Necessity being the mom and all of that, I redid my first lamp shade this weekend with new fabric. As noted in previous bloggage, the cow lamp had been covered in a beautiful faux, mint-colored crocodile. What went unreported, however, was that it was an awful job.
It took hours of trick photography and retouching last summer to come up with a picture I could post. I was able to fool the public but not myself. I stared at the shody shade daily.
With my new apartment comes a new life and a new lamp shade. Mint reptile is now a Marc Jacobs, forest green basketweave I found in the Britex remnants department. The cows, once again, can be looked perpendicularly in the eye.
Roy was the perpetrator of the croc catastrophe. He was an aspiring young drapery maker/upholsterer in Palm Springs who sewed really well. He showed me some intricate covers he’d done for trapezoid shaped chairs that were quite impressive. But his lack of experience with lamps in general, and faux reptilian hide in particular, resulted in a shade that buckled and sagged.
Roy reminded me so much of my friend Brian and not just because sewing was their profession. It was also because he talked a mile a minute and was a profound liar. Like Brian, his lies were never malicious. They were meant to be entertaining filler for the boring stretches of daily life.
At first I was gobsmacked by the stories. Like he had a sister studying at the London School of Economcs. Or that he was the second youngest of 20 siblings.
Given his Mexican heritage and applying a certain Trump-like logic, the family size could have been true. But when he told me they all vacationed with the Marriotts (of the hotel chain), I became skeptical. Sure they’re Mormon and used to overflow seating, but taking your friends’ 20 kids traveling with you seemed extreme.
After my initial gullibility, I would let his tales unwind then ask at the end of each whether any of it was true. He was never defensive and would respond nonchalantly “5%” or “10%.” I was left to guess which part it was.
Once he waxed on and on about how he learned about gay sex from his father. Presumably Dad took him aside then watched and instructed him on how to shag his uncle. Roy was so earnest and so convincing, the story held my attention. When he finished I asked how much of it was true: “none.”
In the desert you don’t wear many clothes that need to be dry cleaned so I didn’t miss my handful of items that lingered for six weeks at Classic Cleaners. I was starting to feel guilty, though, and asked Roy to help me pick them up since he had a car.
I was confident they were still there because they had not called me yet with threats to sell them.
Roy wasn’t so sure. “They probably don’t have them,” he said. “They never call you here. It’s Palm Springs, they just assume you’ve died.”
My down payment on the shitty shade was a small price to pay for sparkling companionship.