Tonight in the Absurdium, the theme of the evening was Gravity (the invisible force that makes things fall from the sky, not the emotional feeling surrounding a situation of tragedy or death).
I suppose I was the one who started it, when I emerged from my room quite stoned and carrying a tiny blue porcelain elephant which for some reason had decided in my hand that it wanted to walk up the wall instead of sitting flat on anything. I wandered to the window separating the kitchen from the living room (the wall is about eight inches thick, with approximately a three foot by twelve foot “window” cut out of it at about waist-height from the floor), and I held the elephant on one of the inside walls, where I wanted to put it.
“I need sticky stuff,” I said. “So I can put this elephant on the wall.” Double-stick tape was discussed, and super glue. And then, because it is wonderful, somebody mentioned Vel-cro, and instantly in my mind nothing made more sense than to cover the entire inside of the “window” with Vel-cro, so we could stick all sorts of things upside down and sideways. Lighters could each have a strip of Vel-cro so we could just stick them to the wall instead of putting them in random places and looking all over for them. You could stick toys all over the place, maybe put a strip of Vel-cro on a communal pipe and put it up with the lighters. I’ve got a bunch of plastic photo frames; I could Vel-cro the bottom of the frames and hang them upside down from the top of the window. The possibilities are endless.
Of course what we’re talking about here is an eight inch wide strip of Vel-cro that’s about thirty feet long. Then again, the end result would be a thirty-six square foot area of my kitchen/living room in which gravity would not matter. Very expensive… but brilliant.
Several minutes after the vel-cro conversation, as though Gravity were trying to re-establish its presence in the room, my roommate dropped our friend Jon’s phone in his plate of food. Apparently my roommate was moving the phone out of his way and while his hand was over his plate, the phone (which is about as light and aerodynamic as a brick) fumbled its way out of his hand and landed with an audible “SPLAT” right in the middle of a very full plate of ooey gooey tomato-y ravioli. Jon was outside at the time, and missed the whole thing. When he came back in, my roommate was still trying to wipe sauce off the phone.
“There’s no delicate way to put this, man,” he said. “I dropped your phone in my dinner.”
Luckily, the phone is water resistant, which implies that brief exposure to pasta sauce should not render it totally useless (although it may smell of tomatoes for weeks). Discussion of the possibility of lingering tomato smell prompted Jon to exclaim that it could be worse–it could be Patchouli. He then launched a rant about the insidious nature of Patchouli (the creeping evil), and told us a story about how he hugged a friend of his mother’s one day and the lingering Patchouli stench was so strong that he took off his shirt and threw it out the window of his van (it happened; I was there).
“If a hippie hugs you, you have to throw away your clothes!” He said. “I couldn’t throw it in the back of the van because then the van would smell. You can’t let your dog lie on them because your dog will smell. You can’t wash the shit because then your washing machine and all your other clothes will smell! You have to burn them!”
“Yeah, hippies are gross,” my roommate said. A statement which is rendered all the more brilliant if you remember when he used to be a hippie, with a big floppy patchwork hat and multi-colored dreadlocks, following jam bands around the country.
Around nine thirty, Jamie left, and a few minutes later, Jon stood up and said, “I’m taking my stinky phone and I’m going home.” He hugged me, his dog licked my foot, and they left.
As soon as they were gone, I sunk into my papasan chair as though the helium had been very rapidly let out of my personal balloon… and I haven’t moved or spoken since. The only movement I’ve made in over an hour is move my fingers up and down, clickety-clack, in hopes that eventually they will create something on the screen that makes at least a minimal amount of sense.
I got a massage today, and for an hour before and an hour after, I cried. I did not cry during the actual massage, but on the bus rides there and back, while the soundtrack of sadnesses past played on my ipod, I stared out the window and wept. Not choking, dramatic sobs–just tears. Tears building and falling like hot wax from a tall taper candle.
I let them go down my cheeks, down my neck, down my shirt. Some tears aren’t meant to be wiped away. Particularly not the ones that mean, “I’m starting to let go.”