Gonna Uber to the Lotus Festival tonight to stump around on a cane in a crowd. Maybe I’ll trip over someone’s yappy little dog. Goal is the fireworks. Asians have the grooviest loudest gnarliest fireworks shows. Awesome echoing acoustics on the lake, too, loud as fuck twice and so low you can hear the cinders sizzling in the water. Now that’s groovy. Maybe I’ll find a bench or wall to sit on and trip people with my cane in the dark. Just an idea.
OK, I won’t.
I love the Lotus Festival. It’s my favorite thing at beautiful (really, it is) Echo Park lake all year, at least since the splendid annual Cuban Festival disappeared in a miasma of logistical despair. By the way, I’m really big at these Asian festivals. Not famous, just big. Huge. Looming. Especially in the Filipino section where I am two Filipinos high and they mill around me and make insulting comments. I impress them with all the bad words I know in Tagalog. It’s a very healthy relationship.
[An old Facebook post]
This targeted digital marketing on Spectrum no longer gives us giggling teen dating commercials but ads for catheters, adult diapers, Consumer Cellular and Previgen, the brain supplement with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish which, of course, have no brains at all.
(Coughed up by Facebook from a couple years ago. I don’t remember writing it but whatever.)
My only Toni Basil story was hanging out all night at her pad two tenants later and marvelling at the beautiful patterns a gallon of butternut squash soup had left on the ceiling. The kitchen was a sticky yellow mess but above it was the Sistine Chapel. That was some explosion. Redneck cuisine, his wife said. We ate the scrapings from the pot and talked about Toni Basil. If only she still lived there to see it. If only she liked butternut squash soup. If only she liked explosions and art.
So me and Allen, perhaps stoned, perhaps just stupid, found an aluminum bat and in lieu of a ball spent an hour pitching rocks to each other and smacking them into a corn field in Arroyo Grande. Amazing how far a rock will travel off an aluminum bat. There were a lot of strikes, a lot of pop flies, a few homers, and a few that went straight as a cannon shot towards the pitcher. Neither of us were hit, and we kept at it till my wife came out and asked what the fuck we were doing. Playing baseball, Allen said. With rocks. Well stop it right now, she said. We stopped. Let’s see, that was the late eighties. Allen was in his twenties. I’d passed thirty a couple years before. We were bored and the corn field before us stretched for acres. It made sense at the time. Not so much now.
In the wee hours of the morning I was sleepily walking through the kitchen with my arms full of laundry when the sinuses set off a sudden spell of vertigo which combined with my trick knee sent me tumbling backwards with all the grace and power of a falling redwood tree. Crash, then silence. I guess the knee isn’t as good as I thought, I said aloud, and laid there a second as I’ve done after a hundred falls, making sure I could feel and move everything. Nothing was broken save my wife’s tub of bird seed which kept my head from slamming into the wall. I will buy her a new one. Realizing everything was sound—limbs, back, brain, jewels—I clambered back up, took the day’s clothes I had left in a neat little pile on the counter mid fall and tossed them in the laundry basket and made my way without any more gravity issues towards the bed. She was sound asleep. Nothing wakes her up, not even crashing redwood trees. You’re going to hurt tomorrow I told myself, and I was right.
I had promised a doctor I wouldn’t fall down anymore. You can break a hip, she said. I didn’t tell her I’ve fallen those hundred times or more over a lifetime, that I fall like a stuntman, that I’ve never broken anything. I’ve been lucky, I said.
So that’s a sousaphone, she said. So what’s a sousaphone?, I asked. This sousaphone, she said. Yeah, I said, that’s a sousaphone. That’s what I said, she said. So why did you ask? I didn’t ask, she said, I just said so that’s a sousaphone. She flipped a page in the magazine, I read a Trump tweet. So what’s pozole, she asked. Hominy, I said. How many what, she asked. Sousaphones, I said. So what’s pozole? It’s hominy, I said. As in corn. Dried corn. It sure is, she said.
62 today and officially on Social Security so I really should do the decent thing and quit LinkedIn and go to the park and talk to the pigeons. Instead I’m gonna go the Natural History Museum and talk to the dinosaurs, which were sort of like giant pigeons, though I hate to think what they would have done to a windshield.