Sunday, Oct. 26, 2003 - 4:27 p.m.
Who knew that acorns were so small? The answer is probably “everyone besides Eva”, but I need to check. I’d never seen an acorn until I moved to SC; I don’t think there are oaks in Colorado or Hawaii. I’d always thought acorns were a couple of inches tall, more or less the size of a baby’s fist. Then when I moved here I was told that the half-inch nutlike things bombarding cars and foreheads across town were acorns. What?
I and my hangover just went for a walk, crunching acorns the whole way. They crunch so satisfyingly. They remind me of the thin ice that forms on puddles in Colorado at night, ice that shatters with a sharp, dry crunch like a china cymbal. I love crushing things beneath my feet.
The costumes went over surprisingly well last night; L and I won second place for Best Costume. I’m sure it was L’s excellent impression of M’s mannerisms that did it, since our costumes were pretty weak in themselves. Not that I didn’t try, and not that I’m not a genius: I spent days trying to figure out how to replicate M’s blond mustache and goatee on L. I bought some cheap yellow cream makeup and a light brown brow pencil, tried them out on myself, and was unimpressed. I checked a few stores for mustachey materials, finding nothing. Yesterday I drove out to a huge costume store that was absolutely mobbed with people, with wigs strewn all over the floor and wide-eyed employees wandering through the chaos. All the fake mustaches and beards were black and exaggerated – don’t people dress up as Teddy Roosevelt anymore?
I then had an Idea, a single moment of lightbulb-above-the-head inspiration. I bought some spirit gum, rushed to the nearest thrift store, sorted through the bins of toys until I found a suitably creepy blond doll, and purchased it for one dollar and five cents. I snipped off some of its plastic hair and glued it to L’s face, and it was perfect.
The main feature of my costume was big curly red hair. People thought it was a wig. It started out looking reasonably similar to D’s hair, but by the end of the night I just looked like Stevie Nicks.
The party was made hilarious by the presence of ten guys from India who work with C, the host – everyone else at the party knew everyone else, so strangers were, well, strange. None of them had dressed up, and they were pretty weirded out by the whole affair, except for one of them who wore a Michael Myers mask and walked around saying “Look at me! Loooook at me!” He won third place. Another of the men used on several different women what may be the worst line I have ever heard. His name was Sidatchka, and his introduction consisted of him earnestly caressing your hand and saying “I am Sidatchka. An easy way to remember my name is the word ‘Seduction’. All these men are married except me.”
The Indian guys also brought food, most of which was quite excellent, with one serious exception. L and I were standing over the food table when I saw a large bowl of what looked like lychee in syrup: white two-inch balls in a clear liquid. L started to urgently say something, and at the same time the man who had brought the balls walked up. L stopped midsentence and said “Well, uh, why don’t you try one?” I did. It was like a cottony sponge dripping with flavorless sugar water. It did not go down easily, mostly because chewing had little effect on reducing its mass. “What’s this?” I asked the man, my saliva fighting for its life. “Cheese, sort of”, he said. “It’s milk, curdled with lemon, then the rotten part is rolled into a ball and frozen, then soaked in sugar syrup”. Mmmm. (I believe this is what I ate, except perhaps minus the rosewater -- there was no flavor, only a foul sweetness. No wonder I have a hangover.)
I think maybe this is what love is: you hear the first few notes of “Venus in Furs” through the din and glance at the person you came to the party with, foreheads crinkled because you didn’t expect your hosts to have such good taste, but you kind of understand why they would like this particular VU song, it being thematically consistent with their taste, but how did they hear it in the first place? And you both know as you look at each other that the other person is thinking that exact thing.
But how do you tell that apart from just being accustomed to someone? How different are the two, really?
Much, much later in the evening you find yourselves on a couch together looking for the Special Darks in the bowl of candy and watching a movie on the TV across the room. You ask what it is and he tells you it’s ‘The Exorcist’, which you have never seen. So he tells you the story, because you’ll probably never get around to actually seeing it. You can’t remember how you got to the couch, where you were right before that, and though you’re planning to leave soon, neither of you is moving. Your legs are touching and it’s warm but you’re not thinking about it, or really about anything. You sample the stale KitKat he’s unwrapped, curious as to what a stale KitKat might taste like. There is absolutely nothing remarkable about that moment: it’s completely ordinary, but you can remember it so well the next day. Maybe it’s because that moment is emblematic of just about everything, and its ordinariness is what makes it good.