This is what happened yesterday:
12:30 pm: Arrive to Trisha’s for her birthday party. Her baby is less than a week old. She was born in Trisha’s living room in a birthing tub after 32 hours of intense labor. Had she gone to a hospital, they definitely would have performed a C-section. It was important to Trisha to have a natural birth, so she stayed at home, endured the labor, and had the baby, surrounded by midwives (who kept a close eye on the health of both her and the baby) and her incredibly supportive husband. I have an immense amount of respect for the inner strength something like that takes. I can’t even imagine. I cry at pap smears.
Sunday, however, was Trisha’s own birthday. We came over and brought pie, vegan ice cream, vegan whip cream, and we all got to hold baby Aster, who is beyond precious, even if she doesn’t do much right now (sleeps, poops, eats). She can definitely hear you, though, and she can look in the direction of a sound. I am convinced she is a super-genius who will be President one day.
2 pm: Leave Trisha’s. I’m heading to Carillon Point with my friend Sara to go out on a ski boat with some friends. We went wakeboarding earlier in the week, and I’m excited to do it again.
3 pm: We leave Carillon Point on the ski boat. We’ve got about 10 people on board, five girls and five guys. We head out into Juanita Bay, but it’s too choppy to do much wakeboarding. We hang out on the boat and swim a bit.
6 pm: A giant yacht pulls into the bay and next to our ski boat. There are two men and a woman on it. The owner (we’ll call him The Baron from now on) starts waving at Sara. (This is pretty standard for when you go anywhere with her.) He motions to her “Two of you can come on board.” She looks at me, but neither of us is about to get out and swim over to a random yacht on our own. So the guys pull our ski boat over to the yacht, tie it up, and everyone boards the yacht.
The people on the yacht could not have possibly been kinder to us. The girl, Leanna, invites us all to come inside and raid the fridge. We do. The owner chats up Sara for awhile, and it turns out the other guy on board, John, knows a bunch of the guys from our ski boat through a mutual friend. Everyone gets along famously.
Leanna tells us she just separated from her husband of nine years after finding out he’d been cheating on her. “He’s out here in the bay,” she tells us. “He’s on a ski boat. We saw him earlier.”
8 pm: Our friends (from our ski boat) decide it’s time to leave. Sara is going to stay on the yacht to have dinner with The Baron, Leanna and John later. She was my ride, and the yacht is going to dock at Lake Union, which is a quick cab ride to my place. I decide to stay on the yacht with her. The rest of our crew piles onto the ski boat and pulls away.
8:02 pm: I’m hanging out on the bow of the ship with Leanna, Sara and John. I hear Leanna screaming something at a nearby ski boat. I figure it’s our ski boat and she’s yelling goodbye or something. She sounds angry, but I figure she’s just joking around. It takes me about 15 seconds to realize that she’s actually yelling a ski boat full of dudes, and I put together that her soon-to-be ex-husband is on that ski boat.
The two of them get really, really heated. She’s furious and so is he. He’s calling her a cunt and a slut and she’s hurling insults back at him. Sara gets involved and so do I, calling him an asshole and telling him to shut the fuck up and go away. (In retrospect, this was very bad judgment.) The guys on the yacht are not involved yet. I see Sara go around to the side of the yacht clutching her glass of champagne purposefully.
I suddenly know exactly how the next thirty seconds are going to play out, and I can’t do anything to stop it.
I run around to the side of the yacht just in time to see Sara throw her drink at the guy on the boat. Furious, he literally jumps from the ski boat onto the back of the yacht, where The Baron is standing. He starts trying to beat up The Baron. “I’ve got nothing to do with this,” he says calmly, which is true. Sara and I try to pull the ex off The Baron, without much success. Leanna comes to the back of the boat and gets involved in the struggle, and another guy from the ex’s ski boat is on board now, involved in the fight. John is still on the bow.
I see the ex head around the side of the yacht toward the bow. I know John is there alone, and he’s smaller than the ex, and I know this won’t be good. I run up to the top deck of the boat and slide down its glass panel to the bow just in time to see the ex punch John, put him in a neck hold and slam his head onto the rail of the bow. I push myself in between them. I don’t even remember who, but someone else winds up on the bow and helps me separate them. The ex runs back to the back deck.
I see heads bobbing in the water nearby. Our friends from our ski boat had seen what happened, turned their boat around, and now they’ve all jumped off their boat and are swimming over to help. They climb up the swim ladder, and suddenly there’s a 15-person brawl on this yacht, everyone punching and kicking, the women included. Sara is perched against the rail of the back deck, kicking the shit out of one of these dudes, and Leanna and the chicks from our boat are throwing punches. I try to pull Sara out of the struggle, screaming at the guy to stop hurting my friend. “Hold me up!” she says. I realize she doesn’t want to be saved from the fight; she wants leverage so she can kick harder. Ha. So I do what any good friend would do — I hold her up so she can kick harder. Meanwhile, Leanna’s managed to get a good hard punch to the side of her ex’s head while the rest of the guys are fighting him. In the space of two minutes, the yacht has turned into a pirate ship.
The Baron is on the top deck calling the cops, and the ex’s buddies realize they’re vastly outnumbered (and that what they’ve done is illegal) and start trying to convince the ex to calm down. They finally get him back on his ski boat and pull away. Everyone just stands there stunned — our friends soaking wet — trying to figure out what just happened.
“Are you okay?” I ask Leanna.
“Would you be?”
The Baron thanks our friends for their help, and they leave in their ski boat again. Another ski boat pulls up and helps us with our anchor, which has been caught in seaweed. “We watched that whole thing go down,” they say. “We pulled up in case you needed anything. We were ready to beat some fuckers up, but we’ll help with the anchor too.” The Baron gives them an bottle of wine for their trouble.
10 pm: We dock at Lake Union. It’s not the dock I expected it to be — it’s an industrial dock, one I’ve never seen before — and I realize I’m miles away from anywhere I can catch a cab. I call my neighbor Tim to come pick me up. Leanna tries to give him directions over the phone, but she’s too drunk to make much sense. I have no idea where we are, really.
“Just come to dinner,” says The Baron. I tell him my friend is on his way to pick me up. “Bring him too.” I give Tim the name of the restaurant, which is only a couple miles from our apartment building.
10:15 pm: Arrive at a fancy seafood restaurant that overlooks the Ship Canal. Tim’s waiting out front. He raises his eyebrows at me. “I can’t stay. I don’t think I can afford anything here. Do you want a ride home or what?”
“I have a feeling we won’t be paying. Stay.”
“I should really go.”
I grab his arm. “Trust me. Stay.”
The Baron orders a pricey bottle of wine, but it’s clearly not pricey enough — he’s also brought his own champagne from his private stash on the yacht. We tell Tim the story of the giant fight and he and The Baron hit it off. Leanna and I slip outside and smoke cigarettes perched on the back of The Baron’s Mercedes AMG, which the valet has parked right in front of the restaurant.
“I can’t believe we’re sitting on it,” I comment.
“I do it all the time,” says Leanna. “It just feels really badass.”
“Yeah. It does.”
11:50 pm: We finish an incredible dinner, and The Baron picks up the tab while the rest of us aren’t paying attention. We all say goodbye and part ways. The restaurant locks its doors behind us, and I realize we’d been the only ones there most of the time. They’d clearly stayed open late for The Baron.
Tim and I meet up with some of our friends at the D&H, a neighborhood dive bar. It’s literally one mile away from where we’ve just had dinner, but it couldn’t feel farther. “You must feel so weird being here right now,” says Tim, referring to the fact that I’ve spent most of the day on a yacht with a gazillionaire and am now in a dark bar with plastic furniture and $3 beers.
“Nah, I finally feel normal,” I tell him, and it’s true.