Thursday night, flying out of Oakland and into the cutest airport ever, at Long Beach. Tiniest thing you ever saw: art-deco, precious, and here is my bag and there is the rental car place, right across the street, conveniently. I could throw a rock and hit it, but instead I trundle across the intersection and Jake is already in line, "Hello!" He asks for a GPS system. He says, "They know how to get me to upgrade, when they offer me a choice between a Taurus or an Infiniti." We are in an Infiniti, driving up one of the multitudes of freeways, and there is Kenny Rogers, welcoming us to Southern California. It is the best billboard ever, and it will be a good weekend.
The house is huge: the living room is two stories tall, and there is the pool, and the hot tub (not hot) and we are perched over what you might call a valley. My room has got a ceiling fan and my phone does not quite plug into the wall, but our kitchen has two ovens. We stock it with cheese and Pom juice and Jake makes guacamole, and there are Weetabix and Shannonk, coming through the door and we are Real World Los Angeles except nothing is pixilated and we are all in bed by midnight.
A day of swimming. It is hot, but not too. I am covered in sunscreen lotion, and feeling oily, but the water is cool and I still float. I was worried about not being buoyant anymore. These are things you think about. I think about. I also worry about how I look in a swimsuit, but not for long because it is so warm and there is so much vodka. Ian and Pie come over and we enjoy how buoyant our breasts are, in the pool (Ian does not; Ian hides his eyes and pretends he is not mortally embarrassed). We dive. The next day is the wedding, and they do not seem nervous. Why should they be nervous? They float across the pool together. Ian won his hat in a trivia contest.
Sleeping in, the next day. I do, anyway. Everyone is up. Supply shopping, to make butt bows for the unofficial bridesmaids, assembling them ("Wait, how do you make the bow go?" "It’s like tying a shoelace." "Oh. I never learned to tie my shoelaces. Like that I mean! Like that!") and then everyone disappears. I nap again, all the way up until a half hour before we have to leave. I bolt, and shower, and struggle into my dress, climb up on my shoes with the very tall heels. I feel pretty. Pretty tall. We drive to the party, and there is Mo and Ian, already married, and the party going, and the house is very beautiful and there is a lot of cheese, and wine, and a tub of strawberry mojitos.
So much food, all delicious. Iggy, my tattoo artist, has brought whiskey. Toasts, and I cry just the tiniest bit because sometimes (always? Yes.) I am a sap. More whiskey, and then there is dancing and it has gotten dark. When did it get dark? Hey, is that more whiskey? We are enterprising. My shoes are gone, and I am singing "Greatest Love of All" extremely poorly. Interpretive dance. Beautiful Shawn and her beautiful voice, singing "Killing Me Softly." I get to do the "one time, one time" part, and am delighted. The bride sings "Hanky Panky." It’s not so late, but it feels late, and the party winds down, and Mo is all married, off to the inn to be a married lady and lie back and think about England. Somehow, I remember to wash my face and brush my teeth before I fall into bed.
I could spend the whole day in my nightgown. But Weet and Jake head out to the Nixon Library, and I shower, and I put on underpants, even. It is warm out, and reading in the sun is lovely. The married couple comes over with leftovers, and all the cake. We eat all of the cake. We sit out by the pool, and we have eaten all the cake and most of the macaroni and cheese and reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation are on. They leave, and the rest of the night is quiet.
Our flight is at ridiculous o’clock, and I am so tired. I fall asleep reading. I wake up, turn off the light, and wake up every hour until four in the morning. Back to the airport. I need a latte. I find the single stand in the whole airport that makes lattes, and it takes 20 minutes. I sip it hurriedly as I drag my bag across the airport to my gate. It is the worst latte I have ever had in my life. But that’s okay, because here is security, which I forgot about, and here is the security guard reminding me that there are no liquids past this point. "You have time!" the guard tells me helpfully. "You can throw it out right before you hit the x-ray machine," he says. He points to the trash can three feet away. I stand there sipping it, willing the protein and caffeine into my head. I hear my flight boarding. It is such a small airport, it is boarding right next to the security checkpoint. I toss the cup, I head through, and we are walking across the tarmac. Safety demonstration, buckling up, taking off, heading home. So tired, and so glad to be home.