We come back today and Maurice is in the garage making room in two large meat freezers we didn’t know he had (our graves?). He looks surprised to see us. One of those guilty, “What are you doing home?” looks. Stammering follows.
I think the picture might be a sick but fair warning from the Dr. Jekyll side of our roomlord’s twisted mind. After all, his side of the fridge is loaded with expensive, organic foods. There’s only so much of that shit a man can eat before he starts craving flesh (human???).
Anyway, I wake up this morning around 8:30 and there’s a sharp, heavy object that wants to escape through my asshole. Feels like a set of black knives glued together. I’m tempted to break my no-shitting-in-the-apartment rule, but figure it would be a lot like having unprotected sex with a person who has crabs – a moment of pleasure followed by many, many moments of pain and frustration. I do not want to spend my day plunging.
Here’s the shower, again. I accidentally twist the pliers off the cold knob and have to hide in the corner while I reapply them. Reapply pliers. Reapplier. Har har. Stupid, I know.
Before I left Northern Virginia, I posted a “Going to LA” thread on a rap message board welcoming suggestions from natives and urban youths. Somebody said I shouldn’t wear red, but I decide to wear my red Special Olympics t-shirt I got at a Tennessee thrift store because it makes my arms look fucking huge and I figure that’s a good look for me since I wear glasses and am insecure.
Alex and I walk down Pico looking for a metro bus stop since the ones in our immediate area don’t accept our passes. I ask an old Hispanic man pushing a grocery cart for directions to the depot, but since I’m not a can I don’t interest him and he mumbles something in Espanol that a Spanish professor wouldn’t understand.
There are a shitload of wig shops in Los Angeles. In fact, if I had to sum LA up in six words I’d say, “Wig shops and check cashing places.” I’m guessing the whole 100% Indian hair wigs inspired the Cherokee hair tampons on South Park. Lolocaust.
We find the depot and board a bus that accepts our pass. It’s headed for East LA. A browner LA than the one we’ve seen thus far? Hard to believe, but true. Alex and I are the only white people on the bus, which I mention not because I’m racist but because it’s uncomfortable. The bus starts to fill as we approach downtown. Alex gives up his seat to an older Korean woman who, twenty years younger, would look almost exactly like the lady who gets capped at the beginning of Menace II Society. No old lady comes along to take my seat so I look like less of a person than Alex, which is not far from the truth.
We get off the bus somewhere downtown, near the Staples center, and we walk towards some tall buildings. Obviously we should have taken a different bus, but we’re new to town and fucking retarded. I’m wearing the Special Olympics shirt to prove it.
Hungry now. In and Out Burger, where are you? We stop in a Quizno’s and ask Cesar, a sandwich artisan, if there’s one nearby.
“Are there any LA only places to dine around here? We’re from the DC area.”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Why, because this is Quizno’s? We’re not going to tell your manager.”
He laughs nervously, looks around, and looks me over to make sure I’m not a secret shopper.
“Carl’s Jr. is in the Macy’s plaza.”
Great. Fucking Hardee’s. Never had that before. But I’m hungry and want something full of calories and protein, so we go to Carl’s Jr. and overpay for burgers that are half the size the menu advertises. At least at Hardee’s the burgers are tumor-sized.
The dark child in my stomach wants out but a Carl’s Jr. bathroom is no place to give birth. He’ll have to wait a little longer.
I ask a professional-looking Hispano-Asian with slicked back Wall Street hair how to get to Hollywood while Alex hangs back and looks embarrassed. I have no shame in being a tourist. Alex is dressed like a skateboarder, though, and his street cred would take severe damage.
We get on the metro, which is pretty nice and not ghetto-ish like I thought it’d be after watching Predator 2. No hoods with neon bandanas and open leather vests pulled switchblades on me.
After misreading the metro map – actually, no. We did not misread that motherfucker. Apparently the red line train we were on went through a magic tunnel and turned into a purple line train without us knowing it. Some serious Willy Wonka type shit. We ride to the end of the line, then back through the magic tunnel. Get off the train, yada yada, and get on another headed for Hollywood.
Yay. More white people.
There’s a hot, tan chick on the train flirting with her overprivileged pseudo-skater boyfriend. I stop looking at her when I notice her upper back is covered with fur and acne scars. Why are you wearing a tank top? If you’re okay with your lycanthropy, that’s fine with me, but this is LA. We’re headed towards Hollywood. Let’s be a little more insecure, okay?
This is the Hollywood and Vine metro station. Very touristy.
Alex and I walk some more, see some more wig shops. A lot more in the Hollywood area. Lots of straight up bong shops also. Couldn’t take any pictures, but imagine a gun shop then substitute bongs. Wall-to-fucking-wall. An Asian-ish guy straight out of an Entourage episode shows us a digital camera you can smoke weed out of. I call and tell my pothead friend Jeremy, who demands to know if the camera actually takes pictures.
We go into the Scientology "chapel" next, and a spaced-out chick with braces asks me if I know who L. Ron Hubbard is. She wants to take us on a forty-five minute brainwashing tour. We politely decline. I guess the Christians have the South, the Mormons have Utah, and the scientologists have Los Angeles.
We walk some more. My feet are starting to blister and feel like I’ve been stomping babies and old people all day long. There’s a side-warehouse that’s selling rare, gaudy sneakers and since Alex is a wigger when it comes to shoes (“Do you have the white uptowns with the blue stripe?” – or some shit like that) we go to check it out. The Fast and the Furious extra at the door stops us:
“Sorry, we didn’t know.”
Paying to shop. That’s a first for me. Alex has vowed to return.
More walking. Check out Kodak, all that.
Some rappers from Detroit give us their shitty album and shove a headphone-end into our respective ears (“We gettin’ muh-neeeeee”).
Not mine, motherfucker.
I’m friendly of course, but when they suggest a $10 “donation” and I don’t bite, none of us pretends to give a fuck about the other anymore.
We take a piss. The line for the Women’s restroom is longer than a mandingo cock. Moments like this make me thankful for my dick.
Hop on a bus. Get off in what we think is our general area, walk another mile, discover Maurice and the meat freezers.
Later, we go out in search of dinner, groceries. Feet are dead. Still have to shit. We go into a Walgreen’s. A decent bathroom at last. But I can’t get in. There’s a fucking keypad lock on the door. I imagine this is what the bathrooms at Jurassic Park must be like.
I tell the girl at the register I have to drop a T-Rex. She gets on the intercom:
The bathroom is clean, but there’s gang scrawling and etching everywhere. Even on the toilet seat. I put one asscheek on Latin Kings 187 and the other asscheek on Slob Killas 4 Lyfe and start my Lamaze breathing. The good thing about shitting in a limited-access bathroom is the comfort of knowing there will be little-to-no interruptions. The result is a painful orgasm.
Alex buys a fan. We eat at Burger King when we see there’s no fucking In and Out around.
The grocery store is next. Ralph’s. Basically Kroger with a different name. I notice a middle-aged gay dude checking me out. I think he actually aisle-stalks me – like I used to do to girls when I worked at Blockbuster – and buys a jar of peanut butter just so he can say hi/pick up my scent.
By now my feet hurt so fucking much that I’m seriously considering posing as a bi-curious mouth-for-hire just so I can get rides. Either that or I’m going to try to befriend every clean-looking Caucasian I see. “Hey, I see we're both white. Do you have a car?"
A mile-and-a-half walk back to our room with five heavy fucking grocery bags. Each. A douchebag in a Ferrari passes us. The blonde woman riding with him does not look as good as his car.
“Twenty-four hours ago I was driving around in an ’07 Lexus.”
I complain about my feet some more.