Fear and Loathing in West Hollywood.

[some tunes for you for the cause]

This weekend I admit I went regressed a bit into a bit of a monster.  I had good reason.  I was falling in love with my city again.  Just like a longtime partner, you get used to a level of greatness and forget to remind them.  Then out of nowhere, she comes out in all her evening glory and says something amazing, she speaks to you and you fall in love like it was day one.   I could really feel the grid.  The city was small this weekend.  It was temperate.  It was shiny like a penny.

Friday I was running around the Belmont celebrating a friend’s birthday wisely on el Siete de Mayo (she is born on Cinco de Mayo).  Whiskey went down smoothly and the patio seemed new to me.  I mean, I have spent a thousand nights at this bar going back to when I was twenty years old (sorry mom), but it was a good night.  Some people from high school showed up and it was cool to see them.  The Dodgers somehow won.  I am pretty sure I berated a hostess at one point.  Spent some quality time with one of my favorite couples and made some plans.  Kind of felt like good things were just around the bend.  Didn’t dislike myself when I was in the bathroom and they had a huge mirror.  That’s the thing with huge mirrors at bars.  You never know who you’ll see staring back at you.

Walked home two miles with Em to our place.  I called Morgan and told him I’d found some good furniture I would buy him for his wedding should I come into some money.  He put his fiancee on the phone and I had no idea if I was helping or hurting our friendship.  I do know that I told them about a store that only sold leather jackets and how we’d buy them when we were rich.  I talked about Cloverfield too.  Not so much the movie, but the overarching concept of giant monsters in the city.  Let’s be honest.  It’s definitely one of those cases where they are just as scared of you as you are scared of them.  Isn’t that how it always goes?

I was riding high and loving life. Talked to my future brother-in-law and possibly scared him.  Probably not.  He might be the hope of the family.  He is Luke.  You know I am Han Solo.  Han Solo played by Michael Douglas.  Michael Douglas with laser eyes and electric fingernails.  I wanted track lighting for veins and springs installed in my kneecaps so I could go bouncing and careening off the storefronts of lonely Beverly Hills.  Maybe I was Cloverfield.  Maybe we all are.  Yeah, you big guy.

I stayed in bed most of Saturday trying to remember the guitar I would be playing later in the night.  I kept planning to go running and kept remembering there was no way in hell I was going running.  Ran an errand, got some whiskey and licorice and laughed.  Whiskey, tums, licorice and Gatorade.  I am a professional adult living in the real world, but once in a while I show up at the checkout counter with a shopping list of items that a sixteen year old girl would be buying before a night out.

I watched some local sports and felt good.  I had a drink and went to the venue.  I went to go get more Tums at the gas station next to the Hustler store.  I had left the Tums I had just bought at home.  Found some new Skittles Dave had mentioned that fizzed in your mouth.  Felt like a poseur.  A friend of a good friend suggested these would replace olives in martinis and onions in gibsons.  I mean, right-oh man, right-eoh.

The show felt quick.  It felt good though.  I didn’t even realize my amps had been carted downstairs.  Got the cabs.  Praying to all deities that Miner got the orange and the gibson.  I guess I’ll know someday…

And that was it out into the wild night and the incredible scene in WeHo.  People pouring out of cafes and clubs onto lit sidewalks.  Breakbeats violating walls and coming out dull in the thin desert air.  Kids politicking and me scanning the crowds looking for something.  Is it you, Los Angeles?  You look like you woke up or maybe I found new eyes to see you with.  You feel like a strange city again where the light makes you feel like you are indoors.  Feels like another world.  The kind of world where U2 and Owl City aren’t cheesy.  Your mundane life can’t ever find you hidden by streetlights and palm trees.  You can feel quietly important out here.  You can smile.

I am looking around and thinking about writing this actual post.  I am thinking about telling you I got down for a while, but I am still here.  I still have feelings for my city.  Recently I told someone I was born in New Jersey and how I’d lived in Texas.  They told me wherever I was born, I was from LA.  They smiled and it probably wasn’t a compliment, but I’m taking it as one.  Carve the Dodger logo on my arm, I can’t help it.  This is my town, no matter where I go.  I’m here writing about it and bleeding on it and celebrating it the ashes.  Sometimes I can’t believe you guys read this.  Then I realize you all feel the same way and if you don’t, you are here because maybe you want to.

Next time you are out in the city, even if it is some other city, I want you to pay attention to the quality of the light.  I want you to listen to how laughs and arguments blend into muffled music and street noise.  Watch the newspaper stand attendant go about his business and watch the valets sneak cigarettes and talk about attractive mothers.  Watch people struggle to find love and realize either way you are good.  You’ve got the city to love and you’ve got me out there with a glass running down to the ice cubes spinning in circles thinking it’s all like living in a painting.  Because it is.


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