Those of you who were familiar and comfortable with the ever fashion conscious, well-groomed, socially aware bore of a girl I used to be and are chagrined by the wandering gypsy dirtbag I’ve become might be entertained by this story.
With three hours until John arrived in Vegas I decided to spare him the furry – caterpillar (yes, singular) – crawling-slowly-across-my-forehead-look the last month’s deliberate inattention has given my eyebrows. I figured I’d go for a good hard run first thing in the morning with the pups through the boulder strewn soft, golden sand of Red Rocks, sit back with a cup of coffee and a book in the sun, then make my way to some small hole in the wall place where they could exterminate the vermin, and well, that’s what I did…with one small exception.
I ran in my Five Fingers, jumping over cactus, roots, and shrubs, leading my dogs through the beautiful desert in leaps and bounds. I sat in the sun and finished reading Chocolat (Which I enjoyed immensely…check out my review HERE), then I went to find the hole in the wall salon.
Driving towards Vegas from Red Rocks, I saw a sign that looked promising. It read: SKIN, HAIR, NAILS. Well, eyebrows are hair, so I turned into the strip mall and parked under a palm tree. I walked towards the entrance, where it simply said Body Spa in bold block letters above an oversimplified sketch of a woman seemingly sitting on air with flowing silky hair draping over her left shoulder. I noted the cuteness in its simplicity and opened the door to the most absolute antithesis to simple hole in the wall shop I could have possibly found in the entire state of Nevada.
I found out later, from Julaine, the self-proclaimed longest working beautician in Vegas, with 32 years experience, that I had wandered into the LARGEST SALON WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. “So much for mom ‘n pop shopping it,” I thought as the chiselled man at the cafe counter (yup cafe in a salon) greeted me from under his barely-there brows. Seriously, he must have had about 15 total conditioned, trimmed, and oiled hairs above each eye. I suddenly felt better about my ridiculous less-is-sexy high school brow phase that haunts me with each new “old” picture that pops up on Facebook.
So, there I was, sleek and sexy in the v neck long-sleeved black tee, black yoga pants, and Five Fingers I’d been wearing for the last two days. I looked down at my shirt and broke into laughter. I swear I had more dog hair on me than cotton.
I emerged from the bustling boutique with a slight skip, two newly born non furry brows, and a giant smile.
The next stop was the airport. Now, I knew exactly how I wanted to wait for my love as his plane landed. He and I had discussed it many times in our late night hours and hours of conversation on the phone. First, I’d find easy, rock star parking right by the terminal, and in my most sensual, red flowing, curve accentuating dress, I’d sit demurely in the smoke-filled jazz club….airport.
Yes, jazz club airport.
No? No wavy hair, long lashes, and crimson lipstick?
I’d stand in the outfit I’d been wearing for two days straight, with dust on my face, dog hair on my clothes, and dirt under my nails, but the point is, I’D BE THERE, albeit smelling better than I give myself credit. I’d be there, and so would a quartet of violinists. The sea of people would part to the sudden cue of violins, as he appeared from stage left. He would drop his bags, and stand for a moment unmoving in the spotlight, shoulders square, head high, cape almost visibly flowing in the slight…airport breeze, and in slow motion, eyes alight, begin to walk towards me. After a moment looking deeply into each others eyes, the music would climax as we fell into each other’s arms. Eventually, we figured airport security would ask us to move along for being so absolutely enamored, and well, in the way.
This we’d planned for.
What I hadn’t planned for…what neither of us had planned for was the fact that there would be no way for me to drive through with the bike on the roof to collect him at the door.
I didn’t plan to have to make seven laps of the airport, getting increasingly hysterical as I was YET AGAIN spit out into the oversized vehicle exit and made to creep through the limousine pick up area, much to the entertainment of the passengers waiting in said limousines.
I didn’t plan for John to have to carry his bags to two different locations, and search for me for over an hour, all the while texting me.
I didn’t plan to find myself retorting to his text audibly, after trying to call, “WHO THE FUCK TEXTS AT A TIME LIKE THIS? CALL ME!!!”
I didn’t plan to have John toss his bags into the car, jump in, and alas…no fucking violins.
We looked at each other and agreed in unison. Let’s get the fuck out of here. We drove, chatting here and there, glancing at the other in disbelief. Yes, we were together now, this was the beginning of our story right? Where the fuck were the violins?
We parked at a Thai restaurant eager after our grueling 26 day separation to embrace. Soon we were laughing hysterically at ourselves, our expectations, the way musicians couldn’t be trusted, recapping our frustrations with the ordeal. It all melted away as we sat hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, in the dim restaurant, laughing, leaning, glowing, loving.
We decided we would soon be kicked out of the restaurant for being so silly and wrapped up in one another, so we made our next move. A trip to REI to grab some climbing books. We left with a sleeping pad, two climbing books, and a Nevada and California hot springs guide that called to me from the second shelf.
We armed ourselves with pens, an adventure atlas, the climbing books, hot spring book, and a tablet of yellow notebook paper, then visited the coffee shop I’d named in a fit of creativity, “Vegas Cafe” in the GPS. We sat down side by side at an empty table and began to plan the rest of our lives together…or at least the next three weeks leading up to the Seattle Salsa Congress.
It was past midnight when we returned to the desert to sleep. The moon was full and high in the star stitched blanket above as we fell asleep in each others arms, though not to violins.
We slept to the unparalleled soundtrack of love: our two hearts beating as one.