Sunday, May 16, 2010

Well, it has been a week...

Darin and Michelle were an interesting couple. Michelle had a daughter from a previous relationship. Alla was four and an angel. To Michelle I think Alla was a responsibility that she was in constant struggle to remind herself that she had chosen. Darin was at least twenty years older than her and a great guy by my count. He was loaded rich and owned a house the size of a small palace on the top of the hill behind the botanic gardens. Alla was one lucky girl, and so was Michelle.
They had thrown a Christmas party that year, the year it all fell apart. The second Obama administration was a little more than a month away and although the crash was obviously coming, appearances had not changed. It was business as usual. I had met Emily downtown before the party and we called a cab to take us up the hill. As I look back I realize that this event perfectly represents the America that we all knew and loved, but that was sick at the center. The America of total gluttony and beautiful overindulgence. The America of pure individual pursuit. Really not so different from the way it all ends. Just without the food riots.
I had never been up to Darin’s house before. I knew that he was well off. It was a hot topic of gossip among the girls. Jealous commentary about disgusting sex with old men mostly. It didn’t bother me at all. They were both getting something out of it. This is the way most marriages operate, it was just easier to see from the outside in this case. I guess the first thing that made me take notice was the mile long driveway. It just kept going and going, winding around the hill till we were at the top, in front of one of those Santa Barbara monstrosities that you usually see just a glimpse of through the gates in Montecito or inside of a real estate magazine.
Thank god Emily had warned me to dress up because we were met at the door by a kid in a tuxedo shirt and bow-tie, holding the door open for us. I swear I had seen this kid out surfing a dozen times or so down at Rincon. I think he was one of the carp locals. I think he recognized me too, but he just smiled and offered to take Emily’s coat.

more later...

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