Thursday, July 31, 2008

Short Shorts Summer Tour 2008

When they walked into the bar in Pendleton an hour late, three out of seven Maldives were wearing white v-neck t-shirts. Tim stood in a corner talking to Lindsey for a minute while Chris Z fiddled with things that needed to fit together and magically become an instrument and a place to sit, and Jason wandered in looking like he'd been sleeping in the van. After Ryan pulled his drum set out of its cases, I started taking pictures. His drums were gold and sparkly and new, with a sticker of the Maldives logo on it. It was still light out, but the curtains were drawn so all the pictures came out blurry and a little psychedelic, which I liked.

In Snowbird, Utah, the next day, there were still three Maldives in white v-neck t-shirts, but not the same three. Same shirts maybe, you couldn't help but think that to yourself, but different guys wearing them, except for Ryan. In the hotel room later, he tried to claim that his hair was clean, but I was sitting on the bed behind him and said "Nuh-uh," and instead of arguing, he turned around and grinned. At least that's how I choose to tell the story.

Dirty hair: the proof. He's still cute, though.

We had been talking about Ryan's hair the day before, too, the girls and I. Before Pendleton, or Boise, or the truck stop in Blackfoot Idaho, which I was pretty sure I had been in before because I knew right where the popsicle cooler was going to be. We were talking about Ryan's hair in Soap Lake, at the motel that was all made out of logs and had rooms with themes like House of Poverty, and trains and Old Mexico. Lindsey and Kate and me were all in the tub in the middle of the living room, and Dena was sitting on the edge, drinking tequila out of the bottle.

We didn't spend much time that night talking about the boys. Well, I did notice that I said one non-Ryan-boy's name a few too many times but no one called me on it. Other than that, we talked about books and mix CDs and chicken-fried steak and being chased around the parking lot by a car with a busted-out window, and how the lake water smelled like frogs, and what we were going to sing at karaoke. But we did also talk a little about how cute the boys are. We always talk about how cute the boys are. Even when they're not.

"I can't wait to see Ryan," I said, "I haven't seen him in ages."
"Have you seen him since he got his hair cut?" Lindsey asked.
"Mmmm... I'm not sure, I think so."

With the way it's always crammed under a bandana he's using as a headband, or some hat that looks like it was jammed in someone's toolbox, it can be hard to tell if you are looking at a haircut or not. I've never been sure whether the fact that "greasy hair" is a popular search term for this blog is Ryan's fault, or B's. They are both candidates. Still, I often tell people "Ryan always looks dirty, but he usually smells like soap. Ivory soap." The girls I tell this to believe me, because they want to.


In the room in Snowbird, when he was sitting on my bed, I couldn't help but think about this as I wondered whether the shirt he was wearing was the same shirt as yesterday or not. He was watching TV, and I was watching him. He didn't turn around when I started talking, even though I said, "So, Ryan." Dena and Lindsey were on the other bed, and they looked over, but he kept watching Final Destination 2, or whatever movie it is where the topless girls fry to death in the tanning beds after their Big Gulps spill and short-circuit the temperature controls.

What I wanted to know was what he had wanted when he got that haircut. I mean, what did he ask for? Because what he got was one of those haircuts that does not look like a haircut at all. It looked like a couple or seven months of being stoned at the beach, after a high school graduation haircut. Was that what he wanted?

I had spent the first two days on the road thinking a lot about what people want. Kate wanted a cola slushie, Lindsey wanted to see the giant Lava Lamp, Dena wanted to write in the TJ. We all wanted a diner breakfast and I wanted to drive. And then drive some more.

The same, only shorter. And cut with a razor. That's what Ryan wanted. The next day at the pool, Kate told us about her friend who, every summer, picks a different obscure celebrity to model her summer look on. Last year, it was Rizzo from Grease. Kate didn't know who it was this summer, but I like to think it could have been Stevie Nicks or Babe Paley in the Bahamas or early Faye Dunaway. Ryan was there again, in cut-off shorts and velcro sneakers and a farmer's tan. The white t-shirt was there too, but tossed over the arm of the chair he was stretched out in. I told him he looked like that song "Love the One You're With".

The night before, some guy in the sushi bar who described himself as an ex-hippy lawyer, had walked by Dena's husband Jessie and made some comment about Stephen Stills. That's who sings that song, which is, by the way, my favorite song of the summer. You're So Vain is a close second, but that's more like the theme song of our imaginary girl band than a favorite song. Love the One You're With is the song I keep catching myself humming under my breath.

And that's all I'm gonna say about that. For now.

Unflattering photo of me, just to be fair. Kate looks funny and cute, though, I think.

1 comment:

Allison said...

Last weekend, when we we were at the kayaking festival, I was tailgating with the boys and playing the mix CD you made for me so that everybody could hear how great it was. You're So Vain came on and I was singing it to the boys... I think our friends may have thought that it was an odd choice to serenade your babies with, but I luvs it!

xoxo
A

Wish we could be there for the BBQ! Please take pictures!