Friday, November 8, 2013

Schiller Apartment Shenanigans: Buddha and Zeela

I met Buddha through my other neighbor, Nathan. I never knew a great deal about her. For the longest time, I wanted to know her real name. I thought she looked like a Ruth, Rachel, or maybe a Rebekah. I just wanted to be right. One day I was finally told, and since I wasn't right, I quickly forgot it. She had a young daughter, around 12 or 13, who not surprisingly, was named Zeela. Buddha was sweet natured and motherly. She was self-reliant and independent. The "pioneer woman" who could make anything happen.

Zeela was a free spirit, which I always assumed her mother could be thanked for. The world was her oyster, and she was going to eat it.

One evening, while I was watching Jeopardy with Ralph, a tiny little kitten ran through his open door and scurried across the floor. Ralph picked it up and said, "Isn't he just adorable?"

I agreed. I hadn't seen a kitten that small since I was 8, and the size ratio between the little kitten and me was a lot smaller then. Very soon, Zeela showed up at the door, asking if we had seen the little kitten.

Zeela told me that they had a whole litter of cute little Tabbies. I was curious, so I headed over to apartment #1 with Zeela. They had a gate on their door, and still the little things were escaping left and right. They offered to let me have one, but I declined. As cute as they were, I had no interest in owning a cat, and knew nothing about them. I had never had one.

Buddha's apartment was at the end, by the street, so there was much more garden space all around it.  All of the other apartments did have their own little garden plot on either side of the door, however. Nathan liked to take his food remnants and bury them in the ground. You might think, "Oh, like a compost." But, it wasn't like that, it was only remnants of fruits and vegetables, so that he would end up with a whole garden full of whatever he buried.

One day, Buddha decided to move out, and Nathan jumped at the chance to move into her place. I was asked if I would help out, and I happily agreed. It was the first time I'd ever been inside her home. And I soon discovered that she had a rather large python, which she kept in a basket. It was the kind of basket you might find at a flea market, complete with a matching lid, and maybe some red and blue zigzag pattern to show they matched. I thought this was an alarmingly odd place to keep a large snake, or a pet of any kind, so I wondered if perhaps it was only for the move. But, the place was not boxed up at all, and it was a disaster everywhere, so I wondered if they were accustomed to living in the jungle, maybe. They had some small food of some kind cooking on their stove. They offered me some, but, I have a hard time eating from other people's kitchens when I see the disaster that surrounds it. I politely declined.

Buddha informed me that she was a sideshow performer, as an acrobat, and something to do with that python.

Like I said, I knew very little about Buddha. These are just little snippets and windows into moments I recall. And this is even all that I remember about her. Yet, Buddha is Buddha, and she must have her spot, here.

Shortly after she moved out, she invited us to a house party, where she promised to show us her acrobatics. We attended, and it was a wild, interesting, hippie party, complete with a room containing many hand drums with many people combining their skills (or lack their of) to create a rhythm.

Outside, they served beer in those obnoxious red Solo cups, which I've always felt made drinking anything, not all that much fun. It even makes tasty things taste less tasty!

This was Buddha and Zeela. The breeze came along, picked them up, and carried them away.

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