It's calm again at my house. That wasn't true for the past few days. The sound and the fury that had held sway over the weekend has subsided. Now I am left with a collection of images and experiences that can only begin to tell the story of what happened here: The Gatsby Picnic.
Please understand that I love and respect all the excitement and enthusiasm that my wife and her friends bring to this enterprise. Recreating a Roaring Twenties lawn party for a gaggle of like-minded individuals takes a dedication that I can only begin to understand. I went once. My wife helped me pull together an ensemble that approximated the uniform of a member of the 1929 Chicago Cubs. I didn't feel like a member of the 1929 Chicago Cubs. I felt hot and uncomfortable, and I squinted under the short brim of my authentic period cap.
I would have felt uncomfortable in a T-shirt and jeans. It's just not my scene. But it is very much the scene of my wife and her friends, and the flurry of activity that blew through here all weekend long, culminating in a blur of food preparation, hair, makeup and wardrobe that eventually put them out the front door just after noon. Suddenly I was left alone with my dog and my thoughts. It was quiet. The living room and the TV was all mine. The NFL season was underway and I had nothing but time to ride the couch and watch it unfold.
Somewhere in the hills of Oakland, the hurricane that had blown through my life for the past seventy-two hours was eating finger sandwiches and doing the Charleston. I tried to picture myself, sitting on the edge of a blanket, sipping cranberry juice cocktail. I missed the company, but I couldn't imagine being a part of the soiree. I had a bowl of leftover chili and some potato chips, put my feet up and checked the score: Gatsby 8, Me 1. I can live with that.