I am quite tired from my trip; those kinds of short jaunts can be far too jam-packed for proper enjoyment. I slept at my brothers’ house in Alameda on Friday. For some reason when he was remodeling his home, he decided to put skylights in the bedrooms. I am all about total darkness and quiet when I sleep and have blackout curtains in my own bedroom. I was up with the sun at 5am, but was able to tie a pillowcase around my eyes and sleep for 3 more hours, until the phone rang. There was a phone in my room with the loudest and most shrill ring I have ever heard. It dragged me out of a deep sleep, and in my confusion upon waking so suddenly in a strange place, I tore the pillowcase from my eyes. I was met with a lightening bolt of sunrays in my retinas. I screeched in pain from the instant headache and fell back on the bed in a shaking heap.
My sister threw me a “Lovely Ladies Luncheon” in Santa Rosa, which was quite special for me. It was wonderful to be surrounded by such loving women. Some were relatives, some old friends from high school and others were old friends of my Mother’s. My sister, with the help of my aunt’s and grandma helped make the day exceptional.
From there it was on to Ukiah, my old hometown. It was 105 degrees the day before, but a mere 90 degrees on that Sunday, which was a little more bearable until I tried to repack my suitcase. All the moving around and bending over and standing back up gave me some sort of heat stroke / migraine and I had to lay down and take a nap in the middle of the day, which I never do. I do not miss living in that town.
My Dad & I had dinner at my sisters house, but headed home early to get some sleep as we had to get up before dawn the next day to make it back to Alameda to be in the parade from my brother’s birthday. My Dad was behaving sort of odd and decided instead to take me bar hopping. It was Sunday night, so the only people at the bar besides us were barflies. I had a vodka sour at the Forest club and we played some shuffleboard. Then it was on to another bar that offered $1 shots. I had several purple hooter shots while we played pool. My Dad befriended an attractive man named Tim who was about my age. He had hundreds of perfect braids in his hair and played the winner in pool (my Dad). He lost and said that God hates him. I agreed.
We got home very late and when I was brushing my teeth, my Dad snuck out of the house and left again, like I would not notice. I figured he was going to the Indian Casino, since his girlfriend was out of town. I have no idea what time he got home, but he was up and at ‘em by 4:30 am; we had to leave by 6:00 am to make it to the Alameda parade in time.
It was my brother’s request that we all ride bikes in the parade in honor of his 40th birthday. My sister and I rode a tandem bike circa 1960 that caused instant suffering in our nether regions. I kept saying: “Ow, my vagina.” And even made up a song or two in reference to the pain in our most tender area.
There were 15 – 20 of us, all with bright yellow or red shirts that my brother’s friend had made as a surprise. The shirts read: I AM NOT JP (on the back); I AM NOT OLD (on the front). Of course my brother’s read that he was JP & was in fact OLD.
The parade was fun in a surreal way. People would yell: “What is a JP?” Or shout out happy birthday to him. My sister and I had to keep moving on the tandem bike or else we would fall, so we rode around and around all the other floats, making our way back to our team, constantly looping around. There was a float near us of a pirate ship with a dozen pirates handing out strings of beads. We rode up and asked if we could have some beads, but they denied us saying they were only for kids. This pissed us off instantly, because we could see they were giving them to other adults.
The parade was long and we were riding forever, much to the dismay of my crotch. On one loop around, the streets began to get more crowded with spectators and we ended up crashing in to a few of the pirates. “GOD DAMN PIRATES!!” I yelled as we tried to regain our composure on the bike.
I left the next day after very little sleep and very much activity.