The Camel on the Bus

When we woke up and checked our stalker sites, we laughed when it was shown that Harry was a few blocks from us again while we were at the movie. At this point we have simply accepted our bad luck and Jessica no longer weeps regularly. Well, no more than usual.

Today was the day we were going to go to the beach, beach, let’s go get away, they say, what they gonna say? Grab a drink, clink, grab a Bud Light; bad bitches like me is hard to come by. I’m in the zone…sorry. That happens every time I say beach. Let’s get this out of the way:

I was thrilled to be headed to the beach, and I knew that I had to get Jessica there because we are much different people when we are near open bodies of water. I think it’s our Cornish heritage coming out, but there is something absolutely transformative in our psyches when we are next to the water. No stress, no worries, better humor, and even better appetites… But, Jessica was in the mood to just sit. I don’t get that whole sitting thing. Wouldn’t you rather be doing something? Anything? I mean, I’m not utterly opposed to leisure, but I don’t really know how to relax all day like she does. I can enjoy a nice bath and a long dinner and a movie, but sitting in one spot all day watching Netflix? That’s not me.

Finally, I got her up and out the door and we were, of course, STARVING, so we headed over to the Farmers Market for lunch.

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I wasn’t feeling quite so morbidly obese for some reason — why this should be, though, befuddles me; when I looked in the mirror I looked like I used to before I ate everything in Orange County — so I enjoyed a hearty serving of huevos rancheros at one of the vendors. It was served with some amazing black beans and a mashed plantain. I’ve never had a plantain in my life, so I was wary, but it tasted like a tangy mashed potato, and I’m a convert. Must learn how to make it. Even the tortillas were delicious. Heartily stuffed, we headed to the bus stop and WAITED an eternity.

After what felt like seventeen years, the bus arrived and dropped us off at the next bus stop just in time to watch the bus we needed take off. Oh how we laughed. We sat on a street corner in some desolate part of Los Angeles for a solid half hour until another bus came to take us on another lengthy journey. Getting to the beach in LA is not an easy thing to do at all. I’d go like, four times a year if I lived in Hollywood. It’s such a hassle. I’ve read that the Metro is getting an extension to the beach, which should be a blessing. You can already take the Metro down to Long Beach, but you have to go through Compton, and I’ve already done that twice, and twice was plenty for my lifetime.

The 733 finally arrived and we began an endless journey west. I started reading that JK Rowling book about a detective, and I like it more than I thought I would. I never could get into the first one she published about that little town with a bird telephoning people. Wasn’t my cup of tea at all.

Then, out the window, there it was, THE OCEAN! The atmosphere changed at once. The culture of the city was instantly more laid back. It’s amazing what water can do to people. I don’t know why we don’t all live beside it. Even the cities along the Mississippi are utterly different from those a bit inland. Maybe the water gives off little antidepressant particles? We hurried off the bus and it stood in front of us, big and blue and beautiful. Jessica was instantly a different person. A pleasant person. I haven’t seen her like that since she was on the beach in Brighton, England, last year.

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BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!BEACH!

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We immediately took off our shoes, rolled up our pants, and hurried to the water. A wave instantly crashed into us, soaking our pants. We didn’t care. My phone didn’t get wet, so I was absolutely fine. We walked aways down, and then planted ourselves in the sand. Jessica seemed to be willing her body to root into the spot, letting the sand bury her deeper and deeper. She won’t take a shower without ear plugs, but I think she would happily drown in the ocean without a care.

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We watched the people, some of whom were running on the sand…why? And we watched the birds. Well, Jessica mainly watched the birds. She is passionate about birds the way that I am about camels. They’re triumphant animals, but I sadly haven’t seen any camels on this trip. Jessica saw plenty of seagulls and pigeons, though, and she attempted to communicate with every single one of them. She seems to think they speak French. I’m not sure what made her decide that. I’m rarely sure what’s going on in her mind. Here she is trying to inconspicuously join a flock of seagulls:

Do things like this happen in your family?

Do things like this happen in your family?

We found some showers on the beach and it took a tremendous amount of effort to get all the sand off of us, but I’m proud of my balance, must be all the yoga. I was feeling my look:

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Long hair; don’t care.

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It’s called fashion, look it up.

We walked up and down the pier trying to spot Malibu in the smoggy distance.

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It was time to head back to West Hollywood, so we began the endless wait for the bus. If I had known what was going to happen to me on the bus I was about to board, there is no force of nature that could have compelled me to get on. Nope. I would have walked back. I would have crawled back. I would have found any other method of transportation.

We found our seats and I began reading. Not too soon after, Jessica began making odd sounds. This isn’t particularly unusual, so I didn’t turn to see what her problem was this time. She is always having some kind of problem, as I’m sure you’ve picked up on. She rarely breathes so strangely for so long, though. She was going to vomit, she said. That was certainly inconvenient. We had waited forty-four years to get on that bus; we surely weren’t going to get off it now. Her panting became more intense, so I went to the front of the bus to get a bag that I had seen when boarding. I recognized the driver and smirked to myself at how little the world is. Gets smaller every day, too. I was still in a happy place then.

I handed it to Jessica, took my seat, and then it began. I just thank Beysus I was faced away from her.

Now, have you ever ridden a camel? I have and let me tell you something about camels. They hate people. They hate the world. They hate everything. Even the ones that don’t — and they don’t because they’re charming creatures on the inside — have the looks of an animal with an attitude problem. They continue this dissatisfied appearance with the sounds they make. They gurgle and gargle and warble and it’s absolutely not melodic and quite grotesque. Here’s an example.

I’m only telling you this because these are the sounds that Jessica was making next to me as the contents of her stomach violently spewed from her mouth into the bag I had provided. Please God, don’t let there be a hole in it, I thought, a disgusted expression on my face and the face of every single person on the bus. Everybody had turned to look at Jessica, even the driver, and we were all horrified.

She puked and she vomited and she hurled, and the entire time I sat there nodding my head in shame. Couldn’t believe it. Couldn’t get over it. I’ll never recover from the mortification. Now, you’d think having your sister projectile vomit beside you into a thin plastic bag on an overpacked public bus would be horrifying enough, but you’d be wrong.

Sometime while I was still in shock over what she had done and was doing, a woman had boarded the bus and sat a few rows ahead. She had a frozen drink and was repeatedly stabbing it with a steak knife. I don’t mean a dull little knife, either. I mean a blade meant for murder. She violently slashed the drink while looking around the bus. Sure I was going to die, I decided that I was content with what I had accomplished in my life. I would have preferred to do a lot more with it, of course — I’d never bought a Victorian townhouse on the Mississippi, after all — but with the twenty-five years I’d gone through, I was all right.

The entire bus watched her with alarm, silently willing her to get of. And she did. Eventually. AT THE SAME STOP JESSICA AND I GOT OUT ON! Thank Allah she went the other way. It was too much for me. Too much, reader!

I’d never been happier to be back in West Hollywood and off a bus. With great delight, I left Jessica and went back to that Egyptian restaurant for my dinner. The handsome man was still there, so that was even better. I feasted and tried to forget the horrors I had seen. I didn’t. I never will.

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