Blue Sky Friday

Truth be told, I’m not a shopper.  There’s a patch of blue out there which means either a run or a reservoir walk if I can get it in before the rain forevermore forecast.  Plus I’ve spent WAY too much on the house!!  Not that it’s going to affect my kids presents, it’s just that I really did a purge on house stuff and personally don’t need anything.  I did need that trip to Hawaii.

But first, I write…

Been an interesting few days after that power outage.  Went for a run then movies to tide me over until the house warmed up again.  The power surge caused the new garage door opener battery to fry, when that big battery pack fries it beeps every 30 seconds – so that’s been fun.

Mainly, I saw a girl wearing a Mira Costa surf team jacket while I was walking out of the movie.  I asked her if it was the L.A. high school and she said yes, but it was her dad’s jacket.  I said, “Who’s your dad?”  She said his name, then I looked at her grandma and it was old home week!!  I grew up with this family, her dad was a lot younger than me but his brother was one of my besties in high school and a few years out.

It was SO GOOD to see their mom!!  When I was a kid we were all in the same church, our moms did this day camp together.  The girl’s grandmother, A, would carpool us in the VW van to our events.  In our late teens carpooled to Hollywood dance clubs and concerts in that van by her son, P.  P & I grew up together and remained friends up until he moved to San Francisco to go to SF State, then I lost touch.

P was the essence of a good, caring friend.  In a time where everyone was running a little wild, he pulled me aside and said to knock it off.  He was worried about the road I was on, I thought we were all on the same road and just having fun?  He also reached out when he knew I was in crisis mode, long story.

They had a really cool house right on the beach, super modest & beachy.  One thing about the beach areas at that time was that the families all had some money, you couldn’t really tell?  It wasn’t until we all bombed our senior year by partying a little too much, then I went straight to a J.C..  P & I dropped the other two party buds off at LAX to go to a private music school in Holland.  Nice.

I can’t imagine growing up there now, everyone’s super flashy.

One of my best memories was going to Century City to see the Black Stallion while it was raining.  There are these ramps with some kind of grip coating on it that didn’t work well in the rain.  We went sliding down the ramps, surfing really.

Unfortunately, P passed away when he was about 25.  For someone my age, it’s surprising how many friends are gone all ready?  He was one of the first.  He wasn’t “out” in high school, P was gay.  He moved to San Francisco in the early 80’s, wrong place/wrong time.  One of the first ones down when AIDS came along, I had barely heard of it yet but it certainly hit home right away knowing someone close instead of having it be some distant disease.  I was in the first L.A. AIDS walk after that.

I still remember him on his birthday every year, and every time I do the dishes incorrectly.  They came over to pick me up one time, stoned, eating apples because they thought that would mask the smell.  My parents wouldn’t let me go out unless I did the dishes so I just poured dish soap on it without filling the sink with water.  He told me that was the lazy way of doing dishes.  Don’t know why that memory stuck with me?

Seeing his brother, who lives up the street from me I found out, as a graying man in pictures takes me aback a little.  His brother was a kid, that’s how I always picture him.  When I found out P was dying, I didn’t stop by and I don’t know why?  For one, I was young and not thinking everyone does actually die so that was a little shocking to me.  The other thing was that some friends had gone by and said that he really didn’t recognize anyone.

There was an article about him in the LA Times, his last few days.  It was super brave of that family to open up about it, do you know how many of the surfer/volleyball player guys have come out of the closet?  None.  I did write a long letter to the Times they published about our friendship.

In retrospect, now having several friends pass on, I’m glad I didn’t go see him.  Personally, I don’t want to be remembered as “sick.”  My memories of him are of a healthy, totally fun and caring friend.

What I do regret is not being there for him when he was one of the only friends that was there for me when things were rough.  Everyone needs that friend telling them to “Knock it off.”

I don’t have one bad memory of that family, I just hugged his mom.  I can’t wait to re-connect with his brother, share some great memories, then on to 2020!  But first, Christmas….ahhhhh!!!

One of my big things for 2020 is not being such a Debbie Downer on this blog.  My last blog started becoming an obit.  I’ll try not to be so negative when I’ve been very lucky in life.

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