When I can’t sleep, I tuck into a ski racer’s position, hands between my thighs, shoulders in, kind of like a fetus. Then I think of the surfer beach near Suzanne’s house, a golden tulip of a cove, where as the sun sinks, the surfers bounce like crackers upon a soup.
From the mountains to the sea, right? Soon, my brain winds down and I am fast asleep.
The whooshing echo of the ocean, Suzanne explains, probably mimics the amniotic fluid I secretly miss.
Yikes. All along, I thought it was gin!
As Robin Williams used to say, “We spend nine months trying to get out of the womb, and the rest of our lives trying to get back in.”
“Ewwwwwwww,” says Suzanne, an expression she uses whenever I speak openly.
And that’s my so-called life right now. I overshare. Suzanne assesses (she has a doctorate in psychology). So, basically, I’m dating my shrink.
Meanwhile, Smartacus and I are still together too. I credit his breakfasts. I don’t make bashful breakfasts either. I make bold, hearty feasts – eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, with a tall glass of sunshine.
You can’t take on a bold world with a bashful breakfast. You need a bold breakfast.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally a fan of bashful things and bashful people. I find them intriguing, interesting, sly, thoughtful, kind. I’ve pretty much had it with bold people. All my friends are bold. All my kids.
It intimidates me — all that shouting and pointing!
Suzanne is bold and bashful — sometimes demure, often demonstrative. Like me, she shuns valet parking, which is an odd thing in LA, a town that was built around valet parking.
In Suzanne’s case, she never carries cash for a tip. In my case, I’m kind of cheap, and don’t mind the fresh air after a magnificent rack of ribs.
To recap: She’s bold and beautiful. I’m frippy in the head. We both prefer to self-park. Boom!
These are the relationships that now define me: Suzanne and Smartacus, plus Catty Cakes, the maestro of my life. Plus White Fang, my bombshell of a dog, who is the easiest person of all to live with.
FYI, working on a short story called “The Wolf Who Cried Boy,” about the rich and delicate relationship between White Fang and his young hero, Smartacus.
First scene: I throw dog treats into Smartacus’ bed to wake him for school. White Fang dives in, rousts a cranky Smartacus, who immediately gets tongue-lashed. Sluuuuuurp. Yuuuuuuuuck. I then burn him a not-so-bashful breakfast.
Boom! Some stuff just writes itself.
Suzanne eats words for breakfast…she’s charming, and funny and warm. She excels at conversation, meeting new people, even my friends.
In fact, Suzanne was telling me how much she enjoyed meeting my tailgate cohort, Liz, who is a bold person as well, and funny. Liz used to chase criminals for a living, then went into television, which is very similar to chasing criminals – same skill set, same aura of moral decay. Except you don’t need a badge, just moxie and big set of something or other.
Now, Liz lives up near Solvang but travels down for these epic tailgates we have every fall. Now those are done for the year.
Honestly, I’ll miss November. To me, it is LA’s best month. The air cools, a few trees turn (some just die). The famed California sunlight goes from zappy to a soft silver.
I store away the fall decorations, which include a candy bowl with someone else’s initials on the bottom, meaning they brought it to a long-ago Halloween party and we just kept it. Keep that in mind the next time you come over. If we like something, we just keep it. Pretty sure that’s how we acquired Rapunzel.
Anyway, I laughed when I saw the initials on the candy bowl. Next to it is the price sticker ($7.99). I think that was a pretty fair price.
Today, that same bowl would cost $159. I blame the left. I blame the right. I blame the non-committal middle.
I blame Musk. I blame Alan Rickman’s character in “Love Actually.” I blame Santa.
Life’s a sleigh ride. Buckle up. Floor it, Santa.
Trying to line up a slurpy gin & tonic holiday bash the Tuesday or Wednesday before Christmas. Please don’t let family obligations get in the way of that. Meanwhile, need an easy gift? Check out my books and my beautiful gin& tonic glasses at ChrisErskineLA.com. Cheers!
13 thoughts on “The Wolf Who Cried Boy”
Amusing that someone put their initials on the bottom of a plate to protect their property. Lot of good it did them. Love that picture of Catty Cakes, intent, somewhat worried, gazing at the horizon. Is she waiting for her sailor to return from a long voyage? Please ask her and let us know. Keep those pics of her coming!
Re:Catty Cakes gazing at the horizon, see Gordon Lightfoot’s “Bitter Green”
I like that she can be contemplative at such a young age. Awaiting a ship of fools with stories to tell? Awaiting a bilge full of whale oil? Who knows? Staring longingly out at the edge of the Earth is a genetic trait for us.
What a lovely lovely post!
Just what I needed to get out of my freezing house and into the wilds of Pasadena.
Really dig those Gin & Tonic glasses, think I have to get some.
Is the green tinge a new kind of tonic, or something else?
I heard some algae is good for you
Hey Klutch, I think algae keep your PH balance in check. But that might be lime juice I usually go heavy on that.
That beautiful curly, red hair gene!
Catty is checking the surf condition.
Yep. Love the way she stares out to sea, like her long-ago ancestors awaiting some sign of a tall mast. Or she’s checking surf breaks. Either is good.
Your granddaughter gets cuter and cuter each time you post a picture of her! It gets no better than this!
Sorry, old man but, as a former English teacher I must alert you to the fact that a female would be addressed as “maestra” and not “maestro.
Glad to learn that. I’m usually pretty reliable on those things. Thanks
So enjoy your posts! Keep on keeping on
“Bold, bashful, demonstrative, demure, charming, warm, beautiful,, funny, no valet in her car.” I think we’re working on a full repertoire of behavior here. When added to all the other things said in the past, it’s no surprise this wonder of a woman has the full range of your attention, and her education buttresses and explains her heightened sensitivity to artistry in . language, both descriptive and behavioral. Thus are the layers of meaning laid upon time to create the substance of a vital and loving relationship, The history of a love affair is being written—verbally and non-verbally—here. How fortunate we all are to be allowed to bear witness…
I avoid valet parking for a more arcane reason: I have anthropomorphized my relationship, and don’t want just anyone driving and slam parking my baby. She’s a doll, and what a lover she is , in traffic, so passionate in response to my fiery demands and creative twists and turns. It’s that old extension of self thing, with a romantic twist. Those who have loved a beautiful car will know what I mean.
I’ll walk five miles before I valet. I don’t know why the valet has to change the radio station to drive the car 50 yards. Fewer door dings, too!