Wednesday, July 27, 2005

i draw or carbonize haggis

Sometimes the spam subject lines are so fantastic, aren't they? They're like the things you say when you're on drugs (for those very, very few of you who know how that is; I know what a clean crowd you are) that are completely crystalline in the moment. Perfect, beautiful, true. And then later, if you remember the line, or if you managed to write it down in such a way that it is legible to your sober self, it doesn't make the smallest bit of sense.

There's a line like that I think about every single time I do dishes that was coined by one of my favorite college roommates. This was Star, who I roomed with in desperation when I moved off-campus mid-year. Our mutual friend swore it wouldn't work, that we were too different, but that ended up working in our favor. Star was sociable, funny, and very wry. She smoked and drank and carried her cat to class in her backpack, with his big fluffy orange head sticking out.

I think it was in 1990 that Star, three of our friends, and I did mushrooms together in honor of Springfest. Like so many drug stories, the blow-by-blow account of the day is probably not terribly interesting, other than the fact that the five of us got seperated on campus and it was like the Odyssey getting home, complete with sirens, wax plugs in the ears, men being turned into pigs, the whole thing. Fortunately each of us had found a helpful friend; mine (this is actually how I know Princess) took me to the late, lamented Table of Contents and tried to get me to eat something but I kept shrieking that everyone had to hide their forks from me because I was the Queen and then went and hid in the bathroom for a few years. So, you know, not one of my finest moments.

Anyway. Princess finally managed to sail the Queen Indri into port, and then hung out for a while watching in fascination as the reunited voyagers attempted to explain to each other what had happened.

This is a towel of no self-respect, Star said of a dishtowel someone brought out to clean up something we'd spilled. Probably so we could stare at it spreading on the floor. And it was such a brilliant line, and made much more sense than it's your plight, the night's other oft-repeated line.

I'm not really writing this to glorify drug use. Or for that matter to condemn it. But a few years ago, I bought a pack of a dozen dishtowels from a restaurant supply place, and now they're my towels of no self-respect. There are so many of them that I take liberties I might not with fancier, more expensive ones. Lately I've been using them to eat the plums I bought at the farmer's market this weekend; the lovely thing about living alone is that if you want to stand in the kitchen holding a towel to your chin as you eat something messy, who's going to say anything?

I would love to find Star again. She was a trip. Pun not intended, but you know me, I'll take it anyway.