Friday, August 04, 2006

Falling for You

Today's birthday shout-out goes straight at my pal, Delium. I've known Delium for about sixteen years through thick and thin, and I call him Delium because there was a stretch of time where his junk mail was addressed to him with this curiously Latin-sounding derivative of his real name. "E Pluribus Unum, Delium!" we would all say to him, "Pleni Sun Coeli! Semper Fidelis!" When I met him, he had a stubby ponytail that made him look like Thomas Jefferson (gosh I'm so tired right now I almost wrote George Jefferson) in profile, and all of my friends would buzz around me telling me how dreeeeemy he was. We dated a bit (how could I resist the dreeeeeemy-ness?) and then settled in as friends, his Jerry Seinfeld to my Elaine Benis. One of the things that I remember most about Delium back in the day was that he had perfected these spectacular fake pratfalls that were so elaborate and real-looking, it was like Martha Graham and Chevy Chase had had a love child. (Come on people, sing it with me: LOVE CHILD! Never meant to child! Born in poverty!!!! Love that song). Oops, I'm telling a story. Anyhoo. These falls would take like, a full sixty seconds, from the first sign of a trip to the arms-flailing, I-think-I-can-save-it-but-crap-no-I'm-going-down ending. The first time I saw one of these falls in action was in our undergrad computer lab. It was quiet, the only sounds the clicking of keyboards and the low murmurings of students conferring with each other. I was diligently working on some paper of which I am positive there are no vestiges left in my brain now, when Delium got up from his computer, which was next to mine, grabbed for his coat that was hanging on the back of his chair, and got the coat caught on the back of the chair. He pulled it sideways on its wheels so that it hit him hard on the side of his calf, causing him to lose his balance. One hand still gripping the coat-stuck-to-the-chair, the other arm doing a windmill-style whoa-whoa-whoa, he finally lost his balance completely and crashed sideways into his chair, taking it down and ending up in a big heap on the floor. Had he been dressed in a Mary Catherine Gallagher outfit, we would have seen his tightie whities for sure. He then calmly picked himself up, righted the chair, and with an embarrassed air and no eye contact with anyone, scurried from the room. And...scene. It was guerrilla performance art, breaking the boundaries of social quiet spaces. Or something. It was hilarious, is all I'm sayin'. He even pulled off one of these glorious falls in the middle of his college graduation, as he made his way across the stage to receive his degree. It was so real, the entire audience let out a gasp of concern for him. What can I say, I think it's funny.

These days, Delium doesn't do much falling (at least not on purpose), but he still makes me laugh, and he is a hell of a runner on our kickball team. He doesn't have the ponytail, and he doesn't look like Thomas Jefferson (or George Jefferson) any more, but he's still dreeeeeemy. Felicem diem natalem (happy birthday), Delium! Right good amicus, you are.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl


Anonymous said...

To this day, one of the highest compliments I have ever received is Delium's admiration of my own Scooby-Doo style fall. Happy Birthday Delium!

pagan said...

Love your birthday shout-outs! Such a lovely little tribute to the people that you love. In fact I like the idea so much that I think I should add it to my own blog! ;-)