Thursday, April 1, 2010

Presents and George’s Prickles

When I walk around my house, I see an abundance of wonderful gifts my friends have shared with me throughout the years. Hand-crafted ceramics from Kat and Sue. My first teddy bear from Kathy. Gifts from friends’ travels, housewarming presents, and etiquette gifts offered when coming over for dinner or a party.

My soul friend has traveled around the world a few times and has brought back a multitude of cool things: a hand-painted, long-beaked bird created from a gourd, two caramel-colored Indian elephants all decked out for stomping, a marble box with side holes to allow the scent of good-smelling things placed inside to flow through, a Kama Sutra device that serenades while in use, and a wood giraffe from Africa to join my giraffe collection.

My best guy friend Ray used to buy me gorgeous earrings. With artist’s eyes, he’d select jewelry fit for royalty, and now he shares his gifts with his bride (the artist on this column’s right, Redfish Artwork).

A handsome neighbor, Jim, brought me a percussion instrument from Australia, since I’m a musician and can’t keep a beat. Plus, on another venture, he found an exquisite glass wine stopper in New Zealand and presented it to me for all the wine bottles I should stop.

My hiking bud Bob, also a world traveler, always brings me earrings from faraway lands. He’s been to Australia enough times (five) to be aboriginal. The earrings from there are usually made from shells, wood, or other natural materials, such as an ostrich egg shell and echidna spines, but none of marsupial gonads—too heavy. His numerous givings, and misgivings (a hopping appendage from Amsterdam), are displayed about my home and ears.
But the prickliest gift anyone has ever given me was a pair of cacti. My high-school friend, George, came to visit me at college, and as he walked into my room (see previous post), he said, “It’s polite to bring a gift when you come and visit someone,” and handed me two cute, little saguaro cacti, two and three inches tall.

I’ve always had a green thumb, so I was crushed when one of the little fellas dried up. But the sole survivor moved with me to 10 locations in two states and kept on growing. So here’s my cactus, Aquarius, named after my friend’s astrological sign. He's at least 31 years old.

But I’m still trying to figure out why dear George chose to give me a succulent with a thick, fleshy stem that grows spines, not leaves, and is shaped like a phallus.

1 comment:

  1. It's an easy answer and if I didn't tell you why, I know I was thinking it.

    It's because the cactus is like you were and are to me. Always there, yet never touchable (or attainable). We always made better friends than lovers (even when we were making out in the theatre to some long ago forgotten movie before your Mom came in to hustle you away from me).

    Some of the best times I had with you were when we were snuggled together in your Ramada dorm sleeping together. Yes, just sleeping. We never made love, but we slept well together and didn't have those next morning regrets (even though your dad thought we were having sex when he came over to move you).

    All these years later when I share my tales of sexual bravado to those who want to listen, I still am in awe (as are they) that we slept together as much as we did and that's all we did (aside from some goodnight kissing).

    Thanks for bringing out the best in me.

    George

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