I am an original Tiger of Toluca. I am a Valley Rat, not unlike Daniel LaRusso in Karate Kid. Well, my friends and I are probably 20% Daniel LaRusso and 80% Cobra Kai. See what I mean?
Always effing around the Valley throwing roundhouse kicks in the parking lot of Bob’s Big Boy, three am. Magic time. Empty streets, no rules and plenty of rooftops to throw lemons off of.
But no longer. As I have previously mentioned, I am moving to Beverly Hills. Yes, I am going to save some money in the deal. But the reality is, I have two choices. Do I want to act like I belong in Beverly Hills or see how long it takes before I get a letter from the city council politely asking me to “take it back to West Hollywood.”
I say the latter.
Dave and I sneak in by nightfall parking near my new apartment. Against my better judgment, I figure we should go to the Four Seasons to do the Windows Lounge thing for a bit. I had been there for a few film meetings in the past. An interesting place.
Also, I wanted to steal one of their pens. There are a few hotels in LA that have great pens. While the Beverly Hills Hotel (where I have been kicked out of for my indirect involvement in a potpourri incident outside the Polo Lounge) has the most aesthetically pleasing pens; a pleasant cream color with 1960’s chic logo treatments in coral and mint. The Four Seasons boast wonderful and thin metal ballpoints that scream “do not fuck with me” when you write with them. I figured if I paid by credit card, it would be giftwrapped for me.
We sit down and enjoy our cigars and cigarettes and assorted drinks. As famous as their martinis are, I am and will always remain a whiskey/scotch enthusiast.
But I sense our vibrations are caustic. Too many smiles we’re receiving on this awkwardly cool night. A loud table of nobody’s overdressed for the city sitting next to us. There are better ways to pretend to be important than putting on your best suit, bringing out some girls and talking loudly. The movers and shakers always talk quietly. Faulkner knew so with his Sound and the Fury pull from Shakespeare.
They empty out and soon enough we are the last men standing. My second Glenlivet arrives, only everything is wrong. It is clearly a vodka on the rocks. I have seen scotch with a lime before, but never without being requested as most of us prefer it neat, or on the rocks or even with a waterback. Lime would be from left field in this case.
I do not argue, have a few sips and we close our tab. We admire Brett Ratner standing out front with a prostitute or something close. She seems disinterested, not unlike how I have felt about most of his films. It’s wonderful to be no one. You can criticize everyone with little consequence.
The way home is productive. We mug for pictures at local businesses. I wonder how much the people at Il Cielo will come to hate me. A lot I assume. I think I may like this town.
You can take the rat out of the valley, but you can’t take the valley out of the rat.