But lately I think I’ve passed my driver’s test—even if I took out a few orange cones along the way—so I feel like I’ve earned some passenger time. This weekend I didn’t teach anyone or moderate anything or coordinate a trip to the airport or even drag anyone along to a social event where I felt responsible for them having a good time.
Friday night I showed up during the third hour of a three-hour work event of AK’s. When I arrived at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion—already a disconcerting place with its 1970s Bob Mackie-esque interior—kids were parading down the staircase in lace gowns and painted calavera faces. A DJ spun Justin Timberlake and Rihanna with awkward transitions. The teenagers struck poses on a makeshift stage beneath a giant triptych of fire, scissors and a bird. All I knew was that the whole project had something to do with the Ring cycle.
Saturday at Lenise’s birthday party, I listened to her friends tell funny stories from their high school days as we all drank fishbowl margaritas. When the cops and paramedics came for a drunk couple and the handcuffed wife shouted, “I’ll dance the fuck to jail!” I thought, Seems like a good plan to me.
Today AK, Nicole, Leslie, Craig, Kenny and I went to a Dodger game. I know now that the Dodgers beat the Giants in a pitcher’s duel in which Manny Ramirez hit a two-run homer. But as I typed that, I had to ask AK, “What did you call it? A pitcher something? Would you put an apostrophe in that? And then Manny Ramirez scored, like, a double home run?”
During the actual game, I ate the PB&J on bread-maker bread we’d brought and washed it down with a soft pretzel left over from our movie-themed book club night. I talked with Kenny about Teen Steam and with Leslie about Glee and with Nicole about OkCupid. Every now and then, Nicole, a lifelong Giants fan, would say, “See, so now your pitcher is doing such and such.”
And I was like, “Oh? He’s my pitcher?”
He wasn’t my pitcher and it wasn’t my game, and that’s what has made this weekend great. When you’re completely clueless, you’re also at your most open. Maybe that’s what Buddhists mean by “child’s mind.” I just like putting adulthood on the back burner for a couple of days because most adult pursuits aren’t as important as you think they are anyway. No one really cares about the stupid bullshit I martyr myself for, so sometimes it’s incredibly nice to sit back and enjoy the fruits of someone else’s awesome laborious bullshit.