It requires a friend of at least 7 years to know my hot buttons.
Perhaps that's how long it takes to know which compliments are going to resonate most with me. Refer to my lifestyle as bohemian? Thank you for noticing. Speak well of long, graceful fingers? I'm gobsmacked. Mention the dimples? Bonus points.
But walk into my living room - not for the first time - and declare that it looks like a salon, well, now I'm eating out of your hand. The fact that he's part of a group holding salon-like events only adds to my pleasure in the comment.
Among stacks of books written by and about women that I've pulled out for rearranging, he points to a copy of "Truevine," asking how I liked it and making a case for how it might have been better accomplished as a work of fiction (agreed).
Seems he went to school with the author back when neither was certain they'd write the books they wanted to. Now they both know better.
Because it was such a beautiful evening, we began with a walk over to 821 Cafe for the sole purpose of introducing him to my favorite black bean nachos and catching up after nearly a month. With the students away for spring break, it was like walking through a ghost town and even 821 seemed like a shadow of its normal state with so few tables and stools occupied.
An ideal place, in other words, to linger over a platter of well-layered nachos and talk about the novelty of simple food, community building through restaurants and the really big news that there's been interest in his book.
Rapid and enthusiastic interest, possibly the best kind.
Stuffed and in need of a walk, we made it as far as Saison Market's patio, understandably hopping with today's warmth tempered by Sunday's forecast of snow, where I amused my visitor with stories of dumb things his people have said to me.
It was somewhere after a story about the western hemisphere that he decided what we needed was some steps to sit on, the better to enjoy the Richmond air and notable citywide quiet.
Conveniently, my house has some and we took up residence there, first on the wide wooden steps of the house and then on the narrower brick steps leading to my door. Every time even a hint of breeze would lift a stem of the rose bush, the scent of hyacinths wafted up to perfume the air.
It's for that reason alone that I plant them.
People walked down the sidewalk a few feet away without even noticing us sitting in the shadows. Mainly, it was only my laughter that gave us away (my grandmother used to remind me that people could hear me a mile away) and got us a wave or two.
The shame was that he had to drive back tonight - the bohemian was not able to convince the smart mouth to stay for an LSD experience - so we called it quits after five hours of constant conversation, comparing memories and all around fast processing, just the way we like it.
With no one to talk to, I need something to talk about, so I made my way to the Bijou for the late screening of "Sunshine Makers," a documentary about two chemists making 750 million doses of "orange sunshine" LSD in the '60s as part of their plan to turn the world on with acid and raise everyone's consciousness.
Turn on, tune in and drop out, preferably rapidly and enthusiastically.
No one could say they didn't have lofty goals trying to change the world through psychedelics. Check that, Ronald Reagan was shown circa the late '60s excoriating LSD makers and users, but what else is new?
What was even more surprising was that these guys had an established distribution network in the form of a commune-turned-hippie-mafia called the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. The footage shown looked like every happy, hippie commune I've ever seen, full of long hairs, granny dresses and barely-clad children. Not a bra in sight.
Equally fascinating were the interviews with the women who not only dropped acid with them but assisted with their drug-making operations. To a person, they rhapsodized about the mind-expanding qualities of the LSD experience and the noble goals of trying to make LSD therapy available to the masses.
Now in old age, one of the women is again the girlfriend of one of the sunshine makers, although she makes it clear that, "We're partners and lovers, but not under the same roof."
Proof positive that LSD doesn't fry your brain. Speaking of, seems to met a little space doesn't hurt a good friendship much at all.