a first and a last

Orion cooks us breakfast in bed for the first time.  He toasts the jelly onto the bread and puts the butter on afterwards using a diamond shaped cheese trowel.


This picture is a recreation because we ate it so fast.  He can also cook his own quesadillas.

Isaiah spends the night.  In the morning they’re playing in the office when there’s a banging on the door.

The neighbor, Jesse needs my phone because “She won’t wake up!”

I twitter this:

just lent the neighbor my cell phone to call 911… paramedics are here trying to revive his wife – asthma attack 1:03 PM Jan 17th from web

We watch them cart Sandy off, unresponsive. I see Jesse getting into the ambulance and go out to sign to him: “You got my phone still?”  He asks, “Was it pink?” and pulls out a pink Razr phone similar to mine.  “Yeah, actually, but it had a plastic case.”  He says that it’s still inside.  I go in and see another Razr phone, this one is black.  Then I see mine.  The paramedics warn me not to let the kids in.

I start wondering, (after the prior night’s escapade with Tim and the $100 phone) “What is going on with all the phones?”

My next twitter:

neighbor’s wife did not make it… landlord wants new tenants come March, not the getting arrested or dying kind 4:33 PM Jan 19th from web

We both have separate long heartfelt talks with Orion about death.  At school he is extra emotional: mad and sad.  He asks the teacher to help him make a card for Jesse.

On Tuesday a woman called me at school.  I happened to be at recess, so I answered.  She wanted to book me for Wednesday night.  I called her back at lunch and went over details.  The daughter would be turning 3.  She would probably have 6-7 guests, but no more than 10.  It would be from 7 PM to 8:30.  We agreed on a price, but… she was not sure about the venue.  It would probably be a banquet room, and most likely at the Red Lion, but she would call after checking it out.

Orion and I take the bus home from downtown.  As we’re walking from the bus stop to our house we see Jesse.  He expresses his sincere gratitude to Orion for the card and gets a hug from him.  Then we throw wishing pennies onto the frozen waterfall sculpture.  One of his actually slides through a crack in the ice.

I did not hear back from Crystal about the party that night.

I’m still very optimistic.  I twitter this:

Gig: b-day party for 3 y/o girl in Red Lion banquet room, then possibly get pie for Big Tom 7:37 PM Jan 20th from web

Wednesday I called to confirm, but only got a message machine.  After I’ve got all my props arranged and packed and the music loaded and the make-up on the counter I hear the little voice of intuition telling me to check up on this party another way.  I twitter:

called Red Lion… “Only one party here… NW Realtors assn”. called client: “we don’t know where it will be.” Party supposed to start @7! about 4 hours ago from web

Before putting on make-up I had called again.  I got the husband.  “Hello, this is Jusby the clown.  Are you having a party tonight?”  He says, “Yes, we are, but we’re not sure where it’ll be.  Can my wife call you back within a half an hour?”  “That would be great.”  I wait for a while and decide it’s worth the risk getting into make-up.  They are definitely having a party after all.

Time passes without a call.

Trish breaks the news to me.  “They chickened out and they’re afraid to call you back.”

She’s just more astute that way.  I hold onto the idea that they’ll call.  Maybe I should go drive around and try to find a party.  Maybe I should go to the realtor’s party for a quick walk-through, maybe pie Dino Rossi.

I reach Mike of Big Tom’s.  He’s on his way to his Grandma’s.

I go downtown and stare into traffic across from the 4th ave tav.


Eventually, I go to Jake’s because I see that it is Karaoke night with NO COVER, and I sing “Hell” by Squirrel Nut Zippers.

I start by saying “I didn’t plan on coming here tonight, but did you ever get dressed up and then ditched?  I was supposed to be at a birthday party for a three year-old girl… But the b- chickened out!”

During the breaks I mentioned, “My neighbor died.  But she deserved it.  She laughed at me.”  Then later, “I have a co-worker who comes here sometimes and she’s deathly afraid of clowns.  I thought I’d surprise her.”

At home I realize that I should get a picture of neighbor Jesse and me one last time.  It might cheer him up, and I don’t have any pictures of him or Sandy.  I can hear people watching TV and commenting about it loudly.  He’s got family over to help him pack.

Instead I start taking pictures of myself out in front of the duplex.  Someone finally opens the door wondering about the flashing.

Jesse comes out and I catch the moment.   Then he introduces me to his mom and says, “This is my neighbor.  He’s a clown.”

They offer me a fresh gingerbread cookie.  It’s a delicious end to the night.


3 thoughts on “a first and a last

  1. FYI- http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/tfr/974822481.html

    Mixxx 96 needs a radio announcer and you already have experience from KAOS.


  2. This is a beautiful story. It sounds like something I would listen to on The Moth. Makes me think that maybe I will give it to the twitter. It might make me tell better stories about my days. Or at the very least allow me to remember.

  3. I meant to type, “give in to the twitter”

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