I hadn’t posted a ton about our trip since we’d been back, but as I was trying to get back into the dreary normalacy of life, I realized I needed to post some things for my benefit, if not your reading pleasure.
(This was just before my PE diagnosis, which is probably partially why I felt so shitty the entire trip. But, I can’t describe how happy I am that the PE came after, because the medication severely affects my short-term memory,and as bizarre as our wedding ended up being, at least my memory of it is pretty crystal clear.)
This one just popped into my head as I was asking Craig something via PM – see, he asks for something and instead of the typical “please”, he’ll say “Peas and carrots?”
Not terribly uncommon, but adorable just the same.
Well, a few years ago (keep in mind, we’ve been together over seven years) I started saying “Fleas and parrots”, simply because my mouth moved faster than my brain one night, and it stuck.
Well, as I asked him for a favor, I finished with “Peas and carrots, fleas and parrots?”
Which made me remember this….
San Diego encompasses a big chunk of southern California. Five years ago, we visited just before I had my back surgeries. I was originally told I had a 78% chance of not making it off the table, so every moment was a big deal.
We went into it blind, so to speak, with no real idea of where in San Diego we wanted to be, just that we wanted to be on the beach, next to the ocean.
Ocean Beach was the first sand and surf we ran into…and we fell in love with the area.
It boasts the ‘longest concrete structure on the west coast’; Ocean Beach pier, at an incredible 1,971 feet. Its also the more artsy part of town, with a booming homeless and hippy population (which, unlike Tucson, the panhandlers are polite and will take “NO” for an answer, so I don’t mind them) and lots of artists, surfers, stoners, environmentalists and free spirits running wild on the boardwalk and streets.
That’s kind of the ‘lay of the land’, so to speak, if you’re unfamiliar with the area.
So, I wasn’t terribly surprised to see an abundance of flora and fauna.
Hibiscus in stunning shades of neon pink and lemon yellow, as big around as basketballs in spots. Luscious trees with stunning lavender flowers that almost look like a cross between wisteria and lilacs (we learned later, they’re Jacaranda trees). Morning glories, covering fences and walls, in remarkable hues of the sunset; magenta and violet, indigo and sapphire. Jasmine and honeysuckle, bottle brush and icicle plants covering the ground instead of grass or rock. Well manicured bushes with enormous cream and coffee colored, trumpet shaped flowers that opened in the sun.
Soft, ivory sand kissing the cerealun blue of the ocean….
Wild freaking parrots.
That, I was not prepared for.
Flying around the palm trees in the parking areas, squwaking their loud, high-pitched, horrendously off-key squwak.
I kid you not…it was deafening and obnoxious, especially in the early morning silence. The crashing of the waves against the pier and shore…the soft haze of the marine layer, dancing on a chilly morning breeze…the sweet perfume of sea water and coffee…so beautiful and relaxing and…
At first, we only saw two, chasing each other in what I assumed was some kind of mating ritual, given the goddess-awful sounds they were belching fourth.
Then, two more showed up.
All squwaking hell broke loose.
We walked up the street to find coffee and a bagel for my non-morning person self (I may be upright at 7:00A,however that does not make me awake nor ready to function as a reasonable member of society), and even sitting outside at Jungle Java (appropriate enough, on hindsight), warm sips of snickerdoodle coffee and bites of crunchy, toasted Everything bagel (best Everything bagel I’ve had on the west coast, by the way) with soft, rich cream cheese, were interrupted by…
SQUWAK! SQUWAK! SQUWAK!
I am an animal lover, through and through…I love animals more than most people.
But, at 7-fucking-AM, I love coffee, bagels, Craig (and, he might contest that statement) and NOTHING else.
Not even squwaking wild parrots. I swear, every SQUWAK was a new piercing in my tongue, as I went to chew and was startled from serenity and the waking up process by….
It’s what I imagine parents go through, with toddlers in the house.
Picture it….early morning, you’re half awake, enjoying a peaceful moment while savoring your warm, nectar of life and then, out of nowhere….
Right in your ear!
Followed by the toilet flushing and a subtle, almost inaudible, “Uht ohhh…”.
That’s the terror these parrots were striking into my cold, unconscious heart.
In fact, I was so driven to the point of utter insanity by these birds, I took to screaming back at them.
And, as Craig will tell you, I couldn’t just yell once at them to shut up, in an attempt to spook them.
I had to scream at them, at close to full volume in the still morning hour, to “FIND THE RIGHT FUCKING HOLE ALREADY!”
Poor Craig. And, he’s stuck with me.
I will say, this incident did occur the morning of our wedding, so technically, he still had time to run, squwaking with the parrots.
However, be warned. There are two lessons in this story –
1. Wild parrots are a thing in southern California. A real, honest, bonafide thing. Beware the birds! It is not the word. It’s the SQUWAK.
2. I mean it when I say, I’m never sure what will come out of my mouth or when. I’m very often as surprised as everyone else. I don’t usually think about it first. Hell, I usually don’t think about it after, either. You may think I’m joking.
Just ask Craig….and the wild parrots of Ocean Beach.