It is 5:49 am PST and I am wide awake.
Let’s see. After a late work meeting and a promise to swing by my folks for a quick dinner, I was so exhausted, I decided to crash here. My parents live a mere 5 minutes from my office. I live through tunnels and across bridges and deep in the ghetto 45 minutes away. Also, conveniently my brother has moved to the city but his room has been kept in pristine, museum-like livability. No jammies? No problem. Alex has left behind 834 t-shirts, a mere third of his collection. His dresser is still filled with perfectly folded boxers and sweatpants.
Who the hell is folding his clothes all of a sudden?
My mother, who never once changed my sheets in our 18 years of cohabitation was suddenly stripping Alex’s bed, applying fresh, cozy flannel ones instead.
“What are you doing?” I asked, while digging through my brother’s drawers.
“Eh, I felt like changing them.”
I can’t even get in trouble for parking at the top of the driveway anymore, pulling Rhonda the Honda into the laziest parking space in all of Mill Valley and blocking in everyone else. This used to be a crime punishable by fund withholding. Now, no one says a word. I hesitate to even type this, as it was such a former point of contention. But it’s so amazing, it needs to be said.
Dinner was a fabulous non-seafood paella. Non-seafood. Because I don’t eat seafood. Gone are the days of forced fish consumption and angry, untouched crustaceans staring back at me. Beth doesn’t eat seafood. So no one eats seafood.
There is even a bottle of Pinot Noir placed by the front door, where it will no doubt be joined by leftover NON-SEAFOOD paella all packaged together by my father who might even go so far as to pull his old school lunch bag routine and write trivia questions on the bag. (The answers, in case you’re wondering, are on the other side.)
I can’t believe this place that I was desperate to get the hell out of has suddenly become the classiest hotel I’ve ever had the pleasure of patronizing.
I tossed on a Marin Catholic Class of 2001 t-shirt and crawled into my brothers cozy, clean bed, ready to resume my weird yet non sexual dreams about Barak Obama. I slept like a baby until I heard that familiar, comforting pitter patter of rain on the roof.
Then I remembered.
I left all of my car windows down.
Because I was parked at the top of the goddamn driveway.
I live in the ghetto, folks. Anytime I don’t have to lock my car up like a vault, I take advantage of.
I lay there listening to the rain, imagining it fill the interior of my precious Rhonda. I couldn’t take it anymore. I tip-toed out of bed and made my way downstairs. My flip flops had been placed by the door, right by the hall closet. I reached my hand in, feeling around for the biggest, most water proof coat I could find.
Ooooh, Burberry. I’m wearing this.
So in flip flops and a fancy raincoat, I ran out into the pitch black pouring rain and down the very slippery stone steps to my car. The inside was indeed soaked, much like myself and my mother’s coat. I rolled those windows up, slammed the door and spun around.
And there, blocking my path as if in a scene from Harry Potter, was a snake.
A small, harmless, garden snake.
But a fucking snake.
By the time I made it back inside, hung the precious coat, kicked of my dripping flops and headed upstairs, I was up. Wide awake. And practically showered.
Which is why I am sitting at my dad’s computer, writing my blog ay 6:19am, PST…