Second Youth

Basically, I relived my whole youth while in California.

I’ve only realized this now as I sit down in rented office space in Portland for right now, I am working (or rather taking a break from working) as my friend Keith continues to tip-tap away behind me on his laptop. See, in retrospect, I took a full spin through my old neighborhood of youth for a full week before moving on to an older youth at my cousin’s house in Los Angeles.

In my second childhood, I played the week away with my friend Chad’s kids, Max and Rhett. We were on the go constantly. This was in large part to Chad’s wife Shay who has the energy of a woman half her age. I would wake up around 8 or 9 and work while the kids (or babies as I call them jokingly) scurried away to their school (which only had half-days the week I was there and had 3 recesses in each of those half-days – thank you budget cuts, recession, and California’s general crumbling infrastructure). Around 12:30, the babies would return and we would almost immediately head straight out the door to hike. The first day it was the crumbly dirt bikepath on the rolling hills around redlands, the next day it was Forest Falls – an awesome waterfall/mountain oasis 45 minutes from the desert of Redlands, and the next day Joshua Tree. I felt like I was a kid again being carted around to the great outdoors with my two brothers who mom and dad decided to have 16 years after me. My little brothers looked up to me and envied my independence in being able to put myself in whatever harm’s way I wanted as their real mother worried for their lives as they followed me up waterfalls, crumbly hills, beautiful Joshua tree boulders, etc. We would then return home and eat till our belts burst and play four-square in the driveway and hockey in the garage and shoot airsoft guns and play with the rats and make a ruckus on the drums and guitars and avoid going to sleep and put showers off as long as possible and crashing hard eventually from expelling so much energy that day. It was great. Of course when they went to bed I would have some very unyouthful beverages. In a way I was like the coolest peer I could ever imagine myself being as a kid. I related to them and played with them while still being able to stay up late, drink beer, drive, not go to school and toss myself in dangers way as much as I wanted – basically, everything you wish you could do when you’re eleven but can’t.

When I traveled on to Los Angeles, I entered my teenage college-ish years. My cousin works for AB and as such receives perks that completely suit a visiting irish family member. Everywhere we go – drinks are given to us without any thought of what kind of tab we may be running up; this can make you a popular person in any bar setting. I also visited my good friend Zack who has been in LA for the past 5 years. We always have a good time together as we have a general lack of awkwardness in our interactions; we’re dorks. We jumped around the boulders on malibu, looked for broads in bikinis, played basketball, trespassed into hot tubs and raised hell in general, all while talking about our current situations and misfortunes with girls. We always seem to enter into some hugely deep conversation that starts off talking about current events before veering into recent transgressions with the fairer sex which transcends into past transgressions with the fairer sex before a sharp dog-ear into destiny and fate and meaning and substance and elements and dark matter before u-turning into head-on traffic about girls once more. It’s always a good conversation. And it’s carefree while still being so damn important at the moment.

Back at my cousin’s bachelor pad, I refound my love of parlor games – mostly darts and pool. We would play these games while betting money we didn’t really want to lose until 3 or 4 a.m. only to have our bets refunded for some less expensive duty the next day. Thanksgiving was basically a non-stop dart and pool marathon with a break for dinner in-between. All we wanted to do was play darts and pool and we did and it was a lot of fun.
– Laker’s game which was cool I guess. I think I peered down at the back of Jack Nicholson’s balding head more than at the game.
– Irish Pubbery; after which we almost got towed. As Zack’s friend says – you need a degree to understand when it’s okay to park in LA.
– Golfed at the hardest golf course I’ve ever played which, playing with my cousin’s roommate’s (who is the asian version of gary coleman) clubs, did not boost my score. Also, 20 bucks for a two hot dogs and two beers. Welcome to California; bend over please.
–  Walked down Hollywood again which is less glamorous the second time around. Celebrity footprints and handprints are only so entertaining.
– Running; Running in LA is one of the most interesting and possibly life threatening things you can do in this life. Aside from the threat of sidewalkless roads and crappy terrain, you have a thin layer of ash that rested upon everything every night – presumably from some fire further north. Not to mention, California drivers are supposedly 43rd in terms of knowledgeable driving. Google it.

More days passed and before I know it, I’m in Portland. It’s cold and cool-looking and there are alot of bicyclists. And here I am, a little older and a little more re-experienced. I’m thinking of home and trying to decide if it’s someplace I really want to get back too… now that I’m officially an adult.

I’m not really sure.
But whoever is?


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