August 15, 2005
In addition to my friend and colleague Tom, I also have a friend and colleague, Sweet Baby Jesus. That's not the name his parents gave him; that's the name he gave himself. It rather fits. Sometimes we call him SBJ, and sometimes we call him Dr. Sweet Baby Jesus, because he has a PhD in one of those silly, useless areas of the humanities.
Sweet Baby Jesus just moved out of a horrid apartment complex full of old ladies who hang wreaths of dried flowers on their doors, changing the wreath to match the season. He never fit in because his door remained unadorned, no matter what the time of year. But now he's living in a cool semi-detached house across from a park.
SBJ does not have a lot of stuff--people who name themselves after wandering mendicant faith healers often don't--but he still has more stuff than he could move on his own. So he asked me, Tom, a new colleague ML, and her husband HC, to help him load up a truck and shlep everything across town. He said that if we did, he would reward us with pizza and beer, and as an added treat, we could watch him eat an entire large pizza on his own.
It took only an hour to get everything in the truck from the old place and out of the truck at the new place.
And then it was time for pizza. Since we are a lively bunch of cynical academics, and since we began drinking around noon, the conversation centered on meaningful concerns, such as when SBJ would host his first party in his new place. "I was thinking I'd have a craft night some time soon," he said. He says things like this all the time, and it always makes me giggle. "We're going to go back to my apartment to make collages," he told me a few weeks ago, when I asked him how he planned to entertain a friend who was visiting from out of town. He would have made such a great Mormon girl. We were always crafts nights: tie-dying t-shirts, stringing beads, practicing embroidery. Don't get me wrong, I dig that stuff--it just seems funny to have someone organizing an evening where a bunch of PhDs sit around a dining room table and decorate t-shirts.
"Collages again at this crafts night?" I asked.
"Maybe," he said.
"Candles?" asked HC.
"Door wreaths?" asked ML.
"Door wreaths would be good," I said.
Then we started talking about lame superpowers. ML had a good lame superpower (very oxymoronic statement, I realize, but hopefully you know what I mean): she is related to so many people through families that have split through divorce, then extended themselves through remarriage, that she can probably manage a way to make YOU related to her. She offered to set me up, for instance, with an uncle of hers--she says he's the right age for me, a die-hard ex-Catholic (which should complement my die-hard post-Mormon status well), has liberal politics and a job that involves helping the under-privileged. He lives a couple of states away from all of us, but still in the same time zone, which is closer than anyone else I'm interested in. So we'll see how powerful this lame superpower of hers is.
Then it was 2 p.m. and any remaining pizza had grown cold (we were all pretty sure SBJ did not manage to eat an entire pizza on his own, but hey, it was his house, so we weren't going to insist) and we all had stuff we ought to go do (I really need to write a couple of syllabi) so we left SBJ to his unpacking.
And that is the thrilling story of my thrilling Monday. Check back for more on SBJ, who gave me permission to write about his very cool new tattoos.
Posted by holly at August 15, 2005 12:16 AM