I set out to make today Steve Day. Since moving my mom to California six weeks ago I've devoted my days off to driving her to the Korean spa, Home Depot or anywhere else I felt would make her feel more connected to her new city. Things came to a head yesterday when I took her to the gym. She wanted to splash around in the hot tub while I ran the treadmill and worked on my biceps. When I checked in with her a while later I did not see her in the tub but heard her in the distance, speaking in a panic. She lost her glasses and her bathing suit after showering. She implored the woman cleaning the pool area to help her. How does someone lose a bathing suit in a locker room?
"Go back and FIND them!'
I proceeded into the men's locker room, showered and changed. As I styled my hair with Surf Hair, every young man of East Los Angeles with an interest in physical fitness had the occasion to experience my mother's anxious voice emanating from the locker room door. "I lost my son! Could you help me find him?" I walked out of the locker room wearing one sock and one flip flop. "Mom! I'm right here! I'll be out in a minute!"
I was surprised by how quickly and completely I could feel 14 rather than 41. My mother is, apparently a sorceress.
Today would be all about me. Me, me, me. It started at Belvedere park with Rosie and mom's pink toy poodle Genny (pronounced Jinnie). The sky was atypically gray. I noticed the skatepark for the first time. It looked lunar.
Next on the Steve Day itinerary was a trip to a Chinese supermarket with mom. She needed vegetables for the dinner she was going to make tonight. The year of the horse begins tomorrow and the supermarket and parking lot were packed to capacity in preparation. While mom spent an hour looking at vegetables I purchased a bottle of Japanese plum wine and three packs of Manner Wafer cookies in different flavors: almond, coconut and hazelnut.
At 2:30 I fled the house and began Steve Day. I drove to downtown LA and explored its hipsterification. The Ace Hotel on Broadway didn't disappoint in any measure. I had a coffee and perused the various bars except the one on the rooftop. The outside tables and chairs looked decidedly Parisian.
The slighty drizzly weather made downtown seem especially non-LA. I walked into the Aesop skincare boutique and a woman demonstrated how to wash and moisturize my face using my hand as a face stand-in.
My car was parked near shops that sold either sewing machines or perfumes. The parking meter had 10 minutes left so I looked at, but did not smell, hundreds of perfumes.