Mermaid, Tango and I go on a road trip to Ojai. We drive along the Pacific Coastal Highway in his red Mercedes convertible. It’s a balmy day and the top is down, so I hop in the backseat and feel like a six-year old on her way to Disneyland.
Mermaid rides shotgun; her curly tresses are in a loose bun complete with bandana and sunhat. She is chic—and smart.
What have I already (re)learned? Long hair whipping about like a hurricane for 3 hours equals half an hour of untangling and a serious loss of knotty locks.
This is in direct opposition to the main purpose of our road trip: a follow up visit with the Bosnian herbalist, Dr. D., to see if my cholesterol is adequately up. (Recall from my post about Port and Pork, Dr. D. is who told me my clinically low cholesterol had caused a lack of the hormone that supports thyroid function, thereby causing waist gain and hair loss.)
Before we go to Dr. D., we are to meet Sussex for a hike and lunch, but I screw up on directions, and we end up having to leave early to get to Dr. D. late. Prior to leaving, however, we have time to visit a couture clothing store called Denski, named after the owner, in downtown Ojai where my I-covet gene is reactivated. I’m almost glad when it’s dormant; plus I’d recently put on makeup for the first time in almost 5 months and didn’t enjoy it, leaving me with a WTF!-am-I-really-that-hippy-I-don’t-want-to-be-isn’t-there-a-happy-hippy-medium-between-I-no-longer-need-designer-wear-and-I-look-like-the-homelacking-vagrants-I-give-(organic)-granola-bars-to? response.
In Denski, a women’s shop, Tango, a man, tries on ladies’ jackets—the ones that he can squeeze his buff 52” frame into. The custom coats are snug and chic in a Looking-like-a-Rock-Star way. He tries on a colourful, calf-length knit wrap and is upgraded to African dignitary status.
Tango, a handsome and charming devil, gives us and the shop owner (who designs some of these covetous pieces of wearable art) a fashion show, professionally posing in sunglasses in a very Lenny Kravitz way while Denski snaps photos with her iPad.
Sussex shows up and we abandon the fashionable finds for food. It takes 15 minutes to walk two blocks because Tango is a friendly fellow and engages strangers along the way. (Note: Anna gets cranky when not fed in a timely manner.) The lunch experience is one of waiting. And waiting. And waiting longer.
I slouch in the lounge chair desperately eyeing up the jar of candy mints. We linger so long for the grub that I’m wondering if the chef is out in a field somewhere wrestling with the bison that should’ve been grilled and on a plate in front of me—like an hour ago.
While deteriorating from starvation, we talk about intimate relationships. Tango and Sussex, both from the UK, are adamant that men and women can be genuine friends.
Mermaid and I disagree.
In the UK, men and women can be friends without expectation of sexual requital. Raised eyebrow. (Yeah, sure.) Meanwhile, Western Society views Do you want to come over and watch a movie with me and sit on the two-person sofa beside me? as non-objectionable sexual foreplay. (Hello, people!)
The grub is shuffled out to us, and we agree to disagree, or we at least agree to consider that it might be a cultural thing.
The dry-as-biscuit burger sticks in my throat, but I scarf it down anyway. And although there’s now no time for the hike we’d planned, there is time for the free gelato that we’re offered for having had to almost eat our own arms off whilst waiting for a mediocre meal. (Note to self: Save some granola bars for moi!)
After lunch Tango, Mermaid and I bid adieu to Sussex and venture to Ventura for our postponed appointment with the wand-waving-Einstein-coiffed-lap-coat-clad Dr. D.
Mermaid and I go in for our appointment while Tango goes for a walk. He will probably make three new best friends in his travels.
We go straight into what is obviously a business professional boardroom. I haul out my insulated container of consumables ready for the wand to tell me if there is anything I’d best avoid. I didn’t want to bring the entire contents from the fridge so I chose to bring the suspicious things: dairy (cheese, yogurt, cream—God, please put these on the eat-me list), a bag of mixed nuts, a sweet potato, a granola bar (I briefly wonder if the wand would have worked on an empty wrapper), a red onion and the supplements he’d suggested last time.
Dr. D. holds my hand and waves the wand over each item. Everything checks out, and I can stop taking one of the supplements. Cool.
Then he tells me, You need a gatekeeper.
I blink several times in confusion, and he starts drawing a diagram of a room while telling me You see this room? I nod, he continues. There’s a door here. He goes to the door we’d entered through. And over there, there’s another door. You’re standing here guarding this door, who is over there?
I take a wild guess: Um, me? Running back and forth all frazzled.
He says No!
I’m startled. Mermaid is sitting next to me amused and mutually confused.
He continues: You need someone else at the door. He goes back to his chart and scratches out stick figures in what looks like squatting positions. You have 3 years to get pregnant.
I blink again and tell him, But I don’t even have a man yet. Am I going to find a man, doc? Can the wand tell me that? Now I’m concerned about my lack of a gatekeeper on the extra door of my life.
He counts out loud making marks on the page: 1, 2, 3, 4 … 8, 9, 10.
I’m leaning over the desk anxious to know what this means. Ten years??? I don’t want to wait that long!
His expression is chastising, and I purse my lips to shut the f’ck up. He continues marking the paper: 1, 2, 3, 4. Five out of 10.
I’m about to confiscate the wand to see if I can feel the answers for myself—patience … not my strong suit, apparently—but he relieves me of my anxiety. Five out of 10 men you want are good for you. They want you.
This is a relief except that I haven’t even met one guy I’m interested in. I ask, Could it be Gerry?
The wand says—Maybe
I’ll take maybe! I ask him if I’ll meet Mr. Right in California.
The wand says—Yes.
I tell him, But doc, I’ve only got a month left then I have to leave the country. I’m from Canada!
This puts him on a whole other path: Well, then you have to put on red lipstick. Red lips are like pussy. Your body is ready. You’re going to have child.
Mermaid chuckles as he draws a squatting-child stick figure on my prescription sheet next to the squatting-adult stick figures.
I pipe up that I have red lipstick!
He continues with his prescription: You walk on beach. Bare feet. You walk in sand with bare feet. You meet man and you give him blow job. Then the next day you drive to Vegas and get married. That night! You drive that night. Do you have car?
I’m not sure if this is an odd metaphor, but I’m rolling with it. No, I have a bicycle.
He steams along in urgency: Borrow car! Or use his. You can get car. It is easy.
I tell him, I’ll have to get him drunk to do that.
He looks at me like I’ve just woken up. Yes, yes. Of course. Tipsy is good. But you don’t have much time. You get married, you get green card. You have child and, in 7 years, maybe it works out maybe not, then you get new one.
Excellent. Last time he prescribed port and pork, now he’s prescribing port and getting porked.
Mermaid is chuckling.
I ask in panic, waving my hand to indicate Mermaid: Should we go to the bachelor auction?
He doesn’t even use the wand for this; he just throws up his hands and says, Yes, yes! Of course!
Mermaid takes her turn. She unloads her bag of perishables and is told that she’s allowed white onions not red, the red are for the redhead only—but they have to be cooked. She should stay away from sugar (her nemesis), and her odds with the gentlemen are similar to mine. She’s prescribed blow jobs as well. Giving, of course. (Though, that’s obvious, no?)
She asks, Will I get a surfer?
The wand says—Yes.
Her prescription: Hawaii. Sandy beach, bare feet and blow jobs.
We pay up and leave.
When we are out of earshot, Mermaid says, I think Dr. D needs a blow job.
Outside we find Tango and tell him of our prescription. He’s aghast. What do you mean ‘blow jobs’? Is this guy for real? How much did you pay him? You’ve been had.
Cut to next scene: Tango in the boardroom with Dr. D.
Tango has private questions, so Mermaid and I wait in the hall. We can see Dr. D. grabbing at his white lab coat emphatically. He is either impassioned or irritated, and I’m wondering if Tango is interrogating his credibility. Mermaid and I hide around the corner until it’s over.
Tango emerges with a toothy grin and a big hug for us both. He says, I’m supposed to wear white from head to toe. To show off my tan … and have sex. With either of you two is fine. Or both.
Mermaid is quick to catch him. A-ha, the truth comes out!
I add with scrutiny, But then that would make your comments about men being able to be just friends with women hypocritical. Ha! We are right!
We’re all laughing. I mean, really, did we just pay a man in a suspicious lab coat to tell us all to get laid? Yes. Yes, we did. Mind you, Tango got off for free, err, as in didn’t have to pay.
On the way home we stop at the beach and watch the surfers for awhile, but I’m not looking at the rolling waves, I’m thinking, Which one should I get drunk? And surfers aren’t even my type!
In the car, with the top up now that it’s dark, I ponder the ‘clinic visit’ and realize I gave the doc the wrong damn symptoms! I told him I was suffering from ‘leaving the country but don’t want to’ not ‘only interested in falling in love with Mr. Forever!’ (Even if that does make me Mrs. Delusional.) Not only that, but I didn’t even address my damn hair. Where is my head at?
Tango says if he was American, he’d marry me. Awwww.
But there will be no bare-foot-on-the-beach-blow-jobs-get-guy-drunk-drive-to-Vegas-get-married-get-knocked-up-get-greencard cure for this gal.
Though I might break out the red lipstick.
What have I (re)learned? If I want to focus on getting my damn hair back, I have to get my mind off of giving head.
Warn My Little Mom about this post before she reads it.
Refer to last blog post: Hats. Hats are the answer.
(And the lipstick …shhh.)
P.S. My new posts on elephant journal here. (If interested in ej articles please subscribe to those on the ej site. They’re less trucker talk but still good!)