Thursday, December 24, 2009


Christmas Eve, about noon, and I'm lazing around the house, putting my gifts together. My tree is decorated all in tasteful gold, my presents from Korea are carefully wrapped, my pretty Roccoco boxes of French lavender drawer liners and fancy soap sit on my sunlit white cafe table. There is some confusion of wrapping paper, looking lovely in the sunlight. James Galway's flute strains, backed by the Royal Philharmonic BBC Choir, serenade me from the computer. I'm emptying out some trash when my next-door neighbor opens his door.

"Hey, why aren't you singing right now?" he says, smiling at me. I smile back.

"You didn't put your request in," I said, and he laughs and turns his attention to my roommate, who is wagging his tail and giving Paul the big begging eyes. "Hey, Titan! Come here, big fella."

Titan runs in and I follow into...Bachelor Pad Craziness.

Eminem BLARES from the laptop, brown leather coats and shoes lay flung about everywhere, and the kitchen has two burners going at once as Paul makes onion jam for Christmas presents. He shoves the pan at me. "You need to have some of this," he says. "Just stick your finger in it. Usually I make it with red onion, but this is milder--good with all kinds of cheeses, although my favorite is blue. Oh, and have a cookie. They're good. Homemade frosting, too."

"Mm-hmm," I say, following instructions.

"Did I tell you about the BLAH BLAH BLAH," he says, adding to the noise level, dumping onion jam into a glass jar and getting some on the counter, which he wipes up faster than I can blink. He breaks off his stream to say, "...huh. Not a very pretty color."

"I have ribbon," I said, and left to get it. My light, white and blue apartment, accessorized with light flute music, of course has a specifically designated wrapping paper box, which I utilized.

Back to the brown leather and loud and gangsta rap I go, four ribbon spools in hand. Paul fusses with the ribbon, shirtless, wearing cap, leather cuff, jeans, and sneakers. He finally glues it in place. "Martha Stewart would be proud," he says, turning up the 2Pac.

It's been a while since I lived with boys, or next to boys, and it's a lot of fun, to see them at home, to see what they do and don't do. Not all boys cook like Paul, obviously, but all of them do something fascinating. And today is a moment which, like all moments, might not be repeated. My apartment is hardly ever this clean or this peaceful; I don't often sit by the window, pensive, with a cup of coffee. (Okay, so I do that on a regular basis.) But I don't THINK of myself as having a peaceful, girly space. I play Xzibit on a regular basis. I turn my music up LOUD. I have people over.

Just in a different way.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Say hi to your neighbor for me.

1 comment:

HMS said...

Merry Christmas, Aarwenn, and, no, the invitation we previously emailed you wasn't spam, or at least wasn't intended to be.

We'd like to once again invite you to become one of our Authors in Alexandria. You may mirror your existing posts from here or elsewhere or produce original posts there, on anything you wish, as you desire. For your contributions and participation we will blogroll you with no reciprocation required.

Come contribute your perspectives and opinions to the ongoing conversations there. Contact us through the site or by return email if you still have it for full invitations and instructions.