Anatomy of a Reunion: Part 7 – The Next Day


I wake up about 2-ish the next day. Its not unusual. I’m a total nightowl-vampire-creature of the night. This is my sleep cycle anyway, being on a pretty intense deadline for a project that is still going on back in Los Angeles while I was eating horrible omelets with beautiful women. So two o’clock in the afternoon isn’t an outrageous time. However, for a precocious 4-year old niece, two o’clock is plenty late for Uncle Todd to sleep in.And no force in the world is going to prevent her from waking me.I shuffle out of bed and down the hall, my hair spiralling out of my head like a retarded anemone.Product in the hair works well the night you put it in, but it works fantastic the next day, after its had time to solidify your hair into place for 8 hours like pottery in a kiln.But I’m gonna have to shower it out.I can’t walk around Tacoma looking like Reverend Jim from Taxi.Los Angeles?I could totally get away with it.The tiny suburb of Lakewood? Perhaps, but not without whispers.  I know, based on my observations, that some people aren’t going to be feeling all Sunny-D this morning.  I’m feeling fine though.  I’ve never been much of a huge drinker, and I know when to switch to water and rehydrate.  Plus, I was up late eating eggs that absorbed any residual alcohol in my system along with the digestive acids, stomach lining, and healed an ulcers that may have been lingering.  Again, thank you Marge…for just being you.

Tracy and Holland are my escorts in an encore performance because they love me, and because Mom was doing something or another in the community that would be exceptional and super-human…because thats how she rolls. On the trip, Tracy and Holland create a whole story having to do with three friends who fall into a hole while walking in the forest.Holland creates the plot points of the story while Tracy fills in the details. They are able to get help by calling for help. “HELP!” Tracy cries. “No, Daddy!  Don’t be silly. They use their cellphone!” Holland informs us, matter-of-factly.  Silly us.  This group of friends get rescued, go home to shower, get ready to go to work, and end up falling in the hole again.  These kids just can’t catch a break. Tracy may have gone outside of Holland’s reach when he mentions spelunking gear.But I don’t know, Holland is a sharp cookie, I’m sure she catches on.

Paul W. is having a few people over before the main event that night which is a catered dealio at a restaurant called Masa. Paul lives only a few miles away, so I feel that it was a good plan to hang for a bit, and chat one on one with people before an encore presentation from the previous night began at the new venue.

Tracy and Holland drop me off at Paul’s house.Holland hopes that I have fun at my birthday party.After all, it’s a party.It must be somebody’s birthday.Why not Uncle Todd?The previous night was also my birthday.I grab my change of clothes from the car and Paul meets me at the door.

I can’t say enough about Mr. Paul W.He should be a role model for all of mankind.Years previous, he had taken a fall while climbing.Bad stuff. Coma. Brain injury. The works.Paul worked through years of physical and mental therapy – is that a term? Mental Therapy?It should be.When I saw Paul, he was exactly as I remember him being.A miracle in my book, and one fortified by Paul’s strength and determination.  Numerous people have told him (including myself) that he should go out and talk to people going through the same trials.  To be an inspiration to them. He already has a transcript of his life for a book that he’s going over.  Everyone, support Paul in this endeavor to get his story out there to help others.

Its raining outside.I know, right?Tacoma?Seattle?Rain?What is that all about? Its August for Christ-sake.My thoughts drift to Almond at her barbeque with all her biker friends trying to ride around the steep streets of Seattle with newly wet streets on there way to cook slabs of meaty protein over an open grill.I grimace. Totally sucks for her.At least, we’re gonna be inside to take refuge.

I glance across the housetops of Tacoma and witness a most spectacular rainbow.Intense. Bright.Complete.Arcing from one side of the horizon to the other.I pull out my camera, which now only has enough space for 1590 more pictures.I must be selective about my photo ops.Could this portend good things to come for the evening?I take in the beauty thinking what it means.

Jim G and wife, Rebecca show up along with Mark M. and wife, Emily.Murphy M. was supposed to be there, but hadn’t even left Seattle yet when Paul makes a courtesy call to find out Murph’s ETA.Based on Paul’s reaction, I suspect that Murphy often runs a little behind.

The small group has time to catch up.Paul and Mark were part of the previous night’s events, so the three of us update Jim and answer any questions with the help of a nearby class yearbook.Lots of What is he doing? Where is she? Was this person there?Do any guys still have their hair?Oh man, Doug S, was he there?I remember him having a head full of hair that he parted in the middle!I respond, “Yeah, Doug was there.He still parts his hair in the middle.”

Paul talks of his adventures after shutting down the Swiss.I’m thinking, “Awww, I wish I was there…”but then I remember that I had adventures of my own, and I cannot be everywhere at the same time.So I live vicariously through the tales of Paul and friends.Frankly, I think I had the better after-Swiss stories.But, I’m biased toward me and my experiences, and I upped him because he ended up eating Jack-In-The-Box with beautiful ladies and Murphy, while I ended up eating Shari’s with beautiful ladies (the hottest chicks in the place according to them, which I can’t disagree) and Pete.So we were pretty much equal except for me eating an omelet off of a plate, rather than a large #6 from a foil wrapper.

Paul and I discuss pixie-like Maureen S. whom we both spoke with the night before.At the time she was ambiguous about the next day reunion, trying to use the “I-have-to-work” ploy for getting out of it.Wendy S flew in from China, making her spectacular in my book.So, don’t give me “I have to work.”Paul calls her and leaves a message.I text her with a message to call in sick and forget about this work nonsense.Our peer pressure utterly fails.Neither of us get a response.Either we aren’t peers.Didn’t apply enough pressure.Or, we just aren’t as damned charming as we think we are.Actually, I’m throwing out the last option because that’s just silly.Of course we’re that charming.

After a Jim G-provided Fat Tire, some chips, a couple rounds of the Chinese Olympic gymnasts on the parallel bars (who look like they just dismounted out of the birth canal and into their leotards), I go and change for the evening, given that early-afternoon-gather-with-friends-for-a-rain-cancelled-BBQ apparel isn’t on par with reunion-Mexican-restaurant apparel.And I wasn’t quite sure what to choose, so I got all girlie, and gave myself options.

Time to head to the restaurant for the next wave of social activities.

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