seemed a similar effect was taking place after the break with Band Guy's band.

I did not go to the next gig the band had where those under twenty-one could also attend. I claimed to be too busy, and this was not just an excuse. I had little time for these kind of diversions in grad school.

During the band's practice sessions in Band Guy's apartment, Cookie Girl took to hanging out. This included taking breaks getting high smoking pot. Band Guy seemed to find it acceptable if it was himself that Cookie Girl got high with.

A month or two after I had heard his band play at a bar, Band Guy came over to my apartment alone. With him making sure my door was firmly closed, he claimed to have gotten his wish to spend the night with Cookie Girl.

I responded, "It isn't any of my business."

Band Guy said, "I want to ask you about something about it."

He really seemed to need to talk to somebody, so I relented and listened.

Band Guy said that she claimed there was no need to use a condom because she was on the pill. He had insisted and used one, which upset her. He asked me if he should believe a girl who claimed she was "on the pill."

I was taking a Physiology course or maybe by then a Pathology course as part of my Biomedical Engineering education. I pulled out one of those books, and said, "Rather than me lecture you, you can check what is says in here for yourself for VD whether HIV or other types and what protection a condom might provide. Also, if she is lying about using the pill, then she could end up pregnant so you'd have to be paying for the kid for the next eighteen or twenty-one years."

Band Guy looked down at the book, but did not reach out to take it. I put it back away. Just having pulled it out seemed to have been the answer he expected.

A mere couple weeks later, Band Guy stopped by again. He was upset because he had learned Cookie Girl had slept with other guys than him. I just listened, offering no comment as I could not think of anything really to say about that. I was not surprised, but I kept that to myself.

Band Guy glanced over at my bookshelf with the book that he had not opened up, and said, "I guess it was a good thing I insisted on using the condom."

That I certainly agreed with him about!

Band Guy soon got frustrated by the lack of seriousness of his band mates. For two of them, he was frustrated that they lacked a seriousness approach to the band, but also lacked of seriousness to being college students. I think the bass guitarist was putting in much less time in the band, but Band Guy sympathized with that because the bass guitarist was correspondingly putting in much more time in his academic work. Band Guy could understand that trade-off, but not the other two who seemed to have a slack-off approach to both the band and to academics.

He asked me what I felt about the trade-off between band versus college studies.

Since I only went to a bar to hear his band once, I told him I am not fit to judge the quality of a bar band. My music tastes tend more to classical, certainly not what was popular in 1992 in bars in Columbus! Still, since he asked and since he was a Business major at OSU, I would look at the situation like an investment. In investing, risks are unavoidable. The key is to if taking a high risk having a reasonable expectation of a high payout. If taking a high risk for what is expected to only be a low payout, that's a foolish way to invest.

A band like his does have a chance to make it big. That would be a high return if that happens, but a high risk as well that it will not happen. Getting a bachelor's degree was low risk since just doing the work in his major by following the recommendation of two hours studying for one hour of class should work to get his degree. The return there is not pop-star-level fame and fortune, but the expected and respectable value of having the Business degree. While it was still his call, I suggested trying to look at the risks and possible pay-off as he saw them rather than as I saw them as a way to make a reasonable choice.

Band Guy did think about it, and became a serious college student. The band for him became more a pastime.

I think if he had band mates as serious about the music as he was, maybe the band would have a decent chance. With two of his bandmates being party-hearty and the other seeming to have made the choice to concentrate more on academics before Band Guy made a similar choice, I think Band Guy made a good choice.

Some time after Band Guy lessened the time he put into his band while increasing time in his academic studies, Cookie Girl showed up with a tale of woe to tell Band Guy. I just happened to be around when it was told. In her building next door that was owned by the same company, her apartment had the hinge pins on the outside in the hallway. She claimed somebody had driven out the hinge pins of her door, then stolen all her money.

This led Band Guy and I to immediately check our respective doors, which had hinge pins on the inside of the apartment.

She was back in the habit of cashing 100% of her paycheck from the cookie store in the mall into cash, then paying her rent in cash. Band Guy had tried to get her to create and use a checking account with a check to pay the rent, but perhaps because she was mad at him after they had broken up...or maybe she was just stupid...she had not listened. She said that she did not like to maintain the thirty or fifty dollars in the account to have free paycheck cashing.

What Band Guy asked Cookie Girl was if the apartment was torn apart in a search of just the cash was gone. The apartment was not torn apart in a search. So, Band Guy and I both suspected the money was taken by somebody who both knew her habit of keeping a fair sum of money in the room, when she got paid, and where she hid it. That greatly lowered the list of suspects. We both gave this same advice.

Band Guy then strongly recommended she get the cops involved.

She went away clearly offended by the two of us. She refused to involve the police.

I was shocked that any company that rents apartments would have one with a door with the hinge pins on the outside. However, I think this was AFTER the fire in the laundry room in our building where the fire extinguisher according to another guy did not function, nor did the fire hose, the fire alarm, the smoke detectors. I have that in another story on my web site.

Maybe a week later, Band Guy told me that Cookie Girl had come to him when I was not around. As he had anticipated, she had begged him to loan or give her rent money. Band Guy refused. She seemed to want to become a couple again if he would do this for her, but he stuck to his refusal. Band Guy said that he suspected she would have tried this earlier if he had been alone with her, but didn't want to do this in front of me.

I asked, "Do you think she really will get evicted for failing to pay the rent?"

Band Guy shrugged and said, "I don't know, but I don't think giving her money is the right thing to do."

Days after this, I learned from Band Guy that Cookie Girl had pawned her stereo system. There were many pawn shops around the campus area. There were more pawn shops around then anyplace else that I have been in my life, including the worst areas of Cleveland.

That desperate act got her rent paid. After two months, so she had some paychecks from the cookie store, she had earned the money to keep paying rent and still get her stereo system out of hock. Although Band Guy had not been with her when she pawned the stereo, she got him to come along when she had the money to help carry it back after getting it out of hock.

Band Guy had to explain to me this business of getting an item out of hock. I had never used a pawn shop to pawn an item. Basically, the pawn shop gives a high-interest loan with the item as collateral. The person getting the loan has a set period of time, maybe two or three months, to pay back the loan with its interest. If that is done, then they get the item back. Otherwise, the pawn shop will get their money by selling the hocked item.

According to Band Guy, in the contract that she had made with the pawn shop without him around, it had listed the receiver, turntable, and tape deck all with noted model numbers and serial numbers. However, though Cookie Girl claimed speakers had been turned in too, they had not been written with the rest in the contract. So, the speakers had been sold! Since not listed in the list in the contract, Cookie Girl was essentially screwed. There was only her word with no proof that there had ever been speakers as part of the deal.

It felt like Cookie Girl and Band Guy had gotten a hard lesson in how difficult and unfair life could really be like in the big city of Columbus! By proxy of hearing their story, so was I!

I had to move up to Cleveland for Summer of 1993. That is, I had to be in Cleveland from about mid-June through the start of September. I found a room I could rent in University Heights near Cleveland for the summer.

By the way, I was only the second student in the joint OSU-Cleveland Clinic partnership for Biomedical Engineering, although med students had gone between the two institutions for many years before. The first student only went as far as a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering. Thus, I was the first of the Ph.D. students doing this. One obvious lesson from my being guinea pig was that it works much better when going between cities 120 miles apart to work in periods of one year. Most leases work in one-year periods. To find places for three quarters in Columbus, one quarter in Cleveland, two quarters in Columbus, and then back to Cleveland was very difficult to arrange! The disreputable apartment building for my first year in Columbus, rather three quarters in Columbus, was the only one I found doing a lease shorter than a year.

Fortunately for my last two quarters in Columbus, I got into a graduate-student-only dorm building called Jones Tower. Dorm buildings are much better about arranging to stay for just a quarter or a semester than private apartments! So, if one could be allowed to stay in dorm housing, then the periods less than one year in each city would also work out better.

Weeks after I moved from Columbus after the Spring Quarter of 1993 to spend Summer Quarter of 1993 in Cleveland, I had my identity stolen. Somebody claiming to be my "wife" got the credit card company to mail a card to my Columbus address. Despite my notifying the credit card company of my new address in Cleveland and despite change of address card that I had submitted to the U.S. post office, somehow the thief got the unsigned credit card from the former Columbus address. He or she went on a spending spree. I was not married until the year 2000.

What saved me from a big loss is in the credit card company's own records, it was noted the woman that phoned them requesting a new card did not correctly answer the security question of my mother's maiden name. Yet, the card was sent despite this. I was upset hearing this. What is the point of a security question if it is not going to be used?

With that argument, I was not held liable. Fortunately, 1993 was not much into the internet age. Using a mother maiden name as a security name would be nearly useless as a security question now. There are far too many web sites with genealogy information on nearly everybody now that a question like that could be answered with only a little searching. That this was hard back then saved me from a big bill!

I finished the summer in Cleveland. I then also finished two more quarters living in the graduate-student-only dorm in Columbus. I then moved up to Cleveland permanently to do research at the Cleveland Clinic for March 1994. Although now permanently living in Cleveland, I was still an OSU student until March 1999 when I successfully defended my Ph.D. thesis. As an OSU student, about once every month or two, I had to drive down to Columbus for some type of OSU business.

So, some time in late April of 1994, I was back on the OSU campus in Columbus. I ran into Band Guy wandering around the main green.

Band Guy proudly told me, "I'm graduating at the end of the quarter. I've already got a job offer."

I was glad for him. It also struck me how much longer the Ph.D. process typically was than getting a bachelors degree. I still had years to go.

He was living in a nicer place than the previous year. We talked about some of what had happened with the previous apartment building. I told him about the I.D. theft that happened to me when I moved from there up to Cleveland. I suspected my mail had been intercepted from that apartment building, not my new place.

This was 1994, and both of us had left the previous apartment building in 1993. I had left in at the start of June 1993, and he had left in late August of 1993.

Band Guy got excited when he heard I had been hit with identity theft. He said that I had to talk to Cookie Girl. I was surprised he was still in touch with her as he had seemed so disappointed when he learned she had been sleeping around about a year ago that I thought he had given up on her. As for her talking to me, I felt she hardly seemed to know I existed. Band Guy explained it was about the identity theft.

He had her phone number, so gave her a call. We met up with her someplace on campus like the Student Union. She looked aged far more than only the single year that has passed. She had put on significant weight so was no longer slender, but the look of being older was more than weight gain. She looked like she had been through a lot.

Cookie Girl started off by apologizing for some of her conduct back at the old apartment building. She admitted that she used to to a lot of drugs back then. She seemed to be looking at me intently to see if I would register surprise. While I said nothing, I think she could tell that I was not surprised.

She continued that she was off them. Now she seemed to focus on whether Band Guy believed that claim rather than my own response. I wished her good luck with that. She didn't specify what drugs beyond pot, and I didn't ask.

I privately thought that the odds were not that good that she would stay off drugs, and I was not quite sure she was really off right now. I've met quite a few alcoholics and addicts who very convincingly lied about having quit, so have gotten jaded. For Cookie Girl, maybe I was unfairly suspicious and cynical. At any rate, I spoke about none of that, just keeping quiet on this matter.

Band Guy expressed happiness to hear this from her.

The story that Band Guy had wanted me to hear was what happened on Spring Break during this last school year. All universities I have attended other than OSU were on semester systems. In the twenty-first century, OSU has changed over to also be on the semester system. Back then, it ran on the quarter system.

The semester system went about like this in my experience. The Fall semester started in the last week of August and end in around the second week of December. The Spring semester started in the first week in January and ended around the first or second week in May. Spring Break splits apart the Spring semester. Summer session would be from start of June through about the second week of August.

In contrast, the quarter system started mid-September and ended around the second week of December for Fall Quarter. Winter Quarter went from about the first week of January to about mid-March. Spring Quarter went from about late March to about mid-June. I think Spring Break under the quarter system was really the time between Winter Quarter and Spring Quarter. Like many other universities, students often travelled during Spring Break. The Spring Break under either quarter or semester system is around a week long.

Even now for 1994, Cookie Girl still wasn't an OSU student. She wasn't a college student at all. Looking over at Band Guy to check his reaction, Cookie Girl said, "I am thinking of applying to OSU."

As I am sure she anticipated, Band Guy eagerly offered to help her with the application process.

Getting back to her story, Cookie Girl said that she did not have any sort of Spring Break since not a college student. When Spring Break happened for the OSU students, she stayed in Columbus still selling large cookies at the cookie store in the mall.

Although not a college student, Cookie Girl's father still had her down on his health insurance. I am not sure how the rules worked in 1994, but I had first met her when eighteen so by now I think she was only nineteen or twenty. It would not be unusual to still be on her Dad's policy at that age. Her father's insurance company got a big bill from Florida for treating Cookie Girl for a non-fatal drug overdose in the E.R. in Florida. Cookie Girl had never been to Florida in her entire life!

Now I could see why Band Guy had wanted me to meet up with Cookie Girl!

Cookie Girl said that her main drug dealer, a woman from our former building, had been in Florida for Spring Break. While I had seen her several times, I didn't really know the woman who Cookie Girl said was her Drug Dealer. I had only seen her when hanging out with Cookie Girl. It was the same woman Cookie Girl had left the party with all that time ago.

Cookie Girl had then figured the situation had gone something like the following. Not only was Cookie Girl's money taken that time her door hinge pins were pulled out, but also her purse with documents like driver's license and insurance card. Given she didn't even have a checking account, she also didn't have a credit card so that likely saved her from credit card fraud. Essentially, it seemed her drug dealer had figured out where Cookie Girl hid her purse and cash in her apartment. Thus, these were taken without searching the room a year ago. Drug Dealer and Cookie Girl had often gotten high in Cookie Girl's room. Drug Dealer seemed to have learned where the purse and cash was hidden one of those times. As Band Guy and I had tried to tell her right after it happened, the signs had been an inside job by somebody who knew just where to look so limited the suspects.

With the sheer gall of checking in to an E.R. under somebody else's name and insurance card, so records could be wrong on stuff like blood type that could lead to imperiling one's health, it seems it was likely it had been Drug Dealer who broke into her room. The insurance company had gotten a physical description of the woman who had been treated for the overdose, and it looked likely is was Drug Dealer!

It seemed to me that with similar audacity and theft of identity, it was highly likely her Drug Dealer was my "wife" who got the unsigned credit card mailed to my former address.

Cookie Girl thought the same way because she then said that she knew of a way to steal the mail in the mailboxes at the former apartment building. She said that she was shown that by her Drug Dealer, with the suggestion stealing mail provide ways of getting cash if short when one needed more drugs. That felt like I was hearing something out of a Charles Dickens novel!

After her father's insurance company got billed for the O.D. treatment in Florida, Cookie Girl had decided that the Drug Dealer was not really her friend after all. This then led to Cookie Girl claiming she was going drug-free.

Although I am quite confident Cookie Girl had solved for me the mystery of my "wife" getting an unsigned copy of my credit card, it seemed at the time hard for to do anything with the knowledge. I asked Cookie Girl if I could pass on what she had said to my credit card company, but naturally she did not want me telling my insurance company or the police about her previous illegal drug use. That would come up as to why her Drug Dealer as the main suspect. At the time, her father's insurance company was still investigating but had become convinced it was really not Cookie Girl in Florida. Cookie Girl had supplied the insurance company with work records of hours at the cookie store in the mall Columbus, Ohio at the same time as the overdose had been treated in Florida.

With an unwillingness for Cookie Girl to supply more information, would the insurance company figure out it was Cookie Girl's drug dealer? I doubted it, but it also seemed the work records from the cookie store had cleared her.

I have no further info on Cookie Girl, Band Guy, or Cookie Girl's Drug Dealer. There seemed a whole subculture going on with the illegal drug scene of which I am still mostly unaware. I was glad to get out of that Columbus apartment building with only having a scammed credit card that a security question kept me out of being billed for from my "wife" of 1993.


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