My mother drove me to drinking within 5 minutes of clearing the security checkpoint at Burlington International Airport.
It was nine in the morning.
A crepe, ham, egg, and a Heady.
I was acutely aware of my uniqueness. Tightwads in ties and pantsuits were typing away on their slightly out-of-date laptops, judgingly.
I was on vacation.
I touched down in LAX at rush hour. I was greeted by a dying Italian man, hard-of-hearing. I told him, “The corner of Venice and Westwood—
THE CORNER OF WESTWOOD AND
THE CORNER OF WESTWOOD—
He asked for the address instead.
We were on our way.
10 minutes in Los Angeles, and I already knew we missed Sepulveda Boulevard.
Fuck, this guy doesn’t know where the hell we’re going.
“We take the freeway?”
“Uh, whatever which way is fastest.” My taxi negotiation methods were completely on point.
Exhausted, I stumbled into the apartment, sweaty and careworn.
Awkwardly and carefully, I was welcomed like a fledgling bird, discovering flight—
Or, Jesus at a cocktail party.
The expression of reunion of old friends—
Socially awkward old friends—
Is something to witness.
–Like getting away with uttering an offensive joke, but more than just that.
It’s like saying a certain six letter word in the midst of a certain demographic and getting a pat on the back.
While I was ecstatic to reunite with a friend of seven-years-past and to meet his witty fiancée, I needed two things.
I got both.
Firestone DBA and some cheap Brazilian food were my introduction to West LA—the West Coast.
The world became a suddenly massive place
And I was in an increasingly expansive space
Ten bedroom homes
Thank you Ralph’s!
The Santa Monica pier
And Russian River Beer
I was introduced to
At my Father’s Office
Did I learn
When I delved
My pockets .
Pivo Pils was all well and fine with
Ahi burgers at the quarter of 9.
As Thursday dilly-dallied
I guzzled Anderson Valley
And while it was silky as wine
Jardinier was mighty kind.
And while I loved the beers of Beachwood BBQ so,