As I was driving to work this morning, I thought about the Great Pistachio Massacre, which occurred somewhere around this date back in 1979. I was living in a rented house in Idaho with my two best friends, Tom, and Antoinette (Toni). We were in the Air Force, but Toni had just gotten out on some sort of technicality.
I was working nights in the ED, and got off shift one morning and came home. Tom and Toni were in the midst of some huge argument. It started after Tom, who was eating pistachios, dropped some of the shells on the floor. Toni asked him to clean up after himself. Tom replied by going over to the stereo and putting on Steely Dan's Dirty Work, singing along with the words, "I'm a fool to do your dirty work..." Tom knew how to say it with music like no one else.
The argument escalated from there, with them both threatening to move out, and Tom eventually leaving with his stuff. The next day, Toni decided to go back to Pennsylvania, and left the following morning. It was Thanksgiving day. I found myself all alone, and bereft.
Tom came over in the afternoon and helped me gather up my stuff. I moved over to where he was living. We went to the local supermarket and I bounced a check for a chicken and other stuff for a poor person's Thanksgiving dinner. Tom was the hospital cook, so he could make something good out of anything. After a winter without any heat, we both got out of the Air Force in the spring, and went our separate ways.
I kept in touch with both of them for a while but eventually lost touch. When I looked for them again with the help of the internet, I found that they had both passed, both in their 40s. I'm the only one left that remembers the Great Pistachio Massacre.
As I think about my time in Idaho, I sense there is a lot of it that I haven't yet fully unpacked. I went through a lot of changes there. I guess I am far away enough from it that I could unpack it if I wanted to, but I'm not sure I do. I think I like it better this way.
Apropos of nothing: