..... one of the longer Fridays of my life.
Work is 2 parts drama, 4 parts aggravation, 1 part determination to not leave the 28th floor without reducing the pile of new-account folders with pending issues to less than 2 feet high. Which means work goes until 8:15 p.m. Note to self: when co-workers seem more enthusiastic to see me leave on vacation than I am to go on vacation .... it must really be time to go on vacation.
First things first, though: a flying run around the MIT-Longfellow loop at dusk. Flying. It rocks; negative energy, begone. Note to self: 4 parts aggravation provides first-rate fuel for marathon training; get aggravated more often.
Home to the kitchen and the mound of produce the size of a lesser peak in the Appalaichans: time to prep the 5 batches of salsa and many more batches of sangria for the party I'm hosting the next day. If you haven't spent a Friday night dicing tomatoes, green onions, red onions and mangos (and limes and lemons and avocados and peaches and oranges) while the BBC's non-stop analysis of the BP oil spill drones in the background, you have not lived. Note to self: next party, pick both food and drink not requiring 6 hours of chopping with a dull knife. Also: buy knife sharpener, soon.
And Saturday rolls in during the chopfest ....
.... it was almost a relief at 1:32 a.m., when the phone buzzed with a text from long-lost C-2 (last seen on opening night), wondering if I had a last call and a beer in my bones. "Just one, I'm making salsa," I shot back. In truth, Guinness never sounded so sweet; jump in the car, destination Foley's, in the doors just before they shut. Note to self: if you even ever think a night will bring a chance to join a man out for a beer, don't mince garlic first. It does not wash off the palms on first scrubbing.
Soon, 5:28 a.m., still out. One Guinness turned into a raucous conversation turned into C-2 smelling the garlic on my palms into my driving him back to Somerville when, enticed by the 75 degrees and the stars through my open moon roof, turned into, instead, a detour over to Spy Pond in Arlington. A lengthy detour. Note to self: must plan all-nighter every year on third-longest day of the year, when it gets light about 4. Lying on the damp grass at sunrise with someone you want to lie on damp grass with at sunrise isn't a bad gig. To his credit,C-2 mentioned several times: "tell me again why we don't hang out more often?" I had been thinking same.
Meanwhile, sunrise or no, there was a party beginning in 12 hours and a Key Lime cheesecake that needed to be first baked, then chilled for 12 hours. Which meant party prep resumed pronto. Which meant another detour, this time to Dunkin' Donuts for fuel ... and then back to the kitchen (and the BBC) to grate lime zest and whip cream cheese into vanilla yogurt and lick glaze off the beaters and then begin chopping more lemons and squeezing them into the Sangria wine and wonder how it suddenly got to be 11 a.m. and I hadn't yet slept. At all. And how I could be, surprisingly, lucid. And not that tired. Note to self: Guinness and solstice sunrises can replace sleep every so often. And 6:30 on a Saturday morning is an excellent time to bake.
Fast forward to 6 p.m. .... following a 2-hour cat nap, a top-to-bottom clean of the apartment, a couple loads of laundry and some serious last-minute set-up help from friends .... the Salsa and Sangria party began.Just as Saturday's sunrise had cooperated, Saturday's sunset did the same. Guests came and went and drank and ate and we talked on the patio for hours and hours and hours and the neighbors never called to complain about the noise and the kitchen floor grew sticky from sloshing glasses of the new best summer drink in the world, Peach Citrus sangria, drunk by old friends and new friends who all became new friends. Note to self: if ever feeling low and aggravated like I did Friday at the office, must remember nights like this and that my friends are cooler than any other friend's friends I know.
And Sunday rolls in ....:
.... cue ahead to 2:30 a.m., on the heels of the party teardown and a last beer slugged while sitting on the couch, cat at hip, feet on a chair, hands finally registering a soreness from the salsa-making, brain still trying to register life's idiosyncracies and joys and how a body can sometimes function on those things alone.
Note to self: the sleep of the dead that comes after a full 2 days without sleep is also the sleep of purest pleasure.