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20 Years

Feb. 28, 2005

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One day, many years ago, I sat pretending to be busy in the Campus Events office at UCLA. A pretty sophomore, whom I'd been flirting with a bit in recent weeks was working at a desk nearby. On her wrist, a costume jewelry bracelet made of pink plastic beads.

"I like your bracelet," I said.

"Thanks," she replied. Then casually, without even thinking: "My cat made it for me."

It took me only a moment to rise to the challenge. "Yeah, I know your cat," I said. "We flew in Korea together."

This sort of nonsense went on for a few weeks until one Monday morning, the last Monday in February, we were found ourselves in the office joking about how much we hate Monday mornings. We dared each other to play hookey, and spent the rest of that day driving LA together -- going everywhere and nowhere together, out Melrose and down to Marina del Rey, and to LAX for a drink, since we both confessed we had a thing for travel.

Twenty Februaries later, she's still my favorite way to spend a day. We played hookie again, wandering San Francisco this time, going everywhere and nowhere, seeing the parrots on Telegraph Hill, eating tasty Vietnamese food at the Ferry Building, pawing through the sale rack in Anthropolgie's basement, and draining a couple of beers in the fading sun on Union Square.