and i'm taking my elephants with me
January 17, 2002 09:40 AM

The night my roommates came home so well and truly pickled that I finally understood what the word might mean. And the campus police came over.

I fed miniature cheesecakes (baked by another roommate) and coffee and cocoa to the police. Or I tried. Whether any of them took me up on the offer I don't recall. It was a long night.

It was entirely unlike me.

we drew our arms around the bastard sons
W=we never would drink to the chosen ones

No, not entirely.

The food part, yes. As evidenced by the fact that I didn't actually make anything but the cocoa. But the idea behind it. That I'd calmly and quietly put things around people to make them seem comfortable, ordinary. These police are not here. Or they are, but they're just friendly guests. We always have coffee with the campus police at four in the morning. That was very much like me.

That was also years ago.

well you know the way i left was not the way i planned
but i thought the world needed love and a steady hand
so i'm steady now

I'm still. Still in both senses.

Now I mostly practice that hospitality at parties. It's not the same, not necessary. It's opposite, even, arranging things to be extraordinary, celebratory. Extraordinary circumstances don't often happen. When they do, I'm awkward and even a little stupid.

I think I've forgotten how to be calm like that.

I've learned calm in other ways, but forgotten that one. Rather than sit and pretend the drama's not there [whatever you do, don't think about elephants]. I walk out of the room.

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