Part III: Plaidtastic
It was getting late. We had tromped from stage to stage, toting our cooler and snacks all the live long day. The sun had gone down, we had come down, and it was starting to get chilly in the forest.
And by chilly I mean effing freezing, naturally. San Francisco summers are notoriously cold, and even though people talk up September weather like it’s some trip to the beach, September is really just the only time of year you don’t need a jacket AND a scarf. By night, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, you better layer it up or you’re going to be an organic, free range, locally grown popsicle.
I surveyed the scene in front of me, and concluded it was time to peace. Throughout the course of the day, we’d been joined by several friends: a coworker of mine, some LA friends of AKB’s who had more tattoos than the show LA Ink, a fellow named Hot Charlie was with us for a brief period of time, and then there was B.
B is 24, like me, unemployed, unlike me, and wears a lot of plaid, like the rest of the Bay Area these days. Your dad’s old work shirt that cost $89 at a Chestnut St boutique: so trendy right now.
“It’s getting cold,” I said gravely, as the rest of the crew was cavorting on the hillside, our final resting place for the day. AKB was playing backgammon with the tattoo artists from LA, B was bumming lighters off strangers nearby, and I was shivering on a blanket on the ground. I think our time at the bluegrass festival was coming to an end. Little did I know our night was hardly strictly even over. “I think I am ready to go home now.”
“What? NEVAH!” said B with a little too much bravado. “We live to party on! Besides, I want— hey look! I think that’s my tartan!”
Before I could even register the use of the word tartan by a man who wasn’t wearing a kilt, I realized it was true: B, in all his plaid glory had spotted a couple on a picnic blanket a few feet ahead of us and true enough, the plaid of their blanket matched the plaid of B’s shirt exactly. I expect if I ever see B’s room, it will probably be covered in this exact plaid, like all of Scotland took a huge dump on B’s possessions.
“Hey B,” I said, getting one of my famous ideas. “What would it take for me to convince you to walk over to that couple, ask them to move off their own blanket, and then lie down on it so I can take a picture of you disappearing into plaid nothingness?”
I hoped to embarrass B into going home. I assumed the answer would be no. Nobody in their right mind would usher two people off their own blanket for the sake of a pot-induced photographic opportunity.
I assumed incorrectly. Also, B was not in his right mind. Problem solved.
“Excuse me,” B said, shambling over, full of faux sweetness, like a baby-holding politician. “I couldn’t help but notice my shirt seems to match your blanket exactly. Would you mind very much if I asked you to get off your blanket so I can lie down on it and my friend here can take a picture?”
The couple were also not in their right mind apparently, because they hopped right up, B got right down, and all 6′ 4″ of B just disappeared. See?
(photo cropped to protect the completely guilty – B is not innocent of much – fabric abuse is only one of his many crimes.)
“Okay,” said B, hopping up from the blanket and flashing his B smile to all the other onlookers and shaking hands with concert goers who had charged the blanket to photograph his great disappearing act. “NOW I’m ready to go.”
“Oh OH, now that you’ve had your moment in the not-sun because the sun is no longer out you’re ready? You were just waiting for the paparazzi to swarm, and now that we’ve all frozen our plaids off, you decide it’s time to leave? What if I’m not ready to go now, did you ever think of that?”
I was hardly strictly a little bit cranky at this point. It had been a long day, it was cold, AKB had officially deserted D and I for the tattoo artists, and we were getting a little tired of catering to B’s whims in the woods. But, then again, what do you expect from someone who lives in a mansion for free and always gets what he wants?
Oh, I forgot to tell you? Yes, B lives in his aunt’s house, which is a mansion on Nob Hill (aka, The Mansch). The aunt (if she actually exists at all) allegedly lives in Paris with her Latin American lover and B has free reign 300 days out of the year. It’s all very Eat, Pray, Love, and B is reaping the tartan-encrusted benefits and has become quite the demanding princess in the process.
“Hilary,” B said in his politician voice again, “Are you ready to go?”
I considered making us stay just to prove a point, but I had lost all feeling in my face and not in the good, fun “whoa you guys, check this out! Poke me! Yeah, in the FACE!” way.
“Yeah, I wanna go.”
There was only one problem: B was not going anywhere, because B was hardly strictly completely stoned. And he had just popped the top on another beer. B makes good choices.
“I have my bus pass,” I said, problem solving, only slightly frantically. “We can just make our way out of the woods and hop on the 38 into the city.”
“Nooooo noooo, nope, nooooo” said B, his words already running together like a herd of puppies in a wide open field. “I drove here and if I leave it out, someone will cut the top off.”
“What do you mean someone will cut the top off? It’s a car, not a can of tuna.” B’s cagey ways were really starting to bug me. I wanted out and I meant it, and I didn’t have time to decipher what “cut the top off” means in B’s metaphorical musings on life.
“Well, that’s what happened to it the last time.”
“B, you are making no sense at all.”
“It’s a convertible,” he finally spit out, as though he were talking to a three year old. “And last time I left it outside overnight, someone cut the top off and it cost me $8,000. So we gotta get to the Benz, and we gotta drive it. Oooookaaaaay?”