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     Soon I’ll be visiting my friend in who lives in Atascadero. Right now the two of us are like kids preparing for summer camp, writing letters back and forth about how awesome it’s going to be. The last time we talked, my friend gushed “I’m off early on Thursday, so we can do Farmer’s. And I got Friday off! You do want to do Farmer’s right?” How many times have I been asked that question in my lifetime? Farmer’s Market in San Luis Obispo is what you do on Thursday night if you live there or in any of the many nearby cities. When my friends and I were in high school, it was the only thing to do: walk around, check people out, and try to find ways to get alcohol. Whenever I go back to downtown San Luis, I feel like I’m home, even though I haven’t lived there for 18 years. Somehow, I still feel like I belong there. I imagine some day I’ll get back for good.

     When I lived in Cayucos, my Atascadero friend and I went to Farmer’s every week. We’d get a tri-tip sandwich and a Pepsi, sit on the curb and watch the crowd move in front of us, then go to Leon’s bookstore and search the stacks. Leon’s is now closed, and downtown SLO is a lot different, but still, I love it there. For my friend and me, Farmer’s is still about the people-watching, but instead of alcohol we want caramel apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory. So when she asked me if I wanted go, I said yes, but I was surprised to hear myself add, “You know, if we feel like it.” Funny. During past visits, I’ve told my friend, “We HAVE to do Farmer’s.” One year it was raining, but we went anyway, standing outside getting soaked and watching people running for their cars and hovering under awnings. The two of us had no sense to come out of the rain, it was way too fun out there. More and more I find myself wanting to plan less, because it is all of those unplanned moments that create the best memories for me. I feel like the plan crowds out the potential for something more interesting to happen. Like the time I fell down the stairs in my friend’s garage on the way to dinner. Really, I kind of slow-motion peeled down the stairs and recovered on my feet in a laughing fit. She’s a good friend, she only laughed after she made sure I was okay. But then we laughed over it all night. I think that’s all I’m after really, moments like that: good stories to tell and those memories that make you laugh out loud whenever you think of them, even if you are by yourself. Maybe especially if you are by yourself. Like the time my Atascadero friend and I went for ice cream at Tastee Freeze and my chocolate-dipped cone exploded all over my lap as I was driving us home. She turned to me and said slowly, “Yaaaaa, that’s why I never order chocolate dipped,” then apologized and laughed her ass off at how that sounded. I had to pull over, I was laughing so hard. 

     The moment: that’s all I’m after really. Those little moments and memories are the best part of my life. It’s why I went to the library yesterday to watch Yogi Bear with the Bootie Boy, even though I thought the movie was bad the first time I saw it. It’s chilling out in that little room at the library with pillows and popcorn, sour skittles and sour jolly ranchers, his little head on the bumble bee pillow pet he calls Buzz Buzz and we call Bum Bum, just to hear him say Buzz Buzz!! Not Bum Bum!! It’s that part, when we are walking to the car, when he says, “That was fun, I really loved that.” Thanks dude, I really love THAT.

      Over the weekend I had the nicest moment. I was organizing my school stuff so that I could begin studying for the new semester (must get OCD symptoms under control). The Bootie Boy came into the room and was just hanging out with me, so we put Diary of a Wimpy Kid on the little TV and he began creating a “dance floor” of chapter books. Then he counted the books, proudly stating the fact that he has 45. He likes to have stuff and count what he has, and chapter books are big kid-dom for him. He looked at the colorful floor of perfectly lined up Stink Moody, Ready Freddy, Junie B., “Jack and Annie” and Rainbow Magic books, and smiled at me. I looked at my organized binder and smiled back. Happy moment. If, in the end, my whole life passes before my eyes, I hope it’s all those funny snippets, like an AFV montage, so I may be reminded of how much fun I’ve had.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 05/19/2011 12:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing your memories–makes them all the sweeter, doesn’t it? Have a great road trip. I know you’ll have good company on the way, and then you’ll be able to mull over even more good times.

    • 05/19/2011 1:07 pm

      Yes I will! We are contemplating road snacks! We must have Pepperidge Farm cookies, sour skittles, red vines, Gardettos snack mix, and of course, machiattos.

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