life in a PB garage
Saturday, January 8 2000
Kim and I did breakfast with the neighbor Lisa at Rancho's, the healthy Mexican restaurant south of Newport Avenue. When we returned home, Kim lapsed into one her cleanup modes, mostly to prepare the house for the arrival later this month of Matt Rogers, our conceptualistic friend who now lives with his father in Oregon. I was in no mood to clean up anything, so I retreated to the coziness of the bed with the latest copy of Wired Magazine. When she was done cleaning, Kim joined me in bed and we took a prolonged multi-hour nap. Something about that shrimp fajita I'd eaten knocked me right out.
Since spending a month in our spare bedroom back in the Fall, our friends Steph & EJ have been living in a garage at a friend's place in Pacific Beach. Tonight there was a big party happening at their place, so when Kim got home from work at nearly midnight, that was where we headed. Since these beach slacker parties tend to run out of alcohol early in the evening, we thought ahead and brought some marijuana with us.
The party was going strong by the time we arrived. Everybody there was drunk and happy. There were so many slackerly young people crowded together throughout the rooms and halls that it reminded me of old Dynashack parties from back in my Charlottesville days. "We're probably the oldest people here," Kim observed.
Steph and EJ's room looked like any other in the house, aside from the high unfinished ceiling and big sliding garage door at one end. "The heat all goes up and out that crack," Steph said, indicating a horizontal seam running around the room some eight feet above the floor. The use of garages as residential space throughout San Diego is an interesting phenomenon. It's evidence of the housing shortage, true, but the fact that it's not more common than it is demonstrates the importance of the car in San Diego life, a community of beaches where the Trolley never goes anywhere near a beach.
For some odd reason, there was still alcohol flowing even at this late hour, but one couldn't be too fussy about what it was. So Kim and I found ourselves sipping from a jar of syrupy kalua and periodically chasing it with borrowed sips from the beers of others. Good thing we'd brought the wacky tobacky.
In amongst the conversations and banter, we heard talk of the goings on of a guy named "Tooter." It seems Tooter is a tall, lanky effeminate guy with a knack for saying and doing the worst possible thing at the worst possible moment. Tonight, for example, EJ had seen a big guy go to smite Tooter a good one and then suddenly burst into laughter and magnanimously spare his life. All this talk of Tooter made him into something of an instant celebrity, so Kim and I waded out into the party jokingly trying to find him.
We were in the kitchen standing beside a tall, lanky and extremely drunk young man when we jokingly asked the room of anonymous strangers, "Where's Tooter?" "I'm Tooter!" the lanky lad responded. He didn't have much else to say as he leaned precariously backwards against the counter. The mere fact that Kim was talking to him gave him the license he needed to randomly start rubbing her back. With a look of comic discomfort, she evacuated his presence.
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