A couple of weeks ago, I took BART to Berkeley to go on a walk with Lisa M. in Tilden Park, a vast and wild expanse. Our walk took us to the edge of Lake Anza via steep single-track paths deeply strewn in tree droppings and bordered by poison oak. We had to pick our way along carefully to avoid twisting an ankle, and because the track was only one person wide, I was mostly looking at Lisa’s extremely svelte posterior. One highlight was a very large rat tail attached to just a bit of the hind end of the former owner. I’m using to seeing every variety of squished pigeon, but this was a grisly sight. When we were back at BART, I told Lisa, “Very nice walk, except for the walk part.” Fortunately, there are many other options.
Several days later, I was listening to KQED before work and they said that a singer from San Francisco, the first openly gay contestant, was on American Idol: M. K. Nobilette. I thought, “Could that possibly be my friend L.’s kid?” I had to think to remember the child’s given name, and remembered it is a girl’s name that is very similar to M. K. Then I took a quick look on Wikipedia and saw data that confirmed it.
Not long before M. K. was born, I went with her mother to a huge rock concert, and M. K., in the uterus, heard Alice in Chains, etc. In the Wikipedia entry, M. K. is quoted as saying her first musical influence was The Little Mermaid, but it was actually Alice in Chains.
I remember that M. K. as a baby was notably expressive, making all kinds of exaggerated faces, very comical. Three anecdotes:
—She and L. and I were going somewhere when she was about two, and the toddler later to be known as M. K. announced to us, “I’m not going to drive the car.” (“Good!”, said L.)
—L. reported that M. K. had walked up to a stranger on the sidewalk at about that same age and announced gravely, “I don’t play with knives.”
—Once she was over at my house (again, about that same age) and she saw a thing she liked and asked me, “Is this yours or mine?”
When I got home from work, I watched a video online of M. K. singing on American Idol—with J. Lo reacting!—and it was very thrilling. A couple of times, they showed what appeared to be a lesbian couple in the audience, one sobbing her eyes out. At first I thought it was some random women, there to support the first openly gay contestant, but then I realized one of them looked vaguely familiar, and then—duh—I realized these were M. K.’s two mothers and that the reason one of them looked familiar was that she was my partner for about two years in the 1980s, namely L. So if you want to see Bugwalk’s idea of a fine figure of a gentlewoman in the 1980s, watch an M. K. Nobilette video, look for the woman next to the crying woman, and try to imagine what she looked like 30 years ago.
The whole thing made me smile very much.
That same day, I had lunch with a co-worker at Chipotle. As I neared the restaurant, I saw two grinning people with professional-looking signs offering free hugs. The bottoms of the signs said “The Happiness Project” or some such. I’m all for happiness and for giving people an opportunity to be generous, so I accepted a hug from a beaming young gentleman. Beyond the two official hug-givers stood another woman, also smiling, holding a torn piece of cardboard with “Free Hugs” scrawled on it. Obviously some kind of amateur, but since I was now established in the hug-receiving mood, I went up to her and found myself not only hugged but lifted clear off the ground.
I told my physical therapist later, “Free hug and free chiropractic adjustment!”
“Free spinal injury,” she grumbled.