Earth is black. Her coffee spilled on my DIA bag. I sat next to her at first, but since we were in a little lecture hall, she moved a seat away to have some room for the small desk and giant binder. She was on her own more often than the other two, so I didn't talk to her as much.
Wind is South Indian, I am guessing, based on her last name, though perhaps mixed, based on her first name and the fact that, though light-skinned, she has several brown freckles around her nose. I'm not sure what that signifies. She was the one who asked what my name, she was the one who invited me to sit with them when she saw me sitting alone at breakfast, she was the one who asked where I'd been when I joined them at lunch with dessert after having eaten with others since they had been otherwise occupied. She confirmed her Indianness by commenting on the rakhis on my wrist. She dressed up in many silly costumes in college. She wants to take my cancer pharmacology workshop. She laughed at my treecycline joke. Alas, she has a boyfriend.
Fire is a fellow Patel, and we even share the third and final letters of our five-letter names. She has very nice hair. She drew a lion in her handout (upon which Wind drew a crown), followed by an elephant, and then, when Wind asked her to, she drew a monkey that looked more like a koala, we decided. Alas, she is picking out a wedding gown.
(It is kind of sad and annoying that I now instinctively evaluate all South Asian women as potential wives. But, you know, deadline.)
The trio, all having gone to pharmacy school, were Fellows in an interesting program whereby they worked at a pharmaceutical company for one year in a specific department and then had the option of doing six-month rotations in other departments to see which they liked best.
The first day of the course was rather interesting, though I will not bore you with the details. Except for one bizarre little tidbit about the IND, the application one must file with the FDA to conduct clinical trials in humans with an Investigational New Drug. Now, one would think that the reason one would be required to file such a thing would be to hold oneself responsible to ethical standards and protect the safety of the patients on the trials.
Actually, the technical, legal reason one must file the application is to be granted an exception on the prohibition of interstate commerce of an unlicensed product. Seriously. It's so you can carry your drug across state lines. I of course asked whether it was possible to play the loophole and conduct your trial in the same state that your drug is manufactured in, but no one has dared, as the FDA could just as easily take a very narrow interpretation of the law and point out one little thing in your operation that qualifies as prohibited interstate commerce, and you're screwed. Just file the IND, folks.
My evening involved meeting up with Anjali, Ravi's sister. I met her on Boylston, and she guided me around the fenswhich Wikipedia defines as "a type of wetland fed by surface and/or groundwater"to Lilly's Gourmet Pasta Express, where we enjoyed fried spinach ravioli and tasty pasta. I had Cajun chicken and shrimp alfredo with onions and tomatoes and mushrooms. I was going to toss in Gorgonzola for kicks, but Anjali cautioned me against it.
This is why I hate my brother: he texted me the following:
RIP butterfly boucher, heard at marshallsThere were two ways to take that statement, but given the world lately, I would not have been surprised if she had actually died in some freak accident. I texted him back asking what the hell he was talking about.
She was played over the speaker...also RIP yeah yeah yeahs, heard at the room storeOh, good, he was just being an indie hipster.
Relatedly, Anjali asked me if I had any good new music to share, so I searched through Smellerbee and played her my latest song addiction, "I've Got Friends" by Manchester Orchestra. We shared earbuds while walking, quite deftly, if I do say so myself. She really dug it, as well she should, because it's awesome. I also played her some Plushgun and Nightmare of You as she played GPS, directing us when to "Turn left."
In keeping with her GPS mode, she announced that we had reached our destination, J.P. Licks, a popular Boston ice cream place on Newbury. I ordered coffee Oreo ice cream with crushed waffle cone bits, and Anjali insisted on paying for me even though I was on the company dime. She said it was her Indianness coming through, and I completely understood. We sat in a little circular booth that resembled something out of an amusement park...and it read, "Please Do Not Spin."
(This is where you would see a picture if I were not too lazy to attempt to deal with photo manipulation and uploading on a work laptop. Perhaps there will be a picture post when I return.)
I was intrigued by the existence of cucumber ice cream. I may return to try it out. It is a nice place with a strong bovine theme. Anjali got Cowlua, for instance.
We continued down Newbury, and I had to stop in Newbury Comics (right next to the Condom Warehouse or some such), which was much more than a comic book store. It had music and comics and movies and books and everything that is cool. But not very discounted! The best part, however, was a look at the foreign film section...where we discovered Executive Koala. I must see this movie somehow! It is about...an EXECUTIVE KOALA! Whose boss is a white rabbit! And whose bartender is a frog! The blurb hilariously declared that it was unlike anything that would be made in America...which is why it was made in Japan!
We continued down Newbury and passed another Boston ice cream place called Emack and Bolio's...that declared itself to be The Original Boston Ice Cream Experience Since 1975.
OH NO YOU DI'N'T.
Boston became a city in 1822. Ice cream has been around in some form for centuries and hit America by the early 1800s. THEREFORE: in order to be the Original Boston Ice Cream Experience, YOU HAD BETTER HAVE BEEN AROUND A LOT LONGER THAN THIRTY GODDAMN YEARS.
Anjali countered with the various churches named "First Church of Christ." None of them were truly the first church of Christ! But she thought it was okay. Did they, however, tout themselves as providing the original Christ experience?
We turned off Newbury, walked past the BPL, and headed into the air-conditioned Copley Place (it is flippin' hot here right now). We wandered Copley Place and found ourselves in the Pru...dential Center, which connected to the Sheraton Boston, which Anjali had never been in. She had always seen it but had no idea how to get to it. She took in the wonder of the hotel lobby, and then it was time for her to leave.
It had been a good time. Tomorrow's evening entertainment? Dinner cruise!