I’ve gotten a bit out of the habit of just throwing my thoughts your way. It’s hard leading Arrogant Nation because I want to make sure you keep getting arrogance in steady stream, but I realize in the offseason (for both football and apparently crap reality television), a lot of days I just leave you hanging. So in fact, I am just going to tell you about my Friday night.
It was the going away party for a co-worker I certainly wished was sticking around, so we pretty much had to celebrate. We descended upon the Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach, which is also known for two other things: the first was a beautiful wedding of one of my best friends during which I drank half a bottle of Yamazaki to stave off a 102 fever long enough to see the ceremony and catch a few dances and secondly, the freakiest happy hour cougar meet-ups in the South Bay.
I got into an argument with the bartender about putting on the Dodger game (he wanted the Laker game on both televisions). He said it was April and baseball didn’t matter. I let the man live only because he is a bartender at a cougar bar and really, he doesn’t need the bear hunter on him. Of course, when the cougars arrived (some of them I am fairly sure were prostitues given their totally unlikely pairing with businessmen) and I got to talking to my boss and a few creative directors, he turned both televisions back to the Lakers, including the post game show. It is un-American to say baseball is slow or that you hate it. In the least, just say it isn’t your thing, but I was personally offended by that and the fact the drunk pizza I ordered must have been cooked on the surface of the sun it was so burnt. I only accept burnt pizza when a dragon sneaks up on me for a fight and I use the pizza as a shield.
It was amazing how beautiful Shade was at the wedding, yet on a random Friday night turned into leather zombie land with odd covers of Taio Cruz songs I never knew existed. The company was good though. I seem to have fun in these situations. My fascination with the human animal makes it okay that I often find myself in a room where I want everyone to commit seppuku. Oh, God. Do I love Shade? Maybe I do.
Strange texts received from the east side of town from former band mates and fraternity brothers. Did I mention my wife was at a bachelorette party in Scottsdale? That’s code for I was also getting texts of all kinds of awesome penis props. It makes you think about bachelor parties and bachelorette parties. There are definitely more genitalia props when girls plan things. More vomiting and waking up on floors with the men. I don’t know. Ruminations on the opposite sex. Equal but opposite.
I zipped up my leather coat and threw my hoodie like, halfway up and started referring to myself as “Brooklyn Zack”. It lead me to the backside of downtown to Tony’s where my friends were shooting pool. A friend of mine from another agency/my fraternity/my high school camp counselor stint gives me a sip of Peat Monster and suddenly I am a billiards genius. We formed a soccer wall when I was coerced into hopping the cue ball. It worked but not well enough to sink the ball. A brief moment of danger, like saying something awful at a dinner table in a really quiet voice.
We stood in the parking lot until about 3am when we were kicked out and I stared at the city passing by on my way back to Beverly Hills with my favorite songs on, thinking about everything that’s gone on in the last six months. I make a silent plea that I continue to get some breathing room from the cancer bear and the other bears I don’t share with all of you so I can stay on offense for a while. I need to do some damage.
I am sort of done with preconceptions of what my path needs to be or needs not be. I have found a deep appreciation for having no idea what’s coming next. The more you strategize at work, the less you want to at home. Home is for being a human. A hot mess human who wants to headbutt the dry wall and see if there’s treasure behind it.
I’m feeling like some mixtape with tracks from Cold War Kids, Bob Dylan, Tokyo Police Club and John fucking Denver. Foster the People. Faded Paper Figures. The singer’s brother who took over for me when I left Fight From Above tells me I should pick up the guitar again for fun. I just realize that I have not picked it up once since I unplugged my Gibson SG covered in stickers at On the Rox almost a year ago. What is that about? He has a great mustache and I feel like I will take his advice, at least at the time. Of course, we’re debating going to The Pantry and if they will remember my friend who literally Kenny Powers’d the place some time ago. I mean, all kinds of hot messes come in there on a nightly basis, but this night might have stood out.
I remember the walks to the Pantry when there wasn’t LA Live and South Park wasn’t cool, it was empty. The days where the bassist would drive golf balls out his loft into a parking lot across Flower that now is a 30 story building. I miss the old days sometimes, not literally, but just the joy of seeing something reckless and discrete (again, roof sex is fine USC kids, just don’t flaunt and ruin the party for your friends).
People are asking me to speak places and now I am thinking about what I am going to say at Relay for Life on Saturday. You always need to work yourself up to talk about cancer, even if you have gotten somewhat used to it. Still, my bones and muscles feel strong. My hands feel like they could tear a bear’s face off. Baseball has started. Somewhere beyond that hill is summer and football. Sometime out there is Arrogant Nation. People send me pictures like this:
Out there, people are getting it. The NCAA is under fire and we’re riding a lightning bolt away from their burning wreckage. As sanctions become steroids, we’re empowered to not give a shit either way. We’re just seeing who is lining up next week and looking forward to beating them.
West Hollywood is dead. I’ve outlasted everyone. I won the night. I keep thinking of the lyrics “i threw darts at a spinning globe swapping out old passport photos”. I feel like a high schooler again for a few minutes, that same random optimisim-slash-feeling like you are in a movie.
I have a nightcap at my chateau by myself and rent Scott Pilgrim, which sends me into Street Fighter dreams in which I am scheming a start up company with Chun Li, only Ryu and Ken don’t think we’ll get the patent on our invention. E. Honda is just eating sushi and I go hang out with him. I find a mirror and see myself in 16-bits and I will spend my life trying to recreate what I saw.
I should go to bed with Scott Pilgrim on more often. Also, I laughed at the line “your bf is about to get effed in the b”. It made me want to watch Sarah Marshall. But there’s no time. I have another wave to catch.