estivating

I wake up to missed texts from Wally (a pic of some shopping find), Mason (OMG last night's Colbert. I'm in fucking tears.), my neighbor (wanting me to let her dog out), and Ben (Ellie! We need your body!). I spend the next few minutes feeding Chaucer, making coffee, and sending replies.

I explain to Ben that I've gotten myself on an ass-backwards schedule. I was asleep all day, I say. I'm estivating. 

Estivating?

LOL, it's the opposite of hibernating. Sleeping through summer. 

He says he'll be working super late, and asks me to come by to try on a dress. Okay, I say, even though I don't particularly feel like squeezing into whatever skintight leather number he's working on, in my current sedentary state. I text with Wally while I sit on my kitchen island and drink coffee. He sends a pic of a poster soliciting participants for a diarrhea study. The copy describes the sought-after symptoms in graphic terms.

- That is hanging over a urinal.

- Jesus.

- I am so glad my job does not involve working on a diarrhea study. Even the most glamorous related job would suck. You could be the doctor who cures it, but it would still suck. "So..what do you do?" ...."Uh..."

- I have no jokes to contribute to this yet. I just woke up and my head feels like cotton candy.

- Wow, I feel bad for hitting you with a prolonged conversation about the squirts right when you woke up.

After a quick shower, I grab Chaucer, his leash, and my wallet, and we scoot the six blocks to the shop where Ben works. The door is locked, and as I'm knocking, a man walking by asks if I'm going in to buy my dog a harness. "That's what they sell in there, you know," he says, turning to face me as he walks backwards. "Leather stuff." Before I can answer, Ben appears and lets me into the store.

The dress he needs to fit is comically short and tight - strapless, structured black leather with zipper trim and lines that remind me of a superhero costume. It'll be worn in a show in New York next week to preview the shop's new line. As he tugs at the fabric, stepping back to scrutinize the cut, I remind him that my boobs are higher and bigger than those of most models. He twists his lip and considers, and a second designer comes out to confer. Meanwhile, Chaucer makes himself at home, the shop familiar to him from Ben's dog sitting stints.

Satisfied with the styling, he takes a few pictures of me wearing the dress, a pair of pumps that I nearly break my neck trying to balance in one-legged, and a funky decorative leather strap that buckles behind my knee and under the heel of the shoe. The whole ensemble is more fashion-forward and editorial and sexy than anything I could ever pull off, and as always, I feel like a badass for having a tiny part in the design process.

Ben still has some sewing still to do, so I run to the market around the corner and get us a bottle of wine. We order a pizza, and I hang out in the workroom while he cuts, measures, and stitches. We eat, drink, and catch up, swapping anecdotes from our dating lives the past few months. He's recently gotten a raise, which will allow him to rent a villa when he returns to Bali for work in a few weeks. I promise for the fiftieth time that I'll try and visit, and ask for the hundredth time about the (legal) mushroom shakes sold there. He photographs a dress form outfitted with pieces for the show, and when he's finished, walks Chaucer and I back home before catching the train.

As always, I feel totally charged from hanging out with him. A thought occurs to me, and I pull up my blog to check something. Yep. I realize it's the weather - balmy, lush, and decadent - that triggered my suspicion that it was right around this time last year that we went to Silver Lake. A rush of gratitude for my friendship hits me, and I decide to write a post to remember tonight, because even though it wasn't anything wild or exciting, I'm still left with the awesome, uplifted feeling I get from being in my friend's company. Back room of a clothing store or the crowded dance floor of a hipster bar - same net effect.

Also: I really need to try one of those mushroom shakes.