Some light years ago, I was living with my best friend in a small apartment in Southern California, on my own for the first time. It was our first New Year’s Eve together as that eager, barely tolerable species: raffish apartment-dweller-type dudes, barely out of high school. We were going to celebrate that self-congratulatory state of being with a New Year’s party.
That evening we had a respectable turnout of our friends, acquaintances, and other welfare cheats of note, and had settled in to the numerous foolishnesses of New Year’s Eve. We had a wee dram, and a wee dram more. As it neared midnight, my housemate and I had an insight: to christen the New Year, we could both doff our clothes and walk around outside in the soft warm rain that was falling. Did I mention we’d had a drink or two?
Equally inspired, my girlfriend decided to join us. We goofed around a bit out front, and then we saw two figures approaching up the block. In the great spirit of improvisation, my housemate and I worked up a plan: we would walk up to the people, acting as though we were in our fully clothed at-ease, and wish them Happy New Year’s. The creative act, in action.
Remember, it was dark and misting outside. Thus you can understand that it wasn’t until we were but five feet away from our prey and about to spring our greeting when we realized it was OUR LANDLORD AND LANDLADY, who lived only a few blocks away, and who had decided to walk over and wish us happy New Year’s. The fact that they were straight-laced, reserved people, and Eastern Europeans yet, made our calculation all the less calculating.
Well. We had perfect presence of mind and body: Run! Without saying a word, we turned and bolted for the house. Somebody at the party caught a classic snapshot of my housemate in manic mother-naked retreat into the house, eyes bulging out of his head like boiled eggs. Perhaps we thought we’d be safe inside. I literally ran into my closet and hid, lacking the benefit of clothing. I did say that I was young, right? [Read more…]