The second day in California started with haircuts at the Supercuts near the WalMart at College and the 76. It was easily one of the best haircuts I’ve ever received. Too bad haircuts can’t be that good in Utah.
Right afterwards, we went to the chapel where the reception was being hosted in Oceanside (somewhere on Melrose by an Albertsons) and assisted in building a tent in the cultural hall, setting up tables, Christmas lights and the final clean up before the wedding. While there, I met Andy’s new in-laws. They are a nice couple. He’s an IT manager for a California nuclear plant and she is a homemaker. I also met their oldest daughter and her husband. He’s a buyer for a California university library and she’s a homemaker. Before anyone jumps on me, I think being a homemaker is one of the most honorable professions anyone, man or woman, can have; we’ll save that debate for another day.
After a couple hours of good work, I followed Andy and Crystal to her home in Fallbrook where I meet Crystal’s other sister who is nine-months pregnant and who’s since given birth, Crystal’s four-year old niece and her dog. I had a great conversation with the dog and niece (both quite talkative and friendly). After a short visit, leaving Crystal to take a nap (the wedding prep taking quite a toll of course), Andy, Rob and I went to Rosa’s, a Fallbrook Mexican restaurant that I would recommend to anyone. The food is similar, but much higher quality, to Beto’s in Provo and the place is a real restaurant run by its namesake. I loved the food. If I ever go back to Oceanside, I’ll be returning to Fallbrook’s Rosa’s.
After dinner, Rob and I decided we would drive down to the Beach.
Turning off South Coast Highway at Cassidy and parking on South Pacific Street, we walked down some steps onto the beach. I suppose a little framing is in order: I have not been on a beach since I left Maui in 1992 when Andy was four–nineteen years earlier. I love the beach and the ocean and it figures deeply in my poetry and dreams. One of my first published poems is titled “The Beach.” Even now thinking about and typing about the beach, I have goose-bumps. I have known love and separation in my life and standing in the spray and foam up to mid-thigh was a total high; a homecoming and reenforcement of my deepest religious feelings (BTW: I still have not washed those jeans, vans and socks–I’m afraid to loose the ocean again).
The tide was going out and it was dark. The sky was obstructed by incoming clouds from the north. To the south, the sun was gasping out its final goodnights with a faint purple & mauve highlight separating the stars and the horizon. There were ships in the distance, the Oceanside pier to the North, San Diego’s lights to the South and a buoy clanking faintly someplace to the West. To the East behind us, most of the homes were unlit and empty. I felt the voice of the waves calling to me, but decided then was not the best time to go swimming.
It started raining.
I don’t know how long I just stood there in the early night, but eventually I wanted to share with Rob. I looked over and he was looking into the water as well. I started going over to him, but he wouldn’t let me get too close. That twerp. He thought I wanted to dunk him, so I started chasing him. I’m pretty fast for a fat guy and got close enough to grab his hat. Once I had it, I ran right at the ocean with it over my head out of his reach. With him yelling at me to not do it, I did: I threw his hat into the waves. The problem was it flipping over midair and floating back. This . . . this was unsatisfactory. I chased him down again and threw his hat out into the waves like a frisbee and it sank. Rob is pretty fast, however, and ran out to armpit depth and saved the silly thing. Wringing it out, he stuck it back on his head in triumph.
It was still raining.
Warm sprinkles in December; we loved it and the very nice sixty degree weather and the warmth of mother ocean. Laughing and having a lot of fun, we walked back to the truck and got in . . .