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An Introduction
9.25.2003 by Sarah.

Her internal logic is astounding. She's absolutely right, in her own way-- this girl from the parties whom no one seems to know. You always see her, though no one admits to inviting her, no one has ever met her for coffee, yet sure as sunlight there she is again, holding a gin and tonic or something dry that takes a martini. You're not even certain about her name, but among your friends she is infamous.

She is also crazy.

Take, for instance, the conversation you had with her just the other day at a housewarming party you threw with your roommates. Through the throng you saw her, sitting alone, so you excused yourself, muttered something about a host's obligations, and weaved your way across the room to her corner where she slowly tore a cocktail napkin to shreds and watched the wisps fall to the floor. She suddenly looked up, and when your eyes locked you both spoke at once. She giggled nervously and you took that opportunity to say something about all the rain we've been getting or to utter some banal pleasantry.

Then she pounced. "That reminds me of something I read the other day," she said, and before you knew it she'd outlined an obscure and sinister relationship between deceased actor Peter Lorre, the Hormel Company, and international organ trafficking. The gravity of her tone underscored the laughable absurdity of her claims, as well as the disturbing delight she seemed to derive from jabbing a hunk of cheese on the tray beside her with a toothpick. You tried to extricate yourself from this (one-sided) conversation by alluding to the washroom or having to run to the store for ice, but you didn't think she heard you. She probably didn't. I think she's rather lacking in social graces.

I have met her, heard her stories from friends, and can only assume that her theories are naught but the drunken musings of a cluttered mind. For her nothing is a coincidence, no connection is too tenuous to be taken as fact, and absolutely nothing is as innocent as it seems. In this column I will relate to you, as accurately as I can, what I like to call her Cocktail Conspiracies.

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