Sunday, April 6, 2008

a bucketful of smoke

The T had an adventure Seven Weeks ago.
(When I started writing this, it was only four weeks and a day past the adventure; also incidentally a month after it by date. Just before this post, in fact.)
The 17th of February, 2008.

At that point of time in life, the T was behaving rather mopishly and refusing to write, so I had to make do with a promise and a few pleasant phrases like "the last day of my life" and "die in horrible ways, oh my poor mother" to remind me of the whole thing. I later wrote out a (later revealed to be incomplete) account to a dear friend in a colourful letter that was written two weeks later, when the T was on another adventure (this time in Chennai).
To return to Sunday, the 17th of February, then.

The back-story to the day seemed innocuous enough. There was a party, there was a sleep-over, there were friends that someone's mother hadn't met yet, there was a reluctance to ask for permission to attend aforementioned party... and there was a request for T's company.
a. It was a Sunday
b. The T wasn't really doing anything much in life at that moment
c. This was an old school friend the T hadn't hung around with in ages
d. There was going to be a PARTY!!11!!one!
T said, "Sure, I'll come."

Following which a half-lie was told, a flowery top and skirt packed, a toothbrush almost forgotten, and a long walk undertaken in some excitement. Hurrah, yes?
Not so much.

It was not until T got to ... let's call her V, shall we? ... V's house that she discovered that the party was to consist of herself, V, V's friend F (whose birthday it was) and an unknown element X who "might or might not show up". The "party", in fact, was beginning to sound decidedly unpromising.
Those who know the T, however, will remember that, once embarked on an adventure (however sordid) she refuses to back down under any circumstances whatsoever.

And so it was that I found myself in an auto at 7 PM, clutching my overnight bag, making desultory conversation about skirts and tops and "there's a sale on at lifestyle right now", and wondering what kind of evening it was going to turn out to be.
In the course of the conversation, V mentioned that F read a lot, and I made the (surely forgivable?) mistake of looking forward to some lively discussion that might take my mind off...well, whatever my mind was on, anyway.
Alas, alack, egad! The entertainment for the evening consisted almost entirely of cigarettes and alcohol, punctuated by some of the music we'd happened to bring along. So I sat on the mouldy old sofa and listened to A Perfect Circle while clouds of smoke were blown in my general direction - and tried not to compare my companions unfavourably with other people.
Then! Diversion! X (after multiple phone calls) arrived! Then I learned that we were to go dancing, and perked up for almost three whole minutes. By the end of that time I'd figured out that none of those present were the kind to arrive early anywhere, and after a third cigarette was lit, I escaped the house to go for a walk. Once outside, I admired the moon and petted a friendly dog which then attempted to hump my leg.
At forty-five minutes past nine, after we'd cut a cake and had some "fun" with "magic candles", we proceeded to the wossname. The club. Which was just a lot of smoke, followed by some more smoke, some flashing lights and cool fluorescent effects which made me glad I wasn't wearing white, and some more smoke which I couldn't get away from because those smoking were the ones I was there with. They did try telling me to "not think about it" when my eyes had gotten so raw that I escaped into the relatively smoke-free lobby, but I naturally paid no attention to that insensitive remark and continued to behave in a mildly cranky fashion the rest of the night.

The next morning I was dropped home on the back of a borrowed bike (ridden by a guy who'd gotten perhaps two hours of sleep), with an enormous borrowed helmet that kept knocking me on the side of a head, and various thoughts of messy accidents running through it.

That was the morning that I discovered that dumping an entire outfit in a bucket can make even water smell like smoke.
And about the fiasco at my University that meant I'd been failed in my final thesis project.
(This resolved itself into a comfortable 70%, by the way, so no worries.)

T will forgo adventures of this sort, if she may be so bold.

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