11.18.2004

A Party on a Wednesday Night?

Garcia the local motorcycle mechanic was in the alley behind his house waiting to meet up with a person in need of some motorcycle maintenance when I cut through the alley behind his house to get to a party on Kilbourn Place a few blocks from my house on Park Road. Knowing that Garcia is an interesting sort who enjoys a party I extended the invitation. Garcia questioned why someone would have a party on a Wednesday night....I responded quite quickly, "For the same reason someone would have a party on a Saturday night."

Garcia and I talked about the beautiful Yamaha RD 350 that was front and center in his garage, then his friend with a motorcycle in need rolled up, and I said my hellos and goodbyes then I walked on my way. Mistakenly I had told Garcia that the party was on the 1800 Block of Lamont Street, but as I got closer to the 1800 Block the email invite breezed through my head.....KILBOURN STREET became highlighted. I walked on using the old rule of House Parties...."no need for the exact address....if the party is good enough to go to you should be able to recognize it from the street." (sight or sound or collection of bicycles locked up on the sidewalk)

Sure enough, I walked up Lamont, over one block on 18th Street, then back down Kilbourn. It seems that John had no need to hire movers. He had moved from one group house on Lamont Street that backed up to another group house on Kilbourn Street. Before entering the house I ran into friend and fellow father Dave out walking his muppet of a dog Ollie. We chatted as we watched the party goers enter the party with bottles of wine in hand. Either way I knew it was a party. No matter what I was going to have a glass of wine. Right party or not!

I walked into the party with some hesitation, not knowing if this was the right place. I avoided any lengthy eye contact and moved my way towards the "hooch" in the kitchen. Before I got to the kitchen I ran into my friend and host, John Monte. John is a character, we grew up together, never entirely that close, but always living somewhat parallel lives; same grade school, same high school, an overlap of friends, we both work/worked in the news industry, and we both live in Mt. Pleasant. John was in mid story (of which he has many) so I went to get a glass of wine and join him after he finished his tale, and could start fresh story with me. I returned for a hug, an handshake, and some colorful tales of his adventures in Afghanistan. This is Washington DC, not rural Iowa, so most of the stories I hear from Afghanistan or Iraq are not told by soldiers, but rather by film makers, photographers, and journalists. John falls into the category of film maker, perhaps DOCUMENTARIAN.

The party was filled with eclectic people with colorful resumes, endless stories and anecdotes of different sketchy experiences in different sketchy places in different sketchy times. Passports being stamped and memories being made. Collections of rugs and knick knacks only to be topped by the collection of photos and stories. I met various people, some who felt compelled to chat about their recent experiences in Kabul others who shared exchanges about whatever came to their heads. There were brief discussions about the Bush predicament and the Bush Dynasty that is being built and the ugly future of our once glorious nation.

(by Bush Dynasty I mean to say that I have accepted the next four years of George, but I fear the next 8 of Jeb, and the 8 after that of Jeb's son...shit....fasten your seat belts this may be a risky ride)

There was a good mix of ladies and gentlemen. The exchanges were clever and fun, more light and fun than serious. There were a few Macs set up in the living room playing slide shows from Afghanistan, really some epic imagery, but that is what these guys do and mountain ranges are so beautiful that even an amateur like myself could score and epic shot here and there.

There seemed to be a number of people in the Cult of Yoga, all of which were followers of the style known as Bikram. A non-Yoga type joked about his development of Yoga in pill form. We discussed about the FDA approval of such a pill as well as the potential of overdosing. Apparently he was confident that overdosing on such a pill would just make you really limber, really really limber, like a boneless chicken. (that is more of a Gary Larson joke than a Jessica Simpson brain fart)

I stayed way past my bed time. Somehow my need for a nap or an early bedtime was superseded by my need to socialize. Shrewdly I opted to hang and hydrate rather than depart and crash. The morning was far less painful than I had feared. Both Dean and Grant slept through the night, and slept late into the morning. Lisa had evacuated and was well on her way to work by the time Dean rose out of bed screaming. Grant was asleep by my side in an angelic form. I rushed from bed to hush Dean as it is always easier to let someone wake up naturally at their own time.

I had Dean dressed and reading a book with his cold medicine in his belly by the time Soledad arrived. Dean traded up for Soledad as I meandered about the house getting ready for work. I check on Grant as I gathered my clothing for the day, when he finally started to stir I took a few photos of him then took him downstairs to join the party. Grabbed my coffee and sat down with Soledad, Grant, and Dean to read Dean the same book that I had read him earlier and Soledad had just read him then. Apparently Dean wanted to hear about the mice and the pumpkins one more time.

With a glance at my watch I realized that I had to start motioning towards the bicycle and the door, but only after walking the dogs. I finished my coffee, grabbed some grapefruit juice, leashed up the dogs and walked across the street and into the woods. We did a quick 20 minutes in the woods. Only encountering a Bernesse Mountain Dog named Kona (without his owner or his dog companion Ajax) and had a near "incident" as the man who lives in the woods down the block was moving slowly up the street talking to himself as he limped slowly with his crutches under his arms. He froze when he saw me and I calmly called the dogs and had them on leash before Roscoe or Brutus got sight of this less than sane being.

Back into the house with plenty of time to suit up in some lycra and pedal into work on time when Soledad told me that the vacuum was not working. So in an effort to prove that men are not in fact useless I made an effort to make a quick repair of the vacuum. Sure enough the long black and gray hairs of Roscoe and Brutus had wrapped tightly around the barrel mechanism that rotates to pick up the various stuff on the floor. I disassembled the mechanism cut it free, reassembled everything got suited up and headed down the alley behind my house when I realized I needed to go back and get my helmet.

Rode in incident free this am. Enjoying yet another very warm day. Perhaps a day so warm that I could have rolled down the leg warmers and the arm warmers to get that Jennifer Beels look going, but in such a short ride there was neither time nor necessity. Then one block from work the road was blocked off. I went through the path blocked by the fireman to get to work and to get a closer look at the scene. Tried to piece it together. There was a man being put on a backboard. A Northface Courier bag was on the pavement, the man had large wounds on his head, bleeding and already swollen. There was a Super Shuttle Van in the middle of the road at an angle. I scanned the area for a bicycle. Took one last look and headed on my way.

Biker or not biker I took this as a sign. Like the rumor of the office romance gone sour, or the person tripping over the branch on the sidewalk, I will try to take this example of this injured man as a reminder of how fragile life is and how dangerous the roads are. Whether on bike or on foot I need to respect how ignorant and obnoxious most car drivers are.

Take it Light.

Enjoy your Health!
Enjoy your Day!
and
Try to Appreciate Your Life Around You!

oh....and do not be afraid of an occassional Wednesday Night Party!

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