I love the beach. I’ve been trying to go whenever it’s nice out, so basically every day, recently. Walk over with my beach chair and bag of goodies – a couple books, notebook, blog journal, towel, water. I plan to write, but end up relaxing instead. Did start a new book – Savages (in theatres July). Mostly I’m just working on my tan – on a time schedule of course – flipping every 20 minutes. I flip onto my stomach and notice more people sitting behind me. I do a one, two, three: triple take. That guy looks like Jaime Gonzalez, but there’s no way he’s sitting behind me right now. I stare for a second and know. Yup, that’s him. I hear him talk and it’s definite. He’s with a guy and a girl. I decide to wait until I leave to talk to him – I’m not staying much longer anyway.
Small world, isn’t it? Crazy. We’re not friends, really, but we went to high school together. If we were both in West Deptford and I saw him at some bar, I wouldn’t walk up to him and say hi. I’d be like, oh, there’s Jaime Gonzalez. But here, in Venice, it’s going to be a big deal. It’s kind of like when I was in high school and had so many rival schools: Gateway – ew; Haddonfield – robots/aliens; Collingswood – trash. These are just examples. But in college when I met a person, one of the first questions always asked was, where are you from? If someone were to say Haddonfield, I’d be like oh my God, I went to West Deptford, we were neighbors! And now we’re best friends.
I’m wondering if he’ll remember my name. I hate when I forget a person’s name. I always try to play it off, like heyyy, how are you? But when someone doesn’t remember my name, I can tell right away. It’s so obvious. Which means I’m not fooling anyone when it happens to me. I think I’ll just say my name when I say hi, like, Jaime Gonzalez? Lindsay Stetson! How are you? That way it’s not awkward. But I don’t do that.
Jaime Gonzalez? He’s on his feet right away, walking over to give me a hug. “Yo! How are you?” He gestures back to his friends. “We went to high school together! Were you sitting there the whole time?” Yea. “Did you know I was behind you?” No. “You just saw me now?” Yea.
I don’t know why I lie. I guess because I think it’s rude that I didn’t say hi right away, so I just pretend his appearance surprised me. I wasn’t planning on lying. It just came out of my mouth. We make small talk and I tell him I was just home. “You were home and you didn’t come to the reunion?” Yea, I’m not Sarah. I was a year behind you. “Oh, shoot, you guys look so much alike.” False. But that’s OK. He’s being really nice. Jaime’s here for the DAY. He flew in late last night and has a flight back early tomorrow morning. No reason, just decided to come to California for the day with his cousin. This kid is always traveling, it seems. “So what are you doing out here? You live here?” Yea, actually, I’m just five blocks that way. I tell him about me and Mike and what we’re doing out here. I’m working at a bar nearby. “How do you get there?” On my bike. It’s less than 10 minutes from my apartment. Jaime’s laughing now. “Man, you guys are livin the life.” Umm, well…yea, I guess we kinda are.
We talk for about 10 or 15 minutes and end the conversation with Ms. Ryan – her and Nick seem to be our mutual connection. “If you talk to Ms. Ryan before me, tell her I said hi and I love her.” OK, you got it. Enjoy your day!
I walk off the beach smiling to myself. I feel a little lighter. I guess it takes someone else to make me realize how lucky I am. I talk to Mike about it later that night. You know we’re coming up on six months in California? I’ve been thinking so much about what I haven’t done yet instead of thinking how far we’ve come since November. We were living in North Hollywood in a crappy place in a crappy neighborhood, both of us jobless. Now we live in Venice Beach (the best location I could imagine); I have a decent job that’s literally right near our apartment and Mike is getting gig after gig. Everything else will come in time. For now, things are good.