REST IN THE WEST
Macaroni has a very funny â€œhow we metâ€ story.
I donâ€™t remember all of it, but it goes something like this:
â€œHi Iâ€™m Macaroni!â€
Sullen, half-asleep, one eighth as enthusiastic girl looks up and nods.
â€œWhatâ€™s your name? What section are you in? Isnâ€™t New York just ever soooo crazy??â€
â€œUhâ€¦Dawn. Ginsburg and no, Iâ€™m from here.â€
â€œYouâ€™re from New York???!! Thatâ€™s so cool. Iâ€™m from Las Vegas. This is my first time here, could you show me around?â€
And here, I like to picture myself pulling the rim of my hat just across my eyes and exhaling my last cigarette drag.
She promises to leave her contact info in my folder at school.
And she does.
I, however, do not contact her, do not show her around, in fact, and never speak to her again for six months.
And that meeting goes something like:
â€œHey, Iâ€™m Dawn.â€
â€œYeah, I know. We met during the first week in schoolâ€¦I left you my contact info and never heard from you again.â€
â€œOhâ€¦that was you? Uhâ€¦sorryâ€¦I was sick/forgot/was kidnapped by aliens?â€
Macaroni turns out, much nicer than me, forgave me my transgressions and we became bestest of friends for the next two years.
Then there was the ugliness over New Yearâ€™s aboard the Jamaican fishing boat where someone may have threatened to throw the other one overboard and we didnâ€™t speak for some time.
It was that tense Winter that I got to know pearatty and through her, Rick Blaine and then managed to weasel myself into Kazâ€™s Buffy watching circle and there met F-train.
Itâ€™s funny to think that I didnâ€™t hang out with my favorite people from law school until my last semester; that had I been less violent, I might never have gotten to know them at all.
But, we did meet; and as I grabbed a Hefeweizen from the tin tub filled with ice, they all gathered in pearattyâ€™s backyard to sing me happy birthday in the glow of the ice cream cake covered in 27 flaming candles. Oh, myâ€¦thirty will be a veritable two alarmer.
It was seriously a mini law school reunion: Pearatty, Mr. Pearatty, Curious and his fiancÃ©e, Rick Blaine and Ilsa, F-train (who vacillated between insisting that since this was my third party, I must be 30 by now and begging for the resurrection after â€œthree such horrible days.â€ Beat.Him.With.My.Shoe.), Macaroni (while we weren’t as close as before, we did recover from the ‘boat incident’) and her fiance!
Then, well after sundown, I got my first real surprise of my surprise party: KAZ and Tito!
At my second birthday party, she told me that she wasnâ€™t going to be able to go out to California for my West Coast shin dig.
I gave her the patented Dawn Summers protruding lip pout.
And then I upped the offensive.
I sent her an hypnotic instant message on Wednesday: â€œYou are getting sleepyâ€¦sleepyâ€¦you have an overwhelming desire to go to LA this weekendâ€¦You must go to LA this weekendâ€¦LAâ€¦this weekendâ€¦when I count to five you will not remember this IMâ€¦but you will want to go to LA this weekend. Oneâ€¦twoâ€¦threeâ€¦fourâ€¦five.â€
She IMâ€™d back:
â€œMan I have this crazy desire to go to LA.â€
â€œHuhâ€¦really? Thatâ€™s strange; I guess you should go then!â€
But she wasnâ€™t going.
Saturday morning, as I sat still for my sisyphusian nail polishing, pearatty got a phone call.
â€œSheâ€™s getting a manicure,â€ was all I heard before she got up and left the parlor.
When I thought my stupid nails had finished drying, I followed her outside.
â€œWho was that? Mr. pearatty?â€
â€œYes, yupâ€¦that was Mr. Pearatty.â€
â€œNo it wasnâ€™t!…was that Kaz? Is Kaz in LA?â€
â€œKaz? No. Is she coming? I thought you said she wasnâ€™t comingâ€¦â€
â€œYeahâ€¦she said she couldnâ€™t come. Even though I checked the dates with her before picking it!â€
Weâ€™re back to pouting and have forgotten the suspicious call about me.
Then when F-train arrives at the party â€“delicious Krispy Kremes in towâ€”he promptly asks if Kaz is there yet.
â€œWhat? Kaz is in LA?!â€ I say.
â€œShut up,â€ he answers, flipping me the bird.
â€œWhat? Why are you flipping me off?? Is she here?â€
â€œShe replied on evite that she was coming didnâ€™t she,â€ he says surlyly. (Is that a word? Noâ€¦cause it should beâ€¦a word to aptly describe all things F-train.)
â€œNo..she said she couldnâ€™t comeâ€¦â€
He gives me the finger. Again. Surlyly.
I shrug my shoulders and make my way over to Rick, Curious and Shelly.
I tell them about idiotically reporting my car stolen and we swap tales of finding â€œlostâ€ cars.
I am not aloneâ€¦although no one else managed to involve policeâ€¦Sigh.
I show them my smudged manicure and tell them how pearatty tried to get me to lick my thumb to smooth out the polish!
This is my now famous â€œpearatty eats nail polishâ€ story.
When Kaz and Tito finally arrive, and I give pearatty my finger pointing â€œLIAR!â€ accusation, F-train says â€œoh, this was supposed to be a surprise?â€
â€œI told you I was surprising her!â€
â€œNo, you didnâ€™t,â€ he replies before going into his sad roommate left all along tale of woe. â€œIn fact, I pretty much had to come to LA to see you!â€
Then he told her that the cat hates her and wishes her ill.
â€œThe cat would never wish me ill,â€ Kaz says, taking the opportunity to give F-train her own version of the finger pointing â€œLiar!â€
Those crazy kids and their face eating homicidal feline.
I was about to say that the Kaz/F-train cat was the most vicious evil cat in the world, when visions of the Rick/Ilsa flying bat cat came flying back to memory.
â€œI take it back! I would take their cat everyday and twice on Sundays over the flying demon cat!â€
â€œHey, itâ€™s not â€œourâ€ cat. Itâ€™s my cat,â€ F-train corrects.
And thatâ€™s why Kaz is putting the cat out on the street when I kill him.
Ilsa and Rick also flew into LA that Saturday to come to the party (Okâ€¦I gotta say, every time I type the word party I feel like Meryl Streep in The Hoursâ€¦)
â€œWe looked everywhere for a Scrabble dictionary, but couldnâ€™t find one anywhere.â€
Oh My God, they fly here from San Francisco, show up first to my party and now are apologizing for not getting me a gift?
â€œBut donâ€™t worry, we ordered it for you onlineâ€¦so youâ€™ll get it, we just donâ€™t have it with us.â€
They flew here from San Francisco, show up first to my party, got me a gift, but are apologizing for not being able to give it to me right now?
Seriously. Love. Them. (But not their cat. Catâ€™s evil as all get out.)
(And they got me a swiveling Scrabble board! Nowâ€¦I just have to find someone to play with me since Kaz has vowed that she wonâ€™t play with me or F-train anymore.)
Turns out Ilsa has bartending training, so when I told her about my â€œadult drinkâ€ searchâ€¦she jiggered up a vodka gimlet.
Mmmâ€¦tasty. We like. We like.
Mr. pearatty tried to get in on the game too with a strange concoction of strawberry daiquiri mix and something roses and vodka. It was not good.
Why, why would he try to kill me?
Sure I have co-opted his backyard for my own surprise party and got him in trouble for not hanging the Japanese tea lights and would force him to wake up early and take me to the airportâ€¦okâ€¦the motive is clearer nowâ€¦
By the time everyone had arrived, the night air had cooled to a manageable 89 degrees. F-train and Kaz told them about my party in Brooklyn.
â€œFisch is actually a good looking guy,â€ he said.
The next day when Macaroni asked if F-train was gay and if the guy he came with was his boyfriend, I resisted the impulse to say â€œno, but I might have to set him up with Karolâ€™s poker hero when I get back to NY.â€
Ok. I didnâ€™t resist.
Macaroniâ€™s fiancÃ© Dan assured us that he will not have anything to do with Macaroniâ€™s baby shower and we laughed at the fact that he and Macaroniâ€™s monogrammed towels will say â€œVD.â€
Curious and I, who worked together on the law school newspaper decided that we should collaborate on a script and become Hollywood power brokers!
Oh, how I wish.
Ah, the whole night was like a scene from a movie. Backyards are awesome. Although we could do without the crickets and threat of bears.
Those are less awesome.
I became grill masterâ€¦although Macaroni was in charge of the corn grilling.
When she took them off the grill in under ten minutes, I decided to get a guinea pig to do the taste test.
Rick took the challenge.
â€œWhat?â€ he said between swallows, â€œItâ€™s fine.â€
I didnâ€™t trust his tone.
â€œHere, have a corn,â€ I said to the guy F-train came with, â€œI donâ€™t trust, Blaine.â€
â€œLike heâ€™s going to lie to you, just so you will eat raw cornâ€¦yeah, actually he would,â€ F-train says.
â€œI totally would,â€ Rick confirms.
Later when Macaroni poses her question of the â€œtoo hairy bridesmaidâ€ (about which Karol cannot believe that she is the only one who would kick the girl out of her wedding.) Rick mentions that since his younger brother is a really good looking guy, he had to break the kidâ€™s nose before letting him be the best man at his wedding.
Cause heâ€™s kidding.
And so there you have itâ€¦one girl and her birthday season.
Her too short birthday season.