September 15th, 2009
Yesterday was ½ work ½ play. During the afternoon, I treated myself to a (leisurely ) stroll along the strand. This is the paved path that runs through the beach cities of Los Angeles’s South Bay. I started at Manhattan Beach and ultimately ended up at Hermosa, the party community of beach loving surfers and volleyball participants, sun worshipers and 70 degrees weather accompanied by a “lovely” westerly sea breeze.
I took a brief respite from my low octane saunter to sit on the beach to read(currently checking out the linguistic message of Anne Lamott’s: “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.”) Pretty good read. I’d like to start a book club and run it in parliamentary procedure. Wear powdered wigs. If you’re interested in joining, please contact my assistant Voldar at Voldar@Jax’supercoolexclusivecult.com.(Please refer to Day 15 - Jax's Cult)
I was distracted by three things:
1) A heavyset 60 something woman was laying in the sand and doing leg lifts. I am certain we’d find Richard Simmons’s “Sweatin to the Oldies” in her attic. How come only fat people do leg lifts? Kenyan marathon runners do not.
2) A girl around my age was reading a book called Passion Test. Just the choice of reads seems to imply that her compelling emotions and feelings for love are on the lower end of the passion richter scale.
3) Buff 17 year olds were in a circle tackling and assisting each other with handstands. Presumably they were sharing Power Bars and pensises by late afternoon.
Clearly I had entered extreme observational mode and decided to formalize my interpretative sightings for Installment # 2 of my Nonchalant Observer series. This time round: Hermosa Beach. I relocated to Hennessey's Tavern, a pubbish establishment with outdoor seating with a full view of the beach, surf shops, and bars with names like Mermaids and Cantina.
I got situated at my outdoor table and ordered a Bloody Mary (with Absolut Peppar ) and chili. I know. Weird. I’m not sure why I was craving what I normally would order for brunch at a ski lodge. I indulged my craving. Why? Because I’m passionate. Take that girl on the beach!
I made detailed notes from 3:00pm-4:00pm on Monday September 14th, 2009.
The following is presented in “real” time:
3:01 - Behind me are Italian men drinking Mexican beer at an Irish Pub. They are joined by a 40 something bella Italian woman carrying some carbonated orange soda. Europeans love that stuff.
3:08 - At the restaurant next door, I see a plump Dominican woman in a pink tie-dye falling asleep at the table. She keeps catching herself. Makes me think of a pigeon for some reason.
3:15 - I notice a statue near the beach of a young tike surfing. I imagine that the artist who graduated from the University of Statue Making hit rock bottom when he was asked to create a bronze and marble replica of a finned board used by guys named Bane.
3:21 - Getting eyed by Guido gold chain wearing sweaty guy a few tables down. Please don’t come over. Seriously, don’t come over.
3:27- See a white heavy bearded homeless elderly man. Either Santa or ZZ Top are down on their luck.
3:38 - Skinny Vietnam Vet wearing a Hawaiian shirt is nudging (now in a full-fledged slumber or crossed over to the other side) Dominican lady next door. My heart rate escalates with a smidge of panic. She’s alive. The other option would have been really awkward.
3:42 - Kid in hooded sweatshirt is passing on his bike. Looks like a punk. “I want my two dollars.”
3:49 - Youngish tourist couple behind me are sharing the Hennessey's signature ice cream sundae. If she said, “Babe you get the sundae…maybe I’ll take a bite. I’m stuffed.” Um, she lied. I’m tempted to say, “A moment on your lips an eternity on your hips.” Says the girl eating chili with a generous amount of cheddar at 3:49.
3:56 - Shit. Guido walking over. Please hold
3:58 - Saved by my AT&T ring tone..ironically it happened to be AT&T offering something annoying. I tell Guido McGuide that it’s my dad. He exits stage right.
3:59 - I ask myself , “When I’m judging someone..am I really just judging myself?” I come to the quick conclusion that, “No, I am judging them.”