My roommate has interrupted the writing of this post three times already and I’ve only been writing for ten minutes. Every time he interrupts, I start a new post because the old one stops making any sense.
He’s not an overly chatty person so I like to spend time with his thoughts when he wants to share them, but today I’ve felt like I have a hangover, and he seems more effusive about life than normal, than possible, than reasonable. Is this how I sound to everyone around me normally?
Also, what’s the cure for a hangover when you haven’t consumed any alcohol?
This is the sort of question I would normally give to my roommate because he is good with puzzles, like me, but is far more grounded. I’m not going to do that right now, because I can’t risk a whole conversation or another trashed post. It’s only 7pm but it looks like midnight, and I want to wrap my head in bags of ice and step away from the light. It doesn’t need screenlight.
My head already has three trapeze artists practicing their flips in it. My head already has a marching band, playing their way through a field of something I’m allergic to. My head already set my teeth to aching– probably told them a sad story or a ghost story. Teeth are vulnerable things, it’s why the fae folk buy them back.
Yesterday was Diwali and I spent it surrounded by love, and luxury, and quiet joys. If the day was a sign of how the year will go, it will be a blessed one.
Of course, that’s what I thought last year when the day was full of extra time, falling from my pockets like wild strawberries that were more plentiful than I was spacious. The boyf bought me a watch last year, and included a note about how I would have time for everything.
It was the theme of the day, and this year, I’ve had more empty time, more extra time, than I’ve ever had in my entire life. I didn’t expect it to come with the price tag of a world-wide quarantine, or mandatory surgery bed rest, but here it is. Minutes and ticks, seconds and tocks, more ready for the harvest than I am ready for the hold.
The roommate is really wonderful about my superstitions. On the morning of Diwali, he learned how to braid a paranda into my hair. He already knows how to pleat a saree and I have learned to stand patiently as he clucks at me like a desi grandmother, telling me the saree would hold without pins if I just stood right.
The image of it is even more fun when you know how the roommate looks. He is bearded and white, with a full sleeve of tattoos on both arms, and a bit of a Clint Eastwood squint. He drives a growling red Jeep and looks like exactly the sort of person you’d expect to leap out of it.
I love introducing him to people as the person who helped me make hundreds of paper flowers to give away. The one who hand-painted a gnome and then photoshopped him into a reality that I could paste into many adventures.
When I decorated the gnome home for the holiday, he carefully found a way to make the light work. Light is an important part of Diwali. He knows that now because I’ve lived here many years, and we participate in each other’s shenanigans.
Back in August, one of his tiny house robots had a birthday and we celebrated that.
And of course some of you will remember when we wrote a book together, and started a line of Long Beach t-shirts. When we first met, I told him about how Dave used to set the clocks forward for me on bad days to give a fresh start whenever I wanted one. The roommate told me about his mom who passed away years before, and how she used to cover up his math problems so he only had to deal with one at a time.
It is our loss of these extraordinarily loving people in our lives that drew us together, but I’d like to think it was the lives of those extraordinarily loving people that guide us in our tiny acts of creativity and celebration.
We are two people who have learned how to celebrate everything, how to celebrate anyway, how to pick up a life that has been completely crumbled, and, you know…
get to work.
Get to work rebuilding joy.
And now that you’ve met another character in my day to day life, I’m going to go find him and see if he knows how to fix this headache.
I hope the cure involves cookies.
Day 15 of 30