I woke up yesterday feeling fat and sassy. In other words, I am back to my old self. The cats were sleeping in the bed with us. The cats do not sleep in our bedroom at night. I had the other fat blonde-haired creature sleeping on my pillow mere inches from my face. He was blissfully snoring and kneading his paws. It must be a good dream indeed! The other two Houdini brothers were sleeping in the middle of the bed. They were completely stretched out and on their backs. Their tails were even out straight! Rob and I were clinging to the sides of the bed by our toenails. Ah, life is good for felines. A friend once told me that cats do not have owners but rather they have staff. Boy is that true in my house. I am sure that THEY allowed US to sleep in their bed with them.
I was not up for very long when my telephone rang. It was not a number I knew and I almost let it go to voicemail. Finally, my curiosity got the better of me and I answered the damn thing. It was an obscene caller. Really? I had not even had a cup of coffee yet! His call reminded me of two twenty-something girls moving in to their new apartment years ago. My cousin and I are as close as sisters can be. We decided to rent an apartment together. Our telephone was connected by move in day. Our first call was from Freddy. Freddy just happened to be an obscene caller. My cousin Laura answered the call. Poor Freddy. You have to know Laura to understand that she is the ultimate smart ass. Look in the dictionary under sassy and you will find her picture. She completely turned the tables on poor Freddy. After a discussion about what HE was wearing, a wet toilet paper roll and a certain part of his anatomy, poor Freddy hung up. As I said, she is all that AND a bag of chips! After a mental laugh at the memory, I turned the tables on my caller and followed the example set years ago by the master. My caller hung up too!
That call prompted a trip down memory lane. Laura and I lived together for about a year and a half. Those eighteen months were some of the best of my life. The apartment we lived in was in a nice complex. The residents there were mostly elderly widowed women. The complex was very clean, very dignified and very quiet. At least it was that way until WE moved in. We never caused trouble. However, we provided umpteen hours of enjoyment. I pity poor Polga down the stairs from the two of us! She had front row tickets to the show. What a show it was!
Laura and I both enjoy growing flowers. Our balcony was very small. Not at all conducive to the garden we had. Our flowers pots and window boxes were awesome. We had just about every flower and plant in our balcony garden. We had so many in fact, that we had very little space to sit down. It did not matter to us. We only needed a little room to sit. The balcony was also used to strip out of our clothes at two in the morning. We would put our smoky bar clothes on the patio rather stink up the inner sanctum. We never smoked ourselves, but the pubs we went to allowed smoking at the time. Second hand smokes kills. However, it has no effect on plants and flowers, thank goodness.
Christmas was a special time in both of our lives. We had fond childhood memories of beautifully decorated trees and homes. Laura and I decided to buy a Christmas tree for our pad. The fun began at the tree lot. We picked out a beautiful tree. Funny how trees look smaller on a lot than they do in an apartment. I will get to that later. After we made our selection, we had to get the thing on my car roof and home. Hmmmmm. The people on the lot told us that due to liability reasons, they could not help us. Boneheads! No matter, we could do it. We finally managed to get the behemoth on the top of my car and tied securely. We tried to open the car doors only to discover we tied the doors shut. Securely tied shut. Not even a tiny bit of wiggle room to squeeze through. Therefore, we had to cut the ropes and retie the thing again. It did not occur to us that the tree was as big as my car. It also did not occur to us that the trunk of the tree should face the rear of the car. Basic aerodynamics you know. I could not figure out why my car had so much wind drag on the way home. The car was changing lanes on its own on the highway. Weird. By the grace of God, we made it back to our apartment. We had to get the monster tree through the door and up the stairs. We made several failed attempts, finally realizing that the trunk could not go up the stairs first. Finally, the tree arrived, albeit missing a few branches lost in transit. It was then we realized the sheer size of the tree we picked. The trunk was too big to fit in the stand. Once we managed to get the tree in the stand and finally stood it upright, it scraped across the ceiling. After hacking a good foot off the tree, it was proudly standing, as a proper Christmas tree should. It was about that time we realized our beautiful tree had a crooked spine. Our tree suffered from scoliosis of the trunk. It had more bends and curves than the road to Hana. No matter how hard we tried, the thing was not going to stand up straight. Oh well, we were going to decorate it anyway. Lights and ornaments went on. We stood back enjoying our well-deserved beer and then watched in horror as the tree fell over. Oh well, we had cold beer and all night to fix it. We decorated that thing three times. Finally, we tied it to the patio door handle to keep it upright. I lost count of how many times it fell over that year. We would be asleep and hear the crash in the living room as the tree fell yet again. After awhile, we would sleep through the crashes and bangs. We would wake up in the morning to total chaos and Christmas tree carnage. Whatever.
Laura had a long-term boyfriend at the time and I was sort of seeing someone. Laura’s boyfriend was out of town a lot so we had a lot of free time. We danced. We went clubbing before that was such a thing. We went to hockey games. We shared cherry chip cake, the whole cake, sitting in front of the TV watching the X-Files with the lights off. We drank beer and Boones Farm from the bottle. No glasses needed by us. We enjoyed every minute of our lives. Even when we were not together, we talked on the phone all of the time. She was away for New Year’s Eve that year and called me to “watch” Grease with her. We watched the movie together over the phone and sang badly together. What fun we had! I am not sure, but I think our faces are still posted on Collingwood Apartments “Do Not Rent To” board.
I love Laura and miss our times together. I have very few fond memories without her in it.