< June 7, 1998 >

Under the Moon

Plans with Raven nearly wrecked themselves on an accident on 520 as John and I were scrambling to try and meet up with him on time in Fremont. The accident blocked a lane and then when they cleared it out and got the ambulances going, it was going about a car length every five minutes, and that was mostly from all the cars bailing out from the freeway and taking whatever exit they could to go *back*.

We nearly bailed, but the sun felt so good, and with the open top Landy it was easy to sit outside in the gorgeous weather, and about five minutes after we decided not to bail it all opened up as they'd managed to clear it all out. It was pretty good timing, because if we had turned around, it would have taken even longer than it did.

So we were nearly an hour late, getting to the Red Door Ale House, so weren't that surprised to find that Raven wasn't there. We were surprised, though, when we walked through the Ale House to discover that the Free-mont movies were being shown in the parking lot just behind the Ale House. We'd been thinking about looking all over Fremont for the place, but it was right there. That was really keen, and so we wandered over in the direction of the movie place and found Raven wandering back, as he'd been trundling between the Ale House and the movie area, looking for us and wondering whether or not we were going to show up at all as there was no means of contacting each other if either of us had to bail out.

Okay, and I'd been talking about bailing out the day before, simply because I hate the cold and stuff, but that was just because I'm a pessimist at times, too. We, however, hadn't, and it was good to see that he hadn't either, and we had managed to meet up.

So we walked back over to the Stoat and picked up all our stuff. I have this odd thing about leaving stuff out in the open, as I just think it's *going* to get stolen. Even after years of driving the Stoat around Seattle, leaving stuff in it and having it all still be there every time we go do things in it and leave stuff in it, I still think it's going to get stolen. I blame my LA past, I think. Indoctrinated at a young age that no one should be trusted, especially strangers.

Thing is that even after all that proof, I still fear. Ah well. I should grow my faith. Anyway, the three of us got the lawnchairs, the snacks and stuff and wandered over, paid our donations to get in, got labeled and parked everything in a parking slot on the parking lot and then went off to have dinner. To Raven's intense amusement, he was labeled Rock Hudson. I was given Gloria Swanson, whom I don't know much about. And John was given "As Seen on TV", which made me giggle a lot. We left the chairs, the stuff, Raven's black leather coat, and my full-circle charcoal wool cloak which, admittedly, looks far more like a blanket than any article of clothing. We then just walked away from everything and went to dinner at The Triangle. It was the only place that Raven had eaten before, so he thought we should go there. Note, the one place John said that he *didn't* want to eat at was Costas, the nearby Greek place because he *had* eaten there before. This instant juxtaposition of approaches amused me a lot.

I wasn't sure if I should tell Raven that the Triangle is known to be a good lesbian pick-up joint, so I didn't, and just let things play themselves out. For all that the boy keeps protesting that he's as straight as they come, he seems to just home in on the gayest places possible, just by instinct or something.

But it was fun to walk in and get looked at and look back at the lovely maitre d', who was in a short skirt and gold tank top that could get Raven to stop talking simply when she approached. Okay, it had pretty much the same affect on me, so I shouldn't be so catty. <grin> She was gorgeous, too, long legs, a heart shaped face with hazel eyes and lovely hair that was as gold as her tank top. John and Raven had Guiness while I had Seven-Up and cranberry juice. Yum. Simple.

Both Raven and I had the Copper River salmon with a lovely corn-veggis mixed base, and rice. It'd been marinated in a bit of soy and sherry and it was rich and tender and lovely and beautifully cooked. John had the lasagna and enjoyed it muchly. The sun set while we were eating and I was a little worried, but I shouldn't have been, about the timing and about whether or not we were missing anything as I could hear lots of sounds from the area that the movie was supposed to be shown. It made me kinda jumpy, so I was pretty impatient with the waitress and I probably shouldn't have been, as she did really well, for all my impatience, so I tipped rather largely and then we wandered back to the movie place.

I needn't have worried, on various ways. The summer days are so long now, that full dark doesn't really happen until about 9:30 or even 10 p.m.. So they had various local folks that weren't afraid to get up and make fools of themselves doing 'live music' before the movies. Raven noted that nearly all his friends were like much better at music as was himself, but none of them would have dared thought they were good enough to do something like get up in front of all these people and actually play for them. It kinda surprised me, but it also made sense. None of them either think they're good enough or would want to get up in front of a bunch of rowdy folks just waiting for something else to happen.

Then John became my hero, because he'd come in his flying gear... Well, the wind in the Stoat gets nasty on the freeway. So he has this setup, that's a flyers skullcap and flying goggles that work really well at keeping vision clear and stuff out of your eyes. I'd added, a while back, a long, heavy silk scarf from J. Peterman's, and while the scarf took some adjusting to fly right, it looked really good with the rest and even better with his red balloon flying jacket. The Free-mont movies has not only a prize for the best Urban Campsite (i.e. folks bring couches, floor lamps, and end tables) but also a prize for the best costume of the day, and the prize is a six pack of Thomas Kemper Root Beer, which is very good stuff. So they get some pretty elaborate campsites as well as usually some pretty elaborate costumes. Just not on that day. John seemed to be the only person in the crowd in an unusual get-up.

Intrepid John stomped down the center aisle to be in on the competition. Which impressed the heck out of both Raven and I, as we're both introverts and I think I'd have died rather than gone up. Which is likely an odd juxtaposition for y'all reading this as this is holding my whole life up to what pretty much amounts to the most public exposure there is. I don't know why it's not just okay but sometimes even necessary for me to do this and be completely unwilling to do the other, but it is. Hrm. Come to think of it Raven writes his public journal as well. So it's kinda funny.

The sky slowly darkened, golds to pinks to dark and darker blues and bluer and then those impossible shades of deep blue that no one can ever capture in pigment. I watched the stars come out and then the moon, nearly full glowed silver bright behind us. The night came down and chilled the air, and I wrapped my cloak about me tightly.

Then the movies began. What was cool was that, first, there were five shorts that were done by various amateur movie makers and the first one was really keen, eventhough there was still a bit of light and the sound system wasn't really plugged in right.

The other four weren't quite as keen. But they were honest efforts, one turned out to be from Ohio State University's animation school, which Raven knew a little about, but it was mostly like someone used every single utility in some 3-D animation tool and that was the whole purpose of the film. Yuck. It was interesting, though, to know that there was such a venue that such films were getting shown at.

The feature film was Max Max Beyond Thunderdome. An oldie but a goodie especially keen under the cool night sky. Though the surface of the sheet really was wrinkled and made the presentation a bit more textured and really hard to see during the sandstorm bits. They also only had one projector, so couldn't really use the cue bits to start up the next reel at the right times, so there were good long breaks between reels that were pretty keen. I hadn't had an intermission in a movie for years.

It was fun. All in all it was a blast and while it was Hell getting there, it was fun when we did. An experience that was really cool.

Afterwards, we all piled everything into the Stoat and dropped Raven off and then got home around 1 a.m. and went to sleep. Fezzik was a little lonely from being home all day while we were at work and everything, so I stayed up a while just petting him and hugging him.

One day weekends kinda suck, especially when one is a deacon and it's also communion Sunday and John had to teach Sunday school anyway. So we were stuck with having to get up in the morning and do stuff. Turned out that John let Fezzik out in the morning, too, so when we drove out to church, we met Fezzik coming *back* home. So we piled him into the car and took him with us to church, parked in the shade, got him some water and then went in. During the fellowship hour, he ended up on the shaded porch outside the Fellowship hall, getting visited by everyone.

Social pack animal that he is, he loved it.

We then took him to Beaver Lake and let him wallow in the cooler depths and run around with the ducks before piling him back into the car and putting the Stoat under the drive thru roof of the bank right next to the grocery store. The bank building created a bit of a wind tunnel affect, so there was always a cool breeze working its way through there, so Fezzik had shade and a breeze while we trundled off over the hot parking lot to the grocery store to get salad stuff for that night's dinner with a buncha folks.

So Fezzik was pretty happy. We did okay, too, in the end, as we got hot dogs with real hot dog buns. Okay... with all that I talk about all kinds of food, one of my favorites is still all-beef Wranglers in soft white buns with ketchup and relish. Really simple, really cheap and really happy making for me when its summer and I'm just in the mood for it. Yes, I'm an indiscriminate whatever... but it just makes me happy. Especially with ripe avocado guacamole with blue corn chips beforehand and the thought of Thomas Kemper Root Beer Floats with. Yum...

So I was stuffed and happy and really, really hot as the darned temperatures rose all afternoon. So by 3 I had to take a nap. So I did, and slept until 4, which is when John came to wake me, and started to make the salad, so I stayed asleep until 4:30, which is when I knew I had to get up. My face was just a bit sunburnt and the cold water from the tap was both shock and pleasure in one on the hot skin. I had a Body Works aloe lotion that soothed the hot skin, but it was still really warm out. It was *so* hot that I couldn't even think of wearing much more than a black tank top and my Balaniese coin pants, which are cut big and swirly and cool.

Riding in the Stoat in that outfit was great. Finally got me cooled off.

That was about when I noticed the gigantic, Big, BLACK Thunderheads to the east. oh boy. John refused to allow that it might actually rain *on* us, but Steve, the host, offered to let us put the Stoat in the garage during dinner. I finally managed to badger John enough to get it into the garage, at the very least, and sure enough, during dinner it started to pour. Beforehand there were just lots of big booming thunder bits and some flickering of the lights. And after the one hard downpour, which cooled everything down, magically, it stopped.

So the ride home was dark and cool and damp with the smell of new rain on hot pavement. Mist rising from the patches of blacktop that had been so hot during the day, and the air cooled remarkably. We stopped at Target and just enjoyed the scent of the darkening evening, bought a few things that I'd hoped to get over the weekend, and looked up at the sky in wonder. The black thunderheads had rolled to the east and in the darkening twilight were blue-purple to black, while the sky overhead was as clear as could be, and deepening into that impossible blue. The west was silver with the dying twilight and the moon was up again, full and round and bright.

It was such a lovely day.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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