June 16, 2004

I woke up this morning in New Hampshire at 6:30am and the day was new and bright. From my half-asleep half-blind repose, the day was startling in its green and yellow and dazzle. I smiled and then fell back asleep, nestled in my new Jersey sheets in my new bed in my newly painted room.

Myq and Elaine's wedding was a delightful and odd combination of bossa nova and the ocean and sneakers and sundresses and camp friends and stand-up comedy and a minister who said "marriage rocks" and a wedding singer who closed her eyes and smiled when she sang "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" and "Girl from Ipanema." We ate pasta and filched extra cake and got slightly sunburnt.

My parents and I stopped at Lilac Blossom for dinner, my high school place of employment. I was one of the few Caucasian kids surrounded by Asian servers and Hispanic bus boys. My primary job was "tea and water." Yes, I was one of those maddening people who fills your water glass after you have taken but one sip. We wore tuxedo shirts and cummerbunds and bowties, and stood against the wall, at the ready. The people were awesome, and there was always merry-making in the narrow hallway, where waiters would bustle by, trays above their heads, while one of the bus boys juggled the forks, or the bartender looked back to stick out his tongue. Francisco was always blowing in my ear. The Other Francisco showed me pictures of his kids. Tommy squinted and laughed and Raymond got grumbly and Dan was the picture of poise. All of the Asian waiters had American names, doled out by our dragon lady boss, Sophia. There was Benji and Tony and Danny and Joey and Alvin and Tommy and Johnny. Sophia tried to make me be Angela; she had a bag full of name tags and that's the one she pulled out when I started working at the Lilac Blossom. I tried to convince her to order a "Kerry" nametag, to no avail. She pinned it onto my shirt and when I walked away she called out "Angela!" and got so mad when I didn't turn around.

When we walked into the restaurant, Sophia gasped and smiled and said something like this: "Oh my Ga! Kerry-a! You my girl! Oh my Ga! I lova yo hai-ya! You still have a boyfriend? He OK? If he's OK with dad he OK with me. Why you work in Connecticut?! Come work-a with me. I lova you! You my supa-lady!" She sat us in her favorite waiter's section, and told him to take extra special care of us. She watched him from the back, and he did his very best to pour our tea with elegant gusto and serve our meal with flair. We all giggled quietly when the bill came and Sophia, a Capitalist at heart, had charged us the full amount.

Sunday was National John Day, which fell between my dad's birthday and father's day. I went running with my padre in the morning and, let me tell you, he's in incredible shape for a guy who just had sextuple bypass surgery. I consider myself a pretty fit person, and I totally couldn't keep up with him. He gracefully slowed his pace, and we ran only two miles instead of his customary 3.5.

The week has been full of family meals and shopping and errands and sitting on the porch and late-night reading and movies and barefoot walks through the grass. Our neighbors have a golden retriever puppy and I keep tromping over the property line to play with her. When she sees me, she barks and tosses her head and wags her tail and turns circles. In fact, I hear Bella barking right now, and I think I will go pay her a visit.

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