Little did I know when I looked at Ocho’s 8 fingers for the first time that afternoon at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company that they would make him particularly sensitive to other people’s bodily trauma.
Ocho was in the room when my plastic surgeon carefully unveiled the new girls. They didn’t look like boobs, actually, but they did look like the cupcakes I’d recently made for my brother’s bachelor party. I think I mentioned I was my brother D.’s best man.
Pumped-up pecs, poor sense of direction and propensity for foul language aside, I’d angsted for months about the bachelor party, which—in addition to the obligatory college buddies—was also going to include my 15-year-old son and my ex. That didn’t sound too awkward. Pause. Not. (No more awkward than seeing Borat with my son and my parents…)
Brilliantly, I decided instead to hire a professional poker dealer and have a poker party for D. and his friends on the coast at Ocho’s. “I feel bad,” I told Ocho. “I feel like I’m denying D. the real deal: a bachelor party at the Mitchell Brothers with a bunch of college buddies, a stretch limo, and a stack of fives.” To make the poker party a little more guy-friendly, I purchased a bottle of Macallan Single Malt Scotch (15 years old), pulled out the vodka, tequila and Jack Daniels left over from my 1989 wedding, and baked cupcakes.
Cupcakes, you ask? My ex, who is not usually so detail-minded, asked me who was going to jump out of the cake at the poker party. “Hello??? That would be me!” I laughed. But even with my totally wrong sense of humor, that image was so disturbing that I had to come up with something, and come up with it snappy. The answer? Boobie cupcakes.
On the day of the bachelor party, Ocho and I went to Trader Joe’s and purchased potato chips, pistachios, pretzels, pop and other items that begin with the letter P. I made the cupcakes and let them cool. I asked, Ocho, who’s a graphic artist, how to make boobie-colored frosting. He put white frosting in a plastic bowl and began adding drops of green and yellow and red. The resulting color was pleasingly peachy. He then offered to make a cup of “nipple pink.” “Puhleeze,” I emoted. “If these are the only titties that are going to be at the party, they have to be realistic. I need to make the nipples out of something other than frosting.” I drove to Longs and returned with a bag of nipple possibilities. I tried little pink marshmallows: too squared-off. I tried pink M&Ms: too round, and too small. I tried pink gumdrops: troublingly large and glittery. I drove back to Longs, and after spending another 20 minutes in the candy aisle, left with a bag of Good n’ Plentys and 8 rolls of Necco Wafers. Back at Ocho’s, I cut a pink Good n’ Plenty in half and glued it to a pink Necco Wafer with a small dab of Betty Crocker Cream Cheese Icing. Bullseye! The perfect nipple.
That night at the poker party, I realized no one was touching the cupcakes, even after getting Good n’ Lubed on the Macallan’s. “Hey, Dave," I asked one of D's friends conspiratorially. "Are the cupcakes kind of disturbing?” “No, Jill.” he said. “I’m feeling strangely aroused by them.” I appreciated the sweet answer. But I did notice that after the party, there were still 24 boobie cupcakes on the titty bar.
Back to Dr. G’s office: “That’s amazing,” Ocho said, when he saw the newly constructed nipples. The areolas had been created out of a skin graft taken from my left thigh; the projecting part of each nipple had been created out of my own breast skin—cut into a half star shape then folded like origami and stitched to form a little nub. I was grateful for Ocho’s response.
Later, Dr. G noticed Ocho’s fingers. He asked how it had happened. Ocho told him about the rocket and how he’d put a bit too much explosive in it before lighting the fuse. Dr. G was impressed with the work Ocho’s plastic surgeons had donein 1967. “You must have a particular sensitivity to what Jill’s gone through, having gone through something physically traumatic yourself,” he said.
Dr. G was right. Meeting Ocho and having him as my partner during the past 17 months has been what my friend A. calls “one of those God things.” He’s not only been particularly sensitive, he’s been absolutely remarkable in every way.
He even ate one of my cupcakes.
(BTW: To solve the mystery of the plastic, see-through coffin on the sushi counter, referenced in the Ocho post of September 18…it housed a dead uni, or sea urchin. The damp little orange blanket on top of it was there to keep it moist. And the spoon lying on top of both was for the sushi dude to gag himself with whenever someone ordered uni.)