Sunday–I am home after a week absence, driven out by a densely smoky 108 degree weather. Yuck. The mountain air was cooler, Zephyr got to swim ’til his heart’s content. I waded in and splashed around but mostly sat in the sand and watched contently.
I went on to Reno (Draino, as we called it as kids) and I can say it’s ol’ nickname holds true. Add all the well-manicured mega stores you want. Add a Trader Joes and a Whole Foods–add four of them if you like, it won’t change the fact that it’s still Reno–worn down casinos that show like a stretch of old drag queens–glowing only under the cover of night, with a whole lot of sparkles and make-up. There are more tattoo parlors, vagrants, hookers, lost tourists, all sucked onto South Virginia Street under a smoke filled sky. Escher would have done a double scream.
Reno, I believe, has seeped into a dear friend’s psyche as well and made her as crazy as the ring leader at Circus Circus, with more clowns and drama. An ear wrapped cell phone is permanently embedded in her ear and I never knew if she was talking to me or the universe. Plus, what is the protocol when the guy who wouldn’t “man-up” a year ago and broke her heart, the one she left in full adult defiance, the one I helped her pack to leave, greets me at the door when I arrive? I know, it’s a case for Dear Abby and we’ve ALL been there, but I had sworn to loathe him for all eternity and I wasn’t prepared to change my oath. Sigh.
And escape I did, and not a hazy second too soon. I was on the verge of my own mental melt down when I went for food and a future IRS agent disguised as a waiter, ordered me to leave his nearly-empty patio w/Zephyr as if he were dirtier than the grubby-handed slot players who graced his restaurant. I gave in and ran for it. Thank the Goddess of Parking, Traffic Lights, Easy On-Ramps and 70 mph Freeways. In under 30 minutes I was at my favorite Truckee, California haven :
This place is a gem, new and used books, good coffee and a boyish barrister I once tried to set up with MY cafe’s boyish barrister, long distance: match making via My Space. He is dear, in a brooding Zen-like post-teen kind of way. He treated Zephyr like just another customer when we walked in and plopped down on a cushioned chair. I had very dark French Roast and The Tree Hugger–granola, bananas w/milk. I felt supremely better. Blessed be independent homegrown coffee houses everywhere!
We then went for a long swim in Donner Lake. Zephyr swam after sticks and I swam and bobbed and breathed like I was doing it for the first time all over again, before heading home.
And now, we are blessedly home. d.