Fear and Loathing in Manhattan Beach.

I was set to bottle beer with my friend, but work had him tied up so I was killing time in his hood.  The South Bay holds both great and ugly memories for me.  I have certainly run the gauntlet here.  No memory tops that of one night on the Hermosa Pier where my friend went on stage at the Lighthouse under the power of a Fishbowl and just started playing the drums.  A wild ruckus ensued.  It was pure attitude manifested via a house reggae band composed of white guys that probably now think of that empty club show as “the good years”.  Sigh.

I parked near the Shade Hotel and got a lay of the land for this weekend.  I mistakenly walked into a seminar that was being conducted at night and received the stares from the white collars clearly in town from the midwest.  I had to get out.  I considered going and killing time with sushi, but it was a lot of couples that were freaking me out in the first few places I walked by.  I can’t explain it.  I just kept on walking.  I wanted to go to Simmzy’s, but it was packed and the thought of eating alone there was depressing, even for me who doesn’t mind eating alone at all.

Eventually, I found myself on the pier staring at the dark ocean trying to piece it together, taking a few pulls from the flask.  I liked it out there on the water.  It was a waste I wasn’t born by a beach.  It was pretty cold, but I like that feeling of being momentarily transported to a different season in a different place.  It could have been autumn for a few seconds.

I made my way back up the street and wandered into Ercole’s, some hole in the wall bar I’ve passed a lot, but never went in.  Had some Jack and watched some sportscenter.  Pretty sure an overweight mother-looking type trying to via for a spot at the bar was putting her ass on me intentionally, but how do you accuse someone of that.  Also, I was wearing a cardigan in the South Bay and if I pulled away awkwardly I could be sending a dangerous message in a bar built do look like the insides of a fishing boat.  I finished my drink and left.

On the street, a family getting in an SUV.  They seemed happy.  What a contrast to the lounge lizards in the bar.  This was a different world, one I am sailing directly towards and honestly, stoked for.  They decide on ice cream.  I’d get some, but I haven’t had dinner yet.  There is a convenience store that smells like tri-tip.

I get up the street and there is the distinct smell of ex-girlfriends.  I don’t know how to describe it.  It’s like a mixture of eight stale perfumes all intersecting in an olfactory sense. Visions of strange women from the past getting ready for various events.  I wonder for a moment if I have been nice to them.  Was I nice at the time?  Luckily, a man eats shit on his beach cruiser as he bikes with a female he is trying to impress.  He does me the favor of a mental segue and I feel like buying him a copy of Madden 11 and signing it and making him wonder who the fuck I am.  Positive Social Terrorism.  PST.  Yeah, you know me.

There is the smell of rancid popcorn on one street corner.  What an odd smell.  Is Manhattan Beach the most nasal overload ever?  What is going on?  I have the desire to walk around sniffing people, but again, that seems odd, especially in this cardigan.  I am a businessman.  I cannot be smelling everything, at least in an obvious manner.

I snake through the alleys and appreciate the businesses that have doors leading nowhere.  Feels like Europe to me.  I could maybe live here although the proximity of college drunks and children is amazing here.  I don’t know what it’d do to a family.

Through the Shade Hotel again.  Looking forward to sitting in their neon glowing bathtubs on Saturday focusing on a great wedding and being again, in a neon bathtub.  I will deal with you all soon.  For now, time to bottle our beer and wait for it to carbonate.

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