The inability to recreate the sensation of cold when in the dead of summer or heat when in the dead of winter is a curious failing of memory. Same deficiency comes into play when trying to recall physical pain in any great detail, or severe emotional pain, when living in a state of painlessness. My mother used to tell me that women forget the agony of childbirth which is why they go on to have more children.
Well, here it is, in the middle of a Los Angeles rainstorm and I’m having a hard time coming up with the words to tell about the heat over the weekend in Palm Springs. My writing it out doesn’t sound real. I’m wearing a USC sweatshirt with cozy jeans and cozy boots with the furnace blasting while trying to talk about the sun filtering through high clouds, a sun that stung my skin when the four of us women reclined by the pool with cocktails at our side. Sadly, I only lasted twenty minutes before the inevitable redness started. I ran for cover, Bloody Mary in hand, House of leaves in another. Ran to sit under the balcony of our lower level suite where I kicked back, reading in the shade, the temperature a wonderful 80 to 85 degrees or so.
The weekend started with shopping at Cabazon – too much for my taste. After a couple of hours, JC (our good family whom we love like a sister) and I plopped down on a bench and waved Sister and T on. “Forget about us – we’ll just sit here, watching the setting sun, wishing for some wine and dinner. Please…continue.” I did manage to pick up some nice sunglasses, a couple of t-shirts, a soft stuffed bunny rabbit for M. The boys got food – goodies from Hadley’s, a local date and nut shop.
We finally got to the hotel near 7:00 p.m. We hurried and changed and headed for dinner at the Cheesecake factory – we sat at a table having split the huge dinners and discussed Oprah, Frey (yeah, yeah, really old news), G.W. Bush, the difference between addiction, discipline and willpower when it comes to checking e-mail or the Blackberry or calling in for messages. We drank our cocktails, my sister and I making sure not to overdo it because the worst thing the following morning is being sick from alcohol. We were completely successful in our efforts. We stayed up late in the room, playing Travel Scrabble, being silly as all get out.
We avoided all talk about children, having children, and husbands. Yet in the morning, what did we find out our door? A mama duck walking with her eight chicks, walking back and forth, ignoring the flight of other ducks above her, serious about her job of watching them as they swam in a small puddle.
We had a late breakfast, we went to the pool, my lovely relaxation in the shade where I was sure I’d come home with new goals in mind (better dinners, better focus, better housecleaning), the spa in the afternoon. We came to the conclusion that we did not like seeing naked women walking around – it brought out our inherent modesty. We didn’t like the steam room although the eucalyptus was lovely and breathable, but we liked the sauna. The dry heat felt good. The massages were nice – I was grateful not to have someone chatty. I liked, always like, to just listen to the new age music only, drifting in the dim lights to the feel of being nicely touched.
The rest of the night was spent in, drinking wine, snacking, playing cards, eating a light dinner, watching the late show of “Brokeback Mountain” which made all of us cry. The desperate love, we sniffled, so beautiful. Some of us seemed to know such love and some of us wished for it. Still others of us decided we didn’t like Heath Ledger’s mumbling as proven by half-way watching “Casanova” where he mumbled with an English accent.
Sunday was for sleeping in, packing up and heading home around 1:00. My sister thought two days wasn’t enough – strangely, I was ready to get home, to get back to the routine with my newfound energy. Get through the grouchy husband routine.
Now that my big weekend is over I find I have a hard time recreating in my mind the sense of no responsibility when I’m laden again. I find it hard to find that energy.
I can’t wait for the next leap away from home.