BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS

Monday, July 14, 2008

hippies and helmets

        Wow.  I don't know if there's ever been a more hippie party this side of 1965 than the one I went to last night.  I mean, I am in San Francisco, after all.  People here are so chill.  Just about everyone rides a bike, eats organic, and can sit on their hair...Okay, maybe I am exaggerating, but people here are pretty crunchy granola.  Anyway, my friend Emily invited me to a friend of hers from high school's pool party.  Well, he and his wife's pool party.  And their little baby girl, Coral Lilly.  Oh, and all their hippie friends.


     At the door, there is a hand-made sign that says, de-compress: to relax, unwind.  We walk in and are greeted by the sounds of the Rolling Stones, as well as many different men and women wearing many different forms of loose, soft clothing.  There are shoes piled high around the door, and we take the cue and remove ours (this makes me slightly sad because I love wearing my high tops so much, but I get over it really fast).  There's a hammock in the corner of the living room with a long-haired guy passed out in it.  Emily introduces me to her friend, Josh, who is holding his adorable baby girl, Coral Lilly.  We start meeting more people, and I try to compose my face as a lady walks up to me and gives me a warm hug.  See, she is topless.Uh, what kind of party is this, exactly?  Apparently, there is this pervasive feeling of freedom--or maybe breasts being nothing more than some mammary glands (there were a few nursing babies on the grounds, after all)--but anyway, women removed their tops like they were, well, men.  Or European.  

     I walk outside and there are more women just swimming freely--with nothing more than a sensible bathing suit bottom.  And to everybody at this party, it was normal (except maybe me and Emily).  Nobody stared, nobody ogled.  I know this sounds strange, but it wasn't even sexual--I mean, well, definitely not to me...Maybe secretly to the men, it was, but they didn't act like it.  However, it would have been very strange for me if Drew had been there, for sure.  I mean, it already was strange for me, don't get me wrong. I guess I am just glad that Drew was not with me, for once.  But, moving on.

    All of the people here are so kind.  They talk to me with trailing words and most sentences ending in an ellipses; as if to keep it open-ended, as if to say, you can always strike up more of this conversation if you want, but no pressure.  They have easy smiles.  And there is not a touch of make-up on any of the women.  Except, of course, me and Emily who have just come from our matinee and look like overly-painted ladies in painful comparison.  All the women have waist-length hair, except for me.  I feel like I have cut off my crowning glory...Not really, I actually really like my short do, but still.  Oh, and let me amend my earlier statement: All the women have long hair, except me and one other woman.  I later find out she is a lesbian.  Huh.

   Eventually, the numbers begin to dwindle and a couple of the guys take out guitars and some djembes.   And this is when it gets really good.  Some of them have a band called Your Mama's Mama's Mama's band. They begin to play and sing some of their hippie music and encourage us to sing along.  Well, say no more.  I love to sing in groups--I love to free-style and harmonize and it actually is beginning to remind me of kinship group (by this time all the women had put shirts on--oh, and just to be clear--I always had one on) cause I am starting to think about God as I sing.  They are singing about Mother Earth, and I am starting to worship the Creator of our earth.  They look at me and smile and nod encouragement as I start riffing.  It's a good time, folks.  It's around this time that they start passing around some weed.  They do this like they are passing around the dinner rolls.  I decline, and they are like, cool, cool.  It's pretty smelly, but what can I do--just keep singing, I guess.

   Afterwards, they are like, thanks so much for sharing your voice!  You sing like gospel, or something--I love when you belt!  They are very gracious.  I tell them that I love gospel, that I love singing and thank them for allowing me to join in.  Every time someone leaves, they give everybody hugs and sometimes even kisses--including me.  Yeah--a little uncomfortable for someone who isn't so touchy-feely by nature, but I understand their sentiment, so I hug back. And I gotta admit, I am more than a little grateful that everybody's wearing a shirt now. They end the night with more songs--the guitarist is like, just one more, but it ends up being like four or five and they are like Phish in the sense that a song can last about ten to fifteen minutes before the chord progression finally plays itself out.  Emily and I are pretty ready to go, but we are waiting on two of the guests who had volunteered to drive us home.  We finally leave with them, their dog Rufus, and some incense they burn in their truck for the ride home.  

   It was honestly like I was in a different culture for the night.  The people were super kind.  They were different from me, sure, but were quick to welcome and even faster to relax.  What I'd like to know is, mom and pop, did you guys go to parties like this in the 60's? 

   On another note, me and some friends rode bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito today.  It was gorgeous and exhilerating--and pretty cold at times, too.  An unfortunate part for me was the helmet-fitting at the bike rental.  The guy was standing very close, lifting his arms to put the helmet on me, when I was overcome by a horrible odor.  It was only on my head for a moment before I asked him for another helmet because, as I put it, the one he gave me, smelled horrible. He was kind of surprised, but grabbed another one as he said, huh--that one must have missed being washed, or something. However, I knew my mistake as soon as he lifted his arms yet again to fit me for the new helmet.  That same horrible odor came over me again, and I suddenly saw the source clear as day: his arm pits.  He was like, this one smell better (the helmet, not his arm pit)? And I was like, yeah, yeah--this one's perfect. Thanks.  My bad, I guess.  

  So, tomorrow means back to work for me.  Another week gone by and another week about to begin.  Is time flying by for anyone else like it is for me? Oh, and the conflict I had spoke about earlier is over, I guess.  At least, I have done what I can and just have to move on.  My aim is to be kind and loving--and it's good to practice on people who seem to have something against me, I guess. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers--they mean so much to me.  

  

14 comments:

Pop said...

Yep, Jess, there were parties with guitars and strange aromas but not a whole lot of singing along and I actually don't recall any shirtless party chicks swimming or walking around. Then again, my hippy days took place in central Pennsylvania! Sounds like you had a true CA experience--a little touch of the summer of love...

Jessica Latshaw said...

hahaha--yeah--at one point, even the dogs were singing along! Seriously, this huge boxer named rufus was throwing his head back and howling in harmony while a little Chihauha named Bella was barking, trying to find the right note...

sarah said...

Jess..i LOVE your stories..they always brighten my day!!:) thanks for writing!!

min said...

oh my goodness, jess!!! What life are you living!!??? So funny!!!!

Charis Latshaw said...

Jess, so funny, cause we just got home from a party JUST LIKE THAT -except it didn't have topless woman, sing-alongs, or long hair. I think Josh Robinson tried to lead a few sing-alongs but it never materialized.

jrob said...

oh my. I thought my singing was great! Jess here is my first comment on your blog!

KathieK said...

Crazy!!

jason said...

I can't figure out which is crazier, JRob finally commenting, or the shirtless ladies. Oh who am I kidding, it's JRob no question.

Jessica Latshaw said...

JRob has officially de-lurked himself!!!!!!

I am honored.

If I had know it just took a post about topless ladies and weed--well, I would have done that a long time ago!

Ruth said...

Jessica...I laughed so much with this story!!!!
I wish I could have been a fly on the wall! I tell you...I am layed back but I would have died if one of those ladies would have given a naked hug!
Hilarious...the whole thing is hilarious!
What funny memories you will have from your time in San Fran!!!

Jonathan Latshaw said...

Please note that it was my comment that prompted JRob to post - I have a inspiring effect on him!

Josh said...

Jonathon u are full of yourself. ( : It was definitely the Blogs content ( : jk

Lady Leth said...

Oh my gosh! I would have been laughing the whole time!!! And to get a hug from a topless stranger! Its another world!!

KathieK said...

You travel in some interesting circles, Jess, I must say!

I commend you for your excellent self-control when you were getting fitted for your helmet. I don't know if I would have been able to overcome my gag reflex.