Snapshots of three days
Misspent youth. Misspent time. Misspent love.
There are no shortages of laments and confessions, half muttered to ourselves and to God, labeling a period of misspent time as such, on the hopes of somehow reclaiming it.
More video games? Are you serious?
Friday was briefing day. A chance for staff to get in required training. Like all military organization days, this event was to A) instill esprit de corps, and B) prime the sexual pumps.
You saw it in the suits, skirts, and sweaters. You smelled it in the cologne and perfume. Civilian clothes were authorized. Hair down. Hats off.
You and me, babe–how ’bout it?
I sported a huge, puffy turtleneck. I felt that the four-inch thick wool would add a hedge of protection against the ogling. No avail. I got three “Ooooh, muscles!” as the day progressed. The sweater had inadvertently added heft to my torso. Blast!
Go chew on some ice!
Friday night was the annual holiday party. Up at the Hilton–snazzy. Good food. Open bar. I went DD.
“Seriously?” one of the party organizers asked in an email, after putting out a message asking to know who wasn’t going to drink.
“Yes, I need a DD badge for the night.”
“No, wait–seriously?” she said, with three question marks. I was expected to perform, I gather.
“Yes, thanks,” I replied, with one period.
I went to a Christian college, full of rules. There were several prohibitive stipulations about alcohol. From those came this strange series of social pastimes involving some cats going to parties with alcohol on purpose, just to “watch the drunk people.” And laugh, they’d add. “Let’s go laugh at the drunk people!”
I never understood the attraction to that, particularly. At best, it’s slapstick. At worst, it’s derisive.
So, no, I didn’t DD for that. Roommate Adrian and Roommate Girlfriend Sarah wanted to tank out, and I, my years of ‘morning afters’ far in the past, was happy to oblige.
Through the evening, the air grew thick with drunk talk like accumulating smoke above a poker table. Drunk breath too, there was, and less of personal space as men leaned in to speak.
“Suit. Shoes. Where?”
“Sale.” “Internet.” “Mall.”
“I love you, man!”
“You’re the bestest eva!”
DDs got free soda after the open bar closed–a reward for practicing Utilitarianists. Mmmm, yes, I liked.
“Diet coke, please.” No flavor needed. I was numb from protocol. Caffeine was what I needed to nurse me through.
“That will be–” the bartender began to list a price, but stopped as I pulled up my sleeve to reveal the rainbow-colored bracelet that marked me as a DD. Not, however, to identify me as homosexual, as you might have originally guessed after the mention of rainbows. I know, such are the times.
“Oh, honey! That’s great,” the bartender said. “Here you go!”
My diet coke was delivered with a smile and a napkin. Unfortunately it was also delivered with only three fluid ounces. Paris, please tell your dad to let them give me more coke. (*hint* Hilton hotel, for those reading this post among office distractions)
Returning to my table, I took two sips of the briny artificially sugared chemical and set down the empty glass.
No Virginia, there was no Santa Claus. Only me, stone sober. Merry Christmas.
Shitake mushrooms have a lot of body. You chew through them like you do through beef. And they have a sort of acidic musk. Earthy, biting. Useful in small quantities, but a little domineering in larger amounts.
The recipe called for six of the jokers. I’m not a huge fungus fan. Anything that can grow on sh*t in the dark and drops “spores” is not high on my list of things to eat.
Still, Shitake is a taste not easily removed from a meal’s particular pantheon, so I bought ’em.
Yep, there was that smell. I wrenched the stems from the caps after soaking. It was on my fingers, in my nose, seeping into my brain.
The dish turned out fine, but I still can’t shake the lingering aroma of those blasted mushrooms. I had to give most of mine to Adrian. They were alright, but, again, very meaty. I’ll stick with meat for that.