Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Fabric Of Our Lives

They say that the people that you meet everyday, each day, over the history of your existence weave together to form the fabric of your life.

Each interaction changes you and informs you, even those singular odd encounters, which lodge, for whatever reason, into the automatic catalogue of memories. And so it was with one girl that I met nearly 16 or 17 years ago, only once, and for for a few short minutes in a bar.

I don't remember her name, but I do recall her long sandy hippie hair, her slightly-pronounced overbite, her paling freckles and odd sensibilities. Her boyfriend was sitting right next to her, but strangely, I cannot recall a single detail about him.

I was dating another girl at the time. A long-time girlfriend. A nice girl. A girl who worked at a bookstore.

Not a GOOD book store, mind you, nothing like Powell's City of Books. No, not even something as mediocre as Barnes and Noble. No, she worked at a rinky-dink suburban pulp retailer. A small commercial link in a large corporate chain.

The staff, however, were fun and we would socialize (eat, drink and smoke) on occasion with them. Then, though, there was THE night. It was a small get together, starting at a small apartment, where the party got started, so-to-speak. Soon thereafter, the party shipped itself hazily across the street (or down the block, whichever...) to our customary saloon.

It was a tidy little joint, with obligatory pool and darts, called the Black Watch Pub. (I'm sure Dr. B will confirm whether it is still there or not.) The food was greasy and the drinks were: beer. I think beer was the only beverage they sold. Truth be told, though, these were my pre-gin days.

Anyway, the beer kept flowing, and I kept drinking, and our group swirled round and around the room, as drunken groups do, until at last I came to rest alone on a padded bench, eye to eye with the quasi-horse-faced girl across the table. (and when I say "horse-faced," I really do mean it in the most attractive way possible...)

She had a hard time sitting up, and swayed suggestively like a kinda-pretty Clydesdale with chronic scoliosis. She smiled like she knew she should be embarrassed by her sloppy intoxication, but was too far gone to care. Her boyfriend, as I recall, was hunched next to her. He was more fucked-up than she was and certainly didn't care who she was smiling at.

Her squinting eyes, and grazing jaw betrayed the existence of thoughts trying to be formed. Perhaps she was having a one-sided conversation with me. Perhaps she thought she knew me. She was new to the store, and I had never met her.

I watched her face and waited. It was getting close. The mouth started to practice and stretch for the impending communication.

"Poop," she said.

I waited, but nothing else came. So, I said, "Excuse me?"

"Poop. I like poop."

Being just slightly more functional than she was, I thought maybe she was making a request, or perhaps, had made an accident.

"No, goddamnit, I like poop. I like to play with it, right, Honey?" she asked her comatose lover.

"You mean anal?"I asked, trying to make some sense of her declaration.

"No! God! That hurts like hell! No, Poop. I like to play with poop. His poop." She clarified slowly with a punctuated gesture toward her man. "You know, roll it into little balls."

I didn't want to know more. I didn't want to know that much. Yet there it was, and there I went, as I stood up from the table and ran away. Granted, today, I would have reached for my camera while delving more deeply into the conversation. However, then, I was ill-equipped for such revelation.

Therefore, these days, all that is left is the deeply-woven memory of that one finite conversation, though it finds its way to the surface of my thoughts on almost a daily basis. Talk of poop, thoughts of poop, or even the purchasing of toilet paper, trigger the memory.

Like this morning, for instance. Believing, mistakenly, that the G&T house was out of bathroom tissue, and needing morning coffee, I wandered down to Albertsons to satiate both needs. With coffee quickly acquired, I approached the paper aisle with that troubling conversation with Seabiscuit in mind.

Soon, I found the paper, and then saw that it was on sale, 2-for-1. I also saw that it "felt like soft woven fabric!"

"Hell yes!" I thought, "My ass is gonna LOVE that!"

And so, I clumsily carried two bundles to the check stand.

Once home, I learned two unfortunate things. First, we were not actually out of toilet paper. Second, I hadn't actually purchased fabric-soft toilet paper anyway. No, rather, I had purchased two bundles of woven-fabric strength paper towel. Which has now created a bit of a surplus. Fabric of our lives, in deed.


  1. True story, by the way. Almost not embellished at all.

  2. The thing about drunken memories is you don't really remember them and then something triggers them.

    I don't have any poop memories of last night but I am getting "oh shit did I" flashbacks today

  3. Reminds me of meeting a drunk guy that liked to ask random people if they every did anyone in the butt.

  4. You just had to bring poop up because Dave mentioned two girls one cup, didn't ya?

    I will never but TP without thinking of 'Seabiscuit' again.

  5. Blackwatch Pub, eh? Hmmmm...


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