Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lunching with Iranians

Back when I was young and using-- and living in Baton Rouge-- I met a student who was studying at L.S.U.  He was from Iran and he had three Iranian roommates who were also students at L.S.U.  He invited me to a meeting of Students for a Democratic Society on campus and I went.  I didn't know that most folks considered S.D.S. to be a misnomer.  And probably wouldn't have cared if I had.  Here was something to do with someone who didn't use, didn't want to have sex with me, and didn't want my money or a ride in my car.

At that meeting, we watched the film Joe Hill.  I sang the song for several years afterward.  I had a less than basic understanding of how unions worked back then.  (Dad was a small business owner and was strongly anti-union.  He remains so to this day, even in his dementia).  The Joe Hill film inspired me.  I missed the total irony of watching that film at an S.D.S. meeting but I was happy.

My Iranian acquaintance invited me to his apartment to have lunch and to meet his roommates.  I accepted.  This was Baton Rouge and it was sometime in the spring.  It was sunny and ninety degrees  Fahrenheit outside.  The humidity was fierce, although the humidity in New Orleans made Baton Rouge feel like a desert.  At any rate, I was dressed for the weather in a pair of shorts.  The Iranian fellow asked me if I would please change "into a pair of trousers," carefully explaining that in Iran, women who wore shorts were prostitutes.  I told him that if I ever got to visit Iran, I would be sure not to wear shorts.  But we were in Baton Rouge and as for me wearing long pants in the heat, forget it.

We walked over to his apartment.  It was a small one bedroom.  The apartment itself was very clean and organized, especially considering that four male students lived in it.  The students used the dining room table to do homework and sat on the floor to eat.  I was invited to a place on the floor and we ate.  We had some soup.  I don't know what was in it but it was delicious.  That I distinctly remember.  I think we must have had something afterward, but I don't recall now what it was.  After the meal, I walked back to my apartment.

[If you were looking for a punch line or a moral or something, there isn't any.  I think often of my Iranian acquaintance and his roomies and I wonder what became of them].

sapphoq on life 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Dad was always the organized one.  He had a place for everything and everything in his home had a place.  He carefully wiped the spots out of sinks when he was done with them-- all sinks, it mattered not what they were made of.  I always knew where to find something.  Things went in logical places, in the rooms that they were being used in.  Everything in Dad's home was clean, neat, and kept up.  Cared for.  Once after Dad had brought home a bunny and then rehomed it, he replaced the carpeting.  All of the carpeting.  Because in playing with the small dog, the bunny had pooed randomly as bunnies will.  But since the poo left tiny little stains to Dad's eyes, the carpet went and new carpet was brought in.  Dad had a housekeeper who came in twice a week to dust and vacuum.  I remember her.  She was an old lady, easily eighty years old or so, but cheerful.  I am not sure if she was a thorough housekeeper.  She did tilt the pictures hanging in the living room over the stereo to show that she had indeed dusted them.

And now we both struggle with organization.  I always had, although my brain damage subsequently made my disorganization much worse.  And Dad because of his dementia.  He spends a lot of time, an hour or two daily, fixing and straightening and organizing his stuff.  "I'm getting a new system," he tells me in all seriously as he moves the clothing around in his dresser or lines up the items he needs for his nail care on top of it.  Dad insists upon putting his own clothing away after they are laundered.  He has consented to allow the housekeeper to make his bed daily and to vacuum his carpet twice a week.

sapphoq on life