Dear Readers, it has been about two weeks since my last blog . . . (bad Catholic school reference)
Its been difficult finding the time to write and also drumming up enough confidence to put more of myself out there.
My new roommate has taken over my living room and all the mental space that comes with that room. Where I used to sit and stare quietly at a blank computer screen with dogs at my feet, now comes with the musical tinkerings and spotty small talk of a male, black actor with nowhere to live.
Laying on my couch one morning, he just woke up and said, “Maybe I should just give up and move back to the East coast.”
I said, “And do what?” That is my response to all “giving up” themed conversations.
He said, “I don’t know what. Maybe go to New York.”
I said, “Have you been to New York before?”
He said, “That’s where I started acting. I studied in New York and London.
I said, “You STUDIED in London!? You can’t give up. You are way more qualified than me to be an actor.”
I am a floater, someone who enjoys entertaining people. I am not a craftswoman in the art of theater or acting. I don’t mind that, in some ways that makes me more marketable, in others less deserving. Its just the world of entertainment.
He didn’t move to the east coast. He is still on my couch, occasionally complaining about how dirty I am or reiterating how quirky I am, as if I needed to be reminded. The truth is, I am not that dirty nor that quirky- and if I am, I have been curbing it a considerable amount since I started sharing my space. I just don’t understand the needling. Its not like I am moody, even when he does stupid fucking things like leave dog shit on the ground because its not his responsibility or leaving endless trash bags around the house for me to throw out.
I don’t raise my voice, and I don’t get frustrated. How in the world could I still qualify as crazy?
And the needling got to me. After a month of birth control pills and a Plan B pill . . . then losing Em, I felt like a skinned, raw version of myself. Every little comment at work or from a friend pinched a little too hard. I questioned whether or not I deserved to be heard on the blog, or on Facebook or at all. It did get that bad in my mind.
At Doggie Daycare, Jude, Camille and Swiss left to move on to other things. Those of the original cast of characters that still remain were promoted to other positions. I am left somewhere in the middle, seemingly by myself. I don’t want more responsibility, but I feel inadequate.
Though I might not let many people in to my inner world, I still get attached to them. I am very sad to lose them in my daily life.
Old, familiar feelings of considering what the point is of even living if I am going to be such a royal fuck-up spiked in my stomach. I realize putting myself in a position of always struggling (financially or otherwise) turns me into a bit of a black hole. New friends want to help, they give inspirational speeches, sometimes cash, sometimes clothes . . . at some point, that does get old and exhausting. My greatest fear is watching that happen with Alan.
I could never kill myself, and as pathetic and unstable as THIS sounds, the truth is I am obligated to take care of my animals until they die. It seems weak, but it is enough of an excuse to force me to get through a period of depression.
So in the last couple weeks, I have visited old friends and new friends, just to find myself again; grab on to their affection for me and recognize a version of myself in their company. Em was so fucking harsh, I needed to recover from the beating.
I decided to visit my cowboy whore . . . Joel who was upset by my sudden disappearance and hard discovery of Alan on the blog.
I was doing audience work in Culver and his French bar/restaurant was kitty corner to the studio, so I dropped by. I sipped a perfect martini while he hustled around me.
He ended his shift early and sat down to speak with me.
I said, “I know you are upset about the whole way this went down, and I am sorry. I never intended for that to be the way it happened.”
He said, “I was upset. WAS. I am over it. I have no interest in you whatsoever.”
He looked away, “That’s not entirely true.”
I said, “I feel badly about the $100 and I feel badly that I met him so soon afterward.”
He said, “Don’t feel bad about the $100. That was my gift to you, as a friend. I just went back and read about how you looked at me and realized you really didn’t like me at all. I sound like a total asshole.”
I said, “Well, I kinda thought you were, but its just my perception of how things were. Its not who you are.”
He said, “I know that. And this guy, how’s it going with this new guy?”
I said, “Good. He um . . . makes me nervous.”
The vodka was making the flame on our table candle look like a fuzzy Christmas light.
I said, “I sometimes wonder if he is making me fall in love with him. Like he is manipulating me. I just . . . think something is going on behind his eyes.”
Joel grabbed my hand, “No there is not. And there wasn’t with me either.”
I said, “I know I am having trust issues. And I am fully aware I am in another long distance relationship by my own doing.”
He looked me over, his eyes were softening.
I said, “I think I am having issues from Abe, you know, he just got up and left. And Alan could do that at any time, too. It makes me kind of crazy. Maybe this relationship is too close to Abe.”
Joel said, “Does your boyfriend know you are thinking about this other guy?”
I said, “I am not hung up on Abe romantically, I am just scared of it all happening all over again.”
Joel said, “I feel better. I am glad we talked.”
I think, and just because I think it does not make it so, but I think Joel was struggling with why Alan and not him; why he was the lover and not the boyfriend. We all have been in that place, I have. I had an affair with a married man who later divorced his wife and got a new girlfriend (who was not me). That still stings even though I could care less about the guy.
The truth is Joel is a good guy, and though I think I only had an affair with a manipulated version of him, he deserves someone that can love him and understand him. We didn’t fit. Alan and I fit.
We hugged goodbye in the parking garage and I could smell the Old Spice on him. I made a flirtatious joke and he thanked me again, offering to see me whenever I was on that side of town.
I drove home and don’t remember much of what I said, but I am fairly certain I had a terrible phone call with Alan. One of my fosters was missing from the bedroom, he popped the screen and took off, leaving me frazzled and neurotic.
I kept apologizing for bothering him and said I was sorry I called. Alan said in a low voice, “I hope you find the foster.”
Well, I did find the foster, he was in my yard. I seem to have extraordinary luck with dogs and cats coming back to me on their own accord. I called Alan to tell him, no answer. I pinged him on IM, no answer. I texted him, no answer.
Drunk fears of it being Abe all over again erupted and I said we should take a break from the relationship and re-access at the end of the week.
The next morning, he pinged me, “you didn’t hurt anything.. im just caught up in my own BS.. but yea.. we’re fine.. just so you know though.. these conversations.. about whether you annoyed me or will annoy me at some point.. really fucking annoy me.. especially when we have them every few hours like we have the last two days.. “
I pinged back, “Ok.” And went off-line.
I am lucky enough to have a boyfriend who ignores my drunk efforts of self-sabotage. Even luckier to find in my inbox the next day a love song he sent me with the note:
“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” MP3
This song nicely sums up how I feel right now. 😀
I miss you!”
Angie, the foster, had been with me for three weeks now. I drove her and two other fosters I cared for over the weekend to a transport at a truck stop in the Inland Empire. I decided to keep Brad. He was still following me room to room, looking up and smiling at me like he was . . . proud. His attachment is still so intense, I knew it would be traumatic to leave him. I couldn’t do that to him. So with me he stays.
Angie was to go up to Canada to a new family, and as I waited to hand her off, I started weeping. I was going to try and control myself until after the transport showed up, but everything came pouring out of me. I don’t know if you are familiar with the weak, broken, relief of crying to yourself in the morning. Its nice, actually. A sacred relinquishment of everything before it even happens.
The guy handling the transport felt bad and kept apologizing. I told him it was fine. I just didn’t want Angie to think, “Why Brad and not me? Why is she sending me off?” Its hard not projecting human thought and emotion on animals who gain more intimacy with me than most people. I understand she is not capable of highly complicated ideas like one being chosen over the other, but studies do show dogs are conscious and aware of favoritism.
I just knew she would adjust to a new home better than Brad. Brad was . . . mine. He gave me no choice.
I grabbed a coffee at the Starbuck’s (in the Ralph’s) and kept weeping in public, because at this point I am really used to it. Most people ignored me, and as I waited in line for a new cashier to figure out how to void a $1,000 charge for someone ahead of me, a song popped on the speakers. “M-I-C K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E . . . Mickey Mouse . . .” I sniffled and laughed. The guy ahead of me turned around and smiled, despite my tears.
I said, “Why … just . . . why?”
He laughed, “Someone is laughing their ass off in the back room, somewhere.”
I took care of some business at the FedEx nearby and filtered any contact with Alan. I was feeling far too sensitive to engage with my new, long distance boyfriend. It was a disaster waiting to happen. So I protected him . . . and me.
TRENT & KENT
The next Tuesday, I went over to hang out with Trent and Kent who I had not seen in several weeks.
It was summer vacation for Kent, the high school biology teacher, and Trent was still too injured to work at Doggie Daycare. In fact, both Trent and Kent had injured their right hand on separate occasions, and both were in casts. It is frickin’ adorable. Both get their casts taken off on August 1st. As Huey Lewis sings “That’s the Power of Love.”
Trent and Kent were enjoying a gram of cocaine while I nibbled a healthy portion of my psychedelic mushroom. We decided to put on “Across The Universe”, since Alan’s love song came from the film. When I told Alan of my impending trip and we said goodnight, he wrote, “See you on the other side.”
Even though I hadn’t seen Trent or Kent in a while, strutting into their 1 bedroom apartment felt inviting. I was relaxed.
Trent said, “Can I read you this? Do you know Dorothy Parker?”
I said, ‘I know of her, but I haven’t read her.”
Trent (reading) “Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp. Guns aren’t lawful; Nooses give; Gas smells awful; You might as well live.’ Isn’t that funny? She tried to kill herself so many times unsuccessfully she just gave up and said, might as well keep living. She failed with suicide and failed with life, so its kind of the same.”
Sounds like me.
I sat down in my usual massage chair, parallel to the bed.
Kent, “Hey can I ask you something? Have you ever been woken up in your sleep by a fart so terrible, it actually burned your nose hairs.”?
I laughed, “Um, I don’t think so.”
Kent, “Its happened to me twice. TWICE!”
Trent laughed, “You eat the same things.”
Kent, “Your farts wake me up.”
When shrooms take hold, your stomach feels very warm and heavy, you think you are going to throw up, then pee, then throw up, your head gets light and then off you go, into the stars.
I crawled away from the massage chair towards the TV set, which got bigger and brighter. The song, “If I Fell” came on as two new lovers watched each other across the room. The music swallowed me.
Alan says he always likes to know what he is looking for before he trips. In this case, the trip found me.
♪ ♫ If I fell in love with you,
Would you promise to be true,
And help me understand.
‘Cause I’ve been in love before,
And I found that love was more,
Than just holding hands.
If I give my heart to you,
I must be sure,
From the very start,
That you would love me more than her. ♪ ♫
I fell to the ground in front of the TV set, tears streaming down my face and I felt the music inside of me, like I had eaten the song, not the shroom.
Trent was on top of Kent and they were gazing into each others eyes singing.
I crawled into the bathroom to blow my nose and caught my reflection in the mirror. One thing I learned in Undergrad was never look in the mirror when you are on psychedelics. Its just too . . . much.
My face was pink, bags were forming under my red eyes, forcing the tears to spread out on my face. I bowed down on the tile floor and heard the lyrics.
♪ ♫ If I trust in you, oh please,
Don’t run and hide.
If I love you too, oh please,
Don’t hurt my pride like her.
Cause’ I couldn’t stand the pain,
And I would be sad if our new love was in vain. ♪ ♫
The tenderness in her voice was echoing in my head. The tiles on the floor spread out and vibrated like they were the fret dots on a guitar.
I texted Alan, “I am singing to you, can you hear me?”
Several minutes later, Alan texted, “Something made me wake up and go get my phone. Its on silent too. Nice trick. :)”
I crawled back out on the floor and in between the bed and their night stand, where only a few lines of cocaine remained, I bowed in front of the speaker and wept. It felt like everything wonderful was pouring out of me.
Kent asked if I was ok, and I said “They are tears of joy. This feels good, I am sorry. I am sorry you have to see this.”
Trent said, “Don’t apologize, its ok.”
I said, “I am just in this moment learning to trust him with my heart. I am letting go of it and I am going to have to trust him.”
Trent, “Who Alan?”
I mumbled, “Yes” My forehead was pressed against my clasped hands like I was praying.
Trent said more things, something about you have to learn to trust to love. Everything was going to be ok.
What do you say to someone crying at the foot of your bed because they are in love?
♪ ♫ So I hope you see that I
would love to love you
And that she will cry
When she learns we are two . . . ♪ ♫
The light from a warm, floor lamp was parallel to the speakers. I put my hand against the light and saw all the warmth and love of the Beatles flood the spaces between my fingers. That was Alan. The light between my fingers.
The universe was going to protect me.
I collected myself and said, “I am just remembering that my father sang and played some early Beatles music on guitar- and recorded it for my mother when he was in Vietnam. He mailed her the recordings. I remember listening to them when I was little.”
I would sit in my father’s study and listen to his music, including the recordings from Vietnam. He sounded like a different person. When Agent Orange settled into his thyroid, my father lost his voice. Since I have known my father, it has been difficult for him to speak. Now he takes injections in his throat so he can speak clearly without great effort. However, he has never been able to sing in my lifetime.
My song came on. In the film, the song isn’t about lust but the draft for the Vietnam war. An interesting take, not particularly romantic. The film version of the song is heavier, bluesier, and I think sexier.
Kent said, “Here’s your song. Here it is!”
♪ ♫ I want you,
I want you so bad,
I want you so bad its driving me mad,
Its driving me mad. ♪ ♫
Kent’s carpet was dancing underneath me to my song.
In the film, there were moments of Civil Rights protests and beatings, then war sequences I couldn’t handle. I asked them to turn it off and play real Beatles music til I got my mind back.
When I listened to the Beatles sing to me, I wondered how this music can exist for so long, and everyone can love it but we still make the same mistakes. They are letting us know what life can be, what we are apart of, that everything’s gonna be alright. And I believe them.
We put the movie back on, and Sexy Sadie (a character in the film) slowly grew into a terrible characterization of Janis Joplin. Trent and I are huge Janis fans and we just had a strong reaction to a cheeseball, broad stroke representation of one of the most phenomenal female vocalists of all time.
Sadie broke up with her band. She was drinking whiskey out of the bottle. She had big hair. Blah blah blah.
Every time she came up to sing, Trent and I groaned.
Trent, “I have to go feed my cat.”
Kent, “I think she does a good job.”
Trent, “No one can do Janis, its just so obvious.”
Kent, “Well its supposed to be obvious.”
Trent, “You just don’t understand. You don’t love Janis like we do.”
Kent left with a cigarette when Sadie came on again.
Trent chased his drugs with an energy drink, “Augh, I want to throw my Monster at her.”
The movie was a Glam MTV version of the 60s, forcing morbid visuals on light ballads of hope. I didn’t really care for that. I can say, that night the Beatles became more apart of me. They were the sliver of light I needed to guide my mind on its way.
♪ ♫ Words are flying out like,
Endless rain into a paper cup,
They slither while they pass,,
They slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow,
Waves of Joy,
Are drifting through my open mind,
Possessing and caressing me ♪ ♫
♪ ♫ Jai Guru Deva Om,
Nothing’s gonna change my world. ♪ ♫
I felt their harmony grab my chest and squeeze. My reality and my world is precious. I have to protect it from the fear that I am worthless.
The fear that Alan would dislike me, that Em and her husband were right about what an embarrassment I was, that my mother and father were correct to think I am drawing out a lifetime of failure . . . all of this garbage was washing off me in drops of rhythm and melody, and draining through the floor boards.
♪ ♫ Nothing’s gonna change my world. ♪ ♫
The Beatles saved me, from myself.
Now, Trent and Kent were coming down from coke. If you haven’t done coke before, you may not know the chase of desperation in keeping the high. For the first time, I was around coke and I didn’t want to partake. I didn’t want to feel desperate that night, I wanted to get back in my life without feeling guilty or inadequate.
While they were coming down, the liquor stores closed and Kent was ansy for something to sink his mind back into.
We only had a granola bar, water, some chips left but they were squashed and broken up in very small pieces and a bottle of gin.
Trent made Kent a drink with what we had. He handed it to Kent.
Kent, “What’s in it?”
Trent, “Just some Gin and sweet & low and some other stuff.”
Kent sipped, “Eugh! Where is the ice, where is the water? You call this a cocktail?”
Trent grabbed the glass, stuck his nose in the air and turned back towards the kitchen.
Kent, “Its not a cocktail without ICE.”
His eyebrows were frozen in huge arches over his eyes.
I said, “Wow, look at that expression.”
He said, “Its the same expression I give to my brother when he brings me a cup of black coffee in the morning. No sugar, no cream . . . just black. I hold it up and say ‘What is this? You did NOT just bring me a cup of black coffee.”
Frozen arched eyebrows.
Kent and Trent were back on their late night routine of reviewing on-line profiles for a third in a possible threesome.
Trent, “I hate sleeping. I just sit here alone while he sleeps.”
Kent, “And then I wake up and there is someone ugly and fat with a small dick at my front door . . . with braces.”
Kent, “I am always open and friendly with these guys, but Trent is so mean. It scares them off. He tells them crazy shit like he is an orphan.”
Trent, “Yeah, I tell them I am an orphan from Germany. I tell them all sorts of shit, and they just sit there and go, ‘oh. Cool.’”
Kent, “Of course they leave, you make them uncomfortable.”
Trent, “That last guy? He gave me attitude. He gave me this head wiggle. And once he gave me that! I was done.”
Kent, “He was cute.”
Trent swallowed a laugh, “No, he wasn’t. You thought you saw him at Vons. (to me) He points at this tall black guy in produce and says, ‘Is that the guy that came up to have a threesome with us?’ I said, ‘Uh, no. THAT guy is cute. The guy that came over was NOT.”
Kent, “No one is good enough for him. He invites these guys over and doesn’t think any of them are cute. I don’t need a threesome. I don’t care. I am happy with just him. But he says, ‘Hey Kent, you want to get blown or plow this guy?’ And I say, ‘Yeah ok.” I haven’t been blown or plowed ANYONE yet. NO ONE.”
I said, “Wait, all this time you guys invite men over and you have never succeeded in a threesome?”
Kent, “No. Not once. Trent invites them over, drills them and then rejects them. Meanwhile, I don’t get anything.”
Frozen arched eye brows.
Me, “Wow. Its your black coffee look.”
Kent laughed, “You understand my frustration. Nothing ever happens.”
Trent, “I am sorry they don’t get my sharp wit, ok? There I said it. I am sorry I am . . .not stupid.”
Me, “Wait, is this what all your late nights are like? Sitting around at 4am arguing over threesomes that never happen.”
Kent, “Pretty much.”
Out of the blue one night, I got an email from Abe.
Abe: Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:44 PM
Thought about chatting with you. Ask how you doin? I dont want to upset you. Hope all is well.
Me: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 3:51 PM
All is well. Don’t worry about upsetting me, I am at peace with everything.
I am in a relationship with someone special now, so it seems it all worked out for the best.
Thanks for the brief note, I wish you lots of luck and happiness.
Abe: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 8:10 PM
Good news is good news 🙂
Abe: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM
I don’t know of will ever communicate in future.
Sometime it takes time for me to understand certain things. I’ve thought about many things that I learnd from you. When you were with me, it felt like livin. I felt alive. V 22 4 7. Won’t forget the good times, and the bad. I remember bleeding, I remember peace, I remember Love, I remember You. YOU who showed me that I can live. I was so terribly alone, then you came a showed me there is still life in me. I miss you, I know I shouldn’t be writing you that, this, but I want to and I don’t know If I can write you in the future, or assuming you wouldn’t want me to
You deserve to Be well and live the life. You really do. You do.
Thanks for the note, Wishing you much Luck, and even more happiness
I never answered him.
Alan found time to come up and visit me that weekend, which was unexpected. We planned for him to stay down in San Diego and study for the entire trimester.
He came up and we had our usual two days of taboo sex, Captn’ Crunch and thrift store shopping.
At my computer, looking for a doggie gate for his new place on Craigslist, he said, “You know, in a year, when my lease is up, we could move to a place like Oceanside. I like Oceanside. I could finish school there but I wouldn’t be able to afford a good enough place.”
I looked up, hopeful, and said, “Thats ok, I don’t need a good place.”
He motioned to the dogs, “I mean . . . for them.”
I hunched, “Oh, right.” Now I have three dogs and his, would make four.
He said, “You could get a job just for a year to save up enough to get a place with me.”
I said, “I don’t belong in regular jobs. You don’t understand, its soul crushing until I sabotage myself and get fired.”
He said, “Thats ok, its just to save up.”
I said, “I can’t do it again. Every time I look at admin jobs my skin crawls. My last job, every day, they tried to make me cry. They wanted me to cry.” A couple times they succeeded.
He said, “Not everyone is like that.”
I said, “I know . . . “
I had a glimpse of my future in Oceanside, supporting my boyfriend’s graduate education and career in law while I submit to an office job. Isolated from the grit and unpredictability of Los Angeles. Away from my friends. Away from Doggie Daycare. Away from everything that makes me who I am right now.
Just a year, then probably another in Oceanside. That’s two years of looking young and not auditioning. That’s two more years of resignation from my lifestyle. I won’t be me anymore, and who knows if he will love who ever I become.
It is a fair proposition. I must bring something more to the relationship than dogs and debt.
Jerry is someone I worked with at a dot com years ago. He stayed in touch with me, honestly I am not sure why. We were never close buddies in the flesh, but on-line he has become a sort of confidant and guardian angel.
He gave me money when my phone was turned off so I could be back on-line and get work. My parents refused to loan the money in exchange for a post-dated check.
He took me clothes shopping with his tax refund and waited outside the dressing room like a gentleman.
He helps me with my computer when ever I have an inevitable meltdown.
He has never hit on me or made me uncomfortable. With all his help and advice, I must say, I don’t feel like I know him very well.
We met at the 101 CoffeeShop yesterday.
I told him I was feeling depressed about a few things, and mentioned Em. He follows my blog regularly and said, “Yeah that was weird. You know when people say things to hurt you, you don’t react the way most people do. When you have a mother who dumps a load of shit on you in 5 minutes of conversation over the phone, some of it out of left field and then hangs up on you . . .”
Me, “That’s me. Did you know that’s me?”
Jerry, “That’s what I am talking about. See, you’re laughing about it. So you lean back and kind of look at people with this puppy dog look. Like you’re over there, watching yourself or a scene in a movie. You don’t give them the reaction they want and it drives them fucking crazy.”
This was the first time anyone articulated this to me. I had no idea Jerry really knew me this well.
Jerry, “When you hurt someone and you say things with the intention to get a reaction, its the end of the road for that relationship. You don’t cry or breakdown or give them anything to reach out to. You just have the wall and they have to figure out how to get around that. Its hard.”
I nodded over my black coffee and partial grapefruit. He was right. I wondered how I have been friends with someone for four years and had no concept of how wise or perceptive they are.
He also spoke to me about why men who become smitten with my on-line character end up so sour and frustrated over our non-relationships. I am going to save that one for a later blog.
Paul is a DJ for a classic rock station in Los Angeles. He and I have never met before, but I took a chance and emailed him asking about Doors tickets for the Whiskey A-Go-Go … now sold out (shoot me). We struck up a Facebook/GChat friendship and agreed to rendezvous at some point.
Several weeks later, we decided on the original Barney’s Beanery since I read recently it was Jim Morrison’s favorite place to eat and I know Janis Joplin recorded the background to “Turtle Blues” there. I swear there is another song . . . I can’t remember what it is.
I got there before he did and used the restroom. In my bathroom stall was a tall picture of Janis, handwritten on her shoulder, “RIP Janis Joplin’s Last Meal: Screwdriver@Barney’s.” I smiled at her and said, “Hey babe.”
I came out and met Paul, who was tall. That rhymes.
We both confessed that we were nervous for no good reason, and he gave me a t-shirt and a few other radio station trinkets.
The conversation was about introductions. Me and my boyfriend. He and his wife. What our lives are like.
We each had about 3 pints of beer and grew more comfortable.
Paul, “So what are you doing after this?”
I said, “I have an audition for a Christian film.”
He spit out his beer laughing and said, “I’m sorry, I don’t know why that’s so funny.”
I said, “Because is weird and random.”
I poorly handled a few compliments. He offered to show me the plaque for Jim’s spot at the bar. (sidenote* He also urinated on this particular bar)
I don’t know why it took me so long to make it to this place. My obsession with the Doors is strong enough that I’ve read about three books and noted all the places that mattered. I have been to where they thought Jim lived on Speedway in Venice. I have been to Robby Krieger’s parents place in the marina where they started recording. I walked into the Whiskey the first week I landed in Los Angeles. I wandered in during the middle of the day and asked to just touch the walls.
I had no idea there was a plaque and a stool where Jim sat.
The bartender asked what I wanted, so I googled Jim’s favorite drink and got this recipe:
I showed her my iPhone screen and said, “I want this.”
She took my phone, walked around behind the bar and put it together.
I said, “I can’t believe no one has ever asked for this before. It should be on the menu.”
Paul said, “You are in a niche. Not many people go this far.”
I took the drink and swallowed a mouthful of whiskey straight. Good Lord. Kind of sweet.
Paul took a few sips and I walked him out to the parking lot where we said goodbye, giggling and flirting a little. As I surrendered Jim’s seat, a large man with flip flops and a backwards baseball cap took it over.
I said, “This is a sacred spot. This is where Jim Morrison used to sit, so treat it kindly.”
He said, “Oh. Cool.”
. . . fucking . . . flip flop … backwards baseball cap . . . douche.
Paul asked what I was going to do now, and I said, “Maybe go back inside and honor Janis this time. Get a screwdriver.”
He said, “Really?”
I said, “Yeah. Why not?”
He said, “I can’t believe you are going back in there.”
We hugged and pecked a kiss goodbye. I hopped, skipped and jumped back in through the doors and found someone sitting in my . . . I’m sorry, I mean Jim’s spot. Flip flop douche. So I took the seat next to him and ordered a screwdriver.
I went outside and spoke to some guitarist approaching his 60s, who ended every sentence in “man” and told me Guns N Roses stories. Oh how my heart aches.
Flip flop douche man ended up in the street slapping the glasses off of a hipster guy. When they started throwing punches, men circled them but wouldn’t physically get between them. I was drunk and I am a girl, so I got between them and just said, “This isn’t worth it. This is a place of peace, man. Don’t hurt anyone.”
I was focused on flip flops since he was clearly monstrously jockish and could really hurt the little black rimmed glasses hipster. He threw my arm off, but I wasn’t hurt. I just walked him back and kept saying, “This isn’t worth violence, come on, man. Think clearly.”
He said, “That dude called me an asshole.”
I said, “We are all called assholes, all the time, just not out loud.”
Without taking his eyes of said hipster, he popped change into the parking meter and went back in for another drink.
He apologized to me without looking me in the eye.
I said, “Thats ok, you had a surge of testosterone that clouded your judgement.”
I said goodbye to my old rock dude, and started talking to a prop master, also in his early 60s but married.
We spoke about monogamy and his relationship.
I asked, “Are you soul mates?”
He said, “I don’t know, I don’t think so but we have a great relationship. No one is as close to me as she is.”
I said, “You are best friends.”
He said, “Definitely.”
He said men that fuck around just lack self discipline. He goes to strip clubs but always comes home to his wife afterward.
Me, “Do you feel cheated in life, being married to a woman that you don’t consider a soul mate?”
Him, “Um . . . Well, I am not like other men. I consider myself a Libertine.”
I asked, “What does she do for a living?”
He said, “Well, she is a mother.”
He told me earlier so I knew, “To a 20 year old?”
He said, “Yeah, there is really nothing else she does.”
This was kind of the pattern with Paul’s wife too, who does other things that are more like hobbies than a life, but focuses on the one college-aged child.
I thought about Oceanside again, being Alan’s companion, having one child and going bat shit crazy when he/she went to college. Meanwhile, Alan would be flirting with his interns and falling for younger women who were pursuing their dreams instead of living a comfortable, uneventful life.
I would be flipping through catalogs and wondering where I went wrong.
Fucking depressing, man. And totally possible.
I confided in the drunk Prop Master about my career and what I wanted from life, how I was feeling lost and discouraged. He said, “Google this, ‘Kid’s inspirational speech after riding bike for the first time.”
So I did.
The father asks the little boy how he feels.
The boy says, “I feel . . . I feel . . .”
Father, “You feel alive?”
The boy, “I feel happy with myself. “
The father asks, “Do you have any words of wisdom, for the other kids trying to learn how to ride a bike?”
He says, “Everybody, I know you can believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you’ll know how to ride a bike. If you don’t, you just keep practicing. You will get the hang of it, I know it. And then you will get better and better at it. Thumbs up everybody, for rock n’ roll.”
It was 5pm, and I had to get to my Christian film audition.
My audition was from 3pm-6pm.
At 6pm on the dot, I stuck my head into a small Christian perish buried between a mechanic shop and a thrift store Alan and I went to earlier that week in Pasadena.
I threw up my Aviator sunglasses, in a ridiculously short, denim mini skirt, tie-dyed tank top with whiskey on my breath and said, “One more? Can you see one more?” Its a paid gig.
I read the scene and its about a female doctor (yay) who is grappling with whether or not she can save her young patient’s soul by forcing him to accept Jesus Christ in his heart (boo). I read the scene twice for three black men and one white woman who looked like she has been around . . . the wheels of my car.
We got to talking about whether or not I had accepted Jesus Christ into my heart. Now . . . the thought did occur to me whether or not this was a ploy to rope in Hollywood actresses for their perish. However, we spent an hour talking about it, which would have been impossible with the 15 or so other actresses who signed in on the roster.
I said, “I don’t talk about my relationship with God or Jesus Christ very much. But I grew up Catholic and its sacred, its very personal.”
The director had large dark eyes, and spoke with a lot of conviction. When he finished a sentence, he would step forward towards me, nostrils a-blazing.
He said, “Is Jesus Christ a part of your daily life?”
I said, “I have the sacred heart tattooed on my body . . .”
He said, “Ok, what about the Bible? Do you believe you are going to heaven?”
Now, up to this point I was still trying to get the part, but when someone asks me point blank questions, I am going to answer them.
I said, “Honestly? I don’t believe in simplified realities like heaven and hell.”
He said, “You don’t believe in hell?”
I said, “No.”
He said, “What about terrible people who kill babies? What do you think happens to them?”
I said, “I think they are reincarnated into lower life forms.”
He said, “No, God damns them to hell.”
I said, “I don’t think he does.”
He said, “Why not?”
I said, “Because I believe deep down inside, every person is good.”
He shook his head, the others were chiming into the conversation now, but I can handle myself. I think about things every day.
He said, “They are not. That is the Devil confusing you. Have you paid for your sins?”
I said, “I pay every day for my sins.”
He said, “No, answer the question, how will you PAY for your sins?”
I said, “I reflect on my sins everyday and pay in my own way. Its between me and God.”
He said, “Where do you get your information?”
I said, “Various sources, but usually I follow my gut.”
He held up the Bible, “This is the only source of information you should be following, not some piece of chicken you had for lunch.”
I said, “I follow my GUT not my stomach.”
He said, “Do you believe everything this book says?”
I said, “Honestly, no. It is corrupted text.”
He said, “No, whats in here, is what God intended us to follow.”
I said, “There are so many different versions, then Martin Luther translated it and edited portions of it. Others threw out books that were originally included. Who knows what the original text said, since then, its just had too much outside influence.”
He said, “If a book wasn’t included in the final version, God did not intend for it to be included.”
I said, “There is a book from Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary who I think probably have a more relevant perspective considering they were the only ones that stuck by Jesus’ side all the way through the crucifixion and buried him while the other disciples ran and hid like cowards. You think THEIR opinions matter more. Please!”
The woman said, “Can I ask you a personal question?”
I said, “Yes.”
She said, “Do you have a problem submitting to authority?”
I said, “Yes.”
She said, “Have you been hurt by a man in your past?”
I said, “Yes.”
She said, “A man hurt you?”
Faded memories swished around my mind.
I said, “Yes.”
She said, “Was it abuse?”
I said, “Its relative.”
She said, “I was molested so I know what its like to be hurt by a man, and right now that is hurting your perspective on things. You need to submit.”
I probably smirked here. I appreciate her courage and blunt assertion but . . . one woman telling another to submit is a little too Afghan for me.
The director took the floor again and said, “The devil is confusing you.”
I said, “Well, I apologize but I think heaven and hell are far too simplified of a concept to be taken seriously. Its just meant to scare people into doing good things through fear and hope for personal reward.”
He said, “Without hell, why would you do anything good?”
I said, “Because my gut tells me its the right thing to do. I do good things because they are good things, and that seems more about enlightenment than your heaven and hell theory.”
They all sighed.
It got circular around here.
“Why do you think the Bible is the most widely sold book in the world?”
I said, “I think it has divine inspiration, but there are other sacred texts and ideas we can draw from like the Koran and Buddhism. You can’t tell me Buddhists are going to hell, that would be ridiculous.”
They said, “No, the other parts of world and their cultures are not what Jesus intended us to learn from.”
I said, “Well, pardon me but . . . I believe Buddha and Jesus were the same person.”
It ended with, “I appreciate you staying here and talking to us for an hour. You are a great actress, so I would like to see you again anyway, but I hope you think about what we talked about here. Do you think you just stumbled in here by chance, 6pm, the last audition of the day without God intending you to talk to us?”
I nodded slowly and said, “I can see where you are coming from.”
The whiskey and bummed cigarettes throbbed over my right eye.
They invited me back to their parish anytime, blah blah blah . . . I like talking candidly to people about things they feel passionately about. I enjoyed that hour.
On my way back to my car I got a text from Alan, ‘What the hell are you talking about? Why would I want to do that unless you were there involved?”
Oops, I must have drunk texted him.
I scrolled up to see what I texted, “I love you and I forgive you if your primal instinct forces you to spread your seed with another woman. I understand. I have no said instinct.”
I stopped in front of a house for sale I liked and took a picture. Then I texted, “Oh, I was drunk and talking to married men at a bar. I found a house for us (attached pic)”
I went home to my dogs and my cat. I smoked some weed, I drank some water and I collapsed on my bed.
Love, Rock n’ Roll and God.
Don’t let me forget it, no matter how poor, lonely or desperate I get.
I don’t want to lose myself.