fourteenth valentine


-- चार हजार दो सौ पचास-तीन --

So here's a big, big reason I love Shobhit so much: clearly having just read yesterday's entry about saying goodbye to Ivan, rather than being threatened or jealous, he responded with concern: he texted me, you doing okay? I saw that message and my heart soared with affection. Shobhit can drive me legitimately insane on an ongoing basis, but then there are things like this.

He even brought it up briefly over dinner last night, at a time I didn't really think was best to be discussing it much: "I didn't know you cried when you went to bed last night," he said. I just said, "Why would you?" He didn't come to bed for another hour, after all, at which time I had been asleep.

We really wasted no time filling up a whole lot of the empty space left by Ivan last night, especially in the kitchen. For several weeks now, we've been storing back stock of canned foods and sodas on the floor by the wall in the bedroom, because there was just no other place for it. Now, cans have filled up the kitchen cupboard shelves Ivan used to use, and the right side of the refrigerator is filled with bunches of Zevia sodas, as well as a lot of the produce we used to have to cram-pack on the left side of the fridge. The floor in the bedroom is clear again.

Then there was the guest bedroom closet -- what had been Ivan's closet. I'm not exactly sure what Ivan's mindset was about this; he did message me late yesterday morning, Hey Matthew! Thank you so much for the lovely card. Just wanted to mention that I am stashing a few items in the closet because I couldn’t fit them into my bags. Hope that’s okay

So I wrote back, It's fine. Depending on the types of things they are, I may take them down to storage too on my own

On the one hand, I found this slightly annoying. It's not like Ivan did not have ample time to figure out how to deal with this; really all he had to do was get one more box and put everything he had left in there in it. But, he basically left without having his packing entirely done, even though his plan, according to him, is to come back in May and stay only one night and then head to Vancouver B.C. the next day. So what of all this unpacked shit, then? He even evidently forgot a winter jacket in the front closet by the front door.

But, whatever. I just gathered up all that last stuff myself and it really didn't take long. He had it all rather geometrically arranged on the floor, next to two empty Trader Joe's tote bags. There was also his shoulder bag which he got from the same place at Pike Place Market that I got mine (at his recommendation, back in 2014), and I suppose it's understandable he chose not to take that to Europe -- to which he brought only one suitcase and a backpack. Organizing it all as best I could, I gathered all the stuff, including the aforementioned winter jacket, and it all fit quite nicely into those two tote bags. I also strapped down the collapsible laundry hamper he left in there, and thus had the two bags and the laundry hamper to take down to storage. I took a picture of the hamper and two bags and messaged it to Ivan, letting him know it was all packed and taken downstairs as well. I knew it would be a while before I got any response; he was in the middle of a ten-hour flight.

As of now, with the exception of a few hangers, the guest room closet is empty. Somewhat to my surprise, not only did Ivan leave the furniture, but he also left all the linens on the bed -- sheets, comforter, even the throw blanket he used to bundle himself in either to go from the room to the bathroom at night or to watch movies with in the living room. It looks all set for someone to spend the night, although I suspect he did not wash the sheets the morning he left, so I should maybe wash them. I have no idea if or when someone might spend the night, but I still feel like maybe it's best to wash those bedding linens. He also left a fuzzy throw rug on the carpet next to the bed. The bedroom still looks homey, and honestly still looks like Ivan's room: he also left all the artwork he'd put up on the walls. The only thing I have taken down is the pentagram sticker for "Snackrilege" vegan products that I gave him and he stuck on the outside of his door. Shobhit mentioned at least one other posted Ivan left up that we'll definitely have to take down if and when Shobhit's mother visits, as it depicts naked women on it. Incidentally, I noticed last night that the room's east wall still has the dead rose that had been hung up there by Tommy, but Ivan just never took down because he liked it.

Just a couple of cleaning things were left in the guest bathroom, and a small bit left of a bar of soap in the shower. The bathtub in there was not scrubbed as clean as I would have liked, but I'll live. The drawers are all empty, and I do still need to transfer the junk from junk drawers in the master bathroom into those, so I can finally put some of the stuff that's had to be kept on the counter in the master bathroom into those drawers.

Transferring the drawers' stuff is really all I still have left to do, and otherwise everything is pretty well situated again. We should maybe take inventory of everything in that front closet; I think there may be things left behind by multiple other roommates in there -- I had seven of them, after all: Delan for 15 months 2010-11; Anthony for only two and a half months in 2011; Gil for 10 months 2011-12; Fabricio for 9 months 2012-13; Gautam (the asshole) for four and a half months in 2013; Ivan for 8 months in 2014; Tommy for 18 months -- the longest single stretch -- 2015-16; then Ivan again 14 and a half months from November 2016 to February 2018, the second-longest single stretch but, at 22.7 months, the longest roommate cumulatively. So, I had roommates eight different times, but one of them, Ivan, was a repeat.

-- चार हजार दो सौ पचास-तीन --


-- चार हजार दो सौ पचास-तीन --

Not long after we got the kitchen resituated, I helped Shobhit record an audition for a small part in an episode of the second season of The OA, which will apparently shoot in Portland, Oregon. He stated in his "slate" video, which identifies him, that he lives in Seattle, "two hours from Portland," as if he could ever get there that quickly. "If I'm driving!" he tried to say. Um, he does drive like a maniac sometimes, but he'd still have to drive 90 mph -- literally; I found an online calculator to figure this out -- in order to cover the 185 miles in that amount of time. That's obviously never happening. I don't know why he doesn't just say he's three hours way. But, he also constantly says he's 5'10" even though he's hardly taller than I am, and I'm 5'8".

We barely finished that in time to manage walking to dinner at The Marrakesh, where I had reservations for two at 7:30. Strangely, my maps app on my phone said it would take 43 minutes to walk; Google Maps said 35. They don't usually have that much of a disparity, which I found odd. Was Google Maps maybe not taking traffic lights into account? Fuck if I know. All I know is we hauled ass walking, even ran a couple of times to make lights crossing streets, and we actually made it there in about 25 minutes.

This was our second time eating at this restaurant -- the last time, incidentally, having been with Ivan, on March 4 of last year. It had been Ivan's idea, he wanted to eat at a Moroccan restaurant. And now? He's currently in Barcelona, waiting for a train tour to start on Sunday, which will end in two weeks in Morocco.

The cost last year was $20 per person. The menu was pretty much identical last night, but being Valentine's Day, the cost went up to $28 per person. I was surprised the place was not busier than it was, although there was one guy with a small child we saw waiting for quite some time, presumably because he did not have a reservation. Anyway, that times two plus 20% tip took my total cost for dinner to $87.87, really quite close to the $90 Shobhit had suggested I budget for. And we did not get any wine -- oh wait, I did get a $7 mango mimosa, which was super delicious -- Shobhit saw another table get two bottles. I shudder to think how much they paid.

The crowd at the restaurant was pretty mixed, between couples out for Valentine's Day, and others who were just out as a group. One group in the inner room between us and the bathrooms in the back was a table of what must have been fifteen.

It was a five-course meal and was very filling, especially since you can grab all the bread rolls you want out of this big basket of bread. You eat that with the salad dish you get at the beginning; then there was the odd dish I forget the name of filled with a kind of scrambled eggs and topped with powdered sugar -- not Shobhit's favorite, but I kind of liked it, even though at one point the eggs seriously burned my fingers. You don't actually get silverware until the main courses come, and by that time you're pretty much full. We had an eggplant dish that was a lot like eggplant parmesan except the eggplants are not breaded, and it was delicious; the other dish, "Veggie Delight" on a bed of rice, was disappointingly bland. The baklava dessert was awesome. Then, tea. Shobhit asked to get his tea at the beginning, not knowing he would get charged extra for it, but it was only a couple of bucks so he didn't complain, especially since he got several refills throughout the meal. I just settled for the one glass of it that typically comes at the end of the meal.

I noticed a lot of people there who were clearly newbies, needing explanations from the wait staff. One guy had taken his (presumed) wife and was wearing a suit jacket and a tie -- not actually the best attire for this place, nice and homey as it was. You sit on cushions at low tables. I got powdered sugar all over my jeans. I mean, I didn't see that guy make a mess or anything, but it must have been a challenge for him not to.

I was so stuffed by the time we were done, even though walking home would obviously have been best, I did not balk at Shobhit's suggestion that we catch the #11 home. We actually saw the bus turn in front of us about three blocks from our stop, and we actually decided to run and try to make it to the stop -- and we made it! So in the end I guess we got some good exercise after dinner after all.

Oh, one final thing, about the photo at the top of this entry, which you may have surmised was taken at The Marrakesh. I asked one of the waitresses to take our photo, and she was on it. She even declared there was a favorite filter she liked to use, and she went right to it. I don't usually like using filters, or the flash, but she used both, totally knowing exactly how to set it all how she wanted. The photo did turn out pretty well, I thought. I really like the backdrop of the wall behind us.

-- चार हजार दो सौ पचास-तीन --

As for Ivan, he finally responded to my message telling him about the rest of his stuff in the closet being taken down to storage, with a "Fine," at 11:27 last night -- Pacific Time, anyway. He then told me he'd just arrived in Frankfurt and was waiting for his connecting flight. I was deep asleep when those messages arrived.

I learned this morning that his connecting flight had been delayed another two hours, when he messaged me at 5:51 this morning, Made it to Barcelona!! That would have been at 2:51 in the afternoon there. I never imagined that he'd be keeping me updated on his travels so quickly that it would include even his travel there, but I rather like that he did. He told me he snagged a luxury hotel to stay at in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona until his tour leaves on Sunday, at only $60 a night, which is a pretty sweet deal. Then he wrote, That’s the beauty of traveling during this time of year- I will NEVER understand why most prefer summer!! I replied, Haha, because it’s not freezing! and he said, True, not everyone is a cold bitch. He loves to call himself that.

Last night Shanti was meowing at the closed guest room door, and Shobhit thought maybe she could tell Ivan was gone and was whining about it. I knew this would delight Ivan and told him about it. Yeah, I figured she would pine for me, he said.

-- चार हजार दो सौ पचास-तीन --

In truly and completely unrelated news, I discovered something almost eerie this morning on Facebook. I was scrolling through the list of 110 people who are not Facebook friends with me but still follow my posts, and I saw -- Tracy Wolpert. Wait, what? That's the former CEO of the company I work for, the one who resigned in 2013 and died unexpectedly near the end of 2015. How the fuck long was he following my posts on Facebook? Was that even a legitimate Facebook page of his? I remember there being a brief thing a few years ago about his account sending friend requests to an oddly large number of people in the office, and there being speculation that his account had been hacked. Even Nancy, Director of HR, had talked about feeling weird about getting a Facebook friend request from her boss.

I never noticed him listed among my 110 Facebook followers, though. That was very weird. And right now, there is a message Facebook puts at the top of his page: Remembering Tracy Wolpert
We hope people who love Tracy will find comfort in visiting their profile to remember and celebrate their life.
Learn more about the legacy contact setting and memorialized accounts on Facebook.
It's weird how a strange element of the past can keep cropping up like this.

-- चार हजार दो सौ पचास-तीन --


[posted 12:15 pm]

[older valentine's day entries]