Recently I went to my friend N’s house, where we stayed up until 6 a.m. watching half the complete series of Firefly. It took us so long because there was a blackout for several hours in the evening, during which time we cleaned approximately 150 mussels by candlelight. Well, N cleaned while I held a candle over the sink and gave my opinion as to which mussels I thought were trying to kill us by being dead.
It’s an accepted fact (by the two of us) that when N and I get together, things take a turn for the ridiculous. A lot of this has to do with us being separately quite ridiculous. She builds armor and crinolines, has an extensive collection of dried mushrooms, and teaches people how to throw themselves down the stairs; I am nowhere near as interesting, but far more clumsy, having never been the beneficiary of any of her falling-down-the-stairs expertise. She is Chico minus the gambling and womanizing, I am Harpo, by which I mean that I enjoy throwing my leg over the crook of people’s arms at random intervals; we both want to be Groucho. As children, we lived in an imaginary world whose currency was farthings and whose signature cocktail was gummy worms marinated in water; when we left that world, we went upstairs to play bridge and watch Perry Mason or dissect bees, unfortunately the former more often than the latter. Downstairs, we ran a bank, a grocery store, an apothecary, and a handkerchief-monogramming station. We kept her sister under the pool table.
When we go our separate ways, N does things like travel to South Africa and present a paper at a conference or think about the applications to real life of the spread of disease on World of Warcraft. I accidentally take my garbage to work or discover, on two different occasions at the same job, that one coworker of mine is actually two coworkers of mine with almost no physical characteristics in common (in one case they had similar haircuts and 10 years’ age difference; in the other case, they were simply both male).
All this to say that, to paraphrase my brother, Firefly, c’est vraiment fucking good, bro, CRIPES! (That’s turn-of-the-last-century Franglish.) And I need to get back to Jersey soon to finish the remaining episodes.