AK, Christine and I went to Sunset Junction. It was my first time, and I enjoy almost all street fairs for the good food and the people-watching, but I couldn’t help but notice how similar it was to the Manhattan Beach Old Hometown Fair, just with better bands, more tattoos (“One third of Gen Y has a tattoo,” Christine informed us) and booths selling punk rock baby clothes instead of ceramic soap dispensers. It was so hot that I felt like I was moving underwater (but, like, really hot water). People would have conversations that interested me, but by the time my tongue roused itself to participate, the next topic would be well underway.
AK got sick and couldn’t make it to Heather’s otherwise very fun 30th birthday bash (here’s a tip to anyone else planning a 30th birthday bash—it is good to have friends who have a fledgling catering business and make food like “mini ice cream sandwiches with pistachio cookies and homemade strawberry ice cream,” which they label with little typed cards on wooden skewers).
On Sunday my brain floated happily through church as the sermon worked its way into my novel, the perfect segue into the productive writing date that followed at Kathy’s place. But an hour later, the other Cathy—my sister—called and said in a small voice, “Can you come over?”
She and her boyfriend of three years had just broken up, and I dashed off to
“But there’s nothing crunchy in Mike’s Hard Lemonade,” I said.
She did freely indulge in the butterscotch pudding and brownie ice cream, though.
We talked and talked, in that way you have to do when somebody breaks up, where they repeat the story of What Happened enough times that it starts to make sense to them. Until they can see that not being with him could be right and possible, even though it was unthinkable just a few days ago. Cathy’s still feeling very tender towards her ex. She’s not ready for friends and family to say they Never Liked Him Anyway, which would probably not be accurate anyhow. But I was proud of her for deciding what she needed and calling things off, because the Klein girls aren’t always their own best advocates, and they tend to resist change. She did what I didn’t do two years ago.
Then we watched four back-to-back episodes of What Not to Wear on TLC, some of which hit too close to home. It tu
I came home, threw a bunch of clothes in a bag for Goodwill, and talked to AK, who’d had a crappy day owing partly to the fact that I canceled dinner plans with her.
Part of the weirdness of my weird weekend, though, is that I didn’t feel that bummed out. A little intensity can be cleansing. I felt like the ground beneath AK and I was really strong, even if we were a little weary staggering around on top of it. I felt like my writing had achieved new texture and verve just by inserting a few Malay phrases (“Buat apa tu?” means “What are you doing?”…I think). And I felt inspired to buy jeans that really fit right in the butt.