A couple of weeks ago I went to a party at the famed Chocolate Lofts on Queen West. A friend and co-worker of Sarah's was having a birthday celebration of epic proportions. I can't imagine actually having a party like this for myself, but I'm sure glad that Salome did. There was a doorman who took your coat and then jumped behind the bar and made you drinks, and the charming owner of Oyster Boy/The Swan came out with a giant box of mixed oysters that Sarah and I gorged ourselves on. I loooove oysters.
One of the side-effects of having a party with a great bartender and a free bar is that everyone in attendance ends up drinking more than they probably should on a school night. Thus, when we finally made our way outside at some time in the wee hours of the morning, we were intoxicated enough that it seemed like a good idea to steal the tree in the planter that was outside the fourth-floor elevator. We were pretty durned proud of ourselves once we successfully snuck out the back door to escape the watchful eye of the night security guard, potted tree in tow, giggling madly and feeling like we'd gotten away with the crime of the century. Even the cab driver on the way home appreciated our efforts enough to not get angry with us for filling his taxi with pine needles.
I realize now that this should have been our first warning that all was not as it seemed. After all, how many people keep potted evergreens in their hallways? And of those who actually do, how many of these trees are dry to the point of shedding all their needles at a moment's notice? But at the time, we were too drunk on the heady satisfaction of committing such a conspiratorial caper to take notice of such details.
Flash forward two weeks to a conversation between Sarah and Salome at work. Sarah is overcome with guilt and decides to confess our crime. Salome, much to Sarah's relief, is not upset. And why should she be? As it turns out, the tree that we stole from outside the elevator on her floor is the Christmas tree that Salome herself had in her apartment over the entire holiday season and that she was too lazy to take out to the garbage, so she dumped it in the hall.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that our prize from that night, the lovely potted pine that Isil* (pictured above) proudly took home and, for all I know, is still displaying on her mantle, the subject of our well-executed, spy-like Mission Impossible to get it out of the building, was...garbage.
That's right. We snuck Salome's garbage out the back door of her fancy loft and took it home as treasure.* This is the closest to spelling her name that I can get without using strange Turkish symbols. I was also going to include her last name to clarify things, but apparently the closest that we can get to spelling it on a QWERTY keyboard is "Degirmencioglu" and that really doesn't clarify anything.