I once had this apartment.
I had been through Hell once again, and when my father heard about it, he came and found me, and set me up in a nice apartment so I could complete my last three semesters in college.
It was a very healing place.
It took me a few months to do much more than study, sleep, eat and repeat. By that time, my parents had assembled a few kitchen essentials for me which included this old "harvest gold" blender. It was odd, really. My Dad used to use that blender to make the occasional milk shake, but that was all I had ever seen one used for; and while I supposed it might have other uses, I really did not spend any time contemplating any.
But one day, I was in the grocery store and saw a display of Margarita mix. I had a bottle of tequila back at the apartment someone had given me as a gift, but since I hated tequila, it remained unopened. Ah, I thought, Here is a way to make use of the otherwise never-to-be-used blender and tequila! I came home, finished my studies and assignments and instead of the beer I would usually take with me out on my patio (overlooking an old cemetery: "New neighbors today?" "Yes, but I know they'll be quiet"), I went into the kitchen and dumped in ice, mix, and tequila.
It was a nice day, and I had my windows open, the sliding door to the little balcony wide, and the ugly apartment draperies were blowing in the wind. As it turns out, my little discovery at the grocery store was far more well known among my unit's other dwellers. Not only had they all made this discovery, but were so accustomed to it, that they knew the sound of margaritas being blended.
I have not done any scientific research on the subject (at the time, I was a business major, minoring in statistics), but my theory is that something in the combination of margarita mix and tequila causes a very subtle change in the density of the liquid so that with practice, one can aurally distinguish the presence of those items in the ice being crushed within a blender.
I poured the concoction into a tumbler and took it with me out on the patio. I do not remember exactly, but I would venture a guess that at some point I took an ever-so-casual glance to my right to see if pretty Miss A__ was, perhaps, sunbathing on her patio again that afternoon. She wasn't. Oh well, that'll allow me to let my thoughts flow and roam so I can relax.
I didn't know it then, but Miss A__ was dating a guy whose grandfather invented the Margarita machine-- except I believe he invented the Icee machine sold to 7/11 stores, and then sold the patent, and someone else decided to make margaritas with them Carl Jung would recognize that as a form of synchronicity, I think. Anyway...
Miss A and her two roommates lived to my right, as I looked out on the IOOF cemetery, just across the breezeway. Behind me, on my side, was a real-life "holy-roller" just like in the movies. He kept to himself mostly and I only saw him coming and going from class and church. Across from him were three young co-eds all related somehow-- like two sisters and a cousin or something like that.
Miss D, one of the familial co-eds, drove up, and said "Hi" as she came up the steps to the breezeway. Then, in her black, east-Texas drawl, added, "Ooo! A margarita! That looks good!" "I just made a pitcher, so help yourself."
She dropped her stuff inside her own apartment, and came right back over. I handed her a tumbler full and before we could get out to the balcony, one of the girls across from me showed up, and before I had poured that glass, another, and then another arrived, were invited in, and stayed.
The blender ran every few minutes and all eight of the units second story dwellers were present, and getting louder by the glass. My stereo was on and the little party spilled out onto the breezeway. Beer, wine and probably a little weed showed up by the time it was dark, and the little harvest gold mixer purred and churned, ice trays and tequila bottles and even more mix showed up as if out of nowhere. MTV was new back then, and that became easier than sifting through my rather vast album collection.
It had to have been after midnight when the steam ran out-- and the din descended to smiling and slightly slurred good nights.
After all had left, and I was alone in the quietness, sitting looking over the stillness, Morrison Corn-Kits glowing in neon from silos in the distance, I remember thinking what a precious and much needed happenstance that was-- meeting my neighbors for the first time, and drawing me out of my reclusiveness.
To my delight, the little impromptu gathering repeated a few days later, and then continued to repeat, sometimes without the little mixer being taken out of the cupboard. Sometimes, one of my neighbors would simply show up with a case of beer and then go get the others. They were never, ever-- not once-- planned.
I often think how much I would like to live out in the country, deeply hidden in the woods so that I can effectively abstain from the world as suits me. If I ever do, I will first want to find an extra-load blender.