Man On The Lam
Getting somewhere quickly, swimming somewhere cool, staying in bed until 11 and the shower 'til noon. And these really only lightly trod the battlefield in my war against speeding tickets, natural highs and sloth.
Sometime in our history, light speeding became akin to theft. I want to see a squad car or police officer and think, Whew, not getting raped here! and, Wow, I'm glad they're around, because who knows when I or someone else will need them. But instead, me, Cary, and everyone else seems to flinch at them, stomachs clenching, as if we've been abused by them our whole lives. Ixnay on whatever you're doing RIGHT THEN.
A couple weeks after moving to "the crowned one" (the presumptuous Spanish word 'Coronado' in English apparently, usually shortened to the nickname Crown City), we were riding our bikes at night, joining the trickle of locals around the isle who mount comfy beach cruisers and the like to get from point A to B. Bellies full of the best pizza I've had in a while and a pint each, we were enjoying ourselves, with friends, coasting slowly along the Orange Avenue sidewalk since one of us (not me, since I teeter in flats) was wearing high heels. Well, this isn't allowed; not the heels.
Apparently, the poe-poe was redundantly intersecting Orange because at the next block, the guy crosses our path again, going the other way. This is hilarious, but now he's pissed. So a naval aviator and a SEAL (and their 'cough' supermodel girlfriends) get lectured for 20 minutes by an overweight black uniform moments from retirement from patrolling the safest city on planet Earth, and another who flanks the group and looks like the evil terminator in Terminator 2.
But like the legally whipped couple we are, we get lights the next day.
Bike riding is a natural high that's nearly ruined by excessive rules. How is riding on a busy street with a light safer than puttering down a wide sidewalk, even if it is in a city's more crowded Business District? If you ask me (and no one ever does), the world is safer when I'm not clipped into a zippy road bike and trying to do hand signals while balancing on wheels the thickness of Fruit-by-the-Foot, regardless of how bright my jacket is.
And while I'm on the weak fence about herbal enjoyments, dipping into a natural hot springs is another gift that could be stripped from its ability to keep on giving.
Whatever, California, for Memorial Day weekend, and rules nearly ruined another natural high for us: immersing ourselves in some warm-ass hot springs with bursts of cool that compare to the rush of heavy skiing with a stick of Juicy Fruit. Smelling egg salad mixed with fresh air and gurgling water and desert scenery patched with green, we trekked down a short hill to what looks like what a Native American would've called "Jackpot!!! Ching! Ching! Ching!" ...
A girl coming up the trail whispered, smiling, "Ignore the signs." Okay. We straddled the low fence consisting of a few wires. (Our friends just stepped over them since they're not stunted in the leg department.) We don't really even stop to read the warning signs. Cary's been here before. He flies helicopters for goodness sake. And just made Lieutenant JG (junior grade - hm, maybe that does sound a wee bit iffy). The water is hot, and eerily bubbly, in places, freezing in others. But there are pockets of ideal warmth, and hot sand to dig yourself into when a frigid wave billows the good water away. The boiling pools several hundred yards away are tantalizing blue and steamy. We pass over slippery rocks, mysterious other objects, and play with globs of mud in the safe, dark water. Of course. We aren't idiots. But there will always be those who are and then mix that with excessive spirit.
We learn from a couple locals that the springs are going through a "soft closing," which sounds like the local law enforcement or rangers are just seeing how angry everyone's going to get over the fact that they don't want to risk being sued by those stupid or faded, litigious people. Again, no one's asking, but there should be some law that protects the state, city, national park, or other 'attempting to do good entity,' from the picnic baskets short of a few apples.
And maybe a bat signal sign at night reminding us:
GO THROUGH LIFE AT YOUR OWN RISK.Stay away from the freeways on your beach cruiser, the scalding hot geysers, the hard drugs, and know that maybe if the Mammoth volcano does erupt, you died happy. But no one boiled to death like in Dante's Peak. No one patrols the area. And adventure-seekers will hopefully continue to visit.
The stigma of holiday weekends is you never want them to end. So the sloth-like behavior, even if you're running around like an exercise enthusiast with its head cut off (which calls for another recovery period), that reinvigorating, bliss-oriented behavior is impossible to quit cold turkey. So it's not until Thursday at 3 p.m. that you feel like getting anything done again. But by then it's too late; you've already committed days and days of sloth.
|Photo by Kel Casey for the |
Coronado Eagle & Journal
(It's a vintage movie theater redone in art deco and feels a bit like a submerged mini-Disneyland.)
My eyes were opened to what it's like for beauty magazine interns. I have a smidgen of respect now for the groomed drama queens of reality TV who maybe do have a tad of a tough time recording every detail of numerous outfits. Hair clips, belts, rings, bangles, invisible tank and socks, shoes, bags, strangely spelled brands, odd prices, any unique aspects, model and store names (also usually strangely named) ... all while keeping the contact person's attention for more than five seconds.
When more stores are interested in the shoot than there are models, the female photographer and I get sucked into donning complete looks picked by someone else. I regret my wild hair and lack of makeup, my hairy legs even though that's a pointless concern. I traipse from boutique to theater in three-inch wedges, carrying a second outfit and pair of shoes, scarf trailing, and looking like I robbed Studio 1220 instead of being on my way to give them publicity. I stare longingly at my notebook, nostalgic for the responsibility of captions, as I try to pose as naturally as the 109-pound 19-year-old with auburn hair.
Ixnay on the judgement.