Monday, August 25, 2008
Jack and Jill and John went up the hill with a whole lot of Judys at the Hollywood Bowl to fetch another glass of wine before Donna Summer began to sing. When intermission came, Jill almost fell down after Jack pinched her, then they all drunkly stumbled their way to the bathroom.
At least that's how Jill summed it later in the week. Here's the whole story.
Jill had put together a pre-concert picnic of four Black Forest ham and Provolone cheese sandwiches, with arugula, a thin slice of tomato and smear of spicy mustard to give them a gourmet-ish quality. Big seedless black grapes went into the basket, as did about 10 silver-dollar size chocolate lace cookies.
They strolled around the park looking for a place to eat but the place was really crowded. John walked taller and taller. "I love to go where there are so many Judys," he said. "There are lots of Joans, too."
"Judy? Joan?" Jill asked, twisting her long hair up off her neck and clamping it on the back of her head with a big clip. The humidity was high for Los Angeles, especially in the evening.
"That's what Will and I call gay men. Will started it," John said. "Joan is what we call lesbians." John looked from one Judy's face to another, looked over the various groups at picnic tables. Obviously, Jack and Jill were straight. I wish Will was here, hung like a pop-up bubble over John's head. Will had canceled at the last minute.
They laid out their picnic at a considerable distance from the Judys and Joans. John barely noticed the gourmet-ish food. He unzipped the blue leather wine case he had brought, opening one bottle of white wine, pouring it with a practiced hand into real glass glasses he insisted good wine required.
"Cheers to a great night out with good friends," John said. He sounded convincing, although Jill saw the sadness in his blue eyes. They clicked their real glass glasses and took the first drink.
"Cheers to my beautiful wife for a delicious picnic," Jack said, and they took the second drink.
Friendly gossip ensued. Jack and Jill and John polished off two bottles of excellent, and expensive as John noted having paid for them himself. The lace cookies a wasted after-thought as dusk sharpened the outline of candles and smiles and laughter at the picnic tables full of Judys and Joans. Jack and John split Will's sandwich.
After dark, the walk to the Bowl brightened John's spirits even more than the wine, as Jill made sure they were surrounded by happy, bubbly Judy's (it was easy enough). The crowd surged as they walked to the top of the hill where John went straight to the wine bar. Jill let her hair down now that it was cooler.
"Whoa, momma's letting her hair down. Bee-a-uti-ful," John said, as he handed Jack and Jill plastic glasses filled to the brim. "All they had was Gallo. It's not bad considering it comes in a corrugated box."
"Cheers to a great concert," John said, as Jill spilled half her glass and Jack tripped, splattering wine on his spanking new sandals.
The Hollywood Bowl is a glorious coliseum. Thousands of people prepped for a party, the night sky arcing above the crowd, giant television screens for easy viewing, and a dazzling stage that comes alive with a crackle of music and lights. Judy and Joan couples surrounded them. There was one older straight couple in the row ahead. Jill introduced herself and Jack and John all around. Jill made a pack with the Judys. If she stood up to dance, they had to, too. All agreed except John.
Only a week earlier Diana Ross had delivered a smash concert. Donna Summer paled in comparison. But, hey, a party is a party.
At intermission everyone headed for the bathrooms. Jill could barely make her way down the stairs. She's not a drinker. Standing upright required all her coordination. She forgot about Jack who grabbed her butt almost making her fall.
"Don't do that," Jill said as she teetered and grabbed onto John's arm for support. "I haven't ever had so much wine at the Bowl."
"Welcome to my world," John said, not really gleefully.
Then a miracle happened. John's mobile rang. "What, where? I don't see you, " he said, turning in a circle looking around.
About 40 feet away, a Judy was wildly waving a white pleather seat cushion in their direction.
"I see you, I see you, " John said, bumping and stumbling into the Judy beside him as he aimed himself in that direction.
Jill wobbled her way to the ladies room, where all the minerals and nutrients from that gourmet-ish picnic she had prepared went down the toilet with the wine. Thank goodness for yoga thighs, she thought as she made her dizzy way through the crowd of women back out into the night air. By the time she found her way back to their seats, the Judy with the cushion was there with John and Jack.
"Oh, hi, Andy," Jill said, as all the Judys faces swirled around her. "It's nice to see you. I thought maybe you were Will."
Even though he wasn't, John's fleeting happiness with his friend filled her drunken heart. God bless all the Judy's in this world, she thought. May they all find life mates.