Dangerous Compassions


“How did I get so lucky, to find this love?” He was half-asleep, naked except for his chonies again, his hair so messy and beautiful. “Oh, you have ocd and narcolepsy. You were in the bargain bin!”

I looked at his smiling mouth and closed eyes. We were laughing.

I imagined the bargain bin at a favorite grocery store miles and miles away, in another land. The near-expired products there–weird chips made out of unexpected veggies, old jam, strange soap. Yep, my favorite things.

Sometimes at a library–ah, when we were young, pre-covid, and I went to libraries, and walked around like a carefree nonchalant impromptu casual person–I would like to look at the books in the little Friends of the Library store. I like how there’s a variety of books, in a small space, and I can see a variety of things. I might see a book I want to read and go find it in the actual library.

Good for browsing, to have things more jumbled together.  Good for finding what I didn’t know I was looking for.  The bargain bin at the grocery store is like that, but items are usually more oddball, so there’s a bonus goodness.

“Hey, honey. Would you help me?” I asked.

“Yes?” he said.

“I can’t even get a bowl,” I said. “Why is that terrible bowl on top? I hate that bowl! I’ve never chosen to use a bowl like that in my life! What the fuck is that bowl? I don’t understand it! I think you’re supposed to have salad in it?”

He listened to me kindly. It was one of those lightweight bowls made of pressed together wood, with a horrible plastic coating.  Bowl frustration! 

I continued, “I don’t understand those hippies, using these terrible bowls! Will you please do something with that bowl, like throw it across the courtyard, like the worthless frisbee that it is?!”

Semi-predictably, he put it on his head for a hat. It kinda worked, for a hat.

He handed me this pretty orange bowl our friend made. I dished quinoa with garlic into it.

“Thank you for helping me, logistically and emotionally,” I said.

That’s life at Chez Ming and Laura-Marie.  When in doubt, put it on your head for a hat.

This is my favorite Violent Femmes song ever!  It’s why I say “on your head for a hat” all the time.  When I was a teenager, I listened to Add It Up a bazillion times.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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