When I first moved to Oakland I was young and spry and got very little sleep. My memory of that time is a mosaic of late night conversations at the Lake Merritt Diner with Lolo, Psycho Bambi, Husband-Cat, Eeyore and African Dan*. Over fried chicken and waffles we'd chatter away about a wide range of topics -- politics, history, pop culture, each other -- until the sky was light and we were passing out into our mashed potatoes (Psycho Bambi always ordered them but never finished). The battle of wills was usually over who was the funniest.
Nowadays I still have late nights, but the "conversation" is decidedly different.
Baby Flails-a-lot: I'm the baby who doesn't need sleep!
Me: All babies need sleep.
Baby Flails-a-lot: Lies! I can stay up forever! Who runs the world? Girls! Who runs the wor--
Me: First, Beyonce is too damn old to be calling herself a girl. Second, you are not even a girl yet, you're a girl-baby. A proto-girl, if you will.
Baby Flails-a-lot: Who wants to live foreveeeeeeeeeer?
Me: Oh god, now you're the Highlander? Really?
Baby Flails-a-lot: I ain't sleeping! I'm Rick James, beyotch!
Me: No more pop culture in your general vicinity ever again.
Baby Flails-a-lot: Ha ha ha! No sleep! No sleep! No sl--zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Me: Yeah, that's what I thought.
How things change.
* African Dan is The Hub's cousin. I gave him the nickname because he's the whitest man you've ever seen who grew up in Zambia, Africa. Visually, he's white boy Silicon Valley laid back engineer type, but beneath that easy-going, good tempered exterior is the singularly most interesting person on the planet. His adventures are as amazing to others as they are run of mill to him.**
** He does things like show up in Ireland for a wedding without anyone's phone number or the location of the wedding or the address of his hosts...but runs into other members of the wedding party at the airport. His ENTIRE life is like that.
Don't believe me? He's been on a solitary bicycle tour of Africa since 2008. He's battled bandits, climbed Kilimanjaro and generally had a good time. Did I mention he has a travel blog? Yeah, I thought you might want that.