A couple of nights ago, I ran into a friend of mine at a bar. This is usually where I do my running-into lately, and I'm not sure yet if this is cause for alarm. (i've also noticed that i'm drinking whiskey with startling regularity lately -- at least for me. i keep thinking all the blood vessels in my nose are on the verge of bursting at once, in one horrible symphony. somehow this seems more significant to me than the very real possibility of bottoming out at the bottom of an alcoholic tailspin, with blackouts and incontinence and herpes and bad poetry and all the other trappings of problem drinking.)
Since this friend is not someone with whom I am very close, we warmed up to conversation by recounting the last time we'd seen each other. It was outside a comedy club, where she was barking. (that's industry lingo for "begging people to come inside and see a comedy show they had no intention of seeing, instead of heading over to The Slaughtered Lamb for a 'Dr. Sauza and Mr. Cointreau' drink special, which is what they've been planning since exiting the Grey Line Bus Tour.") As she was describing that evening, she managed to say the least sentimental thing I've ever heard come out of a woman's mouth. This is no small feat, but here it is:
"Yeah, so I was standing on the street and some douche gave me a rose."
I've heard a lot of cynicism in my post-adolescent years, much of it on my own outgoing voicemail messages, but this had to be the greatest. There's something perfectly disgusting in the juxtaposition of the words "rose" and "douche." They just rub up against each other so uncomfortably. I was sort of impressed.
Then I got to thinking: that actually might make a really nice greeting card for Valentine's Day. For instance, the outside of the card could be written in those swoopy Edwardian script letters favored by greetings card companies. It would just read, "I was standing on the street, and some douche gave me a rose..." Then, when you open it up, the thought is completed with great gentleness: "...and today I wish that douche were you." Pretty, right?
I have a good friend who was reared on Midwestern soil, and she specializes in stretching a silver lining around anything, no matter how impossible the fit. (sometimes it's fun to watch her think, her mind almost straining at the task.) I guess this is just a little bit of me trying to do the same.