O, Those Couching Days

O, those couching days. That’s what I will call these past two weeks spent in St. Paul that the generosity of my friends has afforded.

I first met Joe not long after our sophomore CC season of high school began. He was a short guy with a mop of blonde hair whom I remember from middle school as being a part of a group of kids always telling disgusting jokes and laughing among themselves, exploding ketchup packets, those kind of things. Needless to say, I sort of shyed away from him when I was eleven.

It’s funny then that we became good friends our sophomore year. He has a nice haircut now, six years later, and his beard has earned him the nickname “Scruffles” among some of his other friends. Our jokes are still dirty, often taken to the point of discomfort and then a few steps further so that we’re in it and stuck, standing in the muck of comic extremes and fantasies that no one else would find funny.

There were four or five people total living in Joe’s house, all Mac grads. The space I had found for myself was their screened-in porch with large windows on all sides that leaked when it rained, but that’s okay. The floor was slanted and white, and in the room there was also a nice table and a sturdy enough chair. Scott dragged in an extremely comfy foam mattress for me that sure as hell beat out my pink camping pad. Strange how little you need to bring to feel comfortable. A clay-fired bowl from a friend, a few books, and that’s about it.

During the day, I have been working at the bakery, dragging a tired, well-dressed body there a few times a week before sun has come up and leaving often with the best work benefits that one living at someone else’s house could ask for. Bags of eclairs, pain aux raisins, salads, quiches, and other fancy pastries have found their way to my hosts’ homes. Days of bland brown rice, oatmeal, and coined carrots, the cheapest, yet most calorific foods enough to avoid scurvy, are punctuated by the hard-to-believe taste of fancy pastries and other goodies from an upper-class bakery. A full stomach of mousse and strawberry salads became fuel in the tank to zoom along the Twin Cities’ beautiful paved bike ways  by night.

After a few days of reprieve back at Mom and Dad’s, I’m now at Skyler’s place. He is a tall, bearded gentleman that looks only but majestic when running and can actually pull off a wink. His soul feeds on the energy and words of Girl Talk and ginger-flavored beer. An avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, a trivia Grandmaster, he disapproves of crouching during the original Golden Eye for N64 and digs curry. More detail than probably necessary, I apologize to no one. He’s a great guy, and I want to remember these things about him.

10:40 am and the sun is shining, the first in a long succession of rainy days. Time to go explore.

M.

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