It was a weekend reserved for warriors, filled with cosmic timing and reaffirmations of whatever strange path I’ve chosen to walk. Clearly summer had begun and I felt lucky to not be anywhere else in the world. I sort of always see life as being one of two ways. You are either in flux when nothing makes sense, or things are clicking and you can almost see the sun through the parting in the clouds. You see your fellow humans as animals just giving into their pleasure or paranoia. For some reason, Friday night signaled the beginning of what looks to be some clarity. I am so intent on enjoying the ride.
Morgan and I drank Balblair all evening making rounds between the couch and the Dodgers and the balcony and the first signs of comfortable night air. We forgot to eat. When Em arrived, we all set off to the Beverly Hilton, discussing her virtues. From the lovely Futura font on the side of the building to the thousands of tiny midcentury design elements, you can’t beat it. Sure, there are nicer hotels all over town, but this place is special. It’s special in the same way the Beverly Hills Hotel is, but for such different reasons. I remember at my high school prom having the palpable understanding that one day I would wear boat shoes and Ray Bans and spend hours sitting by the pool drinking tiki drinks and letting my stomach get hot with rum. I’d have friends that would rather be other places, clubs or backyards. Not me. I am a Californian. Put me and a London sour at the pool at the Beverly Hilton. Let me watch Endless Summer in the summer in the Southland. Let the haters be damned.
I ran into a woman who I was convinced was my co-worker, only to find out it was the twin sister of my co-worker. That was the first of two things that happened this weekend that will probably never happen to me again. What a strange way to learn someone has a twin. It felt as if the universe bent itself into some sort of strange parabola. This was some good scotch. I was pulling dopplegangers out of the cosmos. The only answer was to order us all a kava bowl with three straws and some crab rangoon. I was grateful for the company and the ability to manifest things like kava bowls and crab rangoon.
The next evening we were grilling steak to medium rare just off Roxbury Park staring at the Century City skyline. We were watching the Lakers close up shop and drinking 18 Year Old Glenlivet just to stretch. Later in the night we’d have to venture to Santa Monica for a birthday party. I was excited to see the birthday girl, my favorite Los Angeles chef and food blogger Gaby Dalkin, but as the world knows I avoid the extreme westside like the plague. Don’t take it personally. When told we were going somewhere on Ocean, I was a little nervous. Upon arriving, I realized I was wrong. I need to get out there more. Why? It was hilarious!
We were perched on a couch having a good time staring at a table full of cougars. I felt like we were on safari, that’s how many cougars we were dealing with. Aside from one classy woman, it was a table of eight woman dressed like they were doing a Sex and the City re-enactment. Side note, you ever think Sex and the City is like Star Wars for girls? You go to opening night for Star Wars, d-bags are dressed like Obi-Wan, Han, Luke. They are running around in robes whacking each other with plastic lightsabers. You go to Sex and the City, it’s groups of four girls dressed in their most expensive outfits drunk off cosmos. It’s hilarious. I do want to remind the world when the series ended, it ended with all of them wanting a husband. In Star Wars, they blew up the fucking Death Star. Also, every single creature in that bar on Tatooine where Obi-Wan cuts off that thing’s hand is better looking than Sarah Jessica Parker. I’m sorry. She is a fashion icon (that’s what girls say back to you when you point out that she is not good looking) and I appreciate that. I didn’t say she is a bad person or that she has no talent. She’s just not a sex symbol. Sometimes girls tell you she looks good for her age. I mean, so does Betty White. You know?
Anyway, back to the Cougars at hand. One in particular I am enjoying. She is wearing what appears to be a table cloth from a restaurant in Miami at the peak of the cocaine era. She is letting it all hang out and doing the kind of dancing that makes you hope your mother doesn’t know how to do that kind of dancing. She is flirting with young men in silly ass dress shirts with screen printing on them. Somewhere out there, probably San Diego State University, this woman’s daughter is unaware that some 120 miles north her mother is stuffing herself into a floral print sausage casing and setting herself loose on the slightly affluent late-twentysomethings of Santa Monica. And I am just observing. I am having the time of my life. I want to thank Gaby but Ma’Kai has Yamazaki so I’m just digging myself a hole. All I feel like doing is smiling. That and listen to that song by Harvey Danger. You know which one. It’s been years, man.
We go next door and just start ordering pizza for the car ride home. Lots of it. I always forget the sensory bliss of blistered, crispy pizza giving way to drunken teeth. The stress of the heat, the relief of hunger. My cousin gets a bottle of Coke and we end up in a ridiculous conversation with a Santa Monica Ambassador on his Segway. He’s going home to go burn and the whole thing turns into a scene out of an Apatow film. Just a lot of back and forth and drunken social commentary. Good for us.
The cab driver takes us on the 10 and the city has a shit-eating grin on her face. I love it here. Things will happen that make me doubt it for a hot second. Los Angeles’ frustrating ability to not win over every one of her citizens. She is constantly gaining and losing admirers. It’s better not to fall in love with this town. Better to love her like a friend and be able to laugh at her. You can’t get jealous. You need to enjoy the weather and the depravity without letting it get personal. You need to accept the constant feeling of hiding out on an asteroid. It’s all going to end, but this is the place to watch it go up. Turn off your cell phone. If you wanted to be around anyone you’d have called them. Ride out the rest of this evening counting billboards and chasing streetlights.
That’s what it is about.