Day 51: Hello Scott!

Day 51 (2016-10-16): Long Beach, CA.

I chat with Ken and Kenny briefly this morning but hit the road early to get breakfast with Scott and Amanda. It is 6.1 miles to Scott’s house but I missed a turn, enter cul-de-sac-ville, and get lost in suburbia. Every time I try to leave I find my way blocked by a dead-end, fence, or cul-de-sac. I hate this shit. I add three miles to my morning and try really hard to maintain a good mood despite my rising frustrations at this ridiculous place. But then I roll up to Scott & Amanda waiting outside for me and I dismount the bike straight into a hug. So good to see such a friendly face!

We ride with Matt, Scott’s younger brother, to I for breakfast. Chicken-fried steak with two poached eggs on top of a biscuit. Potatoes on the side. So good! Not too bad on the wallet either, $16.50 with tax and tip. Expensive, yes, but this is LA. And it was an intentional splurge, tasty, and very fulfilling after my exasperated morning. Also, everybody uses Venmo. Love it.

I thought today was going to be a day to visit my friend Carly because Scott was with Amanda, but it turns out Amanda is at a memorial service for one of her old co-workers. Scott and I spend the day together, first joining his dad to watch his brother Matt at a fencing tournament. Fencing is not a spectator sport and I find it far less exciting and romantic than Hollywood would have you believe, but at least it is novel and I learn a lot about the sport.

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Matt (right) fencing his first bout against a relatively new fencer. Matt wins this one but goes on to face very stiff competition in this open (all skill levels) competition.

Afterwards I run to Grocery Outlet and Scott goes to Target to buy some study supplies then we just hang out around the house. Dinner is a gross-out salad and some pulled-pork from Trader Joe’s that we mix with cabbage and put on toast. Meh. My generation is so dependent on Trader Joe’s and other ready-made meals.

The funeral service ends around sundown and shortly after Scott and I travel down to the waterfront to join Amanda on the boat she previously worked on with a small crew. It is a tall boat (pirate style) doing some kind of science work. Amanda’s description and photos from the memorial service show a celebratory, not mournful, service honoring the captain’s life – which sounds like what I want for myself. Scott and I join for the after-party on the boat where current and former employees are joined by significant others and friends for drinking games and general good time.

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Party on a boat!

We stay for a few hours and I meet a couple of cool people who, of course, want to hear about my ride. It’s nice to share and sharing sometimes leads to very good conversations but it can be tiring to always be the different guy. To be “amazing.” I never want to be famous

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