been thinking about sprucing up the Lair a bit – I love this place, but the
kitchen is a disaster and I have no storage space. Anywhere.
trouble with this plan is twofold: (1) I am poor; (2) I am renting. Don’t get me wrong – I have no plans to
move. Ever. I love the place and I love my landlady (who gave me carte
blanche to do whatever I wanted – how many landlords would approve of a tenant
painting the apartment crimson?). Even
though this place needs some work, I feel it really expresses who I am. It’s eclectic, certainly, but there’s an
energy I adore.
can’t really describe my decorating style – I’ve surrounded myself with things
that I love – although I’ve come to the conclusion that my vision causes the
less open minded to jump to unflattering conclusions.
recently had a designer acquaintance of mine come over to give me the benefit
of his opinion. As soon as I let him
in, I could see that he was caught in the car accident fascination/repulsion thing.
perusal of my modest law library (“The Pathology of Homicide”, “Autopsy
Protocols”, “Toxicology in Homicide Investigation”, “Entomology and Death”,
“Blood Spatter Interpretation”, “The Fundamentals of Crime Scene Photography”
and several tomes on Forensic Psychiatry) marked me as something of a ghoul, an
impression that was unfortunately reinforced by my collection of 14th
century weaponry. I was somewhat
affronted by his reaction -- though admittedly, swords and armour are unique
accents for premises not intended to attract surly flocks of disaffected
teenage vampires or the undisciplined.
wandered through the place with barely contained trepidation, apparently beyond
surprise -- he merely nodded to himself at the sight of the two black cats
slinking around the place as if he’d expected nothing less. He lifted cushions and peered into
cupboards, perhaps looking for concealed pentagrams or decomposing bodies.
“Well,” he began diplomatically, “it
certainly is unique. Very…powerful.
What are you going for here?
Because I see a sort of Goth palace with Spanish Inquisition overtones.”
I said, somewhat lost for words, “I just like what I like.”
are your influences?” he asked, clearly expecting my answer to be “Wes Craven”
or “Jeffrey Dahmer”.
nobody really. I just wanted it to
reflect my personality.”
he commented tactfully.
wasn’t going at all well.
just after a sort of strength, you know, compelling symbols – that sort of
was then that I realized that what I’d considered a bold statement of female
empowerment, he construed – at best – as a groundbreaking homage to Freud.
the end, he said he would think about “my style” – and the look on his face
seemed to suggest that such thoughts would haunt his dreams.
– am I the only one who gets it?
the other hand, I must consider the possibility that maybe I’m the only one who
doesn’t get it.
and vaguely insulted, after the designer left I set to preparing my
supper. I was looking forward to
sampling the bottle of homemade wine given to me by a friend.
first sip led me to characterize the beverage, charitably, as a bit young and
rough but I soldiered on, willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it just needed to breathe a bit
more. Although it furred my teeth,
caused my tongue to adhere to the roof of my mouth and made my eyes water, I
was hopeful that the right dish would prove a felicitous counterpart to its admittedly
something fairly robust was called for.
retrospect, perhaps I should have chosen something other than cassoulet.
brew’s true virulence was not evident until the following morning, when its
progress through my system was akin to having two burly men wrestle a piano
through my intestinal tract. So furious
was the passage of this toxin that I spent most of the day in the bathroom
resigning myself to death by dehydration and praying only that the paramedics
wouldn’t find my withered corpse actually on the can.
intervals, Ivan would approach the bathroom door, and with an expression of
great distress, make frenzied burying motions before yowling and galloping off
with his tail puffed up and his ears flattened against his head.
days later, after I’d recovered from my ordeal, my friend called me to ask my
opinion of the wine.
she began expectantly, “do you think I could market this stuff?”
I replied, not adding that her target demographic should be laxative addicts
and the suicidal. I dodged the
question of what exactly I would compare it to, thinking it disheartening to
mention that it reminded me of a purgative given to me in hospital the night
before barium studies – a preparation with the sadistically ironic name of “Go
steered clear of alcoholic beverages since that day and as the memory of the
wine’s vindictive fury remains vivid, I suspect it will be some time before I
can approach even the most benign of vintages.
my kitchen is still a disaster.