Thursday, October 31, 2013

Second to Last Hurrah

I was planning to leave today, Halloween, when my friend Neil called me on Tuesday: He's in town. Naturally, I dropped everything because no one ever comes to Greenfield and drove up to Monterey so I could see him and two of his friends, Julia and Nick. When I found them, they'd already managed to find Plumes, the best coffee shop in Monterey, without any guidance. Once we'd lunched and coffee'd, I got them into the Monterey Bay Aquarium for free by taking advantage of my mom's volunteer swipe card and we roamed the corridors to gawk at the strange inhabitants of the sea. Luckily, the place wasn't packed to the gills (smirk) as it usually is. Wednesday afternoons don't seem to be very popular. Either that or everyone has jobs while the four of us recent college grads are completely bumming around life right now. Neil also drew me a jellyfish. As you can see, he's very... talented.

After a lovely couple hours in the dark of the aquarium, we caravaned down the 101 back to my house where we cooked dinner, drank beer, listened to music, sang songs, chatted, then stepped outside and bundled up in blankets to drink wine under the full map of stars. There is nothing like Reliz Canyon at night, especially when you have people to share it with. Sometimes we would talk or I'd completely own Neil with a perfectly customized insult, but other times we would fall into contemplating the massiveness before us. Later I strummed guitar and hummed them to sleep in the living room. Or I just annoyed the crap out of them.

The next morning, we had coffee and played Cuarenta, a card game I learned how to play in Ecuador. Nick and I lost every single game and were dubbed zapateros (shoemakers), an embarrassing namesake that deserves derisive mocking from the rest of your friends. Afterwards, Neil whipped us up a stunning breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, potatoes and veggies. We took our food outside again and ate under the sun. When our plates were clean, we observed the various birds and mammals that appeared before us, soaked up the panorama of mountains and trees until we were full in a different way.

Neil, Julia and Nick, thanks for your company.

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