After years of living in the area, I finally decided to go see a production at the Mountain Play. It happened to be the Wizard of Oz. When I bought the tickets, I figured it would be a nice diversion from my weekends alone and I figured that it would allow me to forget about my, what is it?, misery?
I had heard much about this event, so I was a bit intrigued by the opportunity to finally experience it. I knew that you had to arrive early so that you could get a good seat under some shade (and seeing as it was a bit hot out, I decided that I would be the first person there.)
I left my house at 11:30 and drove up to the parking lot, and to my surprise, I found that many, many people were more motivated than me.
I ended up going up to the 'Air Force' parking lot and I had to take the bus back down-- this was actually pretty fun as the old, diesel school bus brought me back a few for me. I figured that I could run back up here if I needed to, so I took what I needed-- mostly disposable.
The bus rumbled down the highway and being up higher off the ground really opened up the amazing view of the area. It was so clear. Diablo off in the distance, mocking me.
When we got to the entrance, I realized that I was pretty much fucked. People were crazy prepared for this event-- picnic baskets, coolers, seats, blankets, chairs.......and, all that I had brought was a small backpack with a note pad, a camera and some water. I hate when people show me up.
To say that this place is hot and extremely uncomfortable is really being quite sympathetic, as it is much worse than that. The 'seats' (not sure if you can really call them that) are these craggy, uneven razor-like surfaces that have zero back support. There is no shade anywhere except what is given by the 3 or 4 oak trees that are dotted about. But, of course, all the seats under these trees are occupied by families and couples and old folk. And being the miscreant lurker that I am (I only had my rose colored glasses which easily allowed others to view the angle of my gaze) I truly wanted to sit by the hot women that might be breast feeding, but, I am too tired to keep up my constant search. So, I ended up sitting up above some sort of balcony.
I didn't see anybody smoking which really made me upset, so I lit up anyway and gave the 'what the fuck do you want' look to those around me. At a certain point, somebody came up to me, and given that he had on some official looking badge and some sort of green and brown outfit complete with hat, I just smiled and apologized and asked for forgiveness (I think that I used my fake accent so that he might think that I was European or something.)
The play started, and I couldn't get comfortable and all the people around me all had these great spreads of food and booze.
I wandered about a bit, trying to find a familiar face or a better place, but, I ended up just going back to the place where I originally started.
Around me sat, three young women (they could be described as having 'great personalities'), three older women one of which had this crazy looking tattoo of ballet slippers on her shoulder, a few older couples, and a family with three young children. I kept trying to get an 'up-skirt' from one of the girls with a 'great personality' but, I got tired and stopped trying-- I think she knew that I wanted a peek, so she kept tempting me with the potential.
Instead, I just decided to just hang out and watch the play. The family with the kids had set up a nice spread with sandwiches and you could tell that the 'dad' was a bit on edge-- no booze, just juice. He was wearing some stupid looking running shorts and he had on some New York shirt. He was also wearing these funky looking white arm-warmers. He was hiding something. Maybe some sort of burn or scar. Pretty odd.
The 'mom' was beautiful, and was clearly a bit distracted as she was the one who was managing the kids-- one older little girl, one younger boy, and a baby (I couldn't tell if it was a girl a boy. I am guessing a bald girl). The 'dad' could not have been further detached and non-present, but, who am I to criticize? The kids seemed to be well-behaved for the most part, as they sat and ate their lunches and then just tried to watch the play. The baby just squirmed about and seemed to be unhappy and hot. I could not take my eyes away from this family and I tried to understand what it would be like to be in a family, again. I thought of Sofia and wondered how she would behave in a similar situation. What would I do? Would I be as detached as this dude? Does he realize how good he has it?
The play was pretty good. Nice costumes and funny props. There was this acidic moment with 'sprites' dressed in black with poppy capes, and at this point, I realized that the baby had finally calmed itself and was passed out on the craggy, razor steps.
I looked at this baby and wished that I could do the same. Reaching that sleep that only a mother can give to you. No matter where you are and no matter what is happening, you find that bliss. I recall sleeping on my mother's lap in restaurants and listening to the muffled sounds of her voice echo through her muscles. Her voice slightly tinged by vodka was so comforting. I also remember sleeping under my mother's feet in the back seat of the car. It was always so warm. I used to look up and out the windows and watch the street lamps pass by. Heartbeats from my childhood, filled with that grey-green hum and luminosity, that measured our family excursions.
Quite un-expectantly and as quick as a cat, the older boy jumped up and ran down the stairs. He shouted, "a lizard" and he began running about our area. He was very adept at tracking this lizard and soon chased it back up towards his family. He shouted, "Papa, get the lizard" The dad reached down and tried to grab it-- but, he was so calm and deliberate in his motion that it almost appeared that he did not want to catch it. The older boy then tried to pounce on it which sent the lizard upward.
Right in front of the mom, this lizard, without hesitation, crawled right on to the sleeping baby's leg, up onto its chest and then on to its face (where at this point, it paused just for a moment, and did that lizard move of holding the body rigid and cocked its head back to gaze at its threat).
Right there, on that sleeping babies cheek, the lizard sat. And, all around (the older women, the younger women, the couples, the family, the children) they all stopped and looked at this lizard. And at that moment, during this slight pause, the mother said, "eewwwwww" and she made a face as if she were covered in creepy crawlies. And then, the lizard just simply crawled off the sleepy baby and scurried (as lizards do) off. The baby kept on sleeping and everybody went back to doing what they were doing before. The older boy then began collecting large sticks and branches and began building something.
The play ended.
We all left.
I went home, and I wished that my mother was here to ease the discomfort that is currently my soul. I can feel that lizard weighing upon my heart and its little rigid body and cocked head is making me uneasy and uptight. If my mother were here, I probably would not even realize it were here and it might scurry off and leave me to sleep peacefully and comfortable on my craggy, razor-like bed that I have created in my life.