ah, the joys of house guests. living 3000 miles from my hometown, with someone at least that far from his, also smack dab in the middle of a major tourist destination, it's not surprising that we get a lot of visitors. this is something i love--don't get me wrong. i, myself, am a very frequent house guest, much preferring to sleep on a friends floor than a hotel.
though now that we're all a bit older, or at least my friends somehow have their shit way more together than i do, the floor isn't so common of an occurrence. around here in the bedbug war zone, we save that luxury for our own home, where we avoid the risk of having to throw more furniture away simply by not buying any. what? you don't think the floor makes the perfect nightstand?
but what if your bed is on the floor too? (still looking for that pefect--meaning anti-bedbug metal and actually affordable--bedframe. and what's the hurry? at least now when i hallucinate at night and fall off the bed the bruises are smaller!). bet you wouldn't want a nightstand either!
yep, it's total luxury over here at the hotel greenpoint, where we just today wrapped up an action packed month of hosting emre's little sister, yasemin. residency was up to 5 people (and one particular cat) most nights, including little brother emir and his wife, haley. it was more laughs than a barrel of monkeys, and hey, at least we're all speaking to each other again.
so my whole point to this seemingly senseless and meandering entry is to discuss the usually unnoticed proprioception of the home that only becomes apparent with the inhabitation of someone new. i, like everyone else, i assume, am a creature of habit. i put the toothpaste back in the exact spot. i fold my towels exactly how my mother taught me to (and always smile when i open my sisters cabinets to find that same, unique fold). when emre moved in, it took me a little while to adjust to not having absolute control over every object in my space. living alone gave me a certain satisfaction, that responsibility of knowing that whatever was moved was moved by me, thus should be found again easily or at least through logic and memory. and now that i've lived with emre for almost five years (!) i've gotten pretty good at intuiting his habits, often wowing him by knowing exactly where any item he's looking for should be. and our house, mind you, is generally not the picture of tidiness, due to the disproportionate mountain of junk versus storage space we cling to.
so house guests are here. equilibrium is thrown off. whatever. i can deal. incidentally, when i am other's house guests, i start out trying not to make an imprint on the place i'm crashing. i pay attention to the way the soap was placed in the shower and where the sugar goes after coffee. i strive to repack my suitcase every time i open it. but just ask amy, abbie or kim--that routine does not last long. soon my junk has found its way into every crevice, so that when i leave, you find memory sticks in your houseplants, earrings in your dishwasher and shoes under the tub. and i'm the paranoid guest who would most surely break a glass while trying to help out by doing the dishes. the guilt, however, is too strong to just try to hide it. or, i just can't keep my mouth shut about anything, so there you have it.
which brings me around to the houseguest mysteries.
i have this spoonrest. my dad gave it to me one christmas. coincidentally, it looks like my cat prussia. not a coincidence, however, that it is a cat, because, hello, my name is kitty, no one's buying my dog spoonrests, are they? (that wasn't an invitation, by the way--i'm rather pleased that my name isn't doggy).
so one day i notice the spoonrest is missing. i don't notice it consciously. it's more in the vein of, "gee, the stove sure is getting splattered with tomato sauce and curry goop, where the hell is that cat? oh well, must be in the sink." fast forward 3 months and i'm still having that vague thought without actually putting my finger on the disappearance. not to mention how grimy the stove is getting.
even more months pass before i get a very unusual package in the mail. it's from japan. it's handwritten. the box resembles that which would house a princess diana collector plate. or a boston terrier plate. but from japan? i once received a lot of mail from japan. but that was in 1988 when my friend kiyomi lived there for a year. i remember the mail we sent back and forth taking a long time to arrive, but surely it couldn't be 20 years late (oh my, that calculation just sent me into shock!) now, don't tell me you don't have stupid thoughts like this when you're opening mysterious packages. you're just smart enough not to type them out and hit the publish button....
so the box reveals not a hello kitty collector plate, nor a cassette from my childhood friend, but this.
at the risk of sounding like a broken record, i encourage you to click on the photo to enlarge it to see the pain that arda, who is emre's friend, a former houseguest who lives in JAPAN (duh!), took, in krazy gluing the many shards of this spoonrest back together. even funnier than the thought of 6'6" arda, his enormous fingers stuck in krazy glue, is the image of the spoonrest breaking, minute pieces swept up and saved, packed up in the suitcase back to japan, guilt guilt guilt while procrastinating reconfiguring this feline humpty dumpty and finally, breath held while packaged up and sent back to the states. poor arda. i would have just told him to put it in the trash! but now it joins our large collection of krazy glued items that my closeted yet avid 'indoor futbol' player keeps making by breaking. in fact, now that i think of it, i'm not so sure emre wasn't in on this one. i can see it now: turkey in america vs turkey in japan. t.i.j. kicks the thai wicker ball and scores a goal through the bathroom doorway. he throws his arms in the air and makes that fake crowd hissing sound yelling GOOOAAAAALLLL! t.i.a. gets control of the ball, and, trying to make up for t.i.j.'s victory and reclaim his home territory, goes crazy, ball ricocheting off the stove, sending the ceramic spoonrest smashing to the ground. in the honor of sacrifice, t.i.j. agrees to take the rap, knowing the girlfriend could never be upset at him over an innocent accident. you see, a whole new angle to the story has emerged!
emre and i joked about holding up the spoonrest and dropping it on the floor in front of arda just to torture him, but felt that would be too mean. of course, that was before i knew what really happened....plus, i think this thing could now weather an atomic bomb and come out stronger than a cockroach.
so there was that houseguest mystery solved. so tell me, what in the hell happened here?! you see my kitchen floormat. it looks like it got into a fight with the easter bunny. aha! you say. it must be food coloring. but no. there isn't a liquid substance in this house that possesses these indiglo colors.
so tell me, quiet readers of this site, what do you think happened? i don't care about the rug, but the curiosity is just too much for me to handle! i want answers.