Monday, December 24, 2007

Irony

"Look at her cellulite!" a three-hundred pound woman says to her four-hundred pound husband in the checkout line at the grocery store. Her husband grabs the magazine and inspects the bikini'd celebrity.

"Who is that?"
"Cindy Crawford."

The husband shakes his head.

"She needs to lose weight."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The World is Fucked

There’s nothing like a trip to the mall during the holiday season to make you wish for more 9/11s. Five minutes and I was ready to give my life to jihad.

Backstory:

Traffic in LA is the worst thing in the world. Worse than the sound of children playing. It is so bad that I find myself planning trips around right turns. You can’t fucking turn left in this city unless you’re willing to put your life on the line. Left turns are even banned in some places. And you can fucking forget left arrows. They only exist where you need them the least.

During the holidays, shit gets compounded. Traffic was bad. Now it’s worse. There was nowhere to park before. Now even the handicapped are fucked. In LA, parking is so bad that places like 7-11 and Carl’s Jr. enlist security guards to make sure you don’t drop your car off and run errands. This blows, because the fast food restaurants usually have the largest parking lots and there are never sixty motherfuckers chowing down on a Big Mac at once.

“But what about Ronald’s Playplace?”

Breeding grounds for Mexican birthday parties and Mexicans don’t have cars. So, if you need to run to the grocery store for a last minute turkey on Christmas Eve, you’re shit out of luck because Christmas will be over before you can make it into Rosa’s line. You’d be better off killing your own turkey, plucking its feathers, and comparing its wattle to grandma’s clitoris. Egg nog, anyone?

So last night my phone gets stolen. Mostly my fault. I went to a screening of There Will Be Blood (my first screening) with my coworker and adopted little sister, Jen, who is just so beautiful and Jerseytastic it’s impossible not to think impure thoughts. There were rent-a-pigs outside the theater doing the whole airport security thing – checking your bags, pockets, etc. Everything but the anus. Anyway, I could’ve probably hidden my phone, but I figured what the fuck. It’s a beat-up, first-gen camera phone that can’t even snap a decent dick shot. Who’s dumb enough to think I can record a movie with it?

“I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t let you in with that.”
“But it’s a piece of shit.”
“I’m sorry.”
“But that guy just went in with a Blackberry.”
“He wasn’t in my line.”
“Well what the fuck am I going to do then?”

He told me I could go put my phone back in my car, which was near the back of P-212. I checked the time. 7:34. The movie was starting. So, being the idiot that I infrequently am, I hid my phone behind a trash can.

“You can barely see it,” I told myself. “And if you did, you wouldn’t take it. And if you did, you’d turn it in to the Lost and Found.”

Well somebody saw it, took it, and didn’t turn it in to the Lost and Found. I’m not saying it was a Mexican, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my phone ended up in little Pedro’s Christmas stocking hanging above the stove. By the way, fuck the movie Crash. If it looks like beans and it smells like beans, then do not leave your shit lying around because it will end up next to a plate of beans. That being said, I am friends with the cleaning staff at the gym and I frequently give them rides home. I can say shit like this. I want a churro.

So my lost phone brought me to the Beverly Center. Less than three miles and over thirty minutes to get there. The cars filing into the parking structure reminded me of orphans going through the gruel line. Lemmings lining up to walk off a cliff. You know, I hate people who preach all that anti-consumer/anti-corporate bullshit, but watching botoxed women in big sunglasses and unnecessary scarves pilot their Range Rovers into a giant parking cave, one by one, is one of the most visceral, disturbing things I have ever seen. If you want to know what bothers me, what offends me, this is it.

The scary thing is that they’re not even the worst. It’s their children. Mainly their daughters. An entire generation born to shop and text message. Impossibly hot jailbait tapping away on their Sidekicks like a primitive, tongue-clicking tribe. They worship at the shrine of LC and think friend is spelled “freind”. Nepotism will have these kids in power in twenty years, and then it’s just a matter of time before movies like “wil u go out w me” and “omg my lif iz ovr” are setting box office records.

Vacant-eyed, vacant-headed drones leading us into the apocalypse one “lol” at a time.

You know how you’ll be taking a shit and you’ll get that stubborn little hanger-on, the one that just won’t let go? And after much Michael J. Foxing of the ass you decide to bite the bullet and wipe? That first, massive smear of shit you wipe – the one that looks like good barbecue – is the next generation.

The worst generation is always the next one. They don't live. They kill time.

Anyway, long story short, I didn’t get a new phone because I’m still on the family plan and needed a grown-up there with me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

National Controversy

So I kinda sorta was at the center of a national controversy.

I could have easily planted myself on TV for the millions of blood-hungry finger-pointers out there, but what would have been the point? You can’t argue with an angry mob – especially when it’s made up of whole-milk drinkers who propelled Wild Hogs to a forty-million dollar opening weekend last Spring.

“It just ain’t funny if nuts ain’t gettin’ hit. Pass the Sam’s Choice Cola.”

What I did was offensive, insensitive, and plenty of other –ives, but it was with merit. There was artistic value. And I’ll be goddamned if it wasn’t funny. In the one interview I granted, the reporter – a Tech alum – burst out laughing when I told her about the honorary degree in my back pocket. She promptly apologized and said she shouldn’t be laughing.

Why not?

You know, we like to talk all this shit about the Muslims and how they need to lighten up; how they’re blinded by their religion; how they’re savages. But what the fuck are we? Angels, saints, heroes? I liken it to white trash and ghetto blacks. You have these two groups of people who hate each other, yet they have so much in common.

Christians and Muslims are the same.

Now, I’m not saying that all of the people I offended are religious, but I’d be willing to bet a week’s worth of jack-off sessions that a large portion of them don’t miss church on Sundays.

“Dear God, please give me the strength to hunt down that Jeff guy and kill him.”
“Why?”
“Because he mocked a tragedy.”
“But don’t you beat your wife?”
“Yeah, but that’s in private.”

A lot of people asked me how I would feel if my mom was killed and somebody went as her for Halloween. I asked them if paying for my car insurance would be part of the costume.

But yes, I would probably be upset if somebody dressed up as my dead, bullet-riddled, tire-treaded, flesh-charred mother. However, I’m what you’d call a biased source. Which means the media would immediately seek me out to sensationalize their story.

“Tonight, a dead mother’s alive son is deeply upset over a Halloween costume of his dead mother. But first, the weather.”

The media never consults the neutral. They don’t fact check either. Everyone who ran my picture identified me as a Penn State student. People threatened to drive to Pennsylvania to teach me a lesson. I linked them to Mapquest directions. It’s kind of flattering when a gallon of your blood is worth more than a gallon of gas.

“But don’t you have any feelings for the victims’ families?”

I don’t know the victims or their families. I can understand their pain, but I can’t feel it. That being said, I went to a party in Los Angeles. Los An-juh-luss. I did not parade around anyone’s home shouting, “Look at me. You’re saving on tuition.” I did not leak my pictures. I did not demand attention. People chose to give it to me. People chose to turn this into something huge. I just wore a costume.

Should we consult the rest of the world before do something offensive? Should we call up concerned parties and ask them if it’s okay?

“Hello, Magic Johnson? I’m going as a T-Cell for Halloween. Is that okay with you, or should I be Jason?”

Maybe next year we can all go as eggshells.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Poetic Justice

I gave all of my roommate’s beer to James. He’s homeless.

James suggested this
Twenty-something cans and a couple of bottles. I loaded them into a garbage bag and lugged it over to the Big Lots on Vine Street in the rain. For light beer, it was pretty heavy.

A little backstory:

You know the asshole who asks you to keep it down? That’s me. I’ll admit it. I am the party-ruining square who values his sleep, the guy who isn’t defined by how much alcohol he can drink or how much pussy he can get.

Four months ago I thought I was moving into an apartment. I moved into a freshmen dorm. A fucking hotel for my roommate’s friends to come and go as they please. I’m paying rent and they’re stumbling in at two in the morning, louder than a deaf couple fucking. They smoke inside, leave cans and wrappers strewn about, and even remain once my roommate leaves. My concerns and frustrations have been met with the obligatory “I’m sorry’s”, but shit always starts back up again, usually within days.

My roommate and his friends treat life like an extension of college, guys who live the beer commercial guy-image because that’s what they think cool is. These are the guys who think their dicks are going to fall off if they don’t go out and get shitfaced every night. The guys who show up at a party and complain about the lack of “chicks”, even though it doesn’t matter because none of them have the balls to approach a girl in the first place. But that’s cool because real men don’t need chicks to bring them down and cut into guy time. “Remember when” stories of almost-hook ups are a lot more fun anyway. Pass the beer. Go Steelers.

What’s most annoying is when your food disappears. Something missing here and there. Now I don’t mind sharing, but if you’re going to shack your friends up without even checking to see if I mind, at least have the courtesy to ask if you can dig into my shit. To my roommate’s credit, missing items have been replaced, but that’s not where the damage lies. The damage lies in not asking. The damage lies in taking.

If I’m gone, don’t assume it’s okay to toss out the milk I was saving to make room for your beer. Because then your beer might disappear and go to a homeless man who really appreciates the less-filling, great taste.

I left a note on the table last night before I went to bed:


It should read “Who drank the rest of my milk?” I don’t know why a giant piece has been torn off. Probably to play drunken tic-tac-toe.

This morning, there was an answer on the flip-side:


The part of the note that really irks me is the “sorry, no, 3!” To me, this translates to, “sorry, you are a retarded fucking child!” Like I was too busy jerking off to Sesame Street to realize that my milk was bad. And it wasn’t. I know when milk is spoiled. I drink a shitload of it. Nobody knows my milk better than me. My milk was fucking good. In fact I overpaid for it at a convenience store two days ago on my way back from the airport ($4.99 for a half gallon). I was hoping it would get me through until Saturday, but no dice.

Note to everyone: the sell-by date is not the go-bad date.

But you know what is spoiled? The week-old gallons of 2% that belong to the professional stoner/aspiring musician who lives in the other room. Those were left in the fridge. By the way, the stoner won’t be paying me the $100 he owes me for living on the couch last month. He’s too busy collecting worker’s comp and going fishing with his pet snake.

Here is all of my roommate’s beer:



Here it is in a garbage bag:


Homeless guys are like house parties. You think you know where they are until you go looking for them. I could not find a homeless guy for shit this morning. The one who lives on the corner by the park was nowhere to be seen. Out collecting cans probably. If only he’d stayed put. There was one asleep outside by the laundry room – the guy who usually wakes me up with his dumpster diving, I think – but when I approached him he said he didn’t like beer. There was fear on his face though, like he thought I was an undercover officer with the LAPD’s ABDB Unit (Arrest Beer Drinking Bums). I told him it was cool and to go back to sleep. I wasn’t going to rat him out.

I thought about searching for the dreadlocked homeless guy who wanders up and down Cahuenga mumbling to himself and smelling like a fat kid’s wet towel, but decided against it because he looks younger, and I think younger homeless guys are more violence-prone. Somebody should do a study on that.

Big Lots was the next logical step. There’s an awning by the back entrance that the homeless are always camped out under. They lay out their cardboard sheets and pass out, bundled up in their sleeping bags and old blankets. I’ve seen ten lined up in a row before.

But this morning there were none. Just a lone woman in a knit cap and a couple of shopping carts. I trudged up to her with the garbage bag.

“Hi.”
“Hello…”
“Do you like beer?”
“No. I don’t drink.”
“You have any friends that do?”

She pointed to the main entrance. James was asking for change. I hung around for a moment and waited for him to come over.

“What’s up, man?”
“Yo.”
“You like beer?”
“Yeah… Why?”

I opened the bag. James eyes lit up like the last roach.

“My roommate threw away my milk so I took all of his beer. You can have it. It’s not poisoned or anything.”
“You serious?”

I nodded. James grinned a big, piano-key grin. He stretched open his arms and gave me a giant hug. I hugged him back. He smelled good. No stench at all. When I remarked on his cleanliness he told me he’d only been homeless for a week (“fresh homeless”) – kicked out by his bi-polar girlfriend. He said if he could go back and change things he wouldn’t give his love to anyone. That way people couldn’t keep putting a foot up his ass.

We cracked open a beer and spoke for a while, airing our grievances and taking pictures.





I wish I had enough money to adopt James. Really. Like the Waitzkin family does with Laurence Fishburne in Searching for Bobby Fischer. He is that nice, that genuine of a guy. Yeah, it could have been all the free alcohol, but I feel like it transcended the hops and empty calories. I feel like we made a connection – two guys who had been wronged who were trying to make things right. I told James not to worry, that things would look up. After all, he’s only been homeless for a week and he already has a shopping cart and a roof. That’s pretty fucking good.

James shared his take on my situation:

“See, it’s like Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. And Daffy Duck. You know who they are?”
“Yeah.”
“Elmer Fudd was always chasing Bugs Bunny with the gun, and Daffy Duck was chasing him too. And Bugs Bunny was always hunted, but sometimes he got that gun, and then that Daffy Duck… it was all bad for him.”
“He got his beak shot off.”
“His beak got shot off. Flipped right round on the back of his head.”

I probably won’t see James again, but his next words will never leave me:

“It ain’t no fun when the rabbit got the gun.”

Monday, November 19, 2007

Strip Club Redux

:)
Wistful gazes from dirty bus windows have populated my breastless weeks. The Body Shop beckons to me every day – a come-hither finger from an overmakeupped girl with white-trash bangs and a questionable bill of health. I know I shouldn’t, but as days pass like hours of the night, I feel like I should.

It’s moments like these that keep Maury Povich on the air.

So when Jason, a new trainer at the gym, suggests we should celebrate payday with a trip to the titty bar, I’m all for it, even though I have nothing to celebrate because my check is a paltry $393. I can buy an XBox 360 with no game for that much. But I refuse to let that stop me. A night out on a budget is still a night out, and I can make a dollar stretch like… well, you know.

Plus I miss Vanessa.

I want to smell her again, to feel her fingertips, nails on my leg, her hot breath on my neck. I want to experience the disorienting, disarming clash of sluttiness and chastity that is her being. Vanessa’s a girl that’s too nasty to respect and too sweet to masturbate to. She’s a ticking timebomb made with a Minnie Mouse clock.

Vanessa is sense candy. Not even Willy Wonka could dream her up.

Patrick, my favorite Swede, is down to go. So is Zach Morris, who at the last minute cancels his plans for a night out with the guys. Two of Jason’s Long Beach friends are also along for the ride. That makes six dicks, twelve balls, and enough testosterone to invent a new hole on the female body. I’m thinking it should go between the shoulder blades.

I get out of work and meet up with everyone at Red Rock, an expensive-ish bar/restaurant that’s designed to not look expensive. It’s one of those generic, universal-appeal places with a loose theme that you can’t exactly pinpoint. Is it a shack or a cabin? Do you order beer or cocktails? Wings or chicken breast?

I drop four dollars on an Amstel Light (with a coupon) and contribute to the banter. Topics range from sex to alcohol to the gym to the Bucket List, a new movie featuring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. There is a giant fucking billboard for it right outside.

“Is it about embracing life in the face of death?” I ask.
“No. It’s about Jack Nicholson not turning down a paycheck,” Zach Morris says. “It’s about Morgan Freeman not being able to say no to a script.”

He orders a carafe of Sangria and splits it with one of Jason’s Long Beach friends. When the waitress isn’t looking, I take a bottle of vodka out of my backpack and make things a little more potent for them.

We talk and goof off some more and I feel bad for Jason’s friends because we keep going back to the gym and they can’t really penetrate the conversation. They just sit at the end of the table looking quiet and bored. I know what this is like all too well, having been out with college friends and their boys from high school. You’re forced to sit there and wait for the “remember when…” conversations to segue into universal topics like anal sex. Even then, the conversation always drifts back to someone you don’t know having anal sex. Anal sex can never be talked about in general when you have three or more people who share a common background. It always has to get specific, and that shuts people out. So I make an effort to ask Jason’s friends questions and include them in the conversation and it makes me feel like a considerate person – a feeling I don’t get often.

The bill comes. One-fiftysomething. It makes me glad I didn’t order anything more than a beer.

We leave Red Rock and trudge up Sunset, past all the sidewalk bistros where the made-of-money Middle Easterners eat and smoke and admire their curbside-valeted Rolls Royces and Aston Martins. Zach Morris says that one of his personal training clients calls this the Gaza Strip. I get jealous I didn’t come up with that one on my own.

Aside:

I think there should be a reality show called “Are you Smarter than an Asshole Born Into Money?” Contestants would have to match wits with the likes of Paris Hilton, Brody Jenner, and random Persian kids snatched up from their Saturday afternoon Beverly Center shopping. The winner gets to drop a nuclear bomb on Newport Beach.

Jason wants something to mix his vodka with so we stop off in Pink Dot. Pink Dot is basically an expensive 7-11, except I don’t think it’s run by Indians, which is funny to me because I thought the name came from what the owner’s wife wears on her forehead. The dickhead behind the counter is reading a junky airport paperback and scratching his head like he can’t understand why so-and-so would set so-and-so up. He’s in his thirties and is, as far as I can tell, Palestinian. Now, I don’t have any animosity towards this guy. In fact I remember him from July when Kimberly came to visit. I felt bad for him because a couple of rapper-looking, partyboy customers with BET-thick white girls were giving him shit for being rude and inconsiderate. That must suck, I thought, to have to put up with all the drunken money that stumbles in looking for cigarettes and grossly overpriced alcohol. What a shit job.

“What’s up, man?” I ask as Jason sets his bottle of Squirt on the counter.
The dickhead doesn’t say anything.
“I remember you from July. People were giving you shit.”
“Thas funny. I don’ remember you.”
“No, I know. I was just saying…”
Glare.
“So, do movie stars ever come in here?”
“That depends. Maybe my definition of movie star is different from your definition. Whas your definition?”
“I don’t know. Someone who’s on—“
“I don’t care whas your definition.”

I’m taken aback. I kind of just laugh because I don’t know what to say. Convenience stores are typically run by smiling minorities with a healthy fear of deportation. I expected an easy conversation with many sentences ending in “my friend”. Instead I get the “you sided with the Jews” abrasiveness.

I wish there was a penny tray so I could steal it away from him.

Jason and I walk down an alley behind the store so we can pour him some vodka. To the untrained eye it looks like we’re going to blow each other, but this is West Hollywood so that would be strangely appropriate. He gets nervous when we see valet employees taking a break from their car-parking duties, but I remind him that homeless people openly drink on the streets, buses, and in Jack in the Box and he’s no longer worried.

We step back out onto Sunset and continue our trek to the Body Shop. Rob Van Dam of the WWF (it will never be the WWE) charges by us with a determined, going-to-get-some-pussy-or-kick-some-ass look on his face and I shout “Rob Van Dam!” He looks at me and gives a little nod, his expression unchanging. I hope he goes into Pink Dot and strikes up a conversation with the clerk. Chair to the head. Jews retain the title.

It’s a little before eleven by the time we arrive at the Body Shop. Only three of us have VIP cards, which have nothing to do with how important we are and everything to do with us saving ten dollars. Jason and his friends shell out $20 apiece to get in and I try to remember the number for the rape hotline so I can report this place.

The bouncer, a raccoon-eyed goatee with a weight problem, tells me he has to check my backpack to make sure there’s no alcohol inside. This is one of those moments that you know is coming but that you hope isn’t. Like a guilty Meth addict on COPS, I stammer and matter-of-factly tell him that I am indeed holding and try to blow it off like it’s nothing.

“You know what? I do happen to have a bottle of alcohol in my backpack, but it’s from earlier. So yeah…”

The bouncer confiscates the vodka and lets me in.

It’s dead inside. Well, not dead, but the rowdy Mexicans of yestermonth are nowhere to be seen. All of the noise and excitement is coming from a group of dorky, bespectacled twentysomethings who are probably celebrating a birthday or their World of Warcraft guild ranking. You never realize how dedicated a stripper is to her craft until you see her straddling a Phnom Penh native in a Dragonball Z button-up.

Aside:

If you really want to help Sudan, fuck a few of the refugees who have made their way stateside. These guys are not getting laid and they should be. They’re nice, genuine, hardworking people and they deserve sex like those of us who aren’t opaque. Donate your mouth and/or vagina. It’s for a good cause.

We grab some chairs and take a seat at a high table. Patrick’s stripper from last time comes over and immediately attaches herself to Zach Morris.

“Want a dance?”

ZM isn’t interested. I point to Patrick and ask the stripper if she remembers him. She looks confused and says yes. I remind her that she gave him a lap dance and Zach Morris goes from diamond to dog shit in less than a second. The stripper latches onto Patrick, but it’s too late. When it comes to a man’s money, you can’t make him feel anything less than wanted. Hopping from one wallet to the next won’t earn you a dime.

The stripper leaves with her tits and nothing else.

Our waitress, a skinny brown-haired girl who should be working at American Eagle, comes by and engages us in some less-than-stimulating banter while she takes our drink orders. I notice a scrap of paper on her tray that says “I love tips”. There is no exclamation point, which leads me to believe that she probably just likes tips. I ask her when she’s getting on stage and she gets this insulted look on her face. Zach Morris makes a valid point once she leaves:

“I love how strip club waitresses think that they’re above the dancers.”

Bingo. Being a waitress in an all-nude bar is like going to a Klan rally and not saying “nigger”. You’re there, you might as well do it.

Which leads me to this:

Of all the places you can wait, why the fuck would you choose an all-nude strip club that DOESN’T SERVE OR ALLOW ALCOHOL? There’s nothing to numb the awareness that you aren’t showing your tits. If two homeless people are on the street – one with a squeegee and one without – who’s going to get the change?

Exactly.

Drinks come and Patrick and I move up to the mostly-empty stage on the right with a grab bag of poker-faced no-pussy-getters. They seem to derive no joy from the bouncing baby heads on the stripper’s chest. Not one smile. They just slide the occasional dollar forward like a pissed-off box-office drone who should’ve had his cigarette break fifteen minutes ago. Meanwhile, the Level 60 Paladins at the left stage go apeshit. I catch our stripper glancing over. That’s where she wants to be.

She performs an uninspired pole-twirl and I start to clap. Enthusiastic, first-down claps.

“Yeah!”

She is my favorite team and I am her home field advantage. I’m determined to dump an icy cooler of life onto this side of the room. We will not lose to the Level 60 Paladins and their virginity-and-Mountain Dew-fueled war cries. We will send them back to their cartoon tits and comic books.

Fuck them other niggas ‘cause I ride for my niggas.

Within minutes, the crowd is showing signs of life and the stripper is eyeing a comeback. She’s in the game again, playing dirty, spreading her legs for a guy a in a leather jacket. I pound the bar and whoop.

“Yeah! There you go!”

The guy smiles and throws her a dollar. I toss one out too. Pretty soon Zach Morris, Jason, and his friends have joined us and we’re all whooping it up and feeding off each other’s energy. The Paladins fall silent.

This game is ours. For now, at least.

A Latina slinks out to a Marilyn Manson song. I strongly believe that, unless they are black, strippers should not be allowed to dance to anything other than Marilyn Manson or Nine Inch Nails. Reptilian writhing and industrial rock go together like marines and middle-schoolers.

The Latina is el mediocrity. She’s not good enough to work the pole and she’s not pretty enough to get by on her looks. She’s forced to use her sluttiness to get the dollars falling. So she grinds and she undulates. I picture a gerbil inside of her doing the Soulja Boy.

And then she looks at me. Crawls over. Spreads her legs. I’m face to face with her taco. She takes my glasses off and rubs them against her clit. Hands them back to me.

“I cleaned them for you,” she says.

Everyone whoops and hollers. I have a huge smile on my face. Ear to ear. There’s fog on my lenses. I don’t wipe them off. I’ll call myself Pussy Glasses, I think. It isn’t until the stripper crawls away that I catch a whiff of tuna. It’s light and spicy – more sushi than chunk light – and it hangs in the air like Michael Jordan. It keeps me from smelling my glasses, which is something I really wanted to do. Still, I stand up and float two dollars down onto the stage. I call this “making it drizzle”.

I dub myself Fish Glasses. No one else thinks this is as clever as I do.

More strippers come out. I notice that all of them have clean assholes. Bleach? Bidet? I’m not sure. Maybe strippers are just phenomenal ass-wipers. Toilet paper companies should be signing them to endorsement deals. Fuck babies on clouds – I’m buying the stuff with Sindee on the package.

One stripper has nipples that look like a lunch lady’s neck moles. I tip her on principle.

A cute blonde stripper scissors her calves behind Patrick’s head and slams his face into her ass. Again and again and again. It reminds me of a submission hold or finishing move in Mortal Kombat.

Jason buys a forty dollar, hands-on lap dance from a stripper named Mandy and develops a crush over the course of a song – something I know all too well. She tells him that Mandy isn’t her real stripper name. Another girl took hers for the night and she had to come up with something else. According to my friend Alex, a stripper in DC, this is incredibly poor etiquette.

But it gets me thinking. If a stripper isn’t going to use her real name, then why should I use mine?

“What’s your name, sweetie?”
“Steve.”

My go-to alias in college was Patrick Bateman, but I don’t want there to be two Patricks so I opt for my dad’s name instead. For someone who considers himself creative, this is a very uncreative moment.

I see Vanessa.

Schoolgirl smile and lop-sided pigtails – even more beautiful than I remember. She’s making the rounds like a beauty queen at a nursing home, flirting with old men and lost causes.

And I get jealous. Just a pang, though. Not I’ll-fucking-kill-anyone-who-looks-at-you jealousy. Not Italian jealousy.

I call out to her:

“Vanessa!”

Either she doesn’t hear me or someone jacked her stripper name. I try again:

“Vanessa!”

This time she looks. But, to my chagrin, there is no registration of memory. Her pretty face doesn’t shift from happy to happier. I get the same vacant, empty smile reserved for anyone with a dick and a dollar. Hell, the dick isn’t even necessary. I just tossed it in because it sounds good.

Vanessa comes over.

“Heeeey!”
“Do you remember me? I came in about six weeks ago. I bought a dance from you.”
“Yeah! It was longer than that.”

My heart flutters. She does remember.

“You’re right. Probably about two months… I wrote about you.”
“What?” she says leaning down. I can smell her vanilla-coconut bodysplash and it makes my chest feel hot on the inside.
“I said I wrote about you.”
“You did?” She seems genuinely excited. “Where?”
“Uh… in an article. It was for a magazine.”
“What magazine?”
“A big one. But it didn’t get published.”

Lying to a stripper I have a crush on. I don’t think it gets any more pathetic than this.

“Aww! That sucks!”
“Yeah…”
“So are you gonna buy another dance?”

I tell her I probably will but that right now I’m “chilling with my boys”. She smiles and squeezes my shoulder. Then she’s gone.

Two minutes later she’s onstage. She bursts out from behind the curtain like a Kentucky Derby thoroughbred. She’s headed straight for me. Jason and Patrick go wild. I just sit.

For the next minute I'm Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, watching in paralyzed amazement as Vanessa Mena-Suvaris for me. The only thing missing is the rose petals, but that’s okay because I’m not a big flower person.

Things get raunchy when Vanessa rubs her tits in my face. She puts her feet on my shoulders and pulls herself toward me. I get to see her vagina. It’s bald, beautiful, and slightly puffy. It looks like pita bread.

Eight dollars. That’s what I spend on her. An hour of work for a moment of pleasure. Completely worth it.

For the rest of the night I tell soliciting strippers that I can’t buy a dance from them because “I have a crush on Vanessa”. They just walk away, no hassle. I used a similar tactic in college on the Born Agains:

“Do you know Jesus loves you?”
“Do you know how powerful Satan is?”

Zach Morris and Jason’s friends cut out. A stripper with about a foot between her tits rubs them in my face. Then she puts my hands on them. They’re heavy like wet sand.

She gets upset when she sees her tip:

“Three of you and only one dollar?”

I give her another dollar, even though I shouldn’t. After all, she’s the one who initiated the tit-grabbing. You can’t forcibly make someone feel your breasts and demand more money. That’s like charging for free samples.

Another stripper complains about her lack of dollar bills:

“Are you guys tipping?”
“Not for you.”

That’s what I almost say. But I’m not ice cold like that so I use Vanessa as an excuse again. From this moment on, Patrick and I don’t make eye contact with the strippers. We figure that if we don’t look at them we don’t have to tip them.

Jason buys another lap dance from Mandy. I look for Vanessa. Nowhere to be seen. I hope she went home. I don’t want to think about her giving dances to strangers and moustached-Mexicans.

If I was rich, I could see myself putting Vanessa through school, buying her time and company, getting her gifts and nice things while she fucked around behind my back. But that’s okay, because strippers are like mechanics.

You can’t let the good ones go.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bad Days

Woke up with gum in my hair...
Do you ever have those days where you secretly hope more bad shit happens to you so you can keep feeling sorry for yourself? Where you feel like you’ve put up with so much shit, why not just pour it on? And you can’t tell anybody the specifics because, to them, it won’t mean a fucking thing. They’ll just nod their heads and feign sympathy and say things like “That sucks” or “I understand”, all the while thinking you’re a diva or drama queen or crybaby or all three and that you need to get a fucking grip and stop being so sensitive. Telling someone about your bad day is like showing a stranger a picture of your baby. He doesn’t give a fuck, but he’ll pretend to.

No one can fully appreciate and comprehend the fucked-uppedness of your bad day but you. That’s because bad days are usually comprised of a series of small, shitty, inconsequential events that pile up and up and up. When you try to describe a bad day, things come across as mundane and disjointed – which is what bad days typically are. You can’t make a person feel your pain when you’re boring them with “and then’s”. Us bad-day-havers know this, yet we continue to dictate.

On a bad day, every “what’s up” and “how are you?” is an opportunity for sympathy. Sympathy, no matter how fake and phoned-in, is good because it’s like saying, “Life sucks. I’m on your side.” It’s your tenth-grade friend telling you he has your back, even though he’ll inevitably end up watching you get your ass kicked from the sidelines. But fuck it. Oftentimes the right words are enough to placate.

Until somebody doesn’t ask what happened:

“Hi, how are you today?”
“Not good.”
“Oh… paper or plastic?”

Don’t tell me you don’t feel disappointed when somebody doesn’t invite you to elaborate on your pity-party. It sucks when they don’t ask you what happened, doesn’t it? It adds to your bad day. That’s because you’re the center of the universe and, therefore, everyone must give a fuck about you.

“You don’t want to know what happened? Fuck you. I hate you. Double those coupons.”

If you’re the person who doesn’t give a fuck, you should always ask what happened. It’s good etiquette – akin to waiting for everyone’s food to arrive or pulling out when you’re not wearing protection. If a few more people would ask “what happened?” (and maybe toss a little “aww” before it – “aww, what happened?”) there would be less violence.

Having a bad day is like the opposite of having HIV: everyone must know. We talk ears off about our bad days because it feels good to vent, to purge, regardless of whether or not people are listening (they’re not). So great are our egos and the need to tell people about our bad days that we sometimes hire a professional “what happened?/how are you?” asker. These people are called therapists and they make a killing off our misery. Never have nods and brow-furrows generated so much money. Eliminate bad days and therapists go the way of the stegosaurus.

Sometimes bad days are comprised of one ultra-shitty event:

“We’re going to Auschwitz.”

People want to know what happens on single-event bad days. Not because they care – although they may think they do – but because it gives them something to talk about, something to do other than Myspace surveys. Our days are populated with inane chatter and meaningless conversation. This gives people a podium, a chance to be heard. A chance to be profound. They get to be storytellers. They get to recount, gesticulate, embellish.

“Uh uh. It was six million.”

We are wielders of tragedies, and often bring up particularly horrible single-event bad days long after they’ve happened if we feel that people are neglecting us and forgetting how special we are.

“Matt just got a new job!”
“Cool. Hey, remember when my mom died?”

Single-event bad days lead to suicide. Multiple-event bad days lead to homicide. The national suicide rate is higher than the national homicide rate.

That doesn’t sound right. Fucking teenagers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Halloween

I originally planned on being the Virginia Tech shooter for Halloween, but when I realized how much more elaborate (read: expensive) the costume would be, I took the easier, cheaper route.

I went as a victim.

Why? Because it’s original, insensitive, inappropriate, and totally me. Because people are too serious and uptight. Because I think it serves a sociological purpose. Because I think humor heals stronger than tears. Because I think there’s beauty in things that piss people off. Because I’m fucking tired of the ribbon culture we’ve become. What better way to remember a national tragedy than to dress up as one of its victims? Fuck a black ribbon and a Facebook group.

That being said, I would never ever ever wear this if I was back home in Virginia. Death would be certain, and while such an ironic end would be honorable and morbidly hilarious, I am not ready to go.

The costume was a cinch to put together – t-shirt, fake blood, backpack, Honorary Degree. I really wanted to focus on my defensive wounds, but the fake blood was stickier than I thought it would be, so no dice.

I will fry in hell. I know.

My trainer friend Patrick (see Strip Club), a surgeon, picks me up in his new car. My blood isn’t dry yet so I have to lay down a towel to keep from turning his front seat into a tampon. We head over to a shopping center on Highland to meet up with Zach Morris and Rambo to get some alcohol. Patrick has to peel the towel off of me when I get out of the car.

Now if you know me, you know I’m not a big drinker. I got way too caught up with my bodybuilding bullshit in college and pretty much abstained from anything that wasn’t going to make me bigger, with the exception of a few peer-pressure toke sessions every now and then. I’d also take the odd sip of my friends’ beers and make exaggerated yucky faces, but that’s the extent of it. I mean people fucking called me Milk and Tuna. If that’s not a porn title then I don’t know what is. Pussies and Assholes, maybe.

So, for my college career, I was the DARE program’s wet dream.

And then I went to Sundance last year and discovered the power of alcohol: “So this is what destroys all those lives…”

How can a million bad decisions fit into one bottle?

At the convenience store, I decide to buy a forty. I’m not sure why. There’s going to be a shitload of alcohol at the parties we’re going to so why drop four dollars on the most expensive forty ever? I think it might be because I feel cool holding one. Like I can shoot motherfuckers and sleep on street corners with the best of them. Forties are a gateway to urban life. This is why they’re so popular with suburban kids. But fuck it. If worse comes to worst then I can at least pour the forty out for myself. You know, since I’m a victim and all.

We go to Rambo’s house in the hills to get ready before we head out for the night. I’m pretty sure blood comes out of people’s mouths when they’re dead or dying, but I can’t remember if it comes out of their noses. I decide on yes and add some fake blood that trickles out of my nostril down to my lip. Patrick devours a burger and Zach Morris has a fake conversation on a giant cordless phone that he found at the thrift store:

“Now Screech, I told you to use lube before sticking it in her ass. You have to listen to me on these things.”

Rambo puts on his wig and bandolier and asks me to write Rambo on his left pec in black Sharpie. I ask him why and he says so people will know he’s Rambo:

“But you look like Rambo.”
“People are fucking idiots.”
“My handwriting sucks.”
“Just write it.”
“Okay…”
“Dude, not like that! What the fuck are you doing?”
“Told you.”

Zach Morris unscrawls my scrawling and then we’re on our way. In the car, we shout directions at Patrick like he’s an Asian cab driver. Rambo tells him he’s fucked when he tries to make a left-hand turn because, in Los Angeles, there are almost zero left-arrows. It’s standard for two cars to turn left on red. Sometimes three. However, in this situation, Patrick is fucked because there is no light. Period. And traffic is furious.

But, like a determined rapist, he finds an opening and penetrates with force.

We get to the first party around eleven-ish and park in the driveway even though we’re not supposed to. Two of the girls throwing it work at the gym and I would sleep with both of them. They are all four of the four Bs (which I just made up): blonde, bronze, busty, and beautiful.

The house is one floor and surprisingly small and college-like. I don’t know why I pictured a two-story house because this is fucking Los Angeles, but when the girls said they lived in a five bedroom (and because they’re attractive girls), I pictured a sorority-like mansion full of gossip, boy-talk, and giggly, pigtailed pillow fights that turn sexual fast:

“You hit my boob!”
“You hit my boob!”
“But mine hurts!”
“Let me kiss it and make it better…”

The girls have been planning this party since the beginning of October, so I’m surprised that there’s only a small group of people posted up on the gigantic porch. Close friends, etc. Definitely more of a gathering than a party, at this point at least (I found out later that it got huge). We step up onto the porch and introduce ourselves to everyone. There are a few people with costumes that I don’t get, but when they say what/who they are I can see it.

“Ohhhhh!”

Someone asks me who I’m supposed to be. Without saying anything, I turn and face her. I watch her face transition as she registers the insensitivity and inappropriateness of my costume.

“Oh.”

Not bad, considering one of the membership girls at work told me she had lost all respect for me when I told her I was going as a Tech victim. I was just surprised she had respect for me in the first place. How the fuck did that happen?

We go inside the house, which is even more college-y on the inside with its wooden floors and lived-in scent. Garbled rap blasts from an old boombox with a Super Bass setting that was only super for a couple of months in the early nineties. The living room is empty; everyone’s in the kitchen drinking and being loud. It’s like freshman year again. I love it.

I set my forty down and scoop myself a cup of hooch or jungle juice or whatever from a large punch bowl. Kool-Aid with a shitload of vodka is what it is. And it tastes pretty damn good. I introduce myself/am introduced to a bunch of people. Most of them like my costume.

And then I see the lovely, busty Anna in her sexy devil costume. How appropriate. Anna has breasts that would give God a boner. They are sin-enablers. Imagine a perfect ass, but on somebody’s chest. Those are Anna’s breasts, and they pour out of her costume. I tell her they look like two beautiful tumors and she calls me gross, but in a friendly-enough way to suggest that she’s flattered and that further crude remarks may be welcome.

An aside:

Women’s costumes are, for the most part, always the same: take a cute animal or career-day profession and put “slutty” or “sexy” before it.

“I’m a sexy bunny.”
“I’m a slutty nurse.”

I think it’s funny when girls who aren’t sexy or attractive try to pull this off:

“I’m a sexy bumblebee.”
“Not with those bruised legs and hairy forearms.”
“Fuck you.”
“No thanks, I’m allergic to bees.”

Shayda, Anna’s roommate, takes an immediate liking to Zach Morris. She’s tiny and cute and wears a leopard dress and an Afro wig with chicken bones in it. She says she’s a cavewoman but we all agree that she’s a homeless black woman. Zach ends a call with Lisa Turtle to chat with her.

We drink and take lots of pictures and have some Jell-O shots, which, because I’m a girl when it comes to alcohol, I can see myself using to get drunk in the future. My buzz comes quicker than a thirteen-year-old boy. I get light-headed and my eyes glaze over like a fat woman’s neck in sixty degree weather. A dumb smile is tattooed on my face. As Borat would say, “Niiiice!”

By now it’s almost midnight and we decide to head to the other party. Patrick is sober, but only because he got shitfaced the night before. We pile into his car and go. The ride is like a time warp. A green Super Mario Brothers pipe. One second we’re in Hollywood and Zach Morris is telling me I’m an articulate drunk (even though I’m not that drunk), and the next second we’re lost downtown.

“Look for Third and Wilshire,” Rambo says.
“Third and Wilshire run parallel,” I tell him.

If one good thing has come from me riding the bus, it’s me knowing my way around.

Eventually we find the party, which ends up being in an upscale neighborhood on Wilshire and Lorraine. Los Angeles amazes me, because literally three blocks south is Crenshaw and Pico, the ghetto-ish area where I used to catch the 210 bus. Neighborhoods barely transition in this city. You can go from homeless yawns to homes and lawns in less than a mile.

The house is huge – something straight out of the Fresh Prince. There are columns and hedges and marble floors and a semi-winding staircase. There’s a pool in the back. A balcony. If it were the eighties I’m sure they’d have a giant fucking satellite dish too. This house is the type of house that’s perfect for swinger parties and high-profile murders.

We connect with some gym people, check the scene, and then dive right into the open bar. My buzz is fading like a pudgy frat boy’s hairline, so I ask for a Red Bull and Vodka with extra vodka. I remember sipping one before and it not tasting too terrible. The generic-hot bar girl dances to the booming Eighties Rock while she mixes my drink. I don’t see a tip jar, so I assume the dancing is because she’s drunk and being fairly well compensated.

At first, I have to hold my nose to sip my drink. Too strong and grown-up tasting for a kid like me. But as I force more down my throat my tongue forgets what taste is and everything is good.

I get drunker. And suddenly, just like that, I’m stripped of giving a fuck. I’m dancing. I’m talking shit. I’m hitting on girls.

This is what it must be like to be black.

I finish my drink and get another. I see Eriq La Salle, who looks like an older version of himself. I saunter up to him and shake his hand. I say this:

“Just let your soul glow, Eriq. Just let your soul glow.”

He accommodates me with a smile and a friendly laugh. I’m positive he thinks I’m a dick.

I notice people whispering to each other and pointing at my costume. A lot of head-shakes coupled with I-shouldn’t-be-laughing-at-this laughter. I’ve never understood why people think they have to censor themselves to themselves. If you find something funny then fucking laugh. Don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t say, “I shouldn’t be laughing at this.” Why the fuck not? Because society says it’s wrong? Norbit took in ninety-five million at the box office. I say fuck society.

By the way, I think it’d be funny if a starving Sudanese child sat down to a giant meal for the first time in his life and got the hiccups.

I dance some more. Drink some more. Two black girls sitting on a piano motion for me to come over. One is light-skinned and wet-looking and the other is tall, dark, and weighs over three hundred pounds – not the kind of person I’d want sitting on my piano. She looks like a supporting character from The Color Purple.

I dance over to them:

“Heyyyyy.”
“Hey, sexy,” the wet-looking black girl says. And then she reaches down my pants and starts rubbing my penis.
“Oh my! God was good to you! Shonda, feel this!”

She passes my dick off to her friend like it’s a hockey puck. The Color Purple’s hands are big and coarse and when I shut my eyes it almost feels like I’m playing with myself. I turn to look at my friends, who are laughing their asses off, which I can’t understand because there’s nothing funny about large black women who hand-rape young white men. Wait. Scratch that.

They have since dubbed her T-Rex.

I point and tell my hand-rapists that I’m going to “go over there”. They nod, consent, and I stumble off.

I make some phone calls. Why? Because I can. I call my brother, my trainer friend Nate, the girls at the first party we went to. I tell everybody I love them and that they’re awesome and that I love them. Anna tells me that Shayda wants Zach Morris. I relay the message.

By now the alcohol is really starting to hit me. Hard. So what do I do? I drink some more. Not the best idea, but being the novice drinker I am I figure more alcohol will make me feel better. I mean why not? This much got me here. Maybe a little more will get me there.

But I don’t realize how sneaky alcohol is. How fast it can roll up on you with a sock full of quarters. One second you’re laughing with your boys and the next second you’re on your ass. To me, getting drunk is like kicking a field goal on Madden on the hardest difficulty level: it’s real easy to fuck up if you haven’t played a lot. You have to line things up and know when to stop. Otherwise you just end up wide right.

Which is what happens to me.

I step outside to sit down and contemplate how things got past the point of being fun so fast. I take sips of my drink in between drunken mumblings to myself. I am completely aware of how fucked up I am and I tell myself this:

“I am so fucked up… so fucked up… Jeff, you’re fucked up… Oh my God are you fucked up…”

My head feels like it’s on a pirate ship that keeps creaking left, right. My vision is hazy. I can’t shut my eyes for long periods because it makes things worse.

“… so fucked up…”

I don’t necessarily feel stupid. My brain is functioning; I can still use big words; I know what’s going on. I’m just. Fucking. Powerless. I feel like I’m trapped inside of a retard. You know that filter in your mind that keeps you from saying everything out loud? The ‘tard filter? That’s gone.

I see a pretty girl:

“… pretty girl…”

Wonder where Patrick is:

“… where’s Patrick?”

Put my head in my lap:

“… my head is in… my lap…”

Two girls come over and ask me if I’m okay. I tell them I’m fucked up and they laugh and move on. I put my head back in my lap.

At some point, the hired security asks everyone to move things inside. Rambo, who is the friendliest drunk on Earth (“Did I ever tell you what a good friend you are to me? Because you are. You really are.”), finds me and helps me up. My head weighs more than Rosie O’Donnell.

My world is a vortex.

I shuffle inside and plant myself at the kitchen table. I’m playing a permanent game of “Heads up, Seven up” in which no one ever touches my thumb. I hear conversations. Rambo flirting. People asking how much the Virginia Tech guy had to drink. I feel a pat on my back and then I see a camera flash. Hear laughter.

“That’s a good one!”

This is the “good one”:

The Color Purple comes back over and asks about me. I reach up and start rubbing her leg.

“Are you going to throw up?” she asks.
“No.”
“Okay.”
“Yes.”

I stand up and stumble to the bathroom, which is empty, thank God. The floor is wet from where the toilet or sink has overflowed. Whatever. I don’t care.

I lift up the toilet seat and let loose. Violent, violent wretching. I sound like a deaf person trying to sing. The owner of the house, a pretty woman in her thirties, opens the door.

“Jesus! Do that outside!”
“I’m sorry. My aim is good.”

I feel bad. Contrite. But then I think that maybe she thought I was puking all over her bathroom and that I was responsible for the water on the floor and I feel better because I’m not. She’ll be glad that I didn’t vomit on her lawn and leave a patch that never grows again.

Throwing up is like a reverse orgasm for the stomach. It doesn’t feel good when it’s happening, but it sure as shit feels good when you’re done. You can conquer the world after a solid vomit.

“I feel better now. I’m the man now.”

Somebody says it’s after three and we make our way outside, ready to go. There’s a rule to leaving parties that, I swear, is etched in stone somewhere: no matter how small your group is, there’s always one person you can’t find.

“Where the fuck is Rambo?”

And then you send someone in to find that person and then the missing person comes out and the person you sent in is now the missing person. It’s a vicious cycle (and an awkward sentence).

We finally gather everybody. Our group is now plus one – a gym member who went as McLovin’. I tell him the black girls wanted my nuts and he tells me they felt him up too. And Rambo. My feelings get kind of hurt because I thought I was their only whiteboy for the night.

Zach Morris calls up a taxi because he lives in Beverly Hills and doesn’t want to crash at Rambo’s in Hollywood. Everyone has good manners and waits with him.

Meanwhile, my post-vomit high is wearing off. I’m feeling woozy again. I lie down in the grass but quickly discover that I need to keep my head elevated unless I want to feel like I’m falling off a cliff. I prop my head up with my hand and my elbow and doze.

The cab comes. Zach Morris goes back to Bayside. Now it’s time for us to go. I really, really don’t want to get up. The grass is cool and smells nice and I would love to sleep in it for the rest of the night and a good chunk of the next day. But I find the strength to get up and fall into the backseat. McLovin’ buckles me up.

“They were my black girls…”

The ride is short, but I feel every turn. Every stop. In my head, the world is ending and nothing is spared. Patrick drops off McLovin’ and Rambo and then takes me home. I ask him what time it is.

“4:41.”

I feel bad for Patrick because he lives all the way in El Segundo. He’s a good friend.

He drops me off at my apartment:

“Patrick, I love you. Thank you so much.”

He laughs and says it’s okay. He mentions that I may have gotten a little blood in his car. I tell him I will fucking clean up every last drop. And to get some rest. And that I love him.

Patrick leaves and I stumble up the stairs to my apartment. Everything feels surreal, like it’s happening and not happening at the same time. I manage to unlock the door and find my way to my bedroom. I lay down on my air mattress, but the falling-to-my-death feeling comes back and I think I may throw up again.

I go into the bathroom and rest my head on the toilet.

I fall asleep.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Update tomorrow

Topic: Halloween

Edit: Wow, this is going to be a long entry. Probably won't have it up until tomorrow (Wednesday). In the mean time, check out http://www.boifromtroy.com

He's gay. He's Republican. He's the motherfucking man.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hit and Run

Tonight I see a girl dying in the street.

A pretty Asian girl in a black dress. Not too much makeup. Big round eyes wide open. She lies crumpled on Cahuenga Boulevard behind Club Ivar. Fire trucks and police cars all around her. I think she's dead until a police officer asks her a question. She gives a little nod. The rest of her body is motionless.

On the other side of the wall, people get drunk and dance to "Lets Hear It for the Boys". The song is loud and carries into the night, above the sirens and helicopters and covered mouths.

Three friends videotape. They can sell her last breaths.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Quick one

This city is turning me into Travis Bickle. My tolerance for its people has mutated into a glaring contempt. Patience has worn thin. I should be inured, desensitized, but instead I’m even more annoyed. The homeless, the drug dealers, the winos, the party sluts, the V-neck mafia, the hipsters, the asshole film students – all cut from the same cloth. And yet I still catch myself saying please and thank you. Why? Nobody gives a fuck.

I want a real rain to come and wash all the scum off the streets.

Do I sound crazy? Because I promise I’m not.

As much as I complain, at the same, I like having shit to complain about. I like telling people I get paid eight dollars an hour and I’m poor and share a room and sleep on an air mattress and ride the bus and reuse the same Jack In The Box cup. There’s a certain romance to it all, as shitty as it is.

These have also been some trying times for my dick. 24-years-old and good-enough-looking and I haven’t been laid for months. I work with attractive girls who like to flirt and be playful. I give them hugs often like a pervy Little League coach who goes home and masturbates to the team photos. I couldn’t fuck them if I wanted to. Not because it’s an impossible sexual feat for me – although it’s close (these girls are fucking smoking) – but because they know I have a girlfriend and refuse to participate in anything other than light flirting. They love dangling the steak in front of the lion. And as much as I tug and pull on the chain, it won’t break. Goddammit.

I had my own personal 9/11 a few weeks ago when I accidentally deleted all of my porn. When I realized what was happening, it was already too late. And then the towers crumbled. But I’m rebuilding, kind of like a post-Katrina New Orleans. Little by little, MILFs are coming home. Bang Bros. sluts are re-opening. Things will be better.

Still, I’ve grown kind of bored with pornography. Timing my ejaculations to simultaneously explode with the monster-cocked facial-givers isn’t what it used to be.

So I’ve turned to Craigslist.

No, I’m not whoring myself out to benefactors. I’m not bottoming for Tina. I’ve just been masturbating to the Casual Encounters want ads. It’s a psychological turn on – real, local women fiending for cock. Possibly mine. You know that D&D free 34 yo shaved white female who needs hard cock for her tight wet pussy? Well she lives down the street from me. It’s comforting and arousing to know that there are so many horny women all around me, mostly 420-friendly BBWs from the Valley or Long Beach who need to keep things “discrete”.

In my head, they blow me while I’m doing bong rips.

Somewhere Seth Rogen is actually doing this, but with much better weed and a model.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What's new?

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/sha/439697225.html

And I finished the first draft of my urban comedy. And a pilot.

Does creativity hurt or help when you're trying to break into the biz? What do you guys think? I'm thinking a creative concept helps, but with very familiar execution. And I'm not just talking fucking story structure -- I'm talking groin shots, which I will not write. I guess I'm doomed.

We'll see.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Strip Club

“Do you want a chocolate lap dance?”
“How much?”
“Twenty-five for topless. Forty for all nude.”
“How long?”
“One song.”

Maya is light-skinned and thick with NBA tits and a BET ass. Hot enough to make me want to masturbate to black porn. She makes me wish I was a rapper – Cam’ron, maybe – so I could make it rain on her and look appropriate doing it.

“Well?”
“Is it a long song? Like ‘End of the Road’?”

She smiles. Walks away.

Patrick, my personal trainer friend, shrugs. Earlier we had both decided that if we were going to get a lap dance it was going to be from Maya. When else could we have big, chocolate breasts shoved in our faces? I mean it’s not like we ever have big, vanilla breasts shoved in our faces, but that seems a more likely scenario should we ever have breasts thrown at us.

A bit of exposition:

The Body Shop has a longstanding, titacular tradition in Hollywood. It is the flagship strip club of the Sunset Strip – not one of the shitty, hole-in-the-wall clubs I’m used to. There are no pregnancy scars. No stretch marks. No chewed-bubblegum clitorises or parachute vaginas. No Sudanese-colored assholes. The girls here are clean, fit, and beautiful. Some of the best-looking girls I’ve ever seen. Even the ugly ones look better than the pretty girls at other clubs.

And that’s basically LA, where BMWs are Hondas and Bentleys are BMWs.

We saunter up to the window with our free passes. There’s a girl with emo glasses on the other side:

“Ten dollars.”
“But it says free.”
“You’re paying for the drink minimum.”

I can kind of understand this. You know, fuck us up front.

Inside, there are two stages: white people around one, Mexicans around the other. Our waitress seats us with the Mexicans. I’m not sure if this is a compliment or not, since Mexicans are the lifeblood of most strip clubs.

Did the waitress think we were strip club Mexicans?

A little background on me and strip clubs:

I never go. Been a couple of times to a couple of shitty ones and actually felt my dick crawl inside of me. Strip clubs aren’t arousing to me. I don’t go to fall in love or to meet new people or to glean masturbation material. I go to people watch and crack jokes and see nipples I’m not used to. Tits are the ranch dressing of the adult world: good-tasting things taste a little bit better when they’re around.

A stripper somersaults into a cholo’s lap next to me and makes a wide V with her legs. Her vagina is clean and groomed and beautiful and looks better than the Homecoming Queen’s senior picture.

The cholo tries to eat it.

The stripper pushes his head away, light, sexy, playful, and wags a finger at him. No, no, no, Mr. Mexican. This isn’t East LA. She reverse somersaults back onto the stage and I. Just. Clap.

Patrick gives me a weird look.

“They like applause,” I tell him. “I’m validating her somersault. That took practice and I’m letting her know it paid off. That’s a fucking fantastic pussy-to-face technique.”

Patrick tosses out a dollar. But I wait until the stripper’s looking. I’m like George Costanza in the Calzone episode: if she doesn’t see me do it then what’s the point? Sure, I could set it out in front of me, but it’s not the same. It’s circumstantial evidence – nothing like being caught in the act.

Plus I’m frugal with my singles. I want them to last. Most of the time I abide by the eye contact rule: no eye contact, no dollar. I’m a cheap bitch.

Senior Picture Pussy collects her ones and says her thank you’s and gets off the stage. Another stripper replaces her within seconds. Hotter and with bigger tits and an even prettier vagina. How is this possible?

She spins around the pole and drops it like it’s hot. Makes eye contact with me. Crawls over, turns around, and taps her asshole like a microphone. Testing, testing.

I’m out another dollar.

A Norse-looking Helga girl with blonde pigtails and perky breasts comes out next. Patrick is digging her because he just moved here from Sweden and misses the racially-pure Aryan beauties he used to bone in the lush hills of the Olde Country.

He drops a dollar.

“Be generous,” the stripper says with an accent.
“We work at a gym,” I tell her. She seems to understand this means we don’t have shit and slinks over to some horny-looking Mexicans, as if there's any other kind.

A generic-looking stripper named Mariah approaches us. Tries to squeeze out a lap dance.

“You can touch for forty.”
“Touch?”
“Mmmhmm. But not my pussy.”
“Oh, no. I respect vaginas.”

We hint, half-joking, that we’re waiting for Maya, but Maya is nowhere to be seen. Later we see her disappearing into the back room with a large ese. Or is it SA? Or essay? Whatever. Fat Mexican.

We’re crushed. Not really. But what kills me is that now I’m seriously considering buying a lap dance. Coming in I was an adamant no-lap-dance guy. Sure, I joked about getting one, but I joked about it in the same way I joke about aborting my future retard son. In the back of my head I know I’ll keep him and exploit him.

The transformation to maybe-lap-dance guy is swift and you don’t know it’s happened until it’s too late. From that point on it’s just a matter of finding the stripper that’s right for you. Black or white? Blonde or brunette? Clit ring or no clit ring? The whole time you’re self-aware. You know you shouldn’t be doing this. You know it’s a bad investment ($25 for 3-4 minutes). It’s like unprotected sex except there’s no way you’re going to get lucky and come out clean. You will pay. Gonorrhea of the wallet.

But fuck it. It feels good.

Out of the corner of my eye I see another stripper approaching. I pretend not to notice her and engage Patrick in a conversation about Maya’s tits.

“Dude, they’re so big and black.”
“I know!”
“They’re like moon bounces at Hershey Park.”
And then I feel a hand on my leg. Hot breath in my ear.
“What’s your name?” in a sweet, almost lilting voice.

I turn to see the stripper. One not like the rest. She has an attainable beauty to her – the kind of girl you crush on during math class. Cute, not hot. Classy, not trashy. This girl’s parents would definitely disapprove of what their daughter is doing. And I like that.

Plus she smells so fucking good.

“Uh… Jeff.”
“I’m Vanessa.”

She starts to caress my leg. Back. Forth. And then lightly scratching with her fingernails. I fill with this hot tingling feeling. Her touch is electric, like Rayden from Mortal Kombat.

I’m putty.

“… hi… Vanessa…”
“You’re a cutie.”

I blush. Smile. Really?

“Ooh, look at those dimples!”

She giggles like a little girl. Caresses higher. Fingertips.

“So do you want a dance? I’m feeling extra catty tonight. Maybe I’ll make it a little longer for you.”

Yes, she is definitely making it longer. At an alarming rate, actually. But that’s not why I go to the ATM machine. Vanessa succeeds where Maya fails because she makes me feel wanted. I know she’s hustling me like one of my Mexican brethren, but I can’t do anything about it because I’m not taking orders from my brain. I’m not taking orders from my boner either.

I’m taking orders from my hot, tingly, middle school feeling. And there’s nothing I can do. Her touch. Breath. Voice. Smell. All of that shit. It’s one big roofie.

The back room is bunch of partitions with chairs in between. Vanessa sits me down. Takes off her top. She has small C-cups that are proportionate to her frame. Her nipples are brown and well-sized – a healthy balance of areola and protuberance.

Impressive tits.

She starts to writhe. Dance. Slow. Sexy. She rubs my chest, shoulders, arms. I flex my triceps when she runs her hands over them. She gives them a little “yes, I notice” squeeze and all is well. She puts her knee in between my legs and moves it back and forth. She climbs onto my lap and rubs her breasts in my face. I inhale her perfume. Or is it body spray? Or lotion?

She drops down. Brings her mouth an inch from my crotch. Simulates titty-fucking, which does nothing for me because I wouldn’t be able to actually titty fuck her since her breasts aren’t big enough. But this is just a minor inconvenience and the lust is not erased from my face.

She comes up slow. Smooth. Lips an inch from mine. And let me tell you, she is so good at her job that I actually think she’s going to put them on mine and tell me how I’m different from all the other guys and that this is all going to be free because she legitimately wants me and thinks that we should make-out in the rain together sometime.

But she doesn’t. And the dance ends. Three minutes. Maybe four. No song and a half. She gives me a big hug and I’m on my way.

$25 poorer.

And it feels good.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Update on Monday

I'm sure many of you have probably given up on this blog, but for those couple who still may be reading, there's going to be some new shit up on Monday. Topic:

the Strip Club

Saturday, September 1, 2007

LAX

Waiting in line at LAX is a hell no English-speaking person (first language only) should have to endure. It’s like riding the bus, except the bus isn’t going anywhere and there are more children. There’s something about being trapped in line at the airport that makes you empathize with the terrorists. You start to see where they’re coming from, why we need to be exterminated and squashed out. Fuck training camps. Stick would-be terrorists in line at LAX. I’ve only been here half-an-hour and the word “jihad” is spelled out in my head in burning letters.

I want to punch the people around me. A list:

The ten-year-old ginger girl named Ruth with Kool-Aid lips and a teal suitcase. The twenty-something thirty-something with too much makeup and a Paris Hilton dog sticking its head out of a purse-suitcase-doggy carrier. The fat, balding man in black Wranglers who was born sweating. The greasy-haired asshole in the cargo shorts with his dyke-looking girlfriend who won’t stop Jack Johnsoning on his acoustic guitar. The FOB Asian girls with the mullets and the acne and the unbelievably hairy pussies that smell like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Cocky-looking marines who made it out alive and smile because they know they’re going home to hot, underage pussy and idolatry. The young, big-nosed foreign couple behind me jabbering in some fucked up language.

“Oshkosh! Oshkoshbgosh!”

I feel like making a bomb joke. Or maybe I should set my laptop case down near a trash can and just walk away and observe from a distance. How long until it becomes a suspicious package? Can I get this whole place shut down?

Yes, I’m more rage-filled than usual, in case you couldn’t sense it. I missed my flight. My fault, yes, but only to an extent. My writer’s assistant friend, Brendan (thanks a billion for the ride, man), and I arrived at the airport around 9:40, and since my flight was supposed to leave at 11:35, decided we had enough time to get a bite to eat. Denny’s. And, if it weren’t for our over-the-hill Armenipersian waitress with the drawn-on eyebrows, we would have dipped the fuck out of Dodge with time to spare.

But things are never easy.

I get to LAX with about forty-five minutes to make my flight. Enough time, right? Maybe. But I have to check a bag. I go to the self check-in, try to print out my itinerary. I get a message out that basically says this:

“You’re going to miss your fucking flight because we need at least 45 minutes to get your shit on the plane.”

I check my cell phone. 10:52. 43 minutes. Fuck. That.

Frantic, I grab an attendant and show her the message. With one look she acknowledges that I am indeed fucked and points to a line that’s longer than a thousand porn cocks. This is where I must wait.

I try to look at these moments as character-building moments. My day is ruined, but at least I’ll grow as a person. This is good for me in the long run. It will humble me. It will build character.

But how much fucking character can you build before you snap?

I make it out of line, the land of a thousand smells, and get re-routed to Dallas. From there I’ll fly to Nashville. Projected arrival time: 10:30 CST.

The only good that can come from this is if my original flight crashes. That way, through fucking up, I will have averted tragedy and live to fully understand and appreciate what it means to be late. If my original flight crashes my life will taste so much sweeter.

But what if my new flight crashes? God, what a kick in the fucking nuts that would be. Late AND dead. That’s like being Sudanese and having a tiny dick. I’m sure that, as the plane plummets, I’ll seek out the loudest baby and/or old person and kick the living shit out of them while I scream “Forty-three fucking minutes!” Just to vent, you know?

I imagine old people get this smug sense of superiority when the plane’s going down, like they were going to die soon anyway. I can picture old Mabel giving the finger to a four-year-old boy. Death is her turf and he’s on that motherfucker. She’s lived life and he’s only begun to learn his ABCs.

“Fuck you, sonny boy. I win.”

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lunch in Beverly Hills

Rodeo Drive is like a cunty woman. Rich, beautiful, and fully aware of it. The second you see her you know you don’t have a chance in hell. She’s used to attention, to people marveling at her pulchritude and opulence. Me, I try not to look, as is my policy with any too-beautiful woman. Why blow her head up even more?

The Grill is located just off of Rodeo Drive, expensive and hidden enough to avoid hungry, coupon-clipping tourists wondering where the nearest Longhorn is. I fall into this category, by the way. It’s a cramped, bustling restaurant full of insecure health nuts who take themselves too seriously. Upon entering I hear at least two iPhone related conversations:

“Oh, you have to get one! The gadgets…”
“What about the gadgets?”
“There’s so many of them! Look at what I can do with just my fingers!”

Like babies discovering that thing between their legs grows when touched.

LA, particularly the westside, is full of simple people with money. Imagine every asshole who ever made homecoming court living in one area. Style, but no substance. Vienna sausage with a gourmet label.

Why am I here in the first place?



Joe Blaze. I have no idea what the fuck Joe does. I think he wants to manage or be a motivational speaker or something. He mentions Tony Robbins a lot. Joe is a real nice guy. He says hi to everyone and goes around giving hugs. High-octane, full of energy, always on. He acts like an overly protective mother thinks her child would act if she gave him caffeine before bedtime.

I have a seat on the bench next to three other people Joe roped into lunch: a young, gay optometrist in a polo shirt, a middle-aged Asian man with a tiny body and giant head and parted, reddish hair, and a spiky-haired Asian kid who can’t decide if he’s more academic or Fast and the Furious.

The big-headed, tiny-bodied Asian man takes out a yellow legal pad and looks over at me:

“So do you have any ideas for the Joe Blaze Show?”
“Uh…”
“Basically it’s going to be like a real-life Entourage and Joe’s going to be the hero at the end of every show. There are going to be complications and problems and Joe’s going to use his networking powers to save the day.”

I smile and nod. What. The. Fuck.

Joe looks down at us lovingly, all lined up on the bench like sitting ducks. He calls us his children.

I know I shouldn’t have let him talk me into lunch.

He’s been pushing it on me for a while, at Equinox, and one day I finally just didn’t have an excuse. It’s not that I don’t want a free lunch in an expensive restaurant, because I fucking do. I just don’t want to endure a sales pitch. It’s like having lunch with a Marine Recruiter on the eve of your eighteenth birthday. You know what you’re getting yourself into. See, Joe is an idea man. Next-big-things swim around in his head all day long and if he could only bring one of them to fruition he’d be a rich, rich man. But the problem with having too many ideas is you can never focus on one.

A loopy, middle-aged, mammoth-titted woman in a black dress shows up. She wears a giant hat and talks like she’s excited about everything. Like most older women in LA, I’m convinced she’s forced herself to forget the exact year she was born. That way she can be in her twenties forever.

We get cramped together at a small round table near the back of the restaurant. Joe makes a joke about how much space I take up.

“I know! Look at these arms,” the gay optometrist says. And then, without asking, he squeezes one of them and smiles at me with a twinkle in his eye. Fuck. Not again.

There’s bread at the table and I’m starving because I had small breakfast on purpose. Nobody touches the bread, though, and I feel self-conscious. But I slice myself some carbs anyway. My movements are restricted, like I’m in coach on a crowded airplane. I don’t want to brush up against the optometrist and give him the wrong idea. I don’t want to knock over everyone’s iced tea on this not-sturdy table.

A waitress brings toast and broccoli to the table – appetizers, I guess – and asks me what I want to drink.

“Diet coke, please.”

And I’m happy because I haven’t had an ice cold diet coke at a restaurant forever. I miss the cold glass, the condensation on my fingers, the free refills. A moment later the waitress returns with a tiny glass of ice and a miniature, eight ounce bottle of diet coke that looks like it’s manufactured specifically for the midget community.

She pours the diet coke for me and, like that, the bottle is empty. Four dollars, I’m guessing. Maybe five. I hate to have the I’m-not-paying-so-I’ll-get-whatever-the-fuck-I-want mentality, but this is ridiculous. I ordered a diet coke, not a diet diet coke. Not a diet coke on a diet.

I order another.

Joe takes out his own yellow legal pad. He proceeds to draw diagonal arrows on it, coloring in the heads with the black ink from his pen. Lots of arrows.

The loopy woman starts to talk about her soon-to-be burgeoning cookie enterprise.

“I’m going to be like the Mrs. Fields of the health cookie industry. I’m going to be the cookie mother.”
“The cookie diva. Cookie mother sounds fat,” the gay optometrist says.
“Ooh! I like that! Cookie di-va!”

Joe writes “cookie” on his legal pad. He circles it and draws three arrows pointing to it.

An older gay man who looks like Michael York joins us at the table. The woman continues to talk about her cookies.

“And there’s time-released carbs and no trans-fats and almost no calories. In fact, the time-released carbs have barely any calories at all.”
What?
“We’re putting hemp in them. Not marijuana hemp, but hemp hemp. They have these free radicals and stuff that make you feel better. One of my girlfriends broke up with her boyfriend recently and she was sad and crying and I gave her a cookie and within ten minutes she was cranking the stereo and dancing!”

Everyone at the table either says no or gives her these incredulous “noooo” looks like a skeptical audience in an infomercial.

“I swear! We’re taking these to Oprah. We’re going on Oprah with these. We just need some investment money so we can be prepared for all the orders we’re going to get.”
“I want to invest,” the gay optometrist says.

I feel around in my pocket for loose change.

Cookie Diva passes around some cookies, which surprisingly don’t taste like shit. I have two. Everyone exclaims how good they taste. Cookie Diva revels and basks.

“I wish I could say it’s me, but it’s the power of the chocolate.”

The menus come, finally, and I can’t decide if I want the twenty-five dollar steak salad or the seventeen dollar grilled chicken sandwich. Joe asks the spiky-haired Asian kid to tell us about his business ventures.

“Well, you know how there’s Sprint and AT&T and Verizon?”

Everyone nods.

“Well there’s this other company called ACU and they’re really good and they’ll totally give you this brand new phone for free if you sign up with them. Look.”

He takes out flyers and passes them around. Everyone reads with genuine interest. Either that or they’re really good actors.

Michael York speaks up. He’s here to help with the pitch:

“Video phones are the wave of the future. They’ll do especially well in the Lah-tino community because they’ll be able to see their families back in Mexico or wherever.”
“That’s such a good idea!” Cookie Diva says.

Joe writes “idea” on his pad. Circles it. Arrows it. Shit, you already know.

“I know. It’s even endorsed by Donald Trump,” Spiky-Haired Asian says. And then he shows us a picture of Donald Trump.

Michael York looks at me:

“Are you happy with your phone?”
“Uh… I mean I can talk on it.”
“Let me see it.”

I take out my first or second generation Sprint camera phone and flip it open. I can hear a collective, restrained gasp.

“Oh no no no no. You need something much better than that.”
“But it works.”
“You should sign up with ACU. If you get two people to sign up under you you get $700.”

Hmm, a video phone pyramid scheme endorsed by a picture of Donald Trump. No thanks. Maybe if it was 1994. The whole thing is reminiscent of the Big Ben starter kits from Problem Child 2.

The waitress comes back and I order the steak salad and another diet diet coke. I spend the next fifteen minutes keeping my mouth shut and avoiding eye contact. I don’t want to invite sales pitches or sexual come-ons. I don’t want a video phone or a blowjob.

Through my peripheral, I see the gay optometrist checking me out. His eyes burning a hole through me.

And then Michael York’s eyes. He says this:

“You look a lot like my nephew.”
“Thanks.”
“He’s beautiful.”

I nod and smile uncomfortably. The gay optometrist chimes in:

“Isn’t he?”

And then he pats my leg. I check Joe’s pad to see if he’s writing down “homosexual gang rape”. Circle. Arrow.

Lunch comes. The salad is delicious. Not twenty-five dollars delicious, but twelve dollar delicious. The conversation takes a weird(er) turn.

“We only have enough oil for ten more years. Then we’re going to collapse and die like Atlantis.”
“Did you know Atlantis had lasers?”
“I didn’t know that.”
“Yeah. They had crystals and shined light through them. Those are lasers.”
“Didn’t they plant a time capsule in the Sphinx?”
“Yes! I was reading something about that!”
“They planted a time capsule in the Yucatan too.”
“It’s a shame they drowned.”

Does it really fucking matter who’s saying what at this point? Another conversation:

“I’ve been going to these breathing classes.”
“Like Lamaze?”
“Kind of. You learn how to breathe. And, if you breathe a certain way, you can get higher than any drug will get you.”

Really. How do I have to breathe to believe this bullshit? I make the mistake of looking up. The big-headed tiny-bodied Asian man is staring at me. Smiling.

“So would you be interested in helping out with the Joe Blaze show?”
“Uh… sure…”
“Awesome.”

And from there, lunch begins its final descent. Waning conversations, mostly-empty plates. I arrived at 1:05. It’s now 4:00.

“Well, I’m gonna go catch the four bus.”
“Oh no, I’ll give you a ride,” the gay optometrist says. Great.

The walk to the car is every bit as awkward as you can imagine, and more. One big, extended what-do-I-say-now moment. We enter this fancy, underground parking garage with shops and wait for valet to pull his car around. Twenty dollar flat fee by the way.

Fucking parking in this city.

We get into his Jaguar and I comment on how I’ve been bumming rides from people and have ridden in a whole bunch of nice cars.

“How’s this one?”
“Nice.”

He smiles. Pats my leg. We pull out of the underground parking garage into heavy traffic. We need to make left and there’s no left turn signal. It takes about twenty minutes to get back onto Santa Monica Boulevard, which is less than a half mile away.

Gay Optometrist turns on his stereo. Presses play on his CD player. Selena fills the car.

And I’m dreaming of you tonight…

“So, do you have a girlfriend?”

… until tomorrow I’ll be holding you tight…

“Yeah, in Tennessee.”

… and there’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be…

“Oh.”

… than here in my room, dreaming about you and me.

Richard Marx comes on and we don’t say anything to each other for the rest of the ride. He makes the occasional “traffic is soooo bad” comment, but that’s more for his own comfort.

He drops me off in front of work.

“Well, good luck.”

Translation: Get on your fucking way.

Circle. Arrow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Update Thursday (probably)

Heading to Nashville for a week on Saturday so no updates next week, but I should have a good one for you guys on Thursday.

Topic: my wacky fucking lunch in Beverly Hills.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Short story

“I want your arms.”

From the mouth of a guy at the gym. Nice guy. Late thirties, Jewtalian looking. Friendly in an I-think-you’re-cool-and-don’t-necessarily-want-to-blow-you kind of way. Genuine enough, you know?

I give him some lifting tips, eating tips, tell him to holler at me if he has any questions.

“Definitely, man.” Lingering smile, eye contact. Maybe he does want to blow me.

But maybe he’s just nice, right? Not every guy in West Hollywood can be gay. I google him to see if he works in the industry. Maybe I can pass him a script. Maybe he knows somebody. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but this is a six-degrees town. Everyone is connected to everyone. It’s a high school.

And he’s a literary agent at CAA.

No fucking shit. This is what I love about the gym: it’s its own society with its own set of rules, own caste system. The richest most, powerful executive in the world can come into the gym and envy a construction worker. The gym levels the playing field for the common man.

I head out to the floor to help the trainer with closing duties and the agent comes over to me.

“Can you show me what you do?”
“Sure.”

Show him some skullcrushers, barbell curls, all that. I ignore the homoeroticism of it all and tell him I’ll write him out an arm routine. But I don’t get to finish it.

So the agent gives me his email. Phone number.

“Drop me a line.”

The next day, I write him out a long, detailed email with a routine and nutrition info. Eat this before you go to bed, eat this when you wake up, etc. In-depth shit.

Receive an email back:

WOW! Thanks for writing so much! I really appreciate it! I’m buying you a drink sometime! LOL!

Wait. LOL? A literary agent uses “LOL”? Not to mention a disturbing amount of exclamation points and staccato sentence structure?

But maybe it’s just an unprofessional email he wrote on the fly. From his Blackberry.

I write back:

Not a problem. We’ll definitely grab some drinks. Looking forward to it.

Get an email back:

Awesome!! Do you have a Myspace?

I can hear a toilet flush in my soul. Same name, same age, but in no way, shape, or form a CAA literary agent. His Myspace confirms it. In the Heroes section of his profile:

The makers of KY Jelly.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Best Celebrity Sighting Yet


Wood Harris from Above the Rim, one of my favorite movies of all time. Saw him at the 7-11 on La Brea and Sunset.

And happy birthday to my friend Lauren!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Malibu

I see my first tranny hookers on Santa Monica Boulevard and I get kind of giddy. Apart from the Hollywood sign, tranny hookers are like LA’s Stonehenge. I think tranny hookers should be on the Starline Tourist Bus route.

“Okay. That was the Chinese Theater. Up next, tranny hookers.”

The Hills on MTV steals two hours of my day. I consider suicide.

Aurelia is the lead in the Debbie Does Dallas musical that’s playing at the Key Club on Sunset. She works with me at the gym. I fucking love her.

She gives me a call:

“Do you want to go to this party in Malibu tonight?”
“I’d love to.”
“But…”
“No, no but. Just ‘I’d love to’.”
“Oh. Most people who say ‘I’d love to’ follow it with ‘but’.”

She picks me up and then we pick up Kadriya, one of our other coworkers, from the gym. Kadriya is black and from St. Louis and I almost don’t call shotgun when we’re heading for the car because of the whole Civil Rights thing. But I always call shotgun and I figure Kadriya can pretend she’s being chauffeured around by a couple of white people, so it’s win win.

We take the long way – Sunset Boulevard to the Pacific Coast Highway. We drive through Beverly Hills, which is just so fucking lush with the neatly-trimmed hedges and the pretty trees. I want to get out of the car and take a deep breath. I cycle through the radio hoping “Beverly Hills” by Weezer is playing somewhere, but no luck. Maybe if it were last summer.

We drive past Bel-Air and the Fresh Prince theme song plays in my head for about five-and-a-half seconds. We pass UCLA.

And we drive. And drive.

We stop at a gas station in Malibu and as soon as I get out of the car I can smell the salt in the air. It reminds me of being little and going to the beach with my grandparents. Fucking scent, man. Fucking scent.

I buy a Twix for $1.29. No, it’s not King Size. Shit is just that expensive out here.
The party is at a Weekend at Bernie’s type house right on the beach. Not as big, but with the same huge windows that you can see people fucking in from miles away.
You can hear the waves crashing against the shore. Somebody tells us people were fucking on the beach earlier and broke a chair.

The party is like a frat party for grown-ups. Weed, alcohol, the quiet promise of bad sex with strangers. When I was younger, I used to think that grown-ups acted like grown-ups, but in the past few years I’ve learned that life is just one big extension of high school. We don’t grow old, we just get old.

There’s a vaporizer in the living room, a weed-smoking apparatus. It looks like a pencil sharpener. A chubby, wacky dude in his late-thirties who has aspirations of one day walking down stairs on his hands provides the reefer. Until then, I had never smoked out of a vaporizer before. I’m a blunt fan, but what sucks about blunts is I have big lips, bigger than Rosie O’Donnell’s labia, and they hold resin. I’m a messy weed smoker – always wiping my lips, spitting, coughing.

None of that with the vaporizer.

With a vaporizer, you don’t feel what you’re inhaling. You just have to trust that you’re getting high. You have to have faith. Kind of like believing in God, except you don’t have to wait until you’re dead to find out whether or not it works.

So I get high with Kadriya. I like getting high with black people. I feel cool. Especially if a rap song’s playing in the background. It’s like every white moment you’ve ever had, every un-PC or racial slip-up, just fades away. Can’t dance for shit? Throw on some Biggie and smoke weed with a friend of color. You’ll feel like you can pull off a drive-by and kill every motherfucker on the block.
Bonus points if you say “What’s up now?”

A little buzzed, I talk to a girl at the party. She goes to Princeton and wants to be a diplomat.

“Do you want to be on the cover of Diplomat Monthly?”
“There is no Diplomat Monthly.”
“If I had diplomatic immunity I’d start a lot of shit.”
“That’s not good.”
“Maybe kick some old people. Order a cup of water and fill it with soda and not try to hide it.”
“Uhh…”
“What do you do in your spare time?”
“Go to school.”
“What do you do for leisure? Do you play softball?”
“No.” Genuinely offended.
“Wouldn’t it suck if you had a shitty picture on your diplomat name badge and they wouldn’t let you retake it?”
“I don’t think I’d care.”
“What if your eyes were half-shut like you were part Asian?”
“Umm… they’d probably let me retake it.”
“But what if they didn’t. Wouldn’t it suck if you were being diplomatic with this ambassador from Cameroon and you were about to have a major breakthrough or something and then he noticed your shitty picture and the breakthrough fell through?”
“Uh, I don’t think that would happen.”
“Do you like Biggie or Tupac?”
“Neither.”
“Who do you like?”
“Sufjan Stevens.”
“Oh, that indie douche.”
“Yeah…”

I carry the (lack of) conversation like it’s my bastard child. And it goes on. Aimless, pointless, etc. The girl is a victim of too much book learning. To the point where she needs a graphing calculator to figure out if someone’s fucking with her. It’s like reverse stupidity. Like the motherfucking Terminator not understanding tears.

The party thins out pretty quickly because it started at three and we didn’t arrive until after nine. By 11:30, everyone is gone.

Uneventful, but a fun time nonetheless.

We drive back into the city. Kadriya lives downtown, near Koreatown. I observe that Asians are all about some bright lights. Tokyo, Hong Kong, Koreatown. Lit up.

Is it because their eyes are half-shut?

“I don’t think I’d care.”