It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…
Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30
Greetings from West LA…Like last time, we will try to take matters chronologically.
Today was the life celebration for Uncle Gilbert, a good man and one hell of an uncle.
Uncle Gilbert’s widow is my Auntie Norma, Ma Sparrow’s sister…Their kids are Gil and Lisa…Gil hadn’t reproduced – and his unlikely to – tho Lisa and Shawn have put out son Caden and daughter Cassidy…Gil is a bit older than me and Lisa is a couple of years younger than me and we grew up together and have always gotten along wonderfully.
We were catching up with Cassidy and her girlfriend Natalie when my shoulder was touched and I look up and it was Cassie…Cassandra…Cassie…Cassie…Cassie…We are, as we like to say, each other’s earliest memory, which may not be completely true, but it is hardly completely false, either…Our moms were best friends and we saw each other often growing up…Her mom, who I’ve always called Auntie Marsha, was there, too…She’s up there in years now and needs a walker, but her mind is still sharp and she still calls everyone ‘kid’.
Anyway, Cassie always makes me emotional and I wept when we hugged both her and her mom and we were inseparable all day…This is exactly what happened at Ma Sparrow’s funeral several years ago and ol’ Sparrow even thought it was about time we got married, but, typically, we got prudent and didn’t bring it up, tho I strongly suspect she’d say yes…In fairly short order – and in that way women have – she found out we weren’t seeing one and she let it be known that she was, but she waved it away and said it wasn’t serious.
Gil’s entire love life from the past decades was there…David and Gil dated for a long time years ago and David never left the family…He and Gil remain friends and he kept showing up to everything and we were all happy to have him stay…Gil’s ex-husband Ralph was there, too, as well’s as his current boyfriend Eddie…Eddie is much younger than Gil and he’s a nice quiet sort and we are, too, and sometimes two quiet sorts can produce a worthwhile chat and that’s what happened here…He’s a good kid and I like him a lot and said I blew it by not asking Cassie to marry me right there…I told him that was the impetuousness of youth talking, but he insisted.
Ol’ Sparrow shared a couple of memories of his Uncle Gilbert…The first came when I stayed with them after Ma Sparrow died eight years ago and he’d be up early making breakfast and I’d join him sitting at the kitchen counter with him…We remember this for two reasons: once, Gilbert had tidbits about Pa Sparrow, and others, from way back that we never knew…Secondly, it was funny watching him cook bacon because he prefers it to more resemble a charcoal briquette than anything edible…It would get to looking pretty good and we’re thinking yeah, now we’re talking and then he’d let it cook and cook and cook until the point where you could put it inside of pencil.
Uncle Rudy – who we go see every Thanksgiving, of course – wasn’t there…He is still in a pissing match with Sylvia and Norma but it’s a one-way pissing match tho…We didn’t think it was appropriate to query Auntie Norma on the matter, but we did talk to Sylvia about it and while she would prefer her brother stop forcing his right-wing politics down her throat, she would love to see him again and said Norma would, too…Cousin Danny, tho, has all but written him off, but I think he’d come around.
This was sooooo much better than a funeral, speaking from experience having been at funerals for Ma and Pa Sparrow and my brother…Since we were freeloading off of Sylvia and Ray, we drank too much for the second time in three nites, including champagne, with Eddie and I hijacking – tho not entirely finishing – our own bottle…Everyone was there, except for Cousin NikkiLou and her family, but her dad Danny said she was sick…She has a new son who is the happiest looking kid this family has ever produced and we were looking forward to meeting him, but another time.
We spent a very leisurely morning with Auntie Sylvia and Uncle Ray…With Ray making his usual bacon, eggs, those hash brown patties, and biscuits, which they eat without butter and which we don’t understand at all but, ever the obedient nephew, we didn’t ask for any…Auntie Sylvia did my laundry and we watched some old episodes of the Mary Tyler Moore show, with none of us able to remember if MTM is still alive or not (she’s ben dead for a few years now it turns out).
Our only plans today were to go into LA to have dinner with Andy and Dana, two more zanies we first met in kindergarten and have known for over 50 years…Longtime readers of this crap may – or they may not – recall we saw them a couple of years ago when we came into town and this time Andy brought his wife Lisa, tho Dana continues to keep her husband hidden, perhaps in a dungeon…Gary and his wife Kari joined us, too…Gary was a year ahead of us in high school and the last time I saw them was at their wedding reception 32 years ago…Gary’s a retired fireman now and his wife has been a homemaker for years and they have a couple of daughters.
Dinner was at a seafood place on the ocean in Malibu, one of those locally famous places where everything is good but, perhaps, not the best you’ve ever had…We ate outside, which was rather pleasant and all of them – having grown up and still residing in the prison camp known as southern California – were intrigued by the fact we lived next door to a weed shop…So interested that we had them google our address so they could go street view and see it and the next-door Shire for themselves.
We took an Uber to the restaurant…Screw it; we’d had enuff of LA traffic…We were, as we like to say, born in a traffic jam on I-10, so we’re certainly used enuff to it, but after years of small-town living, we don’t particularly want to bother with it anymore…Our first driver was a good driver who knew to keep quiet, but the second driver sped and yapped and we found ourselves closing our eyes hoping to not see the inevitable accident and the guy couldn’t follow GPS directions, either, because he had to backtrack twice, but the fare is set in advance, so it doesn’t cost anything more.
Sparrow’s Sleep Log:
O030 Saturday until 0830 Saturday (at a hotel near Disneyland.)
2230 Saturday until 0730 Sunday (at Aunt Sylvia’s house.)
17.0 hours for the two nites and 49.0 hours for the week, an excellent total for a week partially spent on vacation.
The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.
It was inspired by the 19th-century British novel of the same name.
Coming soon! Gaylon’s books in actual book form!