What a good week! As it just had to happen, I finally had some people over to my place for a small soiree, a housewarming party of sorts. It has been pending for a while, but who knew it took so long to become presentable. Well, it took me a while, but I felt ready, finally this week, to have company.
Hosting little get togethers is just something I've always loved, but for the last many years I've had too small a space for that sort of crowd. I tried, though, I sure did try. I remember one Thanksgiving when my friend Brooke came over and I made the whole feast, in my tiny little place, using a hotplate and toaster oven! And we sat on the floor and ate off of a box and it was the sweetest Thanksgiving I could ever ask for. Thanksgiving on a box.
In any case, my little party was such a contrast to the alone time last week. Just a surge of energy and people and talking. We played a board game that I haven't played in ages called Pop 5. The instructions are complicated to explain, but it basically consists of getting your team to guess something by doing one of a variety of activities that are worth 1 to 5 points, depending on how easy or difficult the opposing team deems each activity. It's a complete riot and everyone loved it!
I must interrupt myself to say that the first thing Bethany pointed out upon her arrival was that the paintings above my bed were not even. Of course. I was just like, yeah, I know, you'll read about it in the blog. Count on Bethany to see that right away and say something about it. Gotta love that girl.
Anyway, I get to have company now! By the multitudes! I mean, I had five, count it, five, people in my apartment for the evening. I was like a kid before her birthday preparing for that thing! Sometimes, I think it's really the moments in between the big moments that mean so much. Preparing for that little party, it was so joyful for me.
So, Bethany, Johnny, Jessica, Agatha and Jonathan, the usual suspects, all came over for the evening of fun. I had a full spread of appetizers, including the last of my homemade Spanikopita, which was well loved and there was even a "you made this from scratch?" thrown in there, to my ego's pride, because, well, you heard that story. So it was good enough for public consumption, mind you, and it was the first food that was eaten up before all of the other wonderful treats. Hummus and vegetables and two cheeses and pita chips and mushroom turnovers and flatbread and tzatziki and spinach dip. There were good eats, to say the least.
And my apartment felt warm and inviting and I just can't wait to have people over again.
It's funny, this week. It's as if my last week in my own company had to be counter balanced by all of the people I love. My friend David invited me over to hang out the other afternoon and I ended up taking a cab there since I figured we'd have a glass or two of wine together. Both of us being lovers of wine and all. And, yes, I am seriously one of the few people in LA who takes cabs. Why there is no cab culture here, I will never understand.
Anyway, to the cab ride itself. I have this thing with cab drivers. I've always felt they're under-loved. I think they need some kindness. I know they do, by now. Because I've talked deeply to a lot of them in my time. Ask anyone who's ever been in a cab with me, I'm the one who always tries to sit in the front to talk to the cab driver. I mean, I've really learned so much about the world and different countries and different perspectives. It's been an education. Even if I'm forced into the back with everyone else, I always lean forward and have a conversation with the driver through that small window, ignoring my friends all the while.
But, I decided so long ago that no one ever talks to the cab driver. And they're just driving for hours and hours. Plus, it's usually driving around with angry, impatient or obnoxious people. I know this because they've told me. That would just not be fun! And I've always had this childlike enthusiasm to learn about life and inquire. So, young me decided to make it a small mission to talk to them all and get their stories and hopefully make them feel appreciated for a little while.
It's how I've always been though. I want to keep others company. To learn and to share. Even on road trips, I'm always determined to stay awake with the driver and keep them company and play games like I-spy, and what-name-of-a-place-begins-with-the-last-letter-of-the-place-I-just-named. These are good games that can keep you awake for the long haul. I do tend to go out of my way for the comfort of others. Because I know how it feels. And I know what it would mean if others did the same for me. It means a lot.
So the first cab driver, well, I was actually going to take the bus, but then this cab pulled up at the stop light and I just sort of spontaneously jumped in and started rambling. He was Russian and just hates his job and likes Russia better but his wife and kids really like it here and are thriving, so I just had to reassure him that his decision was a good one because his loved ones matter and his job might be tough for him, but it's leading to good. And he did say that I made his day better and his job better.
Um. Well, but the cab driver on the way home, hmmmm. He was an interesting one. Probably the most interesting yet, as they usually humor me and converse back at the very least. This one. Tough. I started in on my how's your shift going spiel and he just sort of shrugged and moved his lips, but no words. Wore a huge visor and dark sunglasses and held the steering wheel like his life depended on it, but really close to it, like he needed it for comfort. So, after me asking a few more of my stock cab driver questions, that usually get me far and they open up, he was still shrugging and moving his lips in like a half-mumble, I asked him aloud, and in sign, if he signed. I just thought, why not? Maybe that's it. And he shook his head no. Damn. I had some nice inspiring sign language sentences for him, too. I only know a few, but they're good.
I think I got a good vibe from him anyway. Like he appreciated my effort but was just socially not up to it. So I felt all right about the whole thing.
And then I was back home. And my home is so good.
After a rambunctious and social week, I realized something. Your home is an extension of yourself. It's who you are, no matter how small or big or who's there or not. At the root of it, your home is you. It's the same either way, when you are really living who you are. Alone, or with others, you've always got this home of sorts. Yourself. Anywhere.
And, mine, it's a very solid place. Built with the scaffolding of love, doors hinged with experience, windows seeking to discover and walls painted with wonder. It's a good place to call home, it really is.
Also, I just have to say how amazing it was last night here in LA! It was the downpour of all downpours. I simply had to run up to the roof and watch the rain fall in sheets and listen to the thunder. Good god! Sometimes, just, I don't know. No words can express the thrill I get from watching this magnificent display. It will forever astound me.