Secret Pop

Nov 14, 2004

Good for Nothing

Warning: There are a lot of commas in this post.
I've been working a lot. And I'm very nervous about how things are going to turn out. In a lot of ways. But that's no way to be.
Despite everything, there is a color that is always in my head and in my pictures and in my eyes. There is a sort of out-of-controlness about it all. And the more I become aware of how much that distresses and unsettles me, the more apparent it becomes that you can't just turn those things off and on. I don't know if it's as lonely as it looks. Or as lovely. I don't know if it makes people jealous or anxious or proud. I don't know what it is or what it does. I don't even know what I'm talking about. I just know that sometimes, I feel exactly the way I look to the world. And sometimes I don't. And I love to watch French movies.

I saw Julie an unprecedented twice this past week. Tuesday night, we had dinner at Beacon. And Friday night, we went to the Whiskey Bar and drank a lot and spent too much of our time talking to people other than each other, but we made up for lost time by driving through Lucy's and eating our guilty late night fare at my dining table and in front of my cameras. On the way home, I demanded that we stop and take pictures of the Trashy Lingerie windows. I stop there as often as I remember to, which is not as often as I ever plan to. One of these days, when I get around to uploading the stacks and stacks of pending Lomos I have, you'll see if that makes sense or is true at all. (It is.)

Saturday night -- after nearly no sleep the night before and working the whole day with Josh -- despite the onset of a continuing and debilitating exhaustion, I got dressed, got going, got parked, got change for the meter, and got to see my genius friend Anya at the Cat Club. As I was leaving, a burly fellow outside the Whisky a Go Go stopped me with the following announcement: "Ma'am, we have live bands inside. Ten dollars." I tried not to laugh, but I may have spit a little before saying, "Really?" I didn't mean to sound bitchy, but who cares. I crossed the street, got back in my car, noticed that a number of calls were not being returned, made my way towards Hollywood, found parking (for free), drank a room temperature Red Bull I found in my car's backseat, then headed to the Burgundy Room, where I did not find what I was looking for, and then crossed the street. On my way from the car, a homeless-looking guy told me I looked wonderful, and I was impressed at his enunciation, given his lack of a full set of teeth. Crossing Cahuenga, I was intoxicated by the smell given off by those vile hot dog/bacon/onion carts that are never outside when I'm alone and won't be judged for buying up their entire inventory. I continued on my way. I looked at the open sign outside Huston's and felt sadly sure that it wouldn't still be lit by the time I was interested in it. The scary door guy at the Burgundy Room always seems to have had a nearly-nauseatingly perfumed plate of Huston's barbecue in his hands each time I have begged admittance. Enough so that when I see him making his way through the bar, placing his large and sinewy hands on the shoulders of the rest of the clientele, I wrinkle my nose and think, "His hands probably have barbecue sauce on them. And knowing how people eat barbecue, they probably also have spit all over them from having had the recent barbecue sauce licked clean." It only takes a moment for a thought like this to cross my brain. It surprises even me. [I don't have a problem with spit. I mean, I don't want it landing on me randomly and from unidentified sources, but I'm okay with spit. Despite the fact that Parris Harris (true), when we were in the fourth grade together and paired up for square dancing, used to lick his palms before we began and grin at me with sinister and willful glee.] Later in the night, I glanced over at the darkened interior of Huston's and experienced the unrewarding reward of being right about my own impending disappointment.

I stood outside the Beauty Bar, talking on the phone with Chris and essentially telling him how much I don't really like the Beauty Bar. I don't think the door staff overheard me, but I felt loftily better than them for my brashness. They let me in without any scuffle. And I met Mig and Farrah and their numerous friends. I took a lot of pictures of them. Well, us, because obviously I was in most of the pictures, but you don't have to be obnoxious about it. So I like to take pictures -- who does it hurt? Farrah and I were dressed in similar stripes by sheer happenstance. We will call ourselves Jailbait from now on.

Farrah and I were delighted to see a photo booth, but when we huddled into it, we found that it was not plugged in. And despite the fact that unstoppable Farrah found and applied the plug, it never seemed to want to take our picture. So I took pictures on my own. Many, many pictures.
All in all, when the night was over, I liked this photo of Farrah best. She is like a porcelain-skinned, more-exoticized Dorothy Lamour. And I think that really rears its head in this photograph.

I made my way through the crowd a couple of times for various reasons. And I laughed at the unifying factor of Journey's Don't Stop Believing hitting the turntable. Do these people really like this song? Did they have a poster of Steve Perry on their locker in junior high like that one tough girl in my school. I think her name was Nola. She had written "fox" on the poster, and I crossed it out and wrote something like "gross" instead, and I felt pretty proud and strong, until she started asking us all who had done it and threatening that someone's ass was going to get kicked. I looked her squarely in the eyes and said I didn't know who had done it. And then I took a shame-filled coward's shower, washing my hair with Finesse shampoo. But seriously, I'm guilty of this myself, but I am amused by the thrill that runs through a crowd when an old, familar song comes on. It doesn't have to be something you liked. In fact, it's often better if it's something you didn't like. But when you hear those first few recognizable chords, you start moving to the beat and widening your eyes and singing along like a fool. And you can't possibly feel like a fool, because everyone else is doing it, too. And it's just the law of averages that not EVERYONE can be the town idiot. Right?
We had a last hurrah at the Burgundy Room, where the singalong trend continued. Joan Jett has a way of bringing out the singer in all of us.
I really was tempted to have one of those hot dogs. That's what it's like at the end of the night. Farrah made it her task to save me from myself. And I guess I'm grateful. We headed over to the 101 Coffee Shop, where we were treated like homeless people, made to wait at a table for a half hour, after which we were told that the kitchen was closed. I have never seen such a thing. I wanted to punch someone. Or bend a spoon and leave it on the table for them to find. Ha.
So, after all the parking challenges of that neighborhood, Farrah suggested Swingers instead, and we raced their four o'clock closing time to get our burgers and onion rings and ranch dressing and whatever else. By that point, our party of eight had dwindled to just Farrah, Mig, Chris, and me, but we all got what we ordered, and I made it home to relieve my dog and congratulate her on her good girlness. I didn't find the place where she peed on my carpet until this morning.
And now, with deadlines pressing in on me like the walls of the garbage compactor on the Death Star, I'm looking for something with leverage. My addled brain is saying, "Cheeseburger? No, no, no. That's wrong." At least I'm not so far gone that I can't tell when I'm just being dumb.

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