“I slept in a parking lot with a bunch of homeless people last night,” my father proudly told me over the phone.
I nearly swallowed my tongue.
The word “why” is a common word used while talking to my father. “When” is not necessary since time rarely plays a part in his story. “Where” is also not crucial to the story unless it involves “Skid Row” (which has come up a number of times). “Who” may sometimes pop up because his little episodes of keeping boredom at bay often effect other people (specifically two ex-wives and a daughter). “What” is probably the most common word used after “why”, as in, “What the f*ck did you just do Dad?!”
“Yeah, they have this whole system going on where they sleep in this hotel parking lot, then use the hotel showers and get continental breakfast in the morning. No one knows about it. Isn’t it cool??”
I let out a noise that sounded like a balloon deflating.
At the time my father pulled this stunt he was neither homeless or broke. Simply curious. Which is what his middle name should have been instead of “Gay” (True story- his middle name is “Gay” and he, as far as I know, is not. Though there was a time after he divorced my Mom that his parents thought he was, but what did they know? Very little. I think they used to spell my name “Loren” and obviously didn’t understand the potential complicated psychological consequences of giving the middle name “Gay” to a young boy.)
Two years ago, my father and I were hanging out at my apartment in Koreatown shooting the breeze. It was late and he was obviously bored. He turned to me and said,”Hey, want to go one of those midnight AA meetings?” Details like neither one of us having an addiction to anything didn’t matter to him. “It’s ok, you don’t need to tell your story. Just say “Hi, my name is Lauren I’ve been an alcoholic for ten years”, or something like that.”
Being the 26 year-old party pooper is not my bag, but I get concerned when he calls to tell me he’s somewhere in Mexico and has been jokingly telling people from his car that he has coke to sell.
Gosh, reading that sentence back to myself just made me slap my hand against my forehead.
I’m all for living life to the fullest, but damn, Pop! Riding your bike on the Venice beach boardwalk= okay. Riding your bike down Hollywood Boulevard during rush hour= not okay. Camping out while riding your motorcycle across America= okay. Using a motorcycle as your sole mode of transportation in Los Angeles= not okay. Sharing a condo with some friends while checking out Lake Tahoe= okay. Staying at a pay by-the-hour motel in a bad part of town because it’s fun= not okay.
Dad, I think it may actually be time to go to one of those AA meetings. Will they take someone who is addicted to making crazy ass decisions?