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Coachella Day 4: Sunday, The Religion

Sunday, April 14th

Alone in the desert, surrounded by a sea of people.  I was tired. I hadn’t slept a full night since I arrived to the festival. There was a calm to the restlessness though. The desert was still blowing off her heat before inhaling another dry, hot swallow.

I watched the birds fly over in a large check-mark. I heard a zip from a tent, a few cans tip over, a slam of a toilet door.

Trent woke up, disoriented and drunk. I watched his head whip around as his eyes opened in the cab of Benny’s truck. There was an exchange between the two muffled by rolled up windows and Trent tumbled out then climbed into the back seat of my car. I watched him sleep until the heat picked up, then rolled down the windows and wet clothes for his neck and hands.

Napping at the Do Lab

Kev was one of the first up that morning to join me on the lawn chairs propped in front of our cars. I hadn’t seen him very much inside the festival, but we were enjoying the morning together, quiet.

“You know, someone could really get used to life like this,” he said.

Kev was in the circle of “normal lifers”. He made an income, and instead of living each day the way he wanted, he worked on salary and paid vacation to live, really live, only for a cluster of days at a time. On the other hand, people like Trent and I struggled to live each day, working low paying jobs we,  just so we could live life the way we wanted.  We didn’t have new cars or trips to Europe, we worked when we were sick and haven’t slept in on Christmas morning in years. We lived with only what we had. That is enough, most days.

Sal and Fernando joined us on the lawn chairs, then Haute and D. I checked on Trent periodically but knew he needed the sleep.

“I can tell there is a lot of love there,” Kev said. “Just the way you two are.”

“I love him,” I said. “He can get nasty but it isn’t the real him. There is just a lot of pain.”

Trent

 

Blowing bubbles

“I saw the scars,” he said. Trent is covered in scars over his shoulders, arm and back. White large, permanent blisters spread over him like paint carelessly kicked over a canvas. I don’t notice them unless he is wearing a tank top. They look like burns and I believe they were cut into him as a child. I only asked him about it once: “I don’t want to ruin the night,” he said, giggling, shrugging off large, white spiders clutching tight to his body.

Trent tried to kill himself last year.  After trying to hang himself in his room, he was discovered, fled the house and arrested by police officers. Then he tried to hang himself in his cell by his pajama bottoms. His mother and I kept each other on speed dial. If Trent was missing for a night or spending the night in my living room, we texted.  I believe of everyone in Trent’s life, she suffers the most.

When he finally emerged from my car, bleary and worn from the night, he pulled out a little white packet of cocaine and cracked open another beer.  It wasn’t alarming for even in Coachella, on a Sunday morning, I spotted a maintenance employee snorting lines from one of the carts paroling the grounds.

Houston and Benny were close at hand and one offered an energy shot, the kind sold at counters in gas stations. “No thanks,” Trent refused, “I prefer cocaine.”

The morning was spent cat-calling all the boys walking back and forth to the latrines and showers.  All the pent up, homosexual frustration burst out from under Trent’s black, Sunday sun hat.  We bought that hat together at a Target the weekend we escaped to Joshua Tree National together. There was no fear of retaliation or alienation, it was the last day of the festival.

“Lookin’ good!” Trent would shout.

Some of the other boys in our company joined in, whistling, commenting, complimenting. The straight, bulky, sheltered boys had no idea how to respond. Most ignored. Some grinned and tossed their head around confused. A few seemed completely put out.

Pierre found me with his friend, asking if I would paint him. I, of course, obliged, tracing my fingers over his body with bright pink paint.  He allowed my friends to tease and ask questions, as long as I gave him some attention to ease any doubt about his sexuality. Everyone was in good spirits.

Mid Merge

Pierre

When we decided to go into the music festival as a group, Trent got ahead. I would stop to track the others but lose sight of either Trent or the group. Trent stomped off like a child. “Obviously you want to be with them!” He marched ahead and I followed him.

It is hard following someone through thousands of drunk strangers, under tents of people packed in shoulder to shoulder, each one, staring blankly at the stage. Were they moved or bored, I really couldn’t tell.

“If you want to be by yourself, that’s fine!” I said.

“You are carrying the drugs, so I am stuck with you.”

I allowed him to string me along for 30 more minutes, like a trout caught on the line, feeling my lip slowly rip from my mouth as a hand dragged it deeper into its own world. I found him sitting Indian style under a tent and handed him the drugs. “Here,” I said, “You obviously want to be alone and I don’t want to ruin the rest of my day. I can’t take it anymore. The silent treatment. The temper tantrums. I would rather be alone.”

After leaving him, it wasn’t long before I felt the gentle tug at my elbow. I misunderstood. He was sorry. It was a recited speech for loved ones who finally try to leave, as if it wasn’t hard enough turning your back on a little boy bound by scars.

We spent the rest of the day together, listening to melancholy music that meant something to him and absolutely nothing to me.  He watched himself, kept from being snappy and grouchy, though I could see the cauldron boiling, giving rise to the darkness in his eyes and the white splotches on his skin.

As the night came down, he insisted on buying drinks. A small, plastic cup of wine was $8 inside the festival. He bought himself two and double fisted as we sheltered ourselves from a growingly violent wind crossing the desert. I huddled down to keep warm, and let my hood cover the back of my head. A girl approached me, “Are you ok?”

“Yes,” I said, forcing a smile, “Just cold. Thank you, though, for caring.”

Sunday Ferris Wheel

We ate some mushrooms and decided to wait in line for the Coachella ferris wheel. A couple chatted with us and though we engaged them, both Trent and I were counting down the minutes to be alone together. Alone on top of the world.

“Are you feeling the shrooms?” he asked.

“No,” I answered, positioning a pair of sunglasses on my nose. I found them on the ground earlier in the festival. “Oh look, the ferris wheel is green. That’s an interesting choice.”

Trent released his signature cackle and we climbed into our own passenger car. As we climbed into the sky, Trent relieved himself into an empty water bottle. The wind pushed the wheel and car against the sunset, like rain drops pinning a leaf to a wet windshield.

“I am scared,” I said.

“Me too.”

We sat across from each other, looking out at the thousands of people, the lights and tents waving from the distance. I held on to the sides of the car as it rocked back and forth. We didn’t need to touch the stars, we just wanted to keep from falling.

After we got down, Wu-Tag Clan was playing on one of the larger stages. We listened a bit from the distance but everyone was drunk. Unlike the previous nights, when everyone was tripping or high, this time everyone was drunk and bumping into each other. Knocking over girls. Knocking into security guards. I am not sure it mattered. Giving psychedelics to just anyone for a high, someone without the capacity to really use them, sharpen their mind and learn more about themselves, is very much like reading Kafka from cue cards.  The real experience is lost on them before it ever started.

Red Hot Chili Peppers took the stage, they were headlining the festival.  Trent and I decided to head back early.  It wasn’t our type of music. The wind had really picked up and it felt as though if we leaned forward on our tip-toes, the gusts would keep us upright.  Against the black of night and muffled under the warmth of shrooms, we barely were able to do much of anything.

“A little breezy,” Trent said, sarcastically, clutching his sun hat and scarf over his head.

“Just a bit.”

I laughed as dust flew into my eyes and mouth. We dragged ourselves back to the campsite until morning.

Just as we did on every camping trip, Trent and I woke up in a pool of spilled beer. It was early, but Rolling Stones tickets were going on sale 10am Pacific Standard Time. They were selling 200 tickets $85 a piece under what I referred to as the “Poor Man’s Lottery”. On the day of the concert, your seat would be determined at random. You could get a seat anywhere in the stadium, as long as you had official identification and the credit card used to purchase the ticket. Then, and only then, you would be escorted to your seat by a stadium employee.  Michael was back home with two computers cued up to buy tickets. They were expected to sell out in less than 5 minutes.

rolling-stones-50-and-counting

I woke up at 6am to pack up and woke up everyone at 7am for help. My car was dead, but Kev and D were going to jump start Black Betty then drive Sal and Fernando to the airport, for their return to Mexico City. Everyone got up with us, with sand in their eyes and under their fingernails, helping to make sure we were on the road in time. With the commute from Indio to Los Angeles and a few dollars in cash, we would make it back to my house in just enough time to hop on the computer and click our way into the concert lotto. As it turned out, by the time we arrived, I didn’t even have time to smoke a cigarette. Trent waited patiently on the couch, stroking my dogs as Michael and I furiously clicked on the fan site for tickets. That was the price I agreed to pay for the life I’ve chosen.

Coachella was not the psychedelic playground I expected. It wasn’t the visit to the ideals of the 1960s or a glimpse into hippie culture I was hoping for, nor was it much of a vacation.  I found the whole ordeal somewhat stressful.

But the memory I will take is a group of sleepy men, rolling out of their comfortable, warm tents on an early Monday morning to help me chase my music. Aside from the materialism, the drunks, the privilege, the fatigue, the selfishness, there was soul at Coachella after all.

“Good luck,” they shouted, waving at us as we slowly navigated over the grass and onto a dirt road. I smiled, wiping the sand off my side view mirror. They knew how important it was to follow the music.  It was our religion.

palm tree husk

 

 

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Coachella Day 3, Pt. 3: Saturday Night, When Dark Turns To Black

Saturday, April 13th, 2013 

Part 3

Coachella on Fire

As Trent and I made our way through the collapsed thousands on the grass of Coachella’s fairgrounds, we found ourselves stopping to stare at the kids eating food. We were so goddamn tired of peanuts and energy bars. The price of food and drink at Coachella was far outside our budget.

One of them looked up at us. “We were just admiring your fries,” Trent said.

“Oh good. I was about to dump them,” he said, handing them to us.

We gorged ourselves on cold, soggy French fries like Moses himself just handed us both milk and honey.

Then we took more shrooms.

**

There was something called a “Silent Dance Party”, where everyone gathered under a large dome of balloons, gently quivering to the desert breeze. Just before entry, we were handed headphones, each headphone was synched to music, and we were shuffled by a few security guards under the dome. It was strange.  I don’t understand the concept. We were all together, unable to speak to each other without peeling off these black headphones, standing around, rattling to music like a carton of eggs on top of a grocery pile in a car, each in our individual foam dimples. Side by side but huddled together.

SILENT DANCE PARTY SML

Silent Rave

The music wasn’t that great either. We swayed a little bit. It was harder to establish a connection with the people around us. Some were facing other directions and most were restlessly marching in the dome and back out. If I caught a glance from a stranger, it was usually a drunk boy thirsty for casual sex.

The temptation to fornicate on a dirty camp ground with a group of rowdy man-children wasn’t appealing on any level. There was physical beauty, but if you go deep inside of me, you do require some depth in general. That is not to say there wasn’t a passing flirtation with one of the young men who bicycled people from one end of the campgrounds to the other in a seated cart attached to the back wheel. A great luxury indeed for the cost of $20. He was exceptionally handsome and sat on his bike, casually ignoring potential customers who slowed to stare at him before walking by. He wanted to chat with us as we decided what to do next.

I was sunburned, I hadn’t bathed in 48 hours, and I didn’t feel like there was anything I had to offer in the company of exotic, costumed barbies, as they swung their hips, head high, parading themselves with perfect pedicures and brand new flip flops. The young man seemed interested in me, though. He had sandy blond hair that captured the moonlight, he was tall and lazily slouched over in a generic, white polo shirt. Trent wanted to talk to him for obvious reasons, but I found his company a little nerve-wracking. I was self-conscious and sexually unavailable. In an effort to conceal my mood, I performed my porn-star orgasm impression which includes a duck face framing clenched large teeth, and an angry, forced moan that burns into a hiss. He laughed. I shrugged, hung my head and stepped back a little.

“So what are you guys doing later?” the boy asked.

“Going to some parties,” Trent asked.

“Yeah, can I give you my number? I am off in a couple hours and maybe we could hook up,” he said.

“Totally,” Trent answered. “My phone is dead though so you will have to get hers.”

He and I exchanged phone numbers. He leaned back and smiled that farm boy smile. The kind of boy who walks around topless on summer days, chews on straw and calls forth the sweat to tickle around your underwire bra.

After we exchanged numbers, he folded up his business and said, “Cool, ok. I gotta try to pick up some customers.” He gave me one last bad boy wink before a couple slid into his backseat. They had been waiting for the ride.

After he rode off, Trent said, “He liked you,” in that sweet, sing-song way. His voice sounded like it was bouncing happily on a hotel mattress. I shrugged. “Not that I can do anything about it.”

**

Michael, my boyfriend, knows me but doesn’t trust me. He got to know my writing before he really understood me. A few months later, he was folding my laundry (part of our domestic contract) and said, “Here I am folding up your onesie, thinking I should leave it out because I know you will wear it soon and everyone else is reading your sexy adventures. They have no idea.”

I have been reading Truman Capote lately, and came across a quote from Marilyn Monroe in his essay Elizabeth Taylor. I related to it, being a sexual woman who falls in love easily. Men make very easy connections between the two, but I find love and sexuality far more complicated.

“I don’t believe in casual sex. Right or wrong, if I go for a guy, I feel I ought to marry him. I don’t know why. Stupid, maybe. But that’s just the way I feel. Or if not that, then I should have meaning. Other than something physical. Funny, when you think of the reputation I have. And maybe deserve. Only I don’t think so. Deserve it, I mean. People just don’t understand what can happen to you. Without your real consent at all. Inside consent.” –Marilyn Monroe

 **

Trent’s approach to sex I can also relate to. There was a time when if I was angry or disappointed, I would fuck. Not because it was a comfort. Not because it was a distraction. Just because I wanted to punish myself. I don’t know that Trent would agree with me, but when he texts me from a cheap motel on one of his drug/wine/casual sex binges, I remember what that felt like: wanting to be used.

171442_coachella-2012_0411_

We released ourselves into the general population of the campground. There were small parties everywhere. Trent had to piss every few minutes because his bladder is the size of a coin purse. We were in the company of Houston and Benny, the two young fellows who were separated from their group but searching for them in a dizzying maze of tents, parked cars and music blasting from cell phones. Houston carried around wine in a bag, some kind of current young people fad. “Smack the bag!” We each crouched below him so he could fill our necks and mouth full of cheap wine until we couldn’t breathe anymore and were then supposed to smack the bag. Not especially enjoyable but necessary to keep a walking buzz when far away from Black Betty and her trunk of warm beer.

Trent would approach strangers, he was friendly at first. Pointing to their shirt, he would ask, “What’s this?” Or “Merry Christmas!” “Happy New Year!” Just strange nonsense to start a conversation or exchange. We were in the company of young people who had trouble enough conducting a basic conversation, I don’t know what he expected. There were a few hostile boys who thought he was making fun of them, but most walked by us in a zombie daze, oblivious to any strange faces or inviting words.

One young woman with a hefty build and square face walked by: “Happy Halloween … “ he said just before she threw him a nasty glance. “Oh. Too close to home?” he said.  I laughed so hard I stopped walking and slowly collapsed on the ground.

Houston was trying to lead us to a party hosted by his people. He was on the cell phone, strutting proudly and announcing he had two cool people he wanted to bring to the alleged party. It was hard to find and Trent was turning.

Coachella-campgrounds-at-night

Having been in love with an alcoholic for a number of years, I feel like I can speak with some authority on the subject. People, including my roommate, will try to label a person like me as an alcoholic because I need a few beers to wind down at the end of a busy day or I will drink flat champagne first thing in the morning. A real alcoholic is one whose personality will flip on you. Their face will change, their voice lower, and you will realize that they are on the attack. I don’t understand how the chemistry works from the inside out. I knew Trent had trouble with alcohol. I knew he could change and get nasty for no other reason than the alcohol engorging his stick thin frame. And having some experience managing an alcoholic of my own, I knew how to put up invisible hand rails in conversation, to keep them from spilling over into unsuspecting friends, acquaintances or strangers. Soften the insult with a compliment. Distract. Promise something great at the end of the line like a sandwich or another drink. Keep them from falling on to someone else.

Trent had already pissed himself, so I knew we were in the danger zone before he got short with the boys. They were nice boys and they didn’t know what kind of monster was waking beneath the coco skin of my unpredictable but charming friend.

Trent was frustrated people wouldn’t talk to him. Trent was frustrated we couldn’t find the party.

I would softly flag him with a “Trent …” or “No, no.”

“I know, I know,” he would say.

“Don’t worry, you are adorable,” I said.

“Shut up!” Trent barked. My back stiffened and my eyes rolled over to Houston and Benny.

“Trent …” I said pleadingly, gently flipping up my hand rails.

“Shut up! Just shut up!” he said, throwing his arm down and storming ahead of us.

“Don’t talk that way … to me,” I said.

“Why?”

“Because I love you and it hurts my feelings.”

Silence.

We found the party. I cautiously followed Houston under a large car camping tent, like a collapsible carport. Actually it was a few strung together for one covered area. Instead of grass, there were rugs rolled out together, bean bags and chairs pinning them to the ground.

“I get it alright? I GET IT!” he said, walking into a rather dull assembly of young adults, each on their cell phone.

“That’s all I needed to hear,” I said.

We sat in the corner and observed the new group. Houston left to go gather more people, but I could tell already this was too uncomfortable for us. “You can move closer to us,” a girl suggested while staring at her cell phone.

“That’s ok” I said, keeping my ass and eyes tight to the corners of the tent for an exit.

We sat in silence for a few minutes, waited for the right moment then took off. I think we ran out of there to keep from feeling bad. Then we made our way back to Black Betty and the warm beer. The night was getting colder and we wrapped ourselves in blankets and sat outside with D and Benny, chatting. The conversation was pleasant enough, but Trent was complaining. Usually he tries to make his company feel ignorant, uneducated or dull when he is drunk and restless. There are times I don’t mind, but it just so happened, this particular time, we were with two men who were anything but. Above all, they were kind.

jekyll

They ignored him, for the most part, or laughed off the insult. This bruised Trent a bit, but he turned on me. He accused me of losing some of the mushrooms, of not being very intelligent, for ruining the party. I stared at him in the night, and we locked eyes. The shrooms made his face ripple into a woman’s. This happens on psychedelics, I see Trent transform into an exotic woman, somewhere between a gypsy over a small circus campfire to an African woman off the pages of an old magazine. Eyes large like stones and a wide jaw wrapped around ivory teeth. I watch his face and wonder what it means.

Then his face broke into a large smile: the real Trent surfacing for a moment. It was like a cinder block was kicked off my shoulder. It was only a moment though. I was falling asleep on Benny’s delicious shoulder wondering if the boy on the bicycle texted me. My phone since died. When I revived it the next day I found several messages asking where we were with various misspellings that made him easy to dismiss.

Benny was a bit of a temptation, himself. I knew Trent was attracted to him. Of course. He was attractive, tall, young, white and straight. He fit the gay fantasy flip profile. The difference between Benny and all the other boys that easily fit Trent’s fantasy was that Benny was exceptional. He was intelligent and gracefully carried conversation, contributing just enough to make him a curiosity while asking just the right amount of questions to keep you engaged. His eyes shaped like almonds but with the color of wonder. I leaned against him underneath the sleeping bag we shared and felt his strength, my eyes lazily closed to the calm of his voice, the vibration from his neck and chest to his shoulders. I thought how sweet summer camp romances were when I was too young to let them go, even when autumn arrived and school started.

“Well, I am going to hit the sack,” D said.

“What?!” Trent squealed.

“Yeah, it’s getting pretty late,” Benny said, twisting the wilting petals of his mouth away from my hair.

“God! I am stuck with you people when there are parties out there. Unbelievable! Fine. Go! I don’t care. You don’t say anything interesting anyway.”

D kind of chuckled as he repositioned his feet in his sandals, ready to make the 10 foot climb to his tent.

I grabbed a beer. “Fuck it! I’ll stay up. I will fucking stay up all night. Let’s go fucking crazy!” I cheered, as I opened up a can of beer and downed a third of it in one sloppy swallow.

“That’s right! See, that’s why I love her! That’s why I love you,” Trent said, assuaged if just for another few minutes.

D got up with polite apologies and disappeared behind a car or two before he was safe in a sleeping bag. Benny excused himself as well, slipping into the back seat of his truck. It wasn’t long before I convinced Trent to fall asleep too. Knowing it would be a huge imposition on Benny, I escorted Trent into the back cab with him and tucked him in under a blanket. I sat up next to both their still bodies, wide awake with a fizzling beer, as they both slipped off into the first splash of morning light.  I wouldn’t sleep but at least there was peace.

Sunrise coachella

 

 

 

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Coachella Day 3, Pt. 2: Saturday 90,000 People on Drugs

Saturday, April 13th, 2013 

Part 2

Trent and I were without much narcotics. There was some coke left over, in addition to a bag we found the night before, but finding privacy and still air for lines in the desert just puts me on edge. It wasn’t my scene for coke. Violent Femmes were on at 6pm that was the one band I wanted to see.

Today would be the day we wouldn’t let the rich kids get to us.

“I hate you white people because you are rapists, child molesters and sociopaths. Look at all the serial killers. They are all white! … and now you are taking over Coachella,” Trent said just before squeezing my knees affectionately. “No offense.”

“None taken,” I said casually. “I don’t consider myself white. I am a black, jazz singer trapped in a tone deaf white woman’s body.”

vanessa-hudgens-drugs-coachella04_4daeee459e19a-t

Walking around asking strangers for drugs was hopeless the day before, with the exception of a middle-aged hippie from San Francisco.

“Do you know Molly?” Trent asked, as we pressed shoulders against each other on a hay stack.

He stopped. “I sure do. I know Lucy, too.”

“Lucy?” I asked. “Who is Lucy?”

He stepped closer to us and spoke quietly, but shrugged. “Lucy is acid.”

“Lucy in the sky, I get it,” I said, happily.

“How much do you need?” he asked.

“Just a few hits each.”

“Oh … I only deal in grams. A sheet of LSD would be around 40,” he said.

We didn’t have enough money to buy a sheet of acid when we wanted a psychedelic and MDMA or Molly or Ecstasy. We just needed a handful of party favors for the weekend. However, if my phone hadn’t died weeks later, that would have been a helpful business contact for Los Angeles. Acid is non-existent down here. We explained our position.

“I get it. I just can’t walk around with $5 bills filling up my wallet,” he said. We weren’t the big spenders. The college kids who hoarded their drugs and kept privately within their SUV campsites had a bigger spread, bought more drugs and could splurge. This guy financed parties.

The next kid we met, a spacey-Eskimo teenager stopped when we asked, “Do you have shrooms?”

“Shrooms …. Oh… I would really love to help you … but I ate them all.”

We did however find a cool young kid who sold us some good mushrooms at a decent price. I can’t recall much about the kid other than he seemed like the one person who was lucid and smart enough to sell drugs at Coachella.

Security Check Line at Coachella

Now, there was the security check into Coachella concert grounds. Naturally, because I was the girl, it would be easier for me to pass through carrying. Security guards don’t like to feel up girls. My secret was the purse. There was a zipper pocket inside. I put the drugs at the bottom and a big packet of handi-wipes on top of them. No one would think to take all my items out of the inner zipper. It would just hold up the line too long. The other place is behind a driver’s license or bill fold in my wallet.

On the final day at Coachella, one female security guard, the bull dyke type, felt up my bra. “Wait a minute! What’s this?” she said.

“My tits,” I said. “I know. I have big tits for my body type.”

“Hold on,” she said, calling over an equally bloated, blotchy faced, female guard with hair cut close to the skull and small earrings as if it was a last ditch effort to distinguish gender. She felt my breasts, too.

“She’s clear,” said the second guard.

“Ok,” the first guard said, motioning me through. I gave her a look of outrage and invasion. My eyes narrowed, my lips pursed and I glared. I picked up my purse with in total disgust; the same purse carefully carrying weed, a pipe, two packets of shrooms and leftover cocaine.

Trent Walks Ahead

Inside, we stopped by a few forgettable artists when we decided to duck into a tent and offer to get someone high in exchange for a light. That was harder than it sounded. This was no Woodstock. As social of an event as camping in the desert seems like it must be, it seemed the venues and concert-goers had fine-tuned the art of isolation, despite Coachella’s conception and design. Most people were drunk and bumped into you or cut you off in line without as much as a head nod. Others just avoided you. Once in a while there was someone who was passed out or fell sick. One girl was throwing up. Trent was holding her hair back and feeding her water. We found out the four kids standing nearby were her friends. They were too absorbed in the concert to help her.

“That’s your friend, she needs your help,” Trent said. They kind of nodded, bleary-eyed, smoking a joint and turned back to the concert. “Hey!” Trent said again, grabbing their arm. “She needs help. You have to stop what you’re doing and get her out of here.”  This time they were a little more awake and made the minimal effort to lift her up. Trent and I kind of chuckled about it, like the wind was knocked out of us. It didn’t matter how poor we were, what color our skin was, these people were so disassociated they didn’t even have each other.

Inside a tent, we found a volunteer who was chilling out off-duty. We asked him for a light in exchange for a bowl. He was friendly, mid-twenties, dressed comfortably with a little extra weight on him. He wasn’t over-weight, he just looked normal. He also smiled through his beard, made eye-contact and warmly regarded us. It was a bright ally in an unfriendly country.

As we sat down to pack the bowl, we spoke about our expectations and the people around us. “You know I expected something different. But whatever, they are doing here what they seem to want to. There are lots of perfect bodies. That takes a lot of discipline. They are goal-oriented and I respect that. But there is more to life than just reaching goals. Like, where is the love? I would like to see more love, more physical love, more self-love. I don’t know why it’s missing but maybe they don’t need it. Maybe it isn’t as important to them. I just come here, listen to the music and try to be kind,” the stranger said. We smoked not long before Trent yanked on my sleeve and said he had to leave.

The stranger sensed the sudden pain, like he too felt the heat of a flame and waved us goodbye without question.

Outside the tent, Trent walked quickly away, crumbling in tears. “He reminds me of Kent.” His last love. We are all haunted by loves, but until we fall in love again, the hauntings are a hassle, a chronic ache, a struggle. When a new love makes his way in, the spirit remains but is somehow friendlier. At least that is how I feel about my lost loves. The anger and resentment drains out of you, the disappointment fades, but the love remains.

starbucks all you need is love

***

Violent Femmes took the stage. We were late getting there. It was the one band I wanted to see. Initially, before the line-up for Coachella was announced, there were serious rumors that The Rolling Stones would headline. You can imagine what that did to a girl like me; I was practically foaming at the mouth. I wish I could say when the rumors were denounced, I let it go.

I never let it go. I held on to the fantasy until Saturday night. The truth was once I walked through the campground, waited in line through security to the festival grounds, I could see that it wasn’t the Stones crowd. Their music would be wasted here.

The other artist I wanted to see was Lou Reed, but he backed out the week before the festival. Last week he died. My heroes are ghosts.  It would be easy to say this left me with a disenchanted life, but I have been lucky thanks to Los Angeles and a little bit of resourcefulness and ingenuity. I have seen the greats, what’s left of them.

Violent Femmes is a weird little band. My best friend in high school introduced me to them. He was two years ahead, drove a pick-up truck and had a big crush on me. He liked a lot of things I didn’t really care for like Lord of the Rings (the books), martial arts, boy stuff. We still enjoyed Kubrick films together, shared pots of ramen we didn’t bother to scoop into separate bowls and went to Germany as exchange students in the same group. He was a good friend.

Violent+Femmes Original

His sister bought tickets to see the Violent Femmes at the county fair. She told Rob, my friend, that he could bring anyone he wanted … but me. She didn’t like me. That was my one chance to see them.

Now, twenty years later, here it was my second chance.

You could say they are “folk punk”. They are just a cool sound. Funny enough, they started in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1980 through 1987 on their first run. I was trapped in that hole of a city from 1982-1991. My sister had an album by them and I never forgot the song “Confessions”. It wasn’t until I hit puberty that I invested in my own album, a best of. I sunk into the off-beat, whiny vocals, the grating bag pipes, the angry lyrics, the dark stories. Now they were old, and fucking thrilled to be playing again for a crowd.

VFemmes Lead

VFemmes Bag Pipes

I was into it. I knew the words. I wanted to dance but it was an odd scene. Only a few girls were moving and Trent was off to the side, checking his watch. He wasn’t into it. It was a good show. The sun set.

Violent Femmes

Next on our to-do list was a band called Sigur Ros. I never heard of them, but I live in my little room, with my classic rock, my books and dogs. People don’t sit around and share music anymore. We settled into a group hanging out on the grass not too far from the stage. We ate our shrooms.

A couple sat behind us to the left. A white couple, fairly average in looks, the girl with medium length brown hair and a black coat, her boyfriend a little larger, also in black, held her close. She looked so unhappy. So despondent.

After a few minutes, I looked over to check on her and watched a tear fall down her cheek. Her companion tried to console her, but she elbowed him away.

“Uh oh,” I said, tapping Trent. “The drugs are kicking in for someone.”

“Where?” he turned to look and suddenly her face was covered in tears. She shrunk and buried her head into his lap.

“Yikes. That was fast,” I said.

“Music is emotional business,” Trent said. “There are 90,000 people here and we are all on drugs.”

Snail Photo by Sarah Parvini

Coachella had a theme, though it wasn’t totally evident. There was a huge snail that moved an inch every so often across the grounds. I didn’t even know it was moving at all until Trent told me. Then he pointed out the large, decorative ladybugs and a praying mantis. “We are the ants,” he said.

praying mantis

When Sigur Ros came on, I had no idea what to expect. The mushrooms make you sick and sleepy at first, and then your eyes are reopened. I couldn’t see them through all the heads, but white light fell over us like we were children running underneath a parachute on a summer day. The music was gentle- a piano, a bowed guitar, percussion and the sound erupted into something new. Music I never heard before.

sigur ros guitar

sigur-ros star storm

sigur ros stage

A voice sang in Icelandic through the music. A feminine, angelic voice. Even listening to them now, as I write this, I feel chills run up from my ankles to my thigh. My heart pounds harder and my eyes tighten. What beauty. Who knew Iceland reinvented music?

The show peaked with a choir. Whether there really was a choir there or not, I cannot say for certain. I am not a journalist. I am a music lover and a drug user. I raised my hands high and felt warm tears spill down my face. The scream of the vocals weak but sharp, growing through the strings and lights. It was like a pharaoh’s voice screaming to us. It was a perfectly unique moment. And finally, I had my moment where I felt one with the selfish frat boys, the girl crying in her boyfriend’s arms, the drunk guy who bumped into me and the Eskimo who ate all his mushrooms. The music was the gel oozed between each individual and clenched us together.

Sigur ros

When the music stopped, the lights turned off and we all blinked out of our daze, still sticky from the thumping harmony. We slowly climbed away from each other, wet, touched, awake.

I turned to the people around me. “Ok. Where are the Stones?”

“The Stones?” an older guy said, with a beard and a biker scarf over his head. “You mean, The Rolling Stones?”

“Yeah, man. The Rolling Stones.”

“They couldn’t get them, but the Stone Roses took their place,” he said.

“Eh, that’s bull shit.” I turned to Trent, “What do we do now?”

“They were great, right?”

“Phenomenal.”

“Phoenix is on the other stage,” he said, leading me through the crowd to more music. It didn’t have the heart, and I hung back with Sigur Ros’ toy piano plucking my brain. The light from their stage still burning bright inside me.

“You want to go back?” Trent asked.

“Sure,” I said.

We stumbled across a pile of ice someone dumped on the grass. I stopped to address it, “Hey, you make great music.”

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Ladies and Gentlemen, from Los Angeles, California . . . The Doors

Friday was a big day. I booked myself on an American Express commercial that was going to go 10 hours, giving me just enough time to feed my dogs and shimmy down to the Whiskey in an attempt to see Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger play a tribute to The Doors without tickets in hand.

Now, I had done everything to get these tickets. Ideally, I would have bought them when they went on sale, but I never have money. I went down to the Whisky and offered to wash dishes to pay for entrance. They said a web vendor was handling all sales.

I contacted a DJ at a Classic rock station who said he might be able to get tickets to the Pacific Amphitheater, but I needed to see them at the Whisky. The Whisky made the Doors.

I looked up the actual Facebook profiles to Robby and Ray. I did the research to find the ones affiliated with the actual people and managed by their managers/agents or whomever.

I explained how they were my introduction to real music. They have been an obsession since I was 14 years old when I popped that first CD from my first BMG order, laid down on my living room floor and felt high for the first time in my life.

It was the Fourth of July and my neighbors were having a block party. When “The End” came on, I was paralyzed. I closed my eyes and I rose above that generic, white carpet. The song ended, I opened my eyes and I wanted more.

On Ray’s Facebook wall, since he can not receive private messages, I stated that I had a car, a uterus and a soul and was willing to use any to get tickets to his show. No response.

I am friends with someone who used to book for the Whisky. I am also friends with someone whose neighbor works security at the Whisky. AND, someone introduced me to a girl, CeCe, interested in dog rescue who is friends with the lead singer of the Tribute, David Brock.

It seemed like destiny was on my side.

So I showed up to the American Express commercial around 7am on a few hours sleep. I was out of weed, so I brought a potsicle. I showed up, checked in, sat down in actors’ holding (a folding chair in a parking lot) next to what appeared to be week old feces and ate half the potsicle. I texted Alan that I felt like I was growing immune to cannabis then felt my head lean back against a brick wall, my mouth open and sweet sleep overcome me.

I spent the day reading about Henry the VIII in an old, beautiful building downtown. I thought, if all I did for the rest of my life was get paid to read books in old buildings, I think I could be happy.

The shoot was going to go over our scheduled 10 hours, and well over 12 . . . in fact over 15 hours. Normally, I would love the overtime, but the Doors trump overtime. The actors discussed why the shoot was going on for so long when they had actors waiting for 6 hour blocks of time doing nothing. It was a concert set-up, hardly complicated enough to take more than 10 hours.

Actor, “The crews are stretching out the production time as much as possible so they can make more money with overtime.”

Me, “That’s why no one shoots in Los Angeles anymore.”

My booker agreed to let me out of the shoot early if I was discreet and kept in the back. It was my lucky day.

I drove home, fed the dogs, stuck what was left of my magic shroom in my back pocket and drove over to the Whisky. I also invited Frank, just cause. We had bonded the weekend before and I felt I regained a friend.

I showed up and found two hour meter parking two blocks away from the Whisky. It already had an hour and a half on it. Lucky again!

Outside the club were two Christian “activists” I guess you would call them. They were holding up big yellow signs with passages to the Bible. I didn’t really understand what that had to do with anything.

When I joined my people in line, wearing Doors t-shirts and holding up cardboard signs for tickets, one of the Christians crossed the street and said, “Did you hear about the guy who died right here an hour ago? He dropped dead from a heart attack.”

Someone in line said, “Really? Ok. (pause) What’s your point?”

Christian, “I am just saying, he came here and then he died.”

Person in line, “Are you trying to say he died because he wanted to see the concert?”

The Christian shrugged his shoulders.

I met up with CeCe and we started asking for tickets. I am terrible at panhandling and I had a lot of competition. Not only was there a line of ticket holders, but a line of music festival pass holders for that weekend’s Sunset Strip Music Festival- who had dibs after ticket holders. This was looking dire.

We headed over to the Rainbow Room to try and find David Brock and/or the band. We had to pay a $10 cover to get in and the doorman gave me a fistful of drink tickets (free well drinks). I told CeCe, I can’t have more than one drink. I missed dinner and I didn’t want to get wasted on alcohol. Of all the drugs out there, booze treats my body the worst.

So I had a glass of wine, rendezvoused with Frank and I offered him all my drink tickets.

He said, “Wow, it really pays to be a beautiful girl!”

I said, “No, he gives them to everyone.”

He said, “No he doesn’t. He didn’t give me any.”

I said, “Why don’t I ever realize that people are doing me a huge favor until after the fact?”

CeCe was working Craigslist and got a woman to agree to meet us at the Whisky at 9:30 to buy one VIP ticket for $125.

After speaking to the bartender, we discovered the owner of the Whisky and David Brock had already left the bar and headed to the Whisky for the show. So off we went.

CeCe kept telling people she and I would make out for 90 seconds if they sold us their tickets. Hell, I was would go down on her if that got me a ticket.

The first two men we approached really thought about it. They stared deeply into my eyes and took a moment of pause. I mean, a real pause. I was surprised. Then they said, “Awwwww, I can’t. I really wish I could.” Pause.

Then we moved on.

CeCe and Frank kind of hit it off and I am still entertaining the idea that they will fall in love and get married.

We worked the line. We asked everyone, and so did a few die hard fans next to me. CeCe already elected me the most worthy for the Craigslist ticket on its way to us. I wasn’t holding my breath, though.

There was a large, middle aged man behind me and I said, “Do you have an extra ticket? I am a huge Doors fan, they were the first band that opened my eyes to music . . . when I was 14.”

He looked deep into my eyes and said, “Sorry, I sold my extra ticket. I am so sorry. I really wish I sold it to you.”

I looked down, disappointed. I turned back to the crowd, some people left, more people came. Ugh.

He said, “How old were you when you discovered the Doors?”

I turned back around, “14.”

As I said this, I remembered when I was 12, and my father taped a piece of a Doors video for my sister, who was going through a Doors phase at 17. There was tension, and she said she had to go and couldn’t watch the video.

My father muttered something about her being ungrateful, and I asked to see the clip. I sat down and watched Jim Morrison sing “Break on Through” while holding his hand up over half of his face. One side of his beautiful face was lit, the other completely cast in shadow from his hand.

That was the first time I heard the Doors, and I didn’t know what it meant, or what it was, but I knew it was special.

Back on Sunset Blvd, next to an older man who sold his extra ticket, I turned and saw that he looked genuinely disturbed that I was ticketless. He said, “You have to get in there. I have a feeling I will see you in there.”

I said, “I really hope so. Its the Whisky.”

He gave a faint smile, “I know you will get in. I feel it.”

I grabbed my stomach and said, “I hope to God I do.”

CeCe and Frank were back, I think they were checking on her car. They were both very high on the night, East Coast energy and having a ball.

Again, we put the offer on the table to make out for tickets. Two men stopped in front of us, I put my arm around CeCe and she said, “Come on, we will make out for 90 seconds.”

I said, “On you . . .”

CeCe, “Ok, yeah, on you.”

I kept going, “And videotape it.”

I kissed CeCe on the cheek, and then she turned ever so slightly and we made “muh muh” noises as our lips grazed each other.

Again, the two thirty-something men stared deeply into our eyes and then let their shoulders sag.

He said, “I really, really wish I could, more than anything. You have no idea.”

CeCe said, “Then do it!”

He said, “I can’t. My friend bought me this ticket.”

A man behind them said, “I have a general admission ticket.”

CeCe said, “How much do you want for it?”

He said, “I paid $30.”

I said, “I only have $20s.”

CeCe said to the man, “Do you have change?”

He said, “No, but I will give it to you in there.”

I knew he wouldn’t.

I said, “SOLD!!!” I don’t fucking care.

We had one ticket. I rubbed it against my face, I really did.

CeCe kept asking, and Frank sat back and agreed to watch my car and feed the meter while I enjoyed the show.

He said, “Its your show. You deserve it. I will hang out and smoke cigars. You go.”

Just then, the girl from Craigslist, who we were frantically texting and calling, arrived and sold us the VIP ticket. We were in.

I turned to Frank, held his face and kissed his cheek. I said, “Thank you.” I gave him my keys and debit card to feed the meter.

Frank said, “Hurry up, get in there!”

Just then, the guy who sold us the original ticket for $30 came out and handed me my change, a $10 bill. I was already traumatized with joy, so I jumped up and shouted back at him as he turned and re-entered the Whisky, “GOOD KARMA! THANK YOU!”

I followed CeCe in who ran into a band member of Wild Child (the tribute band). She was chit chatting while i was vibrating and making nonsense noises.

Wild Child dude said, “Wow, are you just this excited to see the Doors?”

I said, “Mmmhhahurgwurguf”

He said, “Wow, that is really wonderful. So cute.”

I got stamped, ticket ripped and I walked through the doors. CeCe took the VIP wrist band since she was a drinker.

I walked to a corner and ate my shroom, then stepped towards the bar to get a glass of tap water.

The bartender said, “$2”

I just gave every last dollar I had to get in. “$2!?! For tap water???”

She nodded.

I walked away. Fuck that. I think that’s illegal.

I was concerned being on no food and psychedelics that I may pass out, but I would have to take the chance. I might try to run to the bathroom and drink from the faucet if I got dizzy.

So I faced the stage and just walked through 200 people. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to do that. They weren’t on yet and I am just one small head. I said, “Excuse me, may I pass?” and got halfway up to the stage when a girl shoved her shoulder in my mouth and I repeated, “Excuse me, may I pass?”

She said, “No.”

Then her boyfriend pushed me.

Ok, I just took shrooms. I can not expose myself to negative energy or else it would ruin everything.

So I said, “Don’t push me.”

He said, “You are being inconsiderate of everyone here.”

I said, “I paid my ticket like everyone else. I would like to move forward, please.”

He said, “No. You are selfish.”

And then he shoved me again with his shoulder.

I am kind of a light weight type of gal, so a shove can throw me off my feet- again without food or water, I was easy pickings.

So I stood my ground. I stayed there but didn’t engage. We were all packed in like sardines. I couldn’t stand with my shoulders square to the stage, there were just so many people. All sides of my body were being touched by various strangers and the smell of body odor was stifling.

Then the lights went out and the Doors were introduced.

I saw Ray’s feet ascend from the stairs with his hand shusshing the applause. Then Robby, whose hair is totally white now. My heart thumped.

They took their seats and “Roadhouse Blues” rupture on stage. All the nasty looks, shoving and pushing went away. Everyone was smiling.

The lead singer, David Brock, came on in a casual outfit. No leather pants or anything indicating he was “doing” Jim Morrison, other than his hair cut. He was not attractive but his voice was similar to Jim’s.

He mimicked the way Jim held the microphone to his mouth, and his other hand to his ear, with the cord coiling around the side of his face. He also would flicker his tongue over his lips in what I found to be a kind of old-man-alcoholic way. I found that rather unappealing.

I watched Ray, his head was big. He was smiling and rocking his head back and forth.

Robby looked small, like he was struggling to hold up his guitar.

David sang, “I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer .  . .”

Outside, Frank was hearing the music with everyone else left behind.

“I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer . . .”

A hippie in a wheelchair on the sidewalk said, “Yeah man, that’s why you died.”

I let the music wrap around me, the keyboards and guitar were so masterful, I have never seen anything like that up close. Psychedelic music has all these layers, and when Robby stepped forward for his solo, I tried to follow his fingers through each layer, but I couldn’t.

I saw Tom Petty and ZZ Top live, and that is superb guitar playing, but this was on some other level, it was almost god-like. On the fuzzy end of this lollipop, Ray and Robby might as well have been checking text messages or playing cross word puzzles while performing. It wasn’t fresh to them, how could it be . . . but in their ease to slip into auto-pilot, my experience somehow suffered.

They weren’t present for the music, it was just flowing out of them like band practice. It didn’t matter that we were there, or that they were in the Whisky or that it was magic, even if that was a long time ago. It was now recycled magic, rehearsed and packaged for an event.

“Love Me Two Times” came through and then there was a break to address the crowd.

Ray and Robby shared the story about how they were kicked out of the Whisky when Jim sang, “Father, I want to kill you . . . Mother, I want to fuck you.” The crowd cheered.

Ray said, “We were called every dirty name in the book and then told never to come back again. That’s when Robby said his famous line? It was a Thursday and he said, ‘The weekend is coming up, man. You sure you want to fire us?’ Then he said, ‘Ok, play Friday and Saturday, and then you are out of here.”

Ray then introduced “The Alabama Song”, first by stating he was thirsty and Jack Daniels “or someone” was hosting the event. Two pie faced (rather mediocre looking) models with great legs came down and poured him a shot of whisky.

The crowd cheered like utter morons.

As the women carefully climbed the stairs in heels back to the upper level next to the stage, Ray lifted his glass and said, “Looking good ladies.”

I rolled my eyes.

The two ladies came back down with a full bottle of Jack Daniels and Ray joked that he could never drink all of it. David grabbed the bottle and said, “Let me help you with that” in a gravelly Jim impersonation.

The crowd cheered louder.

I mean, come on, where are we? Vegas??? I will say this once, and only once . . . Jim would not have liked that.

Then they jumped into the “Alabama Song”. David sang and I watched Ray occasionally chime in, leaning forward, holding an intense gaze with Dave as if to coach him along the way he wanted him to.

I know Ray is a very picky business man and artist. I could sense there was tension. And David, who is used to imitating Jim with Wild Child, was playing things fairly straight. I could see he was desperate to please Ray, and working to keep in time the way Ray wanted him to. I felt sorry for him.

Then, they did “Peace Frog”, one of my favorite Doors song. I sang with the crowd, including the couple that pushed me. I looked around and saw that everyone around me had changed. It didn’t matter who I shoved by to get my spot in the crowd, people were moving and shifting. The pit of my stomach was lifting into dark butterflies. The shrooms were in my blood now.

With the strobe light, occasionally I could imagine the silhouette of Jim. It was not Jim though. What made the Doors magnificent, a phenomenon, was the lyricism and the live performance. There was unpredictability, improvisation. They would test the boundaries of the crowd, bringing the song to life. The audience carved the song, with Jim at the helm. All of that was gone now.

I could see why John Densmore didn’t want to be there, to repackage rehearsed songs while promoting Jack Daniels. Jim wouldn’t want to be there for that, either. But what am I going to do, complain? This was the closest I was ever going to get to my favorite band in the original venue. It was all that was left, and I wanted to hold on to it before it disappeared completely.

From “Peace Frog” they went right into “Blue Sunday” which is honoring the structure of Morrison Hotel (the album). The two songs were built into each other, which is interesting since one is inspired by abortion and the other love and allegiance.

Outside, CeCe was holding a straw through the fence so Frank could suck Jack Daniels out of her glass. A security guard broke it up.

When he circled back around to the front of the venue, a woman was arguing to get in when a 17 yr-old said, “Hey, lady, there are real fans here, ok? I know you can hear me. HEY LADY!! I know you can hear me cause the guy behind you is laughing at me.”

Inside, Ray was telling the story about how he and Robby visited Jim’s grave on the anniversary of the passing from this realm, or some poetic string of words to define the day he died. He said they all sat around his grave and sang songs in Paris, “it was a good group of people.” I feel like that performance may have had more heart in it. Maybe not. I wish I could go to Paris.

I also wish I could recall the exact song line-up. I know they did “Strange Days”, “When the Music’s Over” (apparently Jim’s favorite song), they did “The Changeling” which I knew all the words to and lost two-thirds of the audience. When they did “Hyacinth House” I was the ONLY one who knew all the words on the ground floor and therefore felt I earned my spot to be as close to stage as possible.

When Robby came up for another solo, the strobe light went off on him, with his white hair blowing back and a grin on his face, he looked so much like a witch, flying through the night on a musical broom. Yeah, I was tripping.

Then came “Not to Touch the Earth”, which I still knew all the words from after writing them down in my 9th grade notebook. I had to copy the lyrics from a scene in the movie, since I didn’t have money to buy the album.

I couldn’t stand David Brock’s tongue flickering out of his mouth like a snake. It seemed to be some kind of trademark, but I have never seen Jim Morrison writhe his tongue in and out of his mouth, or wagger it around like a trucker passing an all girls school.

I closed my eyes and saw my Cathedral. The music. This music shaped my mind from such a young age, and such a dark time, it is in my blood. Maybe more than my own family. I saw the outline of a green Cathedral in my mind, built on the walls of the music and I heard Jim’s voice say, “I’m here. And I know you are here.” And it was gone.

I kept closing my eyes again, to hear his voice again, or what ever voice my imagination and magic mushrooms conjured out of obsession, but I couldn’t. It was gone, and so was my one moment with Jim.

I looked at the portrait they have of Jim hanging next to the stage. He is smiling in it. I bet he fucking hates the owners of that place.

The band went back to the crowd favorites, “Touch Me” and “Riders on the Storm.”

David shouted out to the crowd, “Gene said you guys are boring!!” (Gene is the drummer)

The crowd roared.

Ray said, “Who is boring? Gene is boring? You are boring? I am boring? Who is boring?”

David stumbled a bit, “No, um . . . I don’t know man . . .”

Ray was really on this guy, I mean, it was subtle, but anytime David tried to really perform, I could feel the hand pull his collar back and whisper, “You are not Jim.”

And he wasn’t.

Not only was he not Jim, Ray and Robby were not the Doors. The sacred circle is broken, and whatever dark mystical line they caught a hold of in the late 60s-early 70s was dropped and is now hanging loosely from the sky.

In my mind, I heard the words from one of the songs on LA Woman, “I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft. We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping. This is the land where the Pharaoh died.”

Ray and Robby pumped the re-release of LA Woman for the umpteenth time, Robby always looking down when addressing the crowd. Ray was more casual, smiling and speaking slowly like he savored telling these stories to people all the time.

Two men behind me held up an original Doors vinyl album, the original, with a sharpie. Ray and Robbie saw, but ignored them.

When “LA Woman” started, they played the hell out of it musically. Ray, however, was looking through the crowd, desperately, trying to find someone while his fingers flew over the keys. Robby looked tired. I knew it was their closing song.

I felt someone grab my elbow, I turned around and saw Frank. He was dancing and bobbing his head to the music . . . I guess like I should have been. I smiled, weakly, and turned back to stare at the stage.

The music was so loud, I could feel every molecule inside of my thump to the notes. The music engulfed me, and my ears and blood pulsed and hummed with every memorized note. I liked that. And then they left the stage.

Often I forgot to applaud. This time, I didn’t. And I clapped watching their shoes climb the staircase up the side of the stage into darkness.

We stayed, and chanted, and clapped. I kept saying, “The End” . . . my other favorite Doors song.

After several minutes, they came back down. Then introduced “Light My Fire”, pardon me but SNORE!!!! Gawd, my least favorite Doors song and the one I am forced to listen to constantly on the radio. Played to DEATH!

Whatever, like I said, what am I going to do . . . complain?

They did an amazing performance (musically) of “Light My Fire”. I mean, at certain points, Ray played the keyboard with his feet. That was pretty awesome!!

David flung his tongue out a few times, bent over and flickered it at a female fan in the top booth. I frowned.

I looked away and turned back on the stage to see David shrugging his shoulders and blushing like a guilty schoolboy. I wonder if Ray pulled back on the reins again. Then David made eye contact with me and saw my frown. Just like a recipe needs a dash of salt, our shared moment was a dash of disappointment. He looked away.

The song finished, the house lights went back up and the roadies came down to take away the instruments.

CeCe appeared and grabbed my arm, telling me to stay with her. She introduced herself to the security guards who flirted with us, while firmly telling the drunk buffoons to get lost.

Frank said, “That was great, your friend got me in for free. I missed the first few songs, but they were great.”

I said, “ . . . yeah.”

Frank said, “Geez, I feel like I had a better time than you.”

I said, “No . . .  this was good. How is my car?”

Frank, “I have no idea. I am sorry, she got me in and I just jumped in there.”

I said, “Shit, I hope they didn’t tow it.” The Sunset Music Festival was starting and new parking violations signs were up, tow trucks were parked outside while drivers chewed on hotdogs, waiting to pluck their victims.

The Roadies started throwing out sheet music. I just politely raised my had and said, “Please?”

Frank said, “This would mean a lot to this girl. She deserves it.”

The last one thrown towards me was ripped out of reach by a very large Hispanic man whose head landed on my lower lip. He almost fell to the ground and stammered some victory speech about getting it before me. (He also destroyed it in the process, and pieces of it flew to the ground)

Frank pushed me gently out of harm’s way and kept saying, “Have a good night, man.”

The Hispanic man smiled at me with some wild go-tee and huge pupils. I gave him a thumbs up.

How in the world can I be far more in control than everyone else on a hallucinogenic than these low class boozers? BASE BEHAVIOR!

So, I stood in front of the stage as everyone cleared away. I told CeCe I just wanted to touch the stage. She was talking it up with the cute security guard and kept insisting I stay nearby.

My fingers crawled over the old maroon carpet.

I backed up and found myself standing alone, staring at the stage with my head tilted. Coming to, I realized a roadie was standing on stage staring back at me. He smiled and winked at me. I smiled back.

CeCe was trying to negotiate for a guitar pick. The roadies said everything was gone. So I said, “Wait, so are they coming back to do ‘The End’?” The security guard laughed and said, “No, darling. Once they break down the equipment, its over.”

I turned to Frank and said, “Oh. But . . . how can that be? ‘The End’ is what got them kicked out of the Whisky and got their contract with Elektra Records . . .”

Frank said, “It must be a Jim thing.”

I said, “Yeah . . . huh.”

We went out to check on my car and I ran. Frank said, “Running doesn’t change anything!!”

I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t towed. I picked up a parking ticket off the windshield. $53.00. I waved it in the air and danced my way back to him in front of the Viper Room and said, “It’s not that bad!! It’s not that bad!”

A couple drunk strangers laughed over my celebration.

I offered to drive Frank back to his car but he wanted to buy another cigar first. He asked if I was ok to drive. I said I was.

I looked at my phone and the icons were dancing and vibrating. I was still tripping.

Frank kept saying, “I feel bad that I had more fun than you.”

I said, “No, don’t. It was a different experience for me. It wasn’t about fun. It was just not … I don’t know. I guess Jim really did make the Doors. He was so much about the performance, about the poetry and the shock value. Always testing the audience. None of that was there tonight, it was just the music.”

Frank said, “You needed Jim, huh?”

I said, “I guess I do.”

I drove him to his car just fine. I couldn’t listen to any music on the radio. I wanted more Doors, nothing else could ease my mind, so I shut off the radio.

Then I drove home to Alan, who was waiting for me. As I flew down the roads, I felt like the walls of the night were falling down, like the Earth was stretching into a pancake. Trees overhead looked bigger. I like this world. I like seeing the world reshape itself so I can discover more.

When I arrived home, I was just happy. He forced a smile, coming down from adderall and exams to clean up dog shit after a 2 hour drive didn’t have him in the best of moods.

We sat and spoke for a while. He said, “Everyone else probably did have more fun than you. I think you are too much of a Doors fan to really have enjoyed that show.”

I nodded heavily, “Yeah, but its the only time I will see them, where I wanted to see them. I will never see them perform again. I wasn’t expecting magic, I mean . . . I missed the magic. It was before I was born. But look, its not like I am complaining about any shortage of magic in my life. I have magic all the time with you . . . its just tonight there was none. And that’s the way of things.”

We went to bed and I made love on shrooms for the first time in my life. The pattern on my bed sheets spread out underneath Alan’s head, his skin is so white, it practically glowed in the dark. It felt like my orgasm was growing out from underneath him, like roots from a tree.

We held each other until he drifted off into sleep- and I kept my eyes open, still waiting to hear Jim’s voice again. I wanted to hear it again, say you know I am here. Say you are here. Say my obsession and your music mean something. Tell me I am closer . . .

I didn’t hear anything. I just fell asleep.

The coming weekend would bring a stew of frustration including my first fight with Alan. But that night I learned that chasing my ghosts won’t give me life . . . my life, my magic, my audience, my performance is right now.

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Come on and Touch Me

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.

JOEL

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.”

Pause.

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

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.”

I laughed.

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.”

ABE

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.

Goodbye.

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

GoodBye

I never answered him.

ALAN

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

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

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.”

Barney's Beanery- West Hollywood

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)

Barney's Beanery- West Hollywood

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:

1/2 oz Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee whiskey
1/2 oz Jim Beam® bourbon whiskey
1/2 oz Wild Turkey® bourbon whiskey
1/2 oz Seagram’s® 7 whisky

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.

Barney's Beanery- Wesy Hollywood

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.

GOD

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.”

Everyone gasped.

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.”

Gasp.

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.

My church.

My life.

Don’t let me forget it, no matter how poor, lonely or desperate I get.

I don’t want to lose myself.

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Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked: Hollywood Parties

Friday, I picked up my paycheck at the Doggie Daycare and swooped up Trent by chance, who also needed to deposit his check.

We ended up at Akbar, a gay bar in Silver Lake, for Happy Hour. Kent met us there and we shared a pitcher of beer.

I said, “So Alan has been communicating with me a little less lately. I know he has a cold and is preparing for midterms, but should I be concerned?”

Kent, “You should write him a little something supportive.”

Me, “Oh, I was gonna go with making him jealous.”

Trent, “That’s what I would do. See? We are exactly alike.”

Kent, “No no no.”

Kent was going to the Hippie Drug House that evening and I asked to come along. I am going through a phase right now, its not like I do drugs (other than pot) everyday. Its just my mind is being a little adventurous at the moment. And with minimal obligations, I might as well enjoy what I can get away with.

The hill to the house is incredibly steep. My knees could tap the sidewalk on that incline.

As we huffed and puffed upward, Kent breathlessly said, “We gotta work for our drugs.”

When we arrived at the house, there was a guy sitting at the kitchen table, under the spaceships and alien toys. He didn’t say hello to us, but her dog did.

The man said, “This ukelele music is just too much.”

Marcia said, “It kind of is, isn’t it?” She didn’t make a move.  She let it play.

Kent bought some more of the same. I asked for shrooms this time. On my limited budget, she gave me a large cap and asked me to give her my number, so she could keep me in her phone.

This is how the business works with her, you see her a few times through a personal reference- then she puts your number in her phone. Voila, you are linked in.

We headed back to his apartment, where I said goodbye and hopped in my car.

The next day, I nibbled and felt a little something. When I arrived at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to watch HEATHERS with my longtime friend Jeph, I took a little more.

Shrooms are by far my favorite narcotic of choice, maybe next to x. They come with a high that tickles the inside of your gut. At my undergrad, we used to make something called “Gummy Bear Juice” out of it.

You laugh from the gut, those hard cackles that are really hard to come by. You feel warmth towards everything around you. And generally, you hallucinate, ie. if you stare at a pattern long enough, it appears to move. They are easy to come down from, you feel relaxed and calm.

This night, I never took enough to feel really off. I was in control, I knew what was happening and there were no hallucinations. After the screening, the sky was yellow behind all the crooked palm trees. I don’t think I was hallucinating, I think that is actually what Hollywood looked like that night.

I drove to Liquid Kitty in Santa Monica where a fellow actor invited me to Jason Patric’s birthday party. Before heading inside, I took a little bit more of the shroom cap.

I was wearing my skin tight AC/DC Back in Black t-shirt that men seem to drool over, with my skinny jeans. My new bangs fully hung over my face. The lip-gloss made me look almost 70s.

Dean is a bit older than me, early forties, angular jaw, rich and happens to be a great comedy actor, though you would never guess it. He has all these connections.

Anyway, I show up and enter a small room that is barely lit. I waded through people in the dark and saw him. Immediately, he bear hugged me, then hoisted me up into the air and pumped my body up and down. Yes, there was an erection down there.

I said, “Ok . . . ok.”

He was happy, sweaty and I thought high as a kite. He insisted he only had a little scotch.

To my left was the DJ, who was alternating between the Stones and the Doors (with some AC/DC, Violent Femmes, Dramarama thrown in there) which made my heart explode into a unicorn party. Next to the DJ was old black and white film footage of women doing nude dance. Naked, flapper type shit.

Dean introduced me to Sammy, an overweight, half-Russian, half-Italian producer. He hugged me and comfortably wrapped his thick arms around my waist. He said, “What are you having?”

I said, “I am not drinking right now.”

He said, “Come on, whatever you want.”

I said, “Well, since you are twisting my arm . . . how about  beer?”

The cold Heineken felt good on my throat. I saw Jason and Kiefer Sutherland at the bar, but Dean didn’t take me immediately to them. I was introduced to a few other filmmakers and actresses before he led me towards Jason.

Maybe this is a good place to say I FUCKING LOVE THE LOST BOYS!! LOVE, I mean, let me be specific: I made my grandmother buy me a VHS copy for Christmas and watched it over and over again until the thing disintegrated. I was just a little girl with another school-girl fantasy of being trapped in a love triangle with Kiefer and Jason (to be alternated with my TV dubbed YOUNG GUNS). Of course now, I was very much taller than them.

They both came up to my nose.

Jason was wasted. I mean, I don’t remember if we met officially without eye contact, or what the nature of the introduction was.  I could tell, however, he was trying to figure out how close to Dean I was.

Dean continued to bear hug me and rock me back and forth. Jason smiled at me from over his shoulder and returned to the ladies at the bar.

God Damn it, Dean, you cock blocked Jason Patric!! Ughhhh.

Then Chris Noth was there. (I heart Big). A few times we caught eyes and I smiled politely. He would suddenly look away. We ran into each other at the door and he stopped, stared and then quickly walked away. I thought a) what assholes, do I have to be a fucking celebrity to get a “hello”  b) they must be on coke and freaked out by my intense eyes.  I can be rather intense.

Later, I found out that his wife suddenly showed up in the middle of the party, and he shut himself off from everyone but a core group of friends.

They are just celebrities, I mean its not a big deal. Its weird seeing them in person, initially- but they didn’t really influence the vibe of the party very much.

Dean introduced me to some music video director who wouldn’t look me in the eye either. He just heard a song and repeat, “I did this music video.”

He was trying to build up the confidence to talk to Jason and Kiefer about a role, and was actually going to make an offer with money. I said, “Let’s just do it right now. I will say I am your agent.”

He wouldn’t look at me. “I know better than that.”

As it turned out, he got too wasted to ever even talk to them. Tragic.

Everywhere I turned, men kept checking my bottle and offering to buy me a drink. Young men, old men. Men there for Jason, or men just there for drinks. It was a very friendly bar.

A few boys around my age came up to talk to me. One said, “Who did you come here with?”

I said, “I came alone.”

He said, “Wow, brave for a beautiful girl.”

I said, “Well, I have been around. I mean, not around but I have been um . . . around.”

He nodded and smiled.  I would occasionally venture away from the bar, but I didn’t want to get caught in the storm Dean was creating on the dance floor. Dean kept dancing. He was the only one. His wild limbs flung around as he took off his button-up and slithered around in a wife beater, chest hair and a small gold chain.

I would go back to the corner where Sammy sat. He got me another drink, or someone got me another drink.

I said, “I really shouldn’t.”

Sammy said, “Why not?”

I said, “Because I am on narcotics right now.”

A man of about 70 next to him said, “Which ones?”

I laughed and said, “Shrooms.”

They both smiled and the man of 70 said, “Wow, way to go. I am impressed. I am a child of the 60s so I really appreciate that.”

I asked him for a smoke, and he said he was going to step out for one as well.  I lit the wrong end of the cigarette. He plucked the bad cigarette from my fingers and slid in a brand new one.

Then he lit my cigarette and I said, “You are quite the gentleman.”

He was good-looking, around my height, and sober. We had a nice chat outside.

We came back in and Sammy said, “You should know who you are talking to. This guy is a big director, he did (insert movies we have all seen and loved from the 80s). I coolly said, “Wow.”

I really didn’t feel anything at the moment. I am not overpowered by the need to network or kiss his ass or ask him a question about what its like working with so and so. I just wanted to glide along into the night.

Sammy gave me his number and said, “Here, give me a call Monday morning. I will put you in a movie.”

I said, “What if I am a terrible actress? You should see some demonstration of my ability.”

He threw his hand in the air, “Don’t worry about it. Now call me, when? Monday.  I don’t do email, I don’t do Facebook or Twitter or any of that shit.”

I said, “Do I have to call you from a rotary phone, too?”

The 70-yr-old director, let’s call him Tom, laughed out loud.

The Doors’ “The Changeling” came on. The song choices were chimerical.  Songs most people don’t ever hear in public dosey-doed with a few cult hits.  I actually went  up to the DJ to thank him. He smiled and bowed, as if he was the servant to us.  Later, I caught his eye dancing to “My Wild Love”, I stopped and bowed to him, while making a heart with my hands.

Tom said, “Sammy is staying at my place tonight, you don’t have to drive back to Pasadena. You can hang at my place.”

I said, “That’s alright, I am fine to drive.”

He said, “Well, you can come over for a while. Its up to you. The invitation is open.”

The bar was closing. There was no fucking way I was leaving without meeting Kiefer Sutherland. I lusted after him in the 2nd grade after seeing Amazing Stories and well . . . I used to lie awake at night praying to my Catholic Jesus that we would end up together so we could hold hands. When I found out he was married, I cried.  That’s right. I CRIED.  I was 10.

So when he and Jason went into the men’s restroom arm in arm, I waited as the rest of the bar emptied out on to the streeet.

They came out stumbling. I stepped in front of them, crossed my legs, waved my hand in the air and bowed. Kiefer stepped up to my face and embraced me. Bear Hug Night!

His sweat was all over me and I chuckled against him as he rocked me back and forth. Irish boys. He released me and walked away without a word. Jason Patric stopped just short of the bar and lifted up his shirt to make sure his 6-pack was still there. I checked. It was.

Dean was eager to spend time with me. He kept talking to me about making babies, and how happy I looked and how great I hugged. Oy. I said, “I get that you want to impregnate me but-“

Then he kissed me. He held my face and tried to keep kissing me.

I said, “Stop that now. I am seeing someone I really like right now.”

He stopped and asked what was going to happen next. I turned to Tom and said, “After party at your place?”

We decided to caravan, of course they were all valet and I was parked one block down the street. So I pulled up and we all left together.

I followed Tom and Sammy into an underground parking lot not far from the bar. Then followed them into a mini mansion, a compact mansion on small real estate plots. They are common in Venice and Santa Monica.

Tom showed me his framed Woodstock tickets and opened a bottle of wine. Oh dear. I took a little more shrooms and sat down. I couldn’t give Dean the address because my reception was totally gone.

Sammy said, “He’ll be fine. He can’t come over now. He was off on his own thing.”

I said, “I promised I would.”

They both said, “Don’t worry about it. Dean is fine.”

I said, “Please call him so he doesn’t think I ditched him.”

Sammy swayed a little over his phone and called as I used the restroom. There I heard him say, “She is leaving right now. She is going home and we are going to bed. Ok? Ok. Talk to you tomorrow.”

I walked out of the restroom and said, “Why did you tell him that?”

Sammy said, “He is going home and gonna sleep it off. I know him, its fine.”

I dumped myself into a designer couch and sipped some red wine. Sammy was drinking scotch when Tom dropped a pill in his hand. Sammy said, “I need more. I NEED MORE!”

Tom said, “Trust me, with the scotch that will knock you out.”

I said, “Um .  . . I am a little worried about you taking strong pills with liquor. It’s very dangerous. I don’t want to have to watch you die tonight. That would traumatize me.”

Sammy dismissively waved his hand in the air.

Tom said, “Trust me, he’s used to it.”

Sammy said, “You know who had a problem? Anna Nicole Smith. I dated her for a couple months. Great girl. She came into my club, this is how I met her, I owned this club 10-15 years ago. She walks in and says to me, ‘I will do anything for mashed potatoes.’ So I turn over to my chef and have him whip up some mashed potatoes, while I buy her drinks and we get to talking and flirting.

Then my chef brings out the mashed potatoes, and I scoop them up and dump them in her brassiere. Just like that (he is motioning with his hands here in the story). So I keep scooping them into her bra, and she is loving it. I fucked her while eating mashed potatoes off of her chest and it was . . . one of the best things . . . it was really nice.”

Tom said, “I always think about my affair with Maria Schneider.”

I said, “Who?”

He said, “She was in a movie called Last Tango in Paris.”

I said, “Oh, I know it well. But she is a lesbian.”

Tom smiled over his glass and let his head fall to the side, “She was on the fence.”

I said, “You had an affair with her?”

He said, “In Spain.  But nobody ever believes me.

I was dating a girl that was working on a Jack Nicholson film. Jack’s assistant called me and said, ‘Someone really wants to see you. I have been told to get you a round trip ticket to Spain.’ And I had nothing at the time. I didn’t have any money, or a job or a place but I would do anything to jump on a plane and meet Jack Nicholson.

I get out there, and I will always remember the look she gave me, like ‘There’s my boyfriend.’ You know, ecstatic to see me.”

I said, “You didn’t feel the same way.”

He shook his head slowly, like he was underwater.

He said, “And one day, Maria calls me and says, ‘I need to take a bath and I don’t have anyone to wash my back. So naturally, I went up to her hotel room. She was with a woman named Jo at the time, who was out doing something else.

We took a bath, I washed her back and Jo stumbled in, looked at us and passed out on the bed. I knew she would have had a threesome with us if she were conscious. But she passed out. It’s a shame.

Maria and I went ahead anyway, with her girlfriend asleep in the room. It was an amazing experience.”

I said, “Was that it? Just the one night.”

He nodded.

These guys were living in the past. I wondered where I would be, when I was 70 and telling stories about right now.  I sucked in a lung full of oxygen, I am still young.

I said, “What’s with no one making eye contact with me at the party?”

Sammy said, “You are intimidating.”

I said, “I am intimidating? I am a nobody.”

Sammy said, “Never say that.”

I said, “Well right now I am. I can’t afford my rent. The second half of my rent is going to put me in the red until July’s rent is due. It’s a vicious cycle. I don’t know what to do.”

Sammy said, “What do you need?”

I said, “$495.”

He said, “I’ll give you a check for that. Call me on Monday, I will get you a job at my company. No problem. I will give you the $495 and help you with July’s rent.”

I said, “I am not going to take money from someone who is intoxicated.”

He said, “Just take it. Take it! I would give it to you sober anyway.”

I said, “I would rather wait until you are sober.”

Sammy started nodding off in his chair.

I said, “Why don’t we tuck you in?”

Sammy slurred, “Where am I going to sleep?”

Tom said, “In my daughter’s room. It’s a princess room but the bed is comfortable.”

Sammy said, “No, I am fine.”

I said, “Come on, I will read you a story.” I must have been out of my mind.

So the pattern I have recently identified is when I am out of my mind on drugs, I mother people.

He clumsily climbed halfway into the bed when I found “Horton Hears a Who!

I said, “PERFECT!”

Tom was in the room as I took off Sammy’s shoes then he gracefully exited as soon as Sammy started pawing at me.

I said, “No no no!”

He said, “Come on, what do you need? I will write you a check.”

I read, “On the fifteenth of May, in the Jungle of Nool . . .”

Sammy said, “Let me eat your pussy.”

I said, “Don’t talk to me that way. I am a lady.”

Sammy said, “Come on, let me eat your pussy. I am sooooo good at it.”

Me, “We are in your friend’s house and you are propositioning me?”

Sammy, “He doesn’t care.”

Me, “Stop this. Don’t do it.”

Sammy, “Let me eat your pussy.”

I got up outraged, “Eugh. Disgusting.” I angrily threw the rest of the blanket over his exposed leg.

Sammy sat up and gave me a look of Italian disgust and said, “I am doing you a favor. Do you know who I am?”

I said, “Oh, you are doing ME a favor. Wow. Thanks.”

Sammy (this time, child-like), “I just want to take care of you . . . “

I said, “I was going to read to you but now you’ve ruined it. Good night.”

He said, “Wait, wait wait . . . let me say one more thing.”

I said, “Before you do, I want you to think about my mother.”

Sammy, “Let me eat your pussy.”

I exhaled a dry barf, gasped and left outraged, but not angry. I mean, its ridiculous and rude, and disgusting . . . but that’s Hollywood.

I walked downstairs and Tom was sitting there with a couple Parliaments and a bottle of wine. He even had the fireplace on . . . in June . . . in Los Angeles.

I said, “Thanks for leaving me up there.”

Tom said, “I knew you could handle yourself.”

I think he was testing me.

Me, “So how did you become a director?”

He said, “I taught (insert one of the biggest celebrities of the 70s)’s niece how to ski. He said he wanted to return the favor, so I told him what I really needed was a recommendation to USC film school and he wrote me the letter. Its laminated in the bathroom.”

I went in and read it.

I said, “That’s nice. I wish he would treat women better. I have heard horrible stories.”

Tom said, “We all have stories.”

I said, “Yes, but one should never urinate on a lady.”

We ran out of cigarettes and he offered to drive us to CVS to pick up more.

In the car:

Me, “I love Gene Hackman. What was it like working-“

Tom, “He is Satan.”

I laughed.

Tom, “I am not even kidding. Next time you see him on screen, look into his eyes.”

In the Mansion:

I told him about my documentary.

He said, “Wow, I had no idea.”

I said, “Well, you know, I did come out here to be a filmmaker. It’s just too taxing. It took all my money; I am still paying it off and not seeing a dime. I haven’t heard from my sales rep in years, and he is the one who gets the checks. I am assuming he is just cashing them in himself.”

HIS NAME IS JEFF COOPER

Tom said, “You could sue him.”

I said, “I will, when I am rich.”

Then I told him I write, namely this blog.

I said, “I write about everything so . . . let me just apologize in advance. I keep things anonymous but . . . I write about everything.”

He smiled and asked for the name and my phone number.

I said, “I can just call your phone.”

He said, “I am a pen and paper kind of guy.”

I said, “Oh. Do you have email or do I have to use smoke signals with you, too?”

He laughed and said, “No, I have email. Give me the name of the blog.”

I did.

He laughed, again. He was giddy.

I didn’t feel like I was tripping on psychedelics. I just felt comfortable.

We spoke about the African who made his furniture without profit. (Yeah right, an AFRICAN is going to make a rich director furniture without profit.)

And the Amish made the dining room table.

It was interesting to me that he was surrounded by all this spiritually inspired furniture and didn’t seem spiritually inspired himself.

Then he reached in and kissed me.

I thought about two very specific things:

1)      I thought about how I told myself, if it didn’t work out with me and Abe, I would sleep with a high powered director as a social experiment to see if it got me anywhere.

2)      I thought about Alan. In my mind I kept saying, “I am sorry. I am sorry.”

I did kiss back. So please stop accusing me of only being interested in younger men. I like Tom but . . . Alan and I have been talking every day since our first date. I adore our conversations. What the fuck was I doing?

I pulled away.

He said, “You kiss like a demon.”

I said, “Dude, don’t say that when I am tripping on shrooms.”

He said, “Why? Take it as a compliment. Evil is powerful.”

I pushed away and muttered, “I am not evil.”

I mean . . . I’m not.

Tom said, “No, I like the way you kiss. I would like to do this the right way and take you out.”

I said, “I would like that. I am a nice girl.”

Tom said, “I think this could be interesting. I appreciate this whole conversation, I appreciate the upfront honesty and the intelligence and just your personality. The only thing I see about us not working out is the age difference.”

I said, “Tom, we aren’t going to work out.”

He said, “Well . . . I know . . . but I would like to take you out anyway and show you a couple things.”

I said, “You should know .  . .  I am vegan.”

He said, “Shiiiiiiiit.”

What am I? An idiot. Of course I wouldn’t mind spending an afternoon or evening with a professional director who treats me like a lady.

The sun was coming up and I said, “I have to go.”

Tom said, “Why don’t you lie down with me in my bed?”

I said, “No no no. You know better than that. I know you need to sleep so I am gonna get out of here.”

He said, “Don’t you!?”

I laughed and said, “Need to sleep? Not really. That’s the funny thing about me.”

He said, “That’s weird, like Twilighty.”

I stood up and looked down on him.

I said, “Oh please! I am not a vampire!”

He shrugged his shoulders in uncertainty and said, “I don’t know.”

I couldn’t believe after taking magic shrooms and drinking 4 units of alcohol, I was still of more sound mind than anyone else I met that night.

Before I left, he said he never thought he would feel what he was feeling again before he died, and thanked me. It was kind of sad and romantic.

I got in my car and drove home in the early morning mist off the Pacific Ocean, something I miss since I moved from the west side. You can taste the saltwater in the air.

As I got on the freeway,  I called Alan and told him about the Eating Pussy scenario and the “You’re a demon” conversation minus the kiss.

He said, “It sounds like a bad trip You should not be going out alone in public on hallucinogenics.”

I said, “I’m fine, its ok. Its just, I don’t think my actions tonight honored you. I want to honor you. What type of girl goes to someone’s mansion and puts herself in that position? I want to do right by you and I feel like you deserve a better girl than me. Maybe I don’t belong in this business.”

He said, “Um . . . we have only been dating for 2 weeks. You don’t have to worry about honoring me.  This is part of the business.  Part of being an actress is going to director’s houses.  I get that. You might want to be careful with who you sleep with, because it could hurt your reputation.  Just be calculating and careful.  We are both in evil businesses.  Just never lie to me and you won’t hurt me.

And next time someone offers you a role in a movie, make sure you have an agent there with a contract ready to sign. That’s how this business works.”

His knee jerk reaction wasn’t betrayal which made me feel a little undervalued, though there was a hint of jealousy in our next Gchat conversation when he suggested buying me mace and a pocket oozie before the next Hollywood party.

The thing with Abe was I did everything to keep that relationship honorable. I never lead anyone on, I was never looking over his shoulder, everything I did kept his best interests in mind. I was 100% loyal to him.

With Alan on my side, I see a different kind of relationship. Instead of family dinners (he doesn’t know his and mine aren’t talking to me) and jealous spats, we would strategize and be on the level. We would keep our best interests in mind.

We would be . . . a power couple.

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