Four Bands and Birthdays in Four Nights


I know summer is here when I’ve seen four live bands in four nights. The first band played in Moraga on Thursday, a bit of a drive with traffic at 5:00 p.m. Three Day Weekend had good harmony, interesting song choices and some mean guitar, even horns. The crowd was mellow, lots of families with little kids. Dave and I met there for a dancing date. As my girlfriend’s ex, I know too much to date him.  He’s a nice guy who will always accept a dark chocolate and peanut protein bar. We laughed, we danced, and then we danced some more.

An older woman came up to us, clapping. Another guy said we were the best dancers out there.

We were the only dancers out there. My friend, Shirley, found me when we returned to our seats, and I gave her back her book she had loaned me. She commented on the cute guy in a follow-up email, and I set her straight as to the relationship.

The next night, the Beatles tribute band played in Alamo, just one town away. Everybody looked familiar. I met Henry who had come down from Concord. It was the day after his birthday, and he had on his new blue shoes, wingtip style but made of mesh fabric.  They went with his blue shirt. We squeezed into the rows of chairs, and my little red wagon saved a space for Ruth, who texted and then arrived late.

The weather was perfect, not as windy as the night before.  A group of friends sat no too far away, and soon we were all up on our feet, dancing to the early Beatles tunes, such as “I Should Have Known Better.” The band was right on key, and as the night went on and more wine was consumed, more and more people got up to dance.

On a bathroom break, a woman in line behind us told Henry his blue shoes were sharp.

“Hey, he’s with me!” I said, messing with her.

“Oh, I’m not trying to pick him up,” she said. “I just think his shoes are sharp.”

The woman missed the joke, but Henry was happy to have two older women carrying on, as my late mother-in-law would have said.

I was smart enough to use some Flonase on night #2 and had a much better time breathing on the drive home.

Night # 3 was at a park in my own town. Lumberyard, one of my favorite bands, played here for the first time.  Henry thought it was too hot and bailed. Dave showed up, and once again, I gifted him a protein bar.  We sat in the shade, then danced in the sun, then the shade, then the sun as the night cooled down. I waved to lots of people and even surprised one of my son’s friends from way back, who is now six foot two and as gorgeous as ever. He was with his dad.

“Hi John,” I said. “It’s Mrs. Elya!”

The surprise on his face was priceless as he flashed his blue eyes at me. We shared a quick hug. This was the boy who came over every day after high school (fifteen years ago) to play video games with my son and to have a milkshake. They were both too thin, and it was a pleasure to feed the neighbor boys (four counting my son), his younger sister, and of course I had to taste one, too. Our house was the chosen one because it bordered school property.

The final night, Sunday, it was Cindy’s birthday party in Pleasant Hill with the Midnight Flyers, an Eagles cover band.  It was still stinky hot (96 degrees), but Cindy had staked out a shady area next to the lake. A dozen women showed up for Cindy, and one brought cheesy decorations, too (I helped her hang them up). Someone brought cupcakes, and everyone brought food to share and wine to drink.

Two-dollar-bill Tom came over to say hey, another one with a June birthday (he mailed me a two-dollar bill for my birthday and told me to have a night out, on him). I only danced three or four songs, all with TDBT. It was just too hot, and to be frank, I was exhausted.

Tonight I am staying home to vedge out with the dogs and catch up on the newspapers piling up on the end table.

It starts up again on Thursday. I need to rest up.

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