I meant to have a meaningful celebration for my sister. But instead, what happened was – not that.
What I had planned: Go to class, then drive to Venice, watch the sunset, cheers my sister, launch a few lilies into the sea, watch them sail off into the horizon. Feel at peace. Feel connected to something bigger than myself…
AND, what happened: It started in the midst of my Upright Citizens Brigade 301 improv class. I got a text from someone saying “I hear (The Armenian ex) and (The Mexican ex) are moving to LA!” In theory, these actions are not related to me whatsoever. In my reality, they are directly related to me. There are a million emotions, but if I had to pin it on just one, I’d say it’s mainly betrayalresentmenthurtrejectiongeneralshittiness. Indeed, the most magical of the “feelings”!
I do not want this to ruin my sister-day. I finish class and I get in my car to drive to Venice. The lilies I brought with me were lying limp on the backseat, the champagne tucked away in the glove compartment, luke warm and rising.
I will be open to whatever this evening has to offer me, I say to myself. I pass Heaven on La Brea and think “A sign?” Then I pass a bunch of Mexican restaurants with names riffing off of (The Mexican)’s. It’s as if there are only 3 words in Spanish to describe a taqueria! Then I’m behind a car with (The Armenian)’s initials on the plate. I was getting angrier about it, by the minute. And feeling more than a little bit poo-ish about myself.
A gift from the parking gods: I found free street parking a block from Venice beach. I made quick work of opening up the champagne. I peeled off the foil, the little iron chair thingy, then with a whisper of a motion, the cork came flying out of the bottle, followed by Old (Bubbly) Faithful — all over the inside of my car.
I poured half the mini bottle (so maybe one glass) into a travel mug, plucked one lily head off the bunch, and started for the beach. It was then that I realized I was surrounded by cops on foot/bike/horse. Everywhere. Because the Red Hot Chili Peppers are playing live on the block. I hear them “jamming”. Venice beach hippies are asking me if I can see the Peppers, man. I say “…I don’t really like them.” In the moment, I can’t even pretend to be enthusiastic.
Finally, I am on the beach! The sun is setting, people are getting ready to go, I feel like I will have my moment. I imagine that I will set this beautiful lily off on its sweet, gentle journey toward the open sea. I gently lay it down before the ocean. And then [MUNCH!] The waves immediately eat it up like Hungry Hungry Hippos and then wrastle it into oblivion in the span of about 1 second.
I down the bubbly.
The sun packs it up fast and hurls itself over the edge of the Earth. It becomes cold immediately.
“I’m out!” I say. Brush sand off my things. Walk back to the car. A clown on stilts, eating a burger and a Coke smiles at me. I smile back. I am in my own circus. The least I can do is try to get along with my fellow carnies. Who knows when we will turn on each other…
I drive back home, order too much take-out, and watch some 30Rock.