We were sitting on our Salvation Army couches in the living room. I might have been sipping a Coca Cola. The sugary bubbles helped me relax.
“Have you ever been stabbed in the back?” asked the Harley Krishna, my new roommate.
She was a biker chic on a spiritual path. I knew it the day we met, three months prior to moving into our shack in Santa Venetia, as she was making her vegan dinner in the kitchen at Celibate Sam’s house, where we both rented rooms. Didn’t eat meat. She was a pacifist. I felt an instant connection. As she chopped her onion, she pounded her knife to the beat of her words.
“I’m just trying to live on this. (Pound) Goddam. (Pound) Spiritual fucking. (Pound). Path (Pound).” I sensed agitation and gave her her space, because that was the type of connection we had.
We were in the living room in Santa Venetia, our new sanctuary far away from Celibate Sam, our previous landlord in a house in Sun Valley, who made it very clear to every female tenant in his home that he wasn’t really that happy about being Celibate Sam. And so, we moved across town, to a place she found cheap through her connections, to the marshlands of Santa Venetia, the only neighborhood in San Rafael where it’s actually required that you park your car on the front lawn.
And she was reaching out to me. It was the summer time, and the leaves from the trees brushed the windows.
“Yeah, sure I’ve been stabbed in the back,” I said.
She looked at me blankly. “Well, are you going to fucking tell me about it or make me sit here all fucking day.”
“Okay, this one time, my roommate in college found my journal under my bed and read it, and then lied to everyone about what I said, she said that I called her a big fat elephant, and everyone believed her.”
“So how’d she stab you in the back.”
“Never mind. What happened to you?” I said.
“So my boyfriend broke parole and we were in LA, at my friend’s house, bagging cocaine.” I need to state that it was a this point that I realized that the story might go in a direction I had not anticipated.
“We had wolf puppies in the backseat of his car,” she continued. “And then my friend’s fucking bitch mom comes out of her bed room, running at me. With a knife. Has that ever happened to you?”
“As a matter of fact, no, actually, no it hasn’t,” I said.
I heard the mail drop through the slot downstairs, and I ran to get it.