After working late Friday I at my home desk, I probably had more Glenlivet than I should have. Not so much because I felt impared, just that my stomach was doing cartwheels. I had a drive in the morning up to Lake Arrowhead for a wedding and I have never felt comfortable with long drives by myself. Too much to think about. Too great is the impulse to race some unseen clock.
I put myself together and ended up at Vermont in Los Feliz with my girlfriend and another couple we enjoy hanging out with. Not a moment for myself this entire week and now we are in warm candlelight near what appears to be a giant, white indoor tree covered with red flowers. I used to come here a bit with my father as it is close to his office, but it would seem now they have added prints of quotations on the wall, all seemingly with an eastern flavor. I am not sure what is going on and decide to drink wine to figure it out.
There is something pathetic about my bread eating. It is like I haven’t eaten in a week. I am clawing at the eggplant spread and some type of half cooked doughy creation like I haven’t eaten in days. I have been working hard enough to question that. I sort of realize focus becomes such that the periphery becomes just that; peripheral.
Suddenly it is morning. I have packed my suit and some other items I deem necessary and find myself racing east out of the city on rarely travelled freeway stretches for my universe. I am accustomed to the 5 and the 10 and the 101 for jaunts up and down the coast, but the 60 and 605 are so rarely weapons in my arsenal, even when heading up to Kate’s cabin. The sky is grey like the highway on the 605 and it is hard to see anything. I feel like I am in the Matrix. Everything is one blurred pigment. The horror. I appreciate the familiarity of the 210, only it is so cloudy I am not sure where I am as this stretch of asphalt is usually marked by a giant, now invisible, mountain range to the north side of the road.
I pull off at the Waterman exit, a place so familiar from my youth and snowboarding trips with two high school friends. I recall raiding my friend’s grandmothers bar, sneaking a taste of ancient libations most likely forgotten. Playing video games and discussing girls and all the joys of a teenage road trip. I remember dinners at the country club and being at least 20 years younger than anyone else there. The wet, silly cold of snowboarding gear in the morning after improperly leaving it to dry.
I decide to grab lunch at the base of the mountain. I hate the climb up the mountain on cloudy days. Those clouds, I’ll drive right through them with minimal visibility for a long, long 16.9 miles until I reach the 189 and can go inland. Just before the ascent, a sandwich place called the Euro Deli. Inside, I realize this place was a Quiznos not long ago, and it all comes back to me. They still have the pepper bar. It is the postmodern example of a poor economy. It is like Rome, built upon the ruins of another civilization. A civilization that serves sandwiches. I am glad I decide to eat here as the man seems excited to have a customer. Times are tough, you may have heard. He asks me more questions than I know what to do with. I eat on the hood of my car and enjoy a little sunlight peeking out. And then it is time.
The ride up is surreal. The higher I go, the closer to the clouds. At about 3000 ft. the clouds are ramming into the side of the cliff I am driving on. The road is in a natural triangle between the sky, the cliff face below me and the one to the left side of the two lane road. The clouds hit the lower face and begin forming a jet stream blasting up the side of the mountain. I am driving in a small triangle of clear air, almost in the middle of a tornado. The white, misty air shakes the evergreen trees and disorients the drivers. I have never seen so many cars using the turnouts.
Eventually I make my way to Kate’s cabin. It is eerily quiet. The party had been last night and the world recovers in time to see the wedding. I watch some golf, I shower, I put on a suit and we make our way to the wedding.
The venue looks great. It is green and charming and secluded from the world. There are little rivers and bridges and tall trees. The sun pokes in and out. After all the hustle of the week and the intensity of the drive up, this is relaxing. I see a lot of familiar faces. I am very excited for my friends to get married. Silver, who produced the FFA album, is playing his acoustic guitar.
I enjoy the service. They look happy. I know a lot of people say this, but this is a couple that I truly believe are best friends and very much in love. I am sure they will make it. I am very glad I got to see this. It’s an exciting time.
I get to spend some quality time with B-Roth, a man who gave me my nickname years ago in one of my less-finer moments. He is off to get his MBA at NYU. I am proud of him, but I definitely feel dumb in comparison. We tip the hell out of the bartender and we start getting some very, very generous pours. Everyone is very happy. It is nice to see how a community rallies around a happy couple. I couldn’t be more pleased for them. This is a couple that are at most of the get-togethers in my life and they are a constant source of fun.
The night turns cold and we sway our way back to the cabin. It is french toast in the middle of the woods at night staring blankly at Food Network. I smoke a cigar, but the cold is not agreeing with me. A fire log is torched and a few sips of scotch and I am asleep.