On a recent jaunt through the Kama Sutra, I stumbled on a passage titled “Twining of a Creeper.” I fell in love with the name immediately. It brought my sister to mind. She often refers to people as ‘creepers.’ “Ew, he did what? What a creeper!” Or, “Check out that creeper lurking on the corner over there.” Or, “God, Mia, you’re looking at his Facebook page again? You’re such a creeper.”
But I also like the title because of the images it forms in my mind. I think first of my sister’s corner creeper. He stands on the corner of San Francisco and Sandoval—or rather, he’s not standing, but entwined around a pole. Our jaws drop as we stare at him from across the street; Creeper has somehow maneuvered himself into an upside-down position and begins to softly (I can hardly hear him over the sound of traffic) make the sut-sut sound described in the Sutra. The next thing I know, a vine begins to grow, Jumanji- or Where the Wild Things Are-style. It winds itself around Creeper, strangling and engulfing him and carrying him away toward Alameda, where, I assume, it will dump him in the river—which is, anyway, Santa Fe’s premier creeper hangout.
I’m eating Cheetos as I write this, but thinking about creepers has my mind elsewhere, and I don’t realize that I’ve nearly shoveled the whole bag into my mouth. Enrique walks by, “You’re really going at it,” he says. Fitting, I think to myself, going at it, how very Love & Sex of him. I ask Enrique what the words “twining of a creeper” bring to his mind. “Christmas,” he says, and describes what he sees: A creeper covered in Christmas twine (for some reason, I picture tinsel when he says this). “And then you send him off and then you light him on fire, Zozobra-style. It happens, always, on a Thursday.”
Lasagna Robert looks at me very seriously when I ask him what he thinks of. He nods as he speaks—like, “Duh, isn’t this what everyone thinks of?” It’s clear to Robert; he imagines a creeper with rope. I like this image. The active creeper. The creeper ready to entwine. A naked creeper holding a long line, waiting. It’s perfect in its absolute creepiness.
“A peeping Tom, you know, jerking it,” Joey says. But all I can think of is his hand motion as he tells me this.
I didn’t ask Alexa what she thinks of, because her theme, “The Sending in of the Probe,” says it all: She is the creeper. Our very own creeper in residence. (Come to think of it, everyone seems a little creepy right now.)
Justin just looks at me. “I don’t know—twine?” Forget it.
As for the other editorial residents: Mitt Romney’s head stares at me from our office Christmas tree on a daily basis. I realize now that all of these images of the twining of a creeper—tinsel, twine, Christmas, creeps, vegetation—can be captured in our Christmas tree. Symbolism! The parallels are incredible, the options endless. I’ll not even go into them; your imagination can do that for you. But I’m realizing now that everything can be—is?—entwined. And that’s just creepy.