two days ago, at the meeting i flew in for, the producers and director went on and on about why they want this semi-famous character actor as the lead. i was jotting down the reason why they wanted her for this particular role and it was strange that i agreed with everything they said. no deal was made but i think they’re going to get their way. the studio people just want to be able to say they’ve put out a new film by this hotshot european director who’d probably going to be the new danny boyle. in this business, starting out, you have the be a new somebody instead a new nobody.
a day ago, everything went so smoothly that we ended the day aroun noon. the rest of the day, in my rental car, i drove all over los angeles. i went to the santa monica promenade and that was a little disappointing: people who live here crowding a two block section of the city. and at the pier it was more of the same. the beach was crawling with families, none of which seemed to include anything less than three kids. the water looked so grey/brown, i can’t believe these people want to wade in it and swim and surf and everything. the beaches back in miami are not pristine, but they’re perfect in comparison to this.
i wanted to go to venice, not the beach but the city. but when i was driving aorund looking for a parking space, everything looked so disjointed. places that were always here, giving the town some characted were now surrounded by terrible franchise restaurants making everything look tacky as opposed to interesting. when i found a spot and was getting ready to get out of my car, a couple walked by. he was black and tall and skinny and wore those stupid glasses with the black frames and had dreadlocks and seemed to walk like a flamboyant gay boy; she was probably some sort of hispanic and short and a little thick, but in an attractive way, had huge tits and bad tattoos. they were holding hands. their clothes looked like they pruposefully dressed badly just so they could still feel apart from the rest of these people who really all looked the same. i didn’t get out of my car and i drove off.
i went up to silverlake, and everything was just like at venice.
i didn’t want to be in hollywood nor the valley. i made my way back down south along the 110 and wound up somewhere where all the signs on store fronts were in english and spanish. it wasn’t what i think a barrio is or anything like that, movies ruined my imagination. i parked across a high school and grabbed my camera and began walking. everything was so quiet with is being in the middle of the day. one of my hobbies is taking pictures. i’m not very good at it but i think it’s fun. i’m not an artist. i’m more of a glorified accountant, really. walking through this neighbohood i must look so out of place in my slacks and shoes and shirt and tie. i take a picture of a couple of asian girls in all black, with black make up around their eyes. if they see me they don’t make it known. i take a picture of a butcher’s shop sign that has a cleverly painted deer on it. a few blocks away is a refinery of all things and i manage to take a few pictures of the all the buildings and smokestacks and scafolding and tanks. trucks going in and out and all these guys driving them, they must see me and wonder what a prick like me is doing here, taking pictures of nothing.
walk back and check the time. i drive off, back to my hotel.
i love this city but i’m always glad when i get to leave. as much fun as it can be, there’s something about the people here. they seem so happy living here, i think, and probably have no idea why. i suppose it goes the same for nearly everyone everywhere. i wonder how many people, if give the opportunity, would leave. where would they go that’s better than home?
the valley is scorching hot. i stop at the liquor store a few blocks away from the hotel, get some beers. a little group of black kids is hanging out just outside and when they see me going in one of them comes up to me, no more than sixteen, and says if i’ll buy them something to drink. alcohol, you know. he gives me a twenty and i ask him what they want and they all get this smile across their faces. and when i come out and give them the paper sack with their booze, i give the kid his twenty back and tell them to be safe.
i’m not sure why i decided to stay here but once in the air-controlled room, i fire up my computer and and television. take a shower and start getting ready. weird, getting ready. i drink a beer and smoke a cigarette (even if it’s a non-smoking room) and my phone beginngs ringing, my computer keeps flashing with new emails. all these guys asking for directions, making sure of the time. no one wants to get lost and be late to an orgy.
after all those guys leave my room, i take a long shower to wash off all the sweat and spit and come and lube off. i feel like i’m covered in a film of dirt. the warm water flows over me and i feel like i could sleep for a million years. i’m so tired.
i love this city.
Can I just say this summer has sucked particularly hard?
The people I’ve met and/or seen recently: comepletely devoid of anything interesting to make me want to spend any extended periods of time with. None of it makes people bad people (I’m certainly not any better or worse because I believe I’m more interesting. Whatever.), but just not the sort of people I want nor need near me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some fun with all these girls and boys, but that’s just it: they’re girls and boys. Strangers have been let downs, even as mere conversationalists; and the people who live here who I call friends, they don’t seem like friends at all, but, to paraphrase Chuck Palahniuk, they’re people whose phone numbers I’ve not deleted from my phone book yet. Still, it doesn’t mean I’m good and they’re bad at being a person. Just…bad at being friends.
Maybe it’s me. I think about this whenever I decide to make a hard choice about a person. Am I wrong? What’s my take on friendly relationships? Why is it that it feels as if my best friend is the only person I love and care about more than my family? Am I so closed off no one even comes close to whatever it is I think relationships with me should be? I’m not sure. What I come up with is, I’m just better at being a friend than most. Which is sad if I’m my own barometer for this. But that’s the people who’ve come across my path this summer, and it’s getting irritating. Up until yesterday, I was seriously considering moving back to Las Vegas.
Winter is over and spring happened and I was as happy as I have been in recent years. I hate talking about things as if they happened to someone else a long time ago. Fuck, it was just three goddamned months ago. I hate I’m still hurt. I hate I kick myself every damn day for it. I hate I know it was my fault, all of it. I hate there are things that can’t be taken back…
…and that is why everyone is so boring and useless now. He wasn’t, not to me.
Look, I’m an asshole, not way around that. When I grew up, somewhere along the way I picked up a couple of sins - greed and pride - and as much as I don’t like to admit it, I enjoy them a lot. I enjoy that nearly everything about my life is about me and only for me. Me, me, me, me. I enjoy that nearly everything I do is for me. And because I’m the most important person in the world, what I feel matters most than anything. That, and my fucked up principles, and arrogance, and stupid pride, and pettiness. I really do think it applies to us all, just in varying degrees.
When we’d talk, that was the best. I believe that conversation with the one you love because you want and like to hear what he says is the most important thing you can take from any sort of relationship. I did. I do. Because you get to learn so much, not just about the person you’re laying next to, but about the world. Call me naive, but I think I’ve learned so much more about the world from people than I have in any sort of structured school setting. And when he’d talk, and maybe sometime what he said was beyond me or I completely disagreed with him or it all simply sounded as if we were speaking different languages, that’s what I treasure. Is that wrong? It’s one of those things you can’t take back when you’re no longer with someone, and it’ll stay with you forever. Forever is a long time.
You know, I could sit here in this hot afternoon, kicking myself in the balls for ruining one of the most beautiful moments in my adult life, spouting on and on about what you should not do if you were in my position. I’m not going to do that. But the other day, I saw a picture he took of himself, leaning against a white wall, with the light of a lamp flooding at a weirdly natural angle, and I miss him terribly. Nevermind everything else, the good and bad bits of loving this man and what happened after: I miss him as my friend the most. Because he took the time out to talk to me. And when I knew he’d listen to me, it’s the best feeling in the world.