34 Shorts and sandals, or bourgeois ubiquity

Ross Valley didn’t feel like making more coffee himself. It was just too rote, too mechanical compared to what he’d just been through with _____ _____, his silky visitor from Los Angeles. And he wasn’t the kind of man to ask her to do it for him.
They decamped for The Woodlands Store in mind of all its thermoses of steaming Peet’s Coffee.
“Half and half?” Ross offered. _____ _____ declined with a shake of her head now famous as far away as Shanghai and Slovenia. She poured from the pitcher labeled Soy Milk.
“What about your little ninja guy – Frisco? Won’t he get tired flying around waiting for you?”
“He’s supposed to be in San Anselmo right now, checking out baby Drew. He doesn’t need my permission to land when he heads back to Goodhill Road.”
“I can’t wait! I just meet movie ninjas, never a real one!”
They stood in a short line at the cash register, while _____ _____’s face registered around the store. Some little girls wanted her autograph, but their moms held them back and said “Don’t stare.”
“Look at that guy who looks like he got all his clothes in the Halekulani arcade. The really tan guy with the little Kettles bag. He bit that potato chip like he was annexing Poland.”
Ross stared at her, but blinked. He was becoming accustomed to her surprises.
“That’s Bat Disease. With the monstrosity going up across the canyon.”
“Bat Disease? Doesn’t anyone around here have a name like ‘Bob’ or ‘Linda’?”
“Nah,” Ross said.
“That little girl with him looks angry.”
“It’s his daughter.”
Ross explained that another pile of rocks was going up that might be bigger than Mr. Disease’s, and it was on Goodhill Road at equal elevation.
“So they’ll be facing each other. Dueling monstrosities,” _____ _____ commented.
“As Alain, the Frisco Ninja, would say, ‘C’est ca.'”
“It figures,” _____ _____ muttered.
“Eh?” Ross wondered.
“Eating while he waits in line at the grocery store . . .”
“And plotting.”
_____ _____ thought of the biography she’d read about the disco diva, Sylvester. She paraphrased an album title his record company rejected, applying it to Ross: “His money won’t change me (I hope MY money doesn’t change me, not too much) but he amplifies my trip.”
Plotting, along with lighting, direction, casting, and the finest production values, was of great concern to her. That he even mentioned it gave her a thrill, despite an incongruous framework.


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