About a year or so before I married my husband, I was in need of a roommate. I had been living alone in an apartment, but the rent was going up and I came to the realization that I would need to move and find someone to share the costs. At about the same time, Linda and her boyfriend were splitting up and she needed a place to live.
Linda was the sister-in-law of the administrator of the law firm where I worked and was fairly new to the firm, working as a receptionist. She had moved up to San Jose from the Los Angeles area with her boyfriend a few months before. I didn't know her very well, but she seemed fun and had a good sense of humor, so I thought it was worth a try. Couldn't hurt to get on the administrator's good side by taking his sister-in-law in either, could it?
As it turned out, Linda was quite a character. As with most roommates it seems, she had her good points and bad points. One of her bad points was the fact that she smoked marijuana quite a lot. Pretty much non-stop in fact. She told me her mother grew it and sent it to her. Okay, whatever. Having grown up in the Bay Area during the 60s and 70s, smoking marijuana was not something that shocked or surprised me. I tended not to be home a whole lot anyway, spending most of my time at my future husband's place. One of Linda's good points was that when she got stoned, she'd clean. Several times I'd come home and find her polishing the copper bottoms of my pots. Sometimes I think it's a wonder there were any copper bottoms left to the pots, but then we only lived together for a year. I still have those pots, but the bottoms have never looked quite as nice since they had Linda to care for them.
Linda was quite creative. Her artistic medium was ink and she'd spend the hours when she wasn't cleaning, shut in her room, making "wonderful" ink--uh, I'm not sure exactly what you'd call them. "Pictures" isn't right. Neither is "drawings." Have you ever seen spin art where you drop paint onto a spinning piece of paper, and the paint pattern fans out from the center? Well, Linda's art was a little like that, but not quite as nice. When we first moved in together, she very seriously told me about her technique. It seems she would mix different inks with varying amounts of spit, drop it on the paper, and tilt the paper or blow on the ink to make patterns. All I can say is that these creations were certainly conversation pieces. She put one up in our hallway to cover the gray metal door of the utility box, and while it was a slight improvement, everyone who visited felt compelled to lift up the edge to see what was so much worse that we needed to cover it with her "painting."
I have a couple very memorable stories of Linda that I'll share with you in the next few days. Since I'm working on quilting this large quilt, I have very little "quilty" news to tell you about or show you, so I'll let Linda entertain you for a bit--I know she entertained me!
I'm not quite sure what happened to Linda. After she moved out and I married my husband, I lost contact with her. The last I heard, she was working at a temp job, having been fired from our firm by her brother-in-law. The final straw was when she came back to work drunk after lunch one day, and got onto the overhead page system. She tried to page one of the attorneys but kept mispronouncing his name and started giggling uncontrollably. Quite a character, that Linda! If nothing else, she made things interesting!