Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Running

I wouldn't say we were running away from things, just taking a hiatus in hopes of clearing our brains from the debris left over from a couple of stormy weeks. The sun somehow infused me with clarity and radiance and left me feeling filled. We went to bed Friday only after setting a few weekend goals for each other. We sat around thinking of things that were out of each other's comfort zones, trying to make the weekend one of stretching (even if just in frivolous ways). Saturday we the tasks stood as:

J: Sell a coat hanger for $3
A: Start a petition to legalize something ridiculous for 20 minutes (or until you get 50 signatures)
M: Get a boy's number and start a "texual relationship"
N: Kiss a stranger
K: Get someone to dance with you in public
Me: Street perform for 20 minutes (or $10)

Upon failing to complete your task by nightfall, you must either a) run into the ocean with your clothes on, sacrificing your comfort while we play on the beach that night or b) eat a roasted sand crab. Quick and painless. Right?

We spent the afternoon shopping and being part of the Promenade scene. It was a lot of fun and throughout the day we kept looking at one another and mouthing can you believe we're here?! It wasn't like we were in the most exotic location, or seeing the biggest sights, but we were warm, and we were together, and we weren't in Provo. Hallelujah.

I am pleased to say that I was the only one who completed their task in its entirety and I even risked running from the cops to do so. Apparently you need a performing license to street perform on the 3rd Street Promenade. I lied and said I had one. I was also in an illegal zone. You have to be past the first block of shops. Who knew?! It was terrifying considering that I don't play the guitar, but I paid for my dinner and I didn't have to eat a sand crab, and that's all that matters.

After a few hours shopping and listening to the performers, we headed home around 5 and got ready to hit the beach for a bonfire. Unfortunately, we were too slow to get a pit (not surprising considering that rate at which we move from point a to point b is slower than an 80 year old with two broken legs).

After a bit of deliberation, we decided to head inland for some world famous Tito's Tacos. I've never been to a taco shop like this one. I came to find out that if I ever want to live in California, I'm going to have to learn a bit of Spanish. We wanted to fit in with the locals, so we wore our sunglasses. I don't know why people wear sunglasses at night unless they're the shady, shifty-eyed type.

We headed to the Manhattan Pier to eat our tacos (which were delicious). I welcomed the greasy feeling of Mexican food, for once in my life, and let myself feel the pull of the dark waters in front of me as I munched my food and laughed with the ones I love. There is some thing enchanting about eating with your feet hanging off a lifeguard tower, and especially so when you are there with people so close to you. I felt like the waves and sand brought us closer and the chill sweeping off the ocean made us want to sit tight.

J, M and I walked out to the water while A and N went on a bathroom hunt. Classic. We ran as near as we dared until the water swept towards us again and we laughed as our steps quickened backwards. We talked against the backdrop of thunderous waves and I couldn't help but smile.

I love the ocean. It reminds me of eternity, the vast foreverness, the all encompassing immeasurable expanse. In that sense I think that it scares me, the fact that I can't see it all or even imagine the undefinable constraints. But in another way it is comforting, cooling, calming, like a giant force of constant ebbing and flowing. It's predictable in that way and I was yearning for predictability in that moment. For that reason it created a sense of whole with in me and helped me feel peace. The ocean is magic in its diverse abilities to center those around it, and at the same time toss them off their feet and send their heads into a limitless orbit. My mind can never sit still it seems. But I let my thoughts go. They needed a chance to soar and find themselves, create something new in the air and figure out a little more about what makes them real. Thoughts imagined have a tangible quality at times. The ocean can make you feel so alone, so single, aware, and vulnerable. But I realized that night something that a dear friend of mine recently wrote which articulated my thoughts that evening with succinct perfection. She said, "The word single doesn't apply to humans. We depend on each other, we laugh and talk and cry, scream and yell, and someone is listening, so many people care."

We met up with all the others on the Pier and laughed at me as Cousin It for a while before venturing down the long dark, dimly lit planks of wood to the stable, sturdy, solid cement which initiated our climb upwards to the car and then home where we shared an evening of sunshine together. Nothing can seem dark when you're loving and laughing. Smiles are innately bright.

1 comment:

Millas Killian said...

So who didn't complete their task?

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