The ﬁrst real human thought you will have in Los Angeles is that you can’t teach it anything.
When you’re past salivating at all the pulsating ritz. At the tan lined potentially perfect ways it will go. You realize the constant sun beats down on every excess and fall. That the same laws of economy apply here as in any factory. That the product is always personality.
And that every prideful boast shouted at this particular sea. Eventually drops silent to our feet. And is ground into coke saturated red carpets. Sand cracked sidewalk tributes. And meth lined worn pine hall lives.
But right now. I’m not there yet.
I am two ﬁsting straight liquor at Celebrity’s Giant Party. I am name dropping Celebrity’s name. From what I can tell, that’s what you do. I stumble by phrases like: “I was talking to Celebrity’s posture coach” or “Celebrity is the best. Even Crappy Movie X made money.” or “Celebrity’s pores look bigger in person.”
This bothers me. Where I grew up you ignored famous people. Not because you weren’t excited by them. But because where I grew up there was a forty percent chance Pete Rose would deck your little sister. If she asked for his autograph for free.
And don’t kid yourself, Los Angeles’ shit is tight. The average party anecdote comes replete with exquisitely researched Cockney accent. The manufactured attractive business sect. So groomed in conversation. Will skate circles around you. On years of self assuredly ignored insecurities.
The woman standing next to you in line at Trader Joe’s. Gave the adolescent you a boner watching Star Trek. Dolphins dance the joy in everything. The homeless have pecs and six pack abs. The sun will never abandon.
I am eating mini hot dogs. Many. I am avoiding people. Who look past you when you talk to them. As though fame has a gravitational pull on our attention. Which it does. The hope of someone who will lift you from your mother’s basement. All anyone ever needs is to be found. And saved from basements.
The ten year old singing karaoke is brilliant. He is classically trained. He speaks three languages. He sings “Girl look at that body… I work out”. He busts out the moonwalk. He busts out the cabbage patch. It’s a good piece from his choreographer. He gets a standing O. Everyone hopes his contract with Disney is renewed.
I am two ﬁsting straight liquor in the liquor line. A brickhouse blonde in front of me. Surrounded by giants. With scarves and neck-tied sweaters. Cook your brain in temperatures between 90 and 50 fahrenheit. For a few years. And you get accessories.
The woman is drunk. And loud. And I love her for that. Eventually she turns to me. And shouts conﬁdentially. That her boyfriend doesn’t let her do anything. I say of course. Like any real man.
The most dangerous part of any hazy night. Is the window. When you honestly believe. Everyone knows you’re not actually an asshole. That the words your mouth and tongue contort to form. Have nothing to do with you. A window through which. I sometimes get punched in the face.
Her scarfed man giant turns her confused face away. And whispers please please. Don’t talk to anyone.
It’s a good party. There’s dancing. Arcade games. Air Hockey. A chocolate fountain. A Party Train. A thousand different small planets of conversation you can’t break into. I’m overwhelmed. By how fucking gross a chocolate fountain is.
I am forgetting the English language. I am riding in the last car of the Party Train. I am simmering. In some odd oils.
I want to karate kick the Karaoke kid. I want to head butt everyone’s exact same nose.
I want Celebrity’s phalanx of security. To dis-assemble me piece by piece. I want everyone to congress and vote me utterly worthless. I want everyone’s exact same nose. I want pancake for my huge pores. I want someone to come to the basement of me.
I am not sure if my gun soul is directed out or in. I don’t know why I am letting myself be bothered by this.
But I do know this. Celebrities in real life. Are short. Except for the really. Really fucking tall ones.