February 20th, 2008
“There is a certain guilt that you ought to feel when you take the last teabag to make your tea. Sure, there is more tea in the world, and likely in the pantry, but this is the last tea bag, for now.” Mr. Drew could have been the philosophy teacher just as easily as he was the history teacher. I am not really sure when and why he started telling me his story, but it is a marvelous story.
“And that happened every day?”
“Every single day. I would go make my tea, sometime in the afternoon, maybe at 2, maybe at 4, and there would be one, exactly one teabag. I took me a while to figure that out. Sometimes I would go there by myself, and sometimes with a coworker. I would take the last one. When I went in the morning to get some water, there would be no teabag. Guilt is accumulative. Every day you feel like you are taking a little bit from the society without being given a chance to give something back. So, I would wipe the microwave or the counter once in a while. But the teabag was there just for me.”
“When did you realize it was Caroline?”
“There were only four single women in the company. Two of them would go for client meetings some afternoons, and Joyce is much too older. And Caroline sits right next to the kitchen. So that was not a question at all. I used to talk to her everyday. She was seeing this dentist guy for a while. Then her high school sweetheart got back in town, but they didn’t go out.”
I wanted to know what the gesture meant to Mr. Drew, but I didn’t want this to be an interview. It was clear that somehow the last teabag had become a symbol of love and caring for Mr. Drew.
He may have been infatuated with Caroline even before that, but after that there was no stopping him. He had mentioned that only after the marriage he had asked her about the teabag, but she had just laughed it off.
February 13th, 2008
Omar is a funny guy. First thing he said when he met Umesh was that he isn’t against idol worship. Pete and I were just heading out to Smitten and a discussion on religion wasn’t exactly on our mind. Besides we knew it would be continuing by the time and if we got back around 3 am.
We ran into these guys at Hobknob. God bless Eric@Hobknob who still recognizes us the patrons before the cover era. Pete was shocked the discussion on theology had taken so little time. He still hadn’t gotten lucky at all – night was not turning out to his expectations.
Umesh is the silent killer at times. When he was gone, what the rest of us needed and had time to do was to discuss theology at McDonalds. Pete was especially optimistic that he may still be able to get lucky when engaging in an obviously deep and intellectually stimulating activity in full public view.
The two women sitting next to us were either sisters or cousins on a trip to downtown, both or at least one of them married, and at least one of them from out of town. Mediocrity is beauty to Pete’s eyes, and they were ravishing by that definition. Pete was at his best instantly.
“Look, even in Pagan religions, idol isn’t considered the God itself, it is simply a focal area to collect and channel your thoughts. Sure, the idol can be broken or desecrated or destroyed, all that does is take away that particular point of focus.”
My mind was still in Smitten, Omar was getting pretty excited, the two female focal points of Pete’s attention had slithered away and the McDonalds was getting pretty busy with Sunday 3 am crowd.
February 11th, 2008
I had never visited Nashville before, so when Jake said that he had to drive to Nashville for a funeral, I could not resist. God bless his mother who pressed that he not drive alone. So, we drove from GW to Tennessee. I love saying “GW to Tennessee”. It feels like breaking a rule. I could easily have said “East coast to Trevecca Nazarene University”, and have just as much fun. Drown the listener in vagueness on one end and specificity on the other. Leave no chance for criticism.
An uneventful 12 hr travel later, we met Dr. Campbell, Jake’s uncle, an MD by profession who played sombre music on the home piano. Being the deceased person’s grandson’s friend, I had no real role to play in the visitation, except just give out my condolences to a few people. Then I slipped out and went downtown. It was a lovely September day, the person who had died was not an acquaintance of mine, and had lived a long, fruitful life, and just as importantly, I had never been to Nashville before. It was a lovely Saturday evening.
There is a certain air to Nashville downtown – it is full of clubs and bars, and also has a lot of “outdoors” feel to it. Now I just had to sit down and send the vibe.
Katrina’s point of view on the crisis in Serbia was quickly out. She is Macedonian, and much more knowledgeable on this topic, and much more opinionated. What her point of view was, I can’t remember, just as I can’t remember why my mention of The Grateful Dead had to show that I don’t give a damn about the world. Their lead guy had just died, or survived an OD or something like that. Anyhow, a discord isn’t the worst thing if it helps you make a new friend. The bar stools in the lounge had just become a bit more comfortable, and the city a bit more fragrant. The city had also become a bit cooler, but that was probably a routine occurrence for it every morning at 3:30 am whether or not a certain smell of Dolce Vita was enveloping its prey and whether or not the story of a certain city of Veles where every car was also a TV was being regaled to disarm an already surrendered soldier.