Friday, February 08, 2008

40 ounces

On my way home last night, I stopped by the liquor store to pick up a 40.

It was the first time in my life I’ve purchased malt liquor, not to mention forty ounces (in one bottle) of any kind of alcohol.

Ok, why did I do it? Well, TR, my “boss” (he’s not the boss of me!) is having a muy importante birthday on Saturday. (Care to guess how old he’ll be?) Work-friend Nina decided that a “40” would be the perfect humorous gift. Knowing TR, she is absolutely right. However, in Nina’s neighborhood, a place of many white folks (not including Nina, however) and few liquor stores, she wasn’t sure where to get one. So, she asked me.

See, I live in the ‘hood. It’s rapidly gentrifying but still mostly unreconstructed hood. Well, it’s semi-reconstructed: I have a coffee shop, high-class florist and yoga studio all less than a block away from my place. None of those establishments existed when I moved in five years ago. In fact, the liquor store nearest to me closed recently.

Still, many, many liquor stores inhabit the main drag. I stopped at the one that is on my most direct walk home. Inside, people were hanging out and talking and one of those people, a marginally homeless, probably alcoholic, man, recognized me. I did not recognize him. He said, “It’s you—I met you that night.”

I smiled.

He said, “You have that little van!” He held out his hand and I shook it. Then he kissed my hand. “I remember you because you’re fine.”

I did remember him then—he’s the guy that offered to knock me up. How could I forget?

He remarked on my earphones (I still had one in) and asked what I was listening to, “Music? What?”

I said, “Yes, music, sometimes.” But usually it’s podcasts!

He said, “Like what? What do you like? What are you hearing now?”

“Well, actually, I like old radio shows.” Now playing: Lux Radio Theater! Beau Brummel! Seriously.

That admission, which seemed not to be clearly understood inspired a long ramble about liking old music and how if there was a problem there had to be a solution. Umm, okaaay.

He let me go ahead of him in line as he proceeded to empty his pockets and sort all his change on the counter.

I didn’t see any 40oz bottles on display so I asked the clerk if they carried them. The clerk rattled off a list of about a dozen different brands. Since I didn’t have a preference, I chose the one with the most outlandish name: King Cobra. The only name I recognized was Colt 45, but I decided to go out on a limb.

As I was waiting for the clerk to get the bottle my homeless buddy asked me to help him out. I slipped him a buck. After I got the liquor and paid for it ($1.90—damn, that’s cheap) he offered to walk me home. I demurred and got out of there as fast as possible.

The rest of the post is not as interesting, be warned.

After I cooked myself some dinner, I got down to a long neglected chore: laundry. I had at least three full loads to do. Yeesh. When you have your own washer and dryer, it’s supposed to be easier. But, I swear, when I had to go out to a laundromat (why does MS want me to capitalize that word?), the whole thing was much more efficient. I took two or three loads and in two or three hours I had a bunch of clean, folded clothing. Now, if I let it build up, it takes a whole night or several nights, many days to fold and I never get all of it put away. (I also hang a lot to dry, which is super tedious. I put everything except lingerie in the dryer in the old days.)

I know that I’m supposed to wash the clothes immediately when I have enough for a full load, but that would mean I’m doing laundry at least two nights a week (maybe). Ugh. I don’t mind the laundry, much, but it’s just not convenient. How do you all deal with the laundry dilemma? Let it pile up or efficiently handle it load by load?

I guess that wasn’t so bad. And, hey, even if my clothing is wrinkled and strewn about the house, at least it’s clean.

Grateful for: my neighborhood characters.

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