So Jon and Kate were in town, did you know that? Jon and Kate, my two favorite people from Arizona who will totally never visit anymore now that Tami and Manning are moving to Paris. It was so good to see them. On Friday I went to dinner at Casablanca with Jon and Kate and Manning. There was a middle-eastern dancer there, who recognized Kate as one of her own, and Kate got up and shook her hips around a little, and even in jeans you could tell her skills, oh man. We ate an eight-course meal, and Course Two was a dessert-like confection, a sweet light crust dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar, filled with sweet chocolately filling and also chicken. Oh that's right chicken! It was strangely okay.
I have a cold, so my appetite isn't much to speak of (!), but everything was delicious. I was looking forward to the rabbit, though, and there was no rabbit. Frowny-face.
We went back to 307pine to chilly-chill with the residents, and Dave and Sabiha and Heather. Artie showed the girls how to crochet a hat, and they had a regular knitting circle going on in the corner. Sean made everyone kiss dead frog musicians. We drank Amaretto and Pepsi, because that's what was around. Dave had short hair, and everyone would say "hey! I like your haircut!" and he would say "thanks! Sabiha cut it an hour ago!" Jon and Sean tried to teach me Cribbage but I was talking to Dave and also have a very short attention span so the only thing I got out of it was "fifteen two, fifteen four, fifteen six, oh man you totally pigeon-holed me!" Artie spun some records and Heather performed some skullcrushers and then Ben came home from work and then Tami came over with her friends from New York and it was great, but eventually I went home.
The next morning I got up and got my hair did, and then hung out with the 508 crew. Culann drove us over to Philly for Manning and Tami's Bon Voyage bash (thanks, Cul!). Man, the party was really, really, great, and I'm not just saying that. The place was packed, but never TOO packed. There were a ton of people I wanted to talk to. There were a ton of strangers I riffed with. There was a sixteen-year-old kid with shaggy hair walking around as though this party was fucking blowing his mind, and that was the exact appropriate reaction for a sixteen-year-old kid to be having at a party like that. Fucking Abescott was there, if you can believe that. The next best thing to realizing that Abescott is right there in front of you is watching other people realize that Abescott is right there in front of them.
Artie, Sean, and Abescott have gathered in a corner of the living room
Artie, sticking out his hand: Hi, I'm Artie.
Abescott, returning the favor: Hi, I'm Abescott.
Artie: HOLY SHIT, ABE SCOTT!!
This party had everything. Lesbians making out in the back bedroom, Asa's ass in the front living room, Sabiha applying mehndi to Jon's bald ass head -- who could ask for more? I mean really.
At around three Tami was kind enough to set up her laptop, so that I could check out the speedlinah timetable. I realized that if I ran, I could catch the next train -- or I could wait another hour. I was still having a great time, and the party was still bumpin', but I did want to get to bed before five. So I whirled around the apartment, giving out hugs and saying my goodbyes, and ran for the train. I sat in the first car near the engineer, as a couple of drunk girls took over the train. The cop was at the front too, and humoring them. The engineer let one of the girls press the button to start the train one time (I was allowed to do that once, too!), and make the announcements over the PA. "Can we get some hands in the air up in here?" she requested. "Is everyone having a good night?" Unfortunately for her, most of the train was not as enamoured with her as were the engineer and Port Authority cop.
I called for a cab at Lindenwold, and crashed at 508. The next morning I dragged my ass out of bed and home for a shower, and then drove up to Princeton to take a train up to New York to see the Gates. I had to see the Gates! I wanted to see the Gates.
The Gates were great. I took lots of pictures. They were very nice and pretty and striking, but really what I liked about them -- and really what I think maybe the point is -- is the shared experience. As I told Jon later that night, I'm a big fan of shared experiences. It's a large part of why I like sports. It's why I like it when it rains, so that when you go into a store you can look at the guy next to you and say "man, how 'bout that rain, huh?" But of course I'm stupid and took eight thousand pictures of the gates, and not enough of the people. Oh well. Someday I'll learn.
I jetted back down south, and headed over to 307pine for the tail-end of Jon's dinner. I didn't get to eat with the group, but I did get to have some noodles, and a couple of scallops, and they were delicious. Everyone talked a little, and a lot of the folks headed home in the snow (I was sorry that I arrived so late). But some of us stayed, including Abescott. I totally was hoping to maybe make out with him a little bit, but then he was telling a story and laughingly said that he was "way too young" for a certain girl and I said "how old was she?" and he said "twenty-six" and my heart shattered into a million little pieces on the floor.
In an attempt to forget my sorrows, I went with a few kids (identities withheld to protect the innocent) out on the roof and smoked a bowl as a wintery mix fell. It was beautiful, simply beautiful. As I had been taking my bowl from my purse, and unwrapping it from two paper towels (how ignoble!), I said "hey Artie, can you crochet me a bowl cozy?" and he said "sure! What color?" and then he crocheted me a bowl cozy!! He did it right there, right that night! It is beautiful and it fits Wallace perfectly. Thank you so much, Artie.
We sat at the dining room table talking, and then the West coast kids (Jon, Kate and Heather) went out to play in the wintry mix. Then Artie went to bed and the rest of us went upstairs. All the girls were on the couch and Abescott said that rather than giving us hugs goodbye or even jumping atop us in an affectionate manner, he would instead kick us all in the squish; and then he left to catch his bus back up to Boston. I don't know what happened next, because the weed and the wine (with blood orange) and the Oingo Boingo made me sleepy. I awoke at around two, and Jon & Kate and Manning & Tami walked me to my car. We cleared it of wintry mix and they continued walking to their apartment, and I headed back to Jersey. Philly's trees were beautiful, the nice thing about a heavy wintry mix is that it sticks so well to the tiniest twig, everything was covered. The slush made it slow going, but eventually I was home and safe and sound. And that's when I found out the bad news about Hunter (which I'm feeling a little better about), but I won't sully up this happy post with news of death.
The weekend was great, man. Good times with friends, good times by myself, good times on public transportation. I will miss Manning and Tami when they are gone. Very much.