Drop off Mike at the airport at 5am. We’re both excited for our weekends so it’s a quick goodbye. Have fun, I’ll see you in a few days. It’s still dark, the roads are quiet, and it’s actually a very peaceful drive back to the apartment. I like California at this time of day – I rarely see it. And I won’t see it for much longer.
I walk into my pitch black apartment where Kevin and Jill are still sleeping. Stumble back into bed and fall asleep for a few hours. When we wake up later, they check out the boardwalk while I shower and pack for Rich and Tara’s wedding. It’s almost lunch time when they get back, so we head to Malibu, PCH style. Kevin and Jill want to check out this place called Neptune’s Net, right by the water. We cruise along the highway, and I can’t stop myself from being a backseat driver when Kevin takes in the sights instead of looking at the road in front of him. Can’t really blame him – it is an amazing view.
This is the furthest I think I’ve driven along the PCH. Malibu is huge, and beautiful. Jill wants to know where all the famous people live. I have no idea.
We finally find it with its enormous sign outside, as well as many motorcycles. This must be their hang out. It doesn’t seem big enough to hold the swarm of people buzzing around. There’s a menu on the wall, you order at a counter and they call your number when it’s ready. Jill is ordering our food, Kevin is scoping out a picnic table outside, and I am staring at the beer possibilities in front of me. It’s serve yourself – there’s a damn good selection and I have trouble deciding on one for each of us. Jill comes over to help and we agree on three pyramids – Hefeweizen for Kev, Apricot Ale for me, and IPA for Jill. Yum. When our number is called, Jill gets the food while I grab plasticware and plenty of condiments for the table. I love condiments.
We share a sampler platter of fried seafood – shrimp, scallops, calamari, crabcakes, and fries. And also some fish tacos that are amazing. Glad I’ve been losing weight for this wedding. Oh well, I’m on vacation. Wait, no I’m not. Jill and Kevin are on vacation. This is not good. Whenever people come to visit I feel like it’s a celebration. It’s hard not to in California.
After lunch, we drive a little ways back and pull over to lounge on the beach. It’s chilly again today, so we don’t last long. Back on the road and onward to Troy and Jason’s apartment – I’m driving with them down to Palm Springs. This is a first for Jill and Kevin, obviously, but for me too – we haven’t seen their new apartment in Brentwood. I already gave Troy a hard time for not inviting us over, but Jason wants to be a good host and have it all ready when we come. I can appreciate that.
It’s a nice area and actually fairly close to Venice. The apartment is great – one bedroom, good living space, small kitchen. It’s not completely furnished yet but they’ve got all the basics. It’s surprisingly very clean. Surprising because I’ve lived with Troy – he is not clean. Jason must have OCD about it. Just a guess.
We sit and talk for a while until Jason gets home. Then it’s time for goodbyes. I really loved having Kevin and Jill stay with us. I’d be more sad right now if I didn’t know they were moving to California. But they are, and we’ve already made plans to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas together. It’s going to be awesome.
Now it’s just me and the boys as we make the 3-hour drive to Palm Springs. Traffic isn’t too bad and we arrive at our hotel around 7pm. Nothing special, but it’s clean, and no bed bugs – I check. We drop our bags and walk somewhere for dinner – it’s almost like a beach town with a strip of bars and restaurants and shops, except there’s huge mountains right next to us. Mike texts me that it’s disgustingly humid back home. At least your nose isn’t bleeding – it’s so dry here.
We settle on an Irish pub because apparently, Troy likes any bar that has “pub” in the name. It’s not the greatest place, but happy hour is until 9. That’s a score. We have some drinks and food – our burgers are good. Then we walk to another bar. This place is awesome. Everyone here is over 50 and definitely owns a motorcycle. There’s that moment when you walk in a bar and everyone stares at you. It totally happens here, and I love it. We sit at the bar and I know better than to order wine. I’ll have a jameson and ginger (trying to act like I belong).
The three of us have a good conversation about our relationships. I’m honest, as always, with Troy that he pisses me off. But I piss him off, too. We’ll probably always have arguments but we’ll always be friends. I express my concern about their relationship – that they’re moving too fast. But hey, Mike was my first real boyfriend and we’re going on six years. So you never know.
The three of us are kind of broke, so instead of spending any more money at the bar, we head to the liquor store.
We want to get something to share. I was just drinking whiskey and I know Troy likes whiskey, so we settle on Jack Daniels. Get some ginger ale, coke, gatorade, and a gallon of water. After we check out, Troy sighs loudly. “Alright…let’s go do bad things.” Very true, Troy. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I start drinking whiskey.
As Troy opens the driver side door and I open the door behind him, two kids walk up to us. Neither look at me – just Troy. I already know what they’re going to say. “Excuse me, would you be able to buy us a bottle of smirnoff and we’ll pay you for it?” I can’t help but smile. I can remember being these kids. I never walked up to an adult in a liquor store parking lot, but I definitely remember trying to get older siblings and friends to buy us youngins some alcohol. Troy doesn’t hesitate to answer. “I can’t do that guys, sorry.” “OK, thank you.” They walk away with their heads down, like sad puppy dogs. We get in the car. I’m a little sad for them. Poor guys. Troy feels bad. “They look like babies.” Really? I can’t tell anymore. I thought maybe 18, but who knows – maybe it was closer to 14. “Man I feel bad. I was them once.” Yea, but it’s not worth it to get in trouble. And smirnoff? C’mon. Troy laughs at this. Back in my day (God, I sound old), it was Leeds vodka (permanent marker) and Natty Light (so gross, but cheap).
Once we’re back in our hotel room I’m ready for shorts and a T-shirt. I guess I could get changed in front of Troy and Jason, but that’s not going to happen. I tell them so. I’m getting changed in the bathroom, I don’t care if you’re gay. They both laugh at this. I’m glad we can joke around about it. We start taking shots of Jack and chasing it with gingerale. I don’t even remember the last time I took shots like this. Guys, I feel like we’re going to tell a lot of secrets. We do open up and start talking candidly with each other. Not so much huge secrets, but definitely a lot of honesty. We somehow finish the bottle between the three of us. We actually seem pretty fine – not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, it’s felt good to talk about stuff. I love having gay friends.