Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I am the passenger and I ride and I ride . . .Oh, let's ride and ride and ride . . .

The thought of a road trip . . . Well it excited me to no end.  I was also admittedly scared.  The thought of spending a weekend sans the safe surroundings of SLOville filled me with trepidation.  Granted, the idea of spending a weekend alone with Solange also filled me with butterflies.  I was so sated nerves wise that I don't really recall eating anything at all.  Wonder if you could massage that feeling and sell it as a new fad diet, nah no way to package it I guess.

Of course. the first hurdle was getting my parents' "Okay."  This seemed insurmountable to me.  I had never really lied to the folks before.  Never had a reason to, save of course the lie of abstentia keeping my travels to myself.  I hadn't any friends who's home I could claim I was sleeping over for the weekend.  My only friend at the moment was Solie I guess, since I think I already considered Solie a friend and believe she felt the same, but I couldn't very well ask to sleep over  at a girl's place.  Nor was I a badge toting boy scout with camping outings every month or so. 

Any lie worth swallowing truly escaped me.  I told Solange this trying not to sound as uncool as I felt, "I guess you'll have to go ahead and see Diamond without me."

"Diamanda, not Diamond, Diamanda Galas.  Totally different sound, although checking out a sequined Neil would be fun."  Solange replied nonplussed. "I see your predicament.  Still I'm sure we can take care of it, relax. Your rents know you've been hanging out with me and I get the gender snafu, but you can tell them you've been invited by me and the family to come with us to Santa Barbara for a swim meet. "

"They'd want to talk to your parents I'm sure." I contradicted a bit too tiredly.

"You are a newbie to this teenage rite of passage aren't you." Solange said with a smile.  She patted my head as if I were a little tyke with a scraped knee, "You'll give your verwandte Crash's number telling them it's mi poppa."

"Crash would lie for me?"

"Well I don't see why not.  It's not like we're asking that he take a bullet for us.  Besides, if you think about it he's also lying for me as I'm the one that wants your company, and I know for a fact that Crash has no problem lying for lil ol moi."

After my fears were appeased, the plan was explained to Crash whom quickly smiled at the idea.  Chuckling, Crash playfully hit my shoulder saying "Be glad to aid and abet a worthy adventure! Where will you be staying?  Is Jed here gonna luck out and share a hotel room with a woman?  Do I see any base running in your future?"

Solange hit Crash's shoulder in return "Haven't figured out where we'll crash Crash.  If it ends up being a hotel bed I'm sure Jed will be a perfect gentleman.  Doubt there will be any base running of any sorts, neither of us care a wit about sports." Solange replied with a twinkle completely ignoring the crass innuendo.

I, on the other hand, couldn't ignore it and was beet red, nearly as purple as Solange's hair and dead silent. Spending time alone with Solange was nothing new, but the thought of spending the night with her hadn't really clicked until Crash hit me over the head with it.

After an hour of so of razzing from Crash with a tickling from Rob and some patiently served repeats of what I should tell my parents from Solange, I was fortified enough to face those whom feed and cloth me.
It was alot easier than I expected.  Simple really.  They were actually excited and made happy by the thought that I had made friends with someone enough to be asked along for a family weekend.  They did call Crash to confirm.  It was hard for me to not burst out laughing hysterically when I heard them praise how much of an upstanding man Solange's father sounded to be.

The days leading up to the adventure were painfully long.  I could hardly think of anything but what it would be like to drive up north with Solange.  I'd never been in San Francisco my time, and I was interested to see what north beach was like.  I was looking forward to hitting North Beach if we had time, where I could go to City Lights without 'haunting it' and try sipping an espresso at Trieste while listening to arias on the juke box.  Well that's what I thought of any way.  Thinking of spending the weekend with Solange managed to throw me in a tizzy and I kept up ending up in dimly lit poshly pillowed Amsterdam rooms whenever passing out.  Darn the hormone driven thoughts of male youth.

The weekend finally arrived and early at that. Both of us skipped school around 11 am in order to make good time and 'avoid traffic.'  We stopped off at my house, where Solange briefly said hello to my parents and  appeased any concerns they might've nurtured.  Lickety split, we were on our way.  It was amazing how Solange made my folks feel at ease.  Both of my parents slipped quickly into talking to Solange like an adult, a peer, rather than their son's teenage friend. 

The ride up north was superbe!

We took the scenic route, highway 1.   I enjoyed the fabulous moving vista of California's coast.  Solie had a great playlist set up on her ipod for the whole trip.   Songs about bay area added to the cool road trip feel.  "I left my heart in San Francisco" "Journey to the end of the East Bay" "Mean old Frisco" "Moon over Marin" "San Francisco Days" "Samba de Sausalito"  "Planet Fillmore" "Mission in the Rain" "Golden Gate" "Frisco Blues" "Frisco Town" "Condition Oakland". . . I had no idea there could be so many songs about a single california area.  No Diamanda Galas though, Solange told me to not listen to her.  She decided that since I had never heard of her, the experience would be all the more greater if I faced the Galas cold.

On the way up north we stopped at Hearst Castle.  Solie was humoring the tourist bug that seemed to have bit me.   I can honestly say it was the funnest day of my life, I was happy and even relaxed.  We avoided the subject of time traveling and Solange did most of the talking.  She opened up with memories of her childhood and vignettes regarding her sister. 

I actually caught her getting next to livid, animated any way, when she shared her love/hate relationship with waitresing at Michael's.  She seemed to like it and would have fun character acting like a roadstop Flo-like waitress.  When she was bored Solie'd pretend she was a spy working behind enemy lines and play it on thick with a french femme fatale accent.  There were days of course when she couldn't stand it.  Either business was slow, or patron's were stingy tipless nincompoops, or worse yet she would have to do her acrobatic best to fend off hands that seemed to reach for her ass or avoid the owner who apparently was the worse kind of lech.  Not only would he pocket tips when Solange wasn't looking, he also couldn't take a hint and continued to attempt to grope her or ply her with offers of booze after work.  Luckily. most of the time Crash or Rob was near and Michael was smart enough to recognize that their evil looks portended more than a glare whenever he attempted to get too close to Solange.

I felt so good, so different.  I managed to stay awake for the majority of the ride up north.  Once, while driving during a lull in the conversation, I did fade away for a bit.   I ended up comfortably on some California beach where I amused myself in the sunshine by listening to the waves and watching the kids play in the sand and surfers doing tricks in the horizon.

The second time I fell asleep was far from pleasant.  Truth be told, I can't remember where I went.  I do remember vividly how I found myself when I woke up.   We had stopped at a restaurant along the coast near Carmel for dinner.  The place looked nice, rustic, filled with wooden furniture and a great view of the ocean.  The place was emitted yummy fishy smells and pleasant chatter.  I threw caution to the wind and ordered the lobster bisque.  It was their special and there was a rave newspaper review copied in the menu.   I remember it tasting good.  My first time trying that bisque so I had nothing to compare it too.  Anyway, while eating I passed out.  When I came back to the present, my face felt all warm and sticky with bits of soggy crackers stuck to my eyelids and cheeks.  Rising my head, I became aware of the entire room staring at me along with laughter eminating from the waitress and man behind the bar.  Solange was livid.  I had never seen her mad before, and glad of it.  I made it a point then and there to do be sure to keep Solange's ire away from my direction.  She was standing, pointing violently into the waitress's personal space, cursing the entire room in French and German, yelling for the inane laughter stop and demanding to speak to the owner or whomever was in charge.
When the manager finally showed her face, Solange started berating her for the way the staff had treated her friend.   She went so far to threaten a discrimination law suit seeing as I suffered from narcolepsy and no one should be treated in such a way.  I distinctly remember slinking down in my chair trying to become invisible and reaching for napkins to clean up my face and shirt.   Though, after I got over the shock of witnessing Solange on fire, I started to enjoy the show.  It was priceless to witness the crowd go from laughing to stuttering and mumbling and fumbling trying to appease a  firecracker without getting their hands blown off.  I had to keep myself from laughing lest I break the angry spell and hurt fascade.

Long story short, we ended up having dinner for free in addition to another couple of courses to go and to top it off a free hotel room and free breakfast waiting in the morning if we chose to come back to the place.   Any way, this was by far the most memorable day of my life.  Unfortunately more memorable events would follow.  I'd have to say Solange's disappearance will rank forever as the top most memorable and deplorable day of my existence.  I laughed so hard when we left the restaurant  that my gut began protesting in pain.  Solange quickly joined me.  She laughed and danced her way back to the car.  The whole event put me so at ease.  I can't say I was a bit nervous when we availed ourselves to the free room entered the comfortable and quaint hotel suite complete with view of the ocean and, according to Solange, great bath products.  The rest of the evening went smoothly. We relaxed comfortably atop the king size bed and recapped the hilarious events of the evening.  Sometime during the night, while talking about our plans for morrow, I ended nodding reluctantly off into a blissful slumber while trying to concentrate on what Solange was saying.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tomorrow and Tomorrow's Morrow's Morrow

My aunt says you've started the blog.  Thanks again for doing this.  Not sure what I hope to get from this, grasping at straws really.  Where did that come from?  I mean, who would want to grab straw to begin with let alone grasp for it.

Anywhat, back to filling you and the viewers in on how I got to know Solange and what I think happened to her.

After Solange dropped me off, I spent all night, when conscious anyway, thinking about how impossible it would be to teach someone to do what I do.  I mean I'm still not sure how or why I time travel when I pass out.  Although due to Solster's departure I think I have a better idea.  Long evening short, I stressed all night trying to think of how exactly I did what I did and how I might share it with Solange.  I mean, what living teenage guy wouldn't jump through whatever hoops necessary to make a woman like Solange happy. [bleh, yes my sister was or hopefully is something else but give me a break she pukes like all of us do after one too many shots of jager]

Upon seeing Solange the next day, after much blushed faced hemming and hawing, I blurted out the fact that I hadn't a fricken clue as to how or why i travelled through time.  I'm not sure what I expected her reaction to be - forgetting I even existed, being called a fake, disappointment surely.  But no, Solange simply stared at me for a moment.  Then she gently told me to take it easy and said we'd just have to treat it like a science problem and experiment away until the 'Voila!' solution was discovered.  Your her sis, did Solange ever get phased or pissed of? [Nope cool as a cucumber, Solie didn't get pissed.  She just got even or ignored whomever managed to irk her.]

For the rest of the day, and practically every day that followed, save those unfortunate holidays that required familial attention or dates that found Solange busy with work or taking her lil sister to swim meets - How's the swimming going by the by? - [broke a minute in 100 meter flutterby last meet so i'd say kick ass]
we experimented.

First we tried her holding my hands, staying in physical contact, until and during the times I'd fade off into the wild past yonder. 

This was fun, what am I saying this was greater than fun!  I had never been held by a girl before Solange.  So at first it was rather embarrasing what with my shaking and oh so sweaty palms.  I'm surprised I didn't die of dehydration let alone embarrasement.  Solange tried to ease my nervousness by telling me to relax.  When that didn't work, she shocked me further by grabbing me and kissing me hard.  After I was able to bring my jaw up from the ground, it actually worked.  I was no longer stupified by her physical presence.  From then on, touching Solange was a peace of cake, still a thrill but nothing to lose my cool over, it wasy rather mundane after all when compared to the feeling of her lips.

Experimenting with Solange was more than fun. I felt great falling asleep holding her hand or leaning against her breast, resting my head in her lap, and greater still opening my eyes to find her still there staring at me with a smile.  My trips were fabulous too.  We spent the time when I was coherent talking about French authors I had never heard of, museums Solange loved to troll around in when visiting her grandparents that I got to see at different times.  She'd tell me about a play or movie I had to see and I'd thank her for a wonderful trips of entertainment.  Solange understood my fear of ending up in the midst of an air raid or frontal assault, so we kept our conversation to relatively safe eras.  Although, Solange did have a fascination for speakeasys and due to that fascination I did witness an old school mob war on the streets of Chicago right outside Club Lucky.

When we weren't talking about the past,  I'd occasionally get Solange to open up and share bits about herself.  She's still a mystery to me mind you, but at least I knew she loved the smell of lavender and the color fuscia.  I could tell she loved fashion and fabric because her eyes lit up.  No really they did, not a figure of speech, truly light up whenever she'd share her latest design ideas.  She seemed almost Zen simply a matter of fact regarding other life's happenings.  School was school, something that had to be done.  Family was family and nothing that involved her sister or parents was a chore.  She detested sports but enjoyed watching her sister compete.  Solange had a smoky laugh that sounded like a fifty year aged bottle of bourbon and she only seemed to frown when deep in thought; more like a slight grimace than a perturbed frown.

Also got to know Rob and Crash pretty well.  Not that I had anything to compare it too, not knowing anyone really before meeting Solange, but I think we became friends or at least acquaintance friends.  I learned to take Crash's sarcasm as humor rather than slight and got quite a lot of laughs out of listening to him, and came to expect a witty remark or retort from Rob whenever he was quiet in the conversation for more than a few minutes.  While we spent most of the time alone kicking it on a bench near the Mission or sitting in her back yard or on the bleachers listening to the splash of swimmers stroking back and forth during practice, Solange often had a hankering for a doughnut and cup of coffee so some of  our time together was spent outside Sunshine with the likes of Solange's coworkers.  I suppose with our holding hands at all times and being seen together, we might have been mistaken as an item.  Crash certainly razzed the two of us about being a couple.  He certainly got my goat and I denied it as much as I wished it were true.  Solange on the other hand would just chuckle or smile and let Crash believe what ever  he chose to believe. 

We never told anyone about our expirements.  Well at least I didn't nor did I hear Solange talk about it with anyone, it's not like i was with her 24/7 though.  Given the opportunity, I would have jumped at such a chance.  After all, I had no life other than plodding day to day from one time to the next, my presence was rather non existant until Solange found me.  Unfortunately, we generally just met after school and occasionally on the weekends when Solange wasn't busy with work or fashion or off doing something with her sister.  I didn't meet her during school, so I have no idea who her friends at SLOSH were or if she had any friends.  She didn't mention any.  I guess Solange was a bit of a loner as well but by choice rather than as in my case by design.  She definitely wasn't awkward around other people.  On the contrary, she shined especially when compared to my stuttering self.  If there's a female equivelant to suave and debonaire, Solange typified it.

For over a month of bliss, nothing became of our expirementing with her holding me while I travelled.  Well not nothing, I had fallen fast, more than enamored by Solanges presence.  Granted, I hadn't had many friends or conversations. So this was all new to me and felt thankful, grateful for, and in love with Solange and the time I got to spend with her.  Actually started grinning alot, a facial expression I wasn't familiar with.  Felt strange at first but then natural.  Also understood what it meant to watch the clock.  Before our experimenting together, I had nothing to look forward too while in class and on desk was no different than my bedroom or bench or grass for wiling away the day.  Suddenly, I felt I had a purpose, as meager as it was, I lived to be with Solange and decipher the 'how to's of my time travelling affliction.

Our next experiment was to remain in contact but also concentrate, think about, the same things or places at the same time.  Pretty hard to do if you ask me, keeping an event in mind constantly trying to think of the exact same thing someone else is thinking.  Time periods were too vast as were events.  After some deliberation, Solange and I settled upon focusing our thoughts on specific works of art or poems. Even art was problematic.  I mean really it was tough.  Try thinking of the Mona Lisa for example.  Are you thinking about it.  What are you thinking of?  Her smile?  Her eyes? The Louvre?  Even when we're talking about a static image it's rather hard to focus ones thoughts in tune with anothers exactly on the same thing.  After expirementing and talking about images, we settled upon short poems like Parker's"men don't make passes at women who wear glasses" or Millay's fig quatrains and specific objects in paintings like the red ball in Man Ray's "La Fortune, "or sculptures like Duchamp's urinal,  or just solid colors, still can't see how a canvas of solid blue is art but it's easy to focus on it especially if you don't get too close to note the brush strokes. We also tried to think about just one word but that got tiring rather quickly.  It's rather boring thinking about a single word over and over again.  Quagmire did work well for a couple of hours though.

We dragged this experiment on for months.  It was a tad too exhausting though.  I would have called it quits much sooner if it weren't for the perk of still being able to feel Solange next to me.  In fact, it wasn't me who evidenced frustration, it was Solange.  The first time I ever saw a glimmer of emotion outside the calm cool and happy self she exuded.  I remember it vividly.

I was resting my head against Solange's shoulder, my left arm beside her back my right intertwined with her left arm against her thighs.  I must admit I was still a tad distracted by the feel of her lower back and the heat of her legs, but was doing my darndest to concentrate upon the square block of a rook that was part of Man Ray's chess set.

Solange stood up suddently jarring my head and turned towards me "This isn't working.  I think we need to mix things up a bit."
"How?"  I replied a bit bewildered by the sudden loss of her touch.
"I don't know." She replied sounding frustrated with that fretful frown of hers. She stood there silently as I remained seated on the bench stupidly.  She paced a bit, picked up a rock and threw it into the dry creek bed next to the mission we were haunting.  I just remained sitting watching her move trying not to fade into another time. Solange twirled around, her face transforming from a grimace to a smile.

"We need a change in environment!"  cried Solange.

"How so?" I replied.

"Road Trip of course, a self imposed mini bildungs roman if you will"


"I know you travel when your asleep, but i think a trip up north to the bay area would be a fun change of pace.  Diamanda Galas is playing at the Opera House in a couple of weeks and I think we should go."

"Who's Galas?"

"You'll find out, first you've got to get the okay from your folks to let you go away for a weekend."

"Don't see how.  Can't imagine them agreeing to let their dear only teenage son, go off alone for a weekend, with a girl no less."

"Well then you'll do what I do and not tell them rather we'll think of some alternative excuse that will be acceptable to them."

"You mean lie."

Solange laughed "Of course lie, if you haven't before it's about time you embraced a pivotal part of being a teenager 'lying to the parents.'  This will be great fun and a worthy cause.  We need to try something new and catching Galas perform will be an added bonus!"