My cousin, Bergen West, made a surprise visit to Duluth last night. Seems she had a rental car and an itchy accelerator foot, so she and her best-friend-forever headed north.
"What kind of things are you into?" I asked when she called, looking for entertainment.
"Well, Jenny likes hippies," she said.
"Where are you now?" I asked.
"Pizza Luce," she said.
"You're off to a good start," I said.
From there, I sent her to The Twins Bar to see Prince Paul. Later, we all met up at Quinlan's.
Things Bergen West had crammed into her bra so she didn't have to carry a purse:
1. Two cell phones
Bergen West -- whom someone kept calling "Perkins West" -- met every boy in the bar, but found it lacking in her target demographic. Facebook photos of my cousin reveal her as a fan of the motorboat, but I only saw her do it once last night.
"Can I tell you something," Bergen West would say, like she was going to reveal some amazing life truth. There were plenty of hugs and cries of "We're FAMILY!" We brought the show back to our house for records and burnt pizza. By then, Bergen West had taken to calling me "Christina" and Chuck was ""Chuck." "You know my name is really Christa, right?" I asked her. They left as the sun came up.
It was a good time. I'm still chuckling. I'm a lot older than all of my cousins, so this one-on-one time is very fun for me. Usually they were born, and then I saw them at holidays but at, say, 13, had nothing in common with a 3-year-old. Then I went to college, then I left Rochester. Now, as they move into their 20s, it's fun to see what they are like. Bergen West? She's a handful. The good kind.