austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Who are the people in your neighborhood

For Sunday bunny_hugger and I had plans, set for the early afternoon: a neighborhood pot-luck picnic lunch. This was a reasonable hour for most people, and even for us we didn't actually need alarm clocks to get up in time for it.

bunny_hugger's contribution to the food was a pasta salad based on three-color noodles, made to be not just vegetarian but also Vegan. It turned out there weren't any Vegans in attendance, and there were other vegetarian foods brought, but it's nice having the alternative there. Actually there were a couple vegetarian options, although some of them were cases like corn brought in for roasting which would be hard to make non-vegetarian.

And so this is how I got to meet a handful of the people who live in her neighborhood: sharing lunch on a day steadily threatening to start raining while listening to the people there talk about how the drug dealers were kicked out of the neighborhood and just what the criminal element is up to. This was noticed as maybe not being the best sort of topic to bring up around a stranger, but I still found the tale entertaining. Also one of the people there, an elderly man who chooses to wear a skunk hat, had lived in the area off and on since roughly the discovery of water, so he had this naturally interesting way of talking about the long history that he's seen. Among other things he revealed there were the foundation stones of a blacksmith's which used to be in the area, tucked into the deeper, wooded parts of the park.

Pleasant as it was, there wasn't an enormous turnout, maybe the better part of a dozen people gathered in the beach chairs they'd brought themselves --- I needed some reassurance and testing that I had opened mine correctly and I still expected to fall into some physical comedy --- although that size fit what we had the energy for, I think. A couple of people riding bicycles did come in and stop, but they didn't join the group even when assured they didn't have to bring anything but themselves. We also got confused because it seemed like they rode in on more bicycles than they left with.

The original invitation promised the event would go on to ``whenever'', and it was looking like it might carry on indefinitely when the threatening skies did finally work up the energy to start raining. It wasn't a heavy rain, but it was enough to encourage everyone to pack up what they had and leave for home. While some of the kids and a couple adults did their best to wait out the storm by using this as the chance to hit each other with water balloons --- pre-filled water balloons, I feel it appropriate to point out --- for the most part everyone else was glad to minimize the rain falling directly on them.

And of course just as the crowd had definitively broken up and we were being urged to keep some of the corn-for-grilling which was otherwise surplus. We'd successfully socialized and had appreciable portions of the day left.

We used the day after that, mostly, as a way to be with each other in body as much as we are in mind, so that it was endlessly fascinating to us but didn't really have specific moments where I can point and say that this interesting thing happened. Toward the evening we made a casserole which was actually in principle one we'd already made, although the previous time required many more on-the-spot decisions about replacements for things we didn't have. A casserole prepared to the actual directions seemed somewhat innovative. It worked out well, though, and went nicely with the leftover grillable corn.

Besides, we had pretty good plans for Monday.

Trivia: The months of the Bahá'i calendar are named after the attributes of God; the same names are assigned to the 19 days of the month. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: I, The Jury, Mickey Spillane. I'd never read this before; now I get many of the Spillane satires and spoofs I've seen since. Also I feel like I've just looked at Patient Zero for the ``we gotta have psychotic vigilantes shooting bad guys cause those pesky courts can't convict anyone now that there's those `civil rights' rules'' pop culture thing, although I know that streak of derangement predates Spillane.


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