Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 20 - 26, 2007

This blog has become my neglected child – locked in the closet and fed once a week. It’s not that I don’t love him. I do. Just not enough to take him out and beat him every day.

But I will continue to keep him alive. Past July. And on.

Close your eyes and imagine a drumroll…

I’ve found a place to live. Assuming I can pass a credit check.

$442 to share a room in a white-carpeted college-ish apartment in the heart of Hollywood. Only a block from Sunset and Vine. I know what you’re thinking: “Ooh, Hollywood! Glamorous!” But you’re fucking wrong because Hollywood is dirtier than a day-worker’s dick.

This is a bittersweet victory for me. On one hand I’m happy that I’ve found a cheap place in a good location with sane people. On the other hand, if I pretended I was gay, I could’ve had my own room in a large house in the hills. For free.

To make things worse, this girl I know who’s a friend of a girl I once wanted to fuck very badly during my fifth-year of college is renting a spacious townhouse in Kentucky for less than $300.

On the bus there’s a large, light-skinned black woman wearing short overalls. Her legs are hairy. She has more rolls than ghetto dice. Pretty standard for the northbound 210.

Except for a tattoo on her neck. In small, cursive lettering:

Sexy Mama.

In what bus shelter? I can’t even see the shopping cart gang worshipping at the throne of this woman. Wait… yes I can.

If a woman needs to tattoo “Sexy Mama” on her neck, or anywhere, then she is probably not a sexy mama. She may have ass for hours, days, weeks, months, years, or epochs, but that’s not good ass. It’s the ass you imagine having shat before you whenever you need to defecate in a public restroom. Big, hairy, pockmarked ass.

An ass with a crack dark enough to be outerspace on a movie poster.

At the grocery store, chunk light tuna is end-capped. There’s a big cheerful sign that says “Only $10 for 10!”

A dollar a can. Only.

Would this have worked in Hitler’s favor? “It was only six million!”

For some cruel reason, Ralph’s has discontinued their generic chunk light tuna. 62 cents a can and it’s all gone. What’s an insecure male supposed to do for cheap protein these days? There are a number of stray cats in this city…

Alex and I have an argument over the fan and everything else we’ve come to hate about each other after two months of living together in a small, hot room. He accuses me of eating the rest of his lo-mein, to which I reply:

“No I fucking didn’t!”
“I did not eat your fucking lo-mein!”
“Okay, I believe you.”

But he doesn’t, and I know this. He asks me how it feels to intimidate someone 60 lbs lighter than me, and I do some quick math in my head and realize it’s more like 70 or 75. And it feels pretty good. But not because he’s smaller. Just because he’s so condescending. Yes, I may be an overly-critical asshole, but I am not smug. Ask ten white people and more than half will tell you smugness is worse than AIDS.

I yell at him for being a rich kid, hogging the fan, and having a smelly ass. He says the fan is his, and it is. He bought it. Wouldn’t even let me go in half on it, which I wrongly assumed meant it would be shared. Still, regardless of fan-ownership, you do not enter a room and just turn a fan away from somebody. People are executed for fan-turning in lesser countries. There are fan rules, fan guidelines. I liked it better when he was sneaky about turning the fan away from me, “accidentally” knocking it down and then repositioning it towards himself.

Cunning. Deliberate.

Alex tells me he’s kept his mouth shut about me for the past two weeks.

“Kept your mouth shut about what?”
“Fucking tell me.”

And then he mentions the lo-mein. Nothing else though, although I’m sure he has a whole list of things, as do I.

Our music wars for one.

For the first couple weeks he was all headphones. However, in recent weeks, he’s staged a coup, blasting Death Cab and other emo, Hot Topic t-shirt bands in defiance. Please imagine Djimon Hounsou, Hollywood’s go-to noble negro (Blood Diamond, Amistad), shouting this dialogue to a group of African warriors, his neck bulging, abs rippled:

“Why must we wear headphones? Why! Are we not people? Do our lungs not breathe? Do our hearts not bleed? From this day forward, we will wear headphones no more!”

Loud cheers. And then the third act begins.

Our music wars have been like air-headed conversations with chatterboxes. You wait and wait and wait for that break, that hesitation, so you can finally say something. So while I’ve been monopolizing the conversation with Big L and Citizen Cope and Amy Winehouse and Weezer and Ray Lamontagne, he’s been waiting for me to breathe so he could respond with Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Eat World and other generic, whiny rock bands that are cool for skinny kids to listen to.

Maurice pops his head in the room a couple hours later:

“I ate the lo-mein.”

(Big shout out to Leah for her birthday!)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

July 13-19, 2007

I get a phone call this morning from work that basically amounts to “please don’t write on the fitness board anymore because your handwriting is shit”. Which is fine by me. I know my handwriting is shit. I’m just surprised it took this long for upper management to realize this. My handwriting sucks so bad that I’d probably be better suited carrying around a bag of clipped-out magazine letters and a glue stick.

Kimberly visits and we fuck like experienced teenagers. And god is it good. In the past few months, I’ve forgotten what pussy feels like. There’s just been a faint memory. It’s like trying to recall the quadratic formula:

“Uh… negative B over X… uh… plus the square root of… uh… equals me jerking off. Squared.”

Pussy is a five-sense juggernaut. Touch, taste, smell, see, hear. But when you don’t get it, and must watch porno in its stead, then all of those senses disappear. You can just see it. Sure, you can try jerking off with a can of tuna under your nose while you chew with your mouth open and finger a McDonalds apple pie, but it’s just not the same.

Even if you add sweat to the tuna.

Because I masturbate so much, over the past few months I’ve come to associate pussy with my large, calloused hand. So, naturally, after months of conditioning, the first thing I wanted to do when I saw Kimi’s vagina was jerk off into a brown Chipotle napkin. Foil shizzle.

Kimberly comes… into town with her friend/former Gap manager Rob. Rob is the fucking man. He also likes to fuck men (Go Tops!), so we hit up the West Hollywood boy bars.

On the first night, we go to Mickey’s on Santa Monica Boulevard. Ever see a movie with ripped, tighty-whitey’d guys dancing on tables? Well that’s this place, complete with bubblegum techno and lusty-eyed gay professionals looking to unwind after a hard day of making a shitload of money. The dancers with the most dollar bills wear their underwear low to show off their ass cracks and trimmed or shaved pubic regions. They have exaggerated, cod piece-like bulges. It looks like their dicks took a shit.

On Saturday night we go to the Abbey. Imagine a bar from the Canterbury Tales. Now imagine lots of cigarette smoke, overpriced drinks, and men. Rob chases some Miller’s tail – a young stubble-faced god who may or may not be scamming for free drinks. Kimberly is his wingman. I crash out on a big leather chair near the fireplace. Tired, not drunk. It’s hard for me to close my eyes because my neck is exposed and I’m worried that somebody’s going to come by and inject me with a 24-hours-to-live poison and I really don’t want to go on a high-octane quest for the antidote.

We leave eventually, but Rob goes back out once we get back to the room, determined as ever.

And he succeeds. Go Tops!

We spend the rest of the time doing touristy shit: Hollywood and Highland, Kodak, Chinese Theater, the Grove, Venice Beach, etc. We don’t make it to Santa Monica or South Central, but that’s okay because I’m still perfecting my Crip Walk.

One of the awesome things about Kimi’s trip is she rents a fucking car. And I get to drive. I zoom past bus stops where I’ve logged hours waiting and give the finger to the Metro signs. In my head, because people are waiting and I don’t want to flip them off.

LA is a car city until it comes time to park. Fuck. Three tickets in three days. $180 total. Never, ever, ever park if any fraction of your car is hanging into a red zone, even if it’s 1/16, because you will get a ticket. Parking officials are professional tattletales who nanny-nanny-boo-boo their way through life. Fuck them.

On Friday night one of my coworkers has a birthday party at this place on the Sunset Strip called Bar Marmont – some ritzy hotel bar. I dress up in jeans and Etnies. Kimberly wears a sexy black dress. Rob goes all GQ.

And it’s all for naught.

That’s right. We get velvet-fucking-roped:

“We’re at capacity.”

Two bimbos step up.

“Come on in.”

Just like in the movies. We still can’t get in even when my coworker comes out, points to us, and says we’re with her.

And so I’ve come to this conclusion:

LA is a city based on exclusion. The barred windows, the gates, the hedges, the velvet ropes, the parking permits. Exclusion is this city’s theme. It’s like one big cool-kid table in a high school cafeteria. Do you look good? Do you have money? Do people know who you are? Awesome, bro. Have a fucking seat.

The rest of us can sit somewhere else.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Reverse Discrimination

One of the aforementioned emails. Just thought I'd share:

That's great. I had an amazing fourth of July. So what have you been doing in LA? I am sorry to inform you but the room is no longer available. You seem like a great guy, but I had another taker. I hope everything works out and you find a place to live. In the meantime I would love to exchange emails to see how you are doing. I will keep my ears and eyes out for a place for you.

take care


You might want to tell people you are gay

My response:

Thanks for the consideration, John. I trust that my sexual orientation has nothing to do with the room already being taken.

Thanks for the tip, though. I'll definitely pretend to be gay from now on.


July 9-12, 2007

Still looking for a place to live. My leads have, for the most part, fallen through. As I suspected, the “you can stay with me” e-mails stopped once they found out I’m a fan of the tuna. Not that I told them, but they probably figured it out when I didn’t respond with an emphatic “Me too!” to their “I’m gay, BTW” e-mails – which I got a lot of, BTW.

I think I responded with the unrainbow-like, “Not a problem at all. I’ve been hit on by a couple of bears.”

Still, it was mildly entertaining to see how they broached the subject. After cutting through all the friendly bullshit that wastes too much of our lives, of course:

“Are you gay?”
“… or you could stay in my room.”
“This is a weird question, but are you gay?”
“I’m gay, BTW.”

The “this is a weird question…” is my favorite. I love how he tried to soften the blow (no pun intended) with a disclaimer. Thanks for trying to make me feel comfortable, John. I’ll think of you when I’m sharing a bus shelter with Jarvis and his shopping cart.

There’s one guy in Santa Monica who’s still courting me via e-mail, asking all the typical bullshit questions men ask women when they want to sound like they care:

“So what do you do at the gym? What do you do for fun? What kind of music do you like?”

Shit like that. Shit that, if you ask the person to repeat your answer a minute later, they wouldn’t be able to. Not that I’d blame him. I have a bad habit of forgetting people’s names within seconds of meeting them because I’m too busy thinking about what to say next.

We’re a generation of people waiting to talk. Listening is for the deaf.

Kimberly’s coming into town tonight. She’s going to get reamed to the hilt. It’s going to sound like little kids splashing around in puddles.

I’m halfway through the first act of my urban comedy and there’s only two be + gerund lines so far. Should there be more?

“The way he be sweating…”

Is that racist? If so, is it racist because I’m white? Would it be racist if I were black?

I want to clarify something, since I’m pretty sure I come off as a raging homophobe or racist or misogynist or all three. I may speak candidly about race and sexuality and other sacred-cow topics from which finger-pointing-careers are birthed, but that’s because I think everything should be talked about. I’m not anti-gay or anti-black or anti-woman.

I’m anti-taboo.

I mean you won’t catch me having gay, incestuous sex with my black cousin while I’m beating a woman who’s having an abortion, but I’ll sure as hell talk about it.

With a straight face.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

July 6 and 7 and 8, 2007

I got a bike.

It’s a too-small BMX. No, there aren’t pegs or shocks and I’m not going to take it off any sweet jumps.

I feel like I’m twelve again. I want to roam the neighborhood. I want to meet up with the gang at the end of the street. I want to share a Benson and Hedges 100 stolen from somebody’s mom’s purse. I want to find a girl who Frenches, take her into the woods, and blindly grope at her ice cream-scoops from the outside of her Starter jacket with the giant pouch.

I need to rig a fucking towel to the seat or something. There’s barely any cushioning on the seat, so I’m basically sitting on steel right now. I also need to get a seat-extender. When I pedal my knees come up to my chest.

Is it bad that it’s usually 9:11 when I look down at the clock?

Emmy Rossum comes into the gym and my heart skips two beats. My celebrity crush. Well, one of them. Naturally beautiful but kind of mean-looking – like she just ate the rest of a browned apple. Definitely not as wholesome as she looks in the movies. I want to tell her that I’m a big fan, but then I remember that I didn’t see Phantom of the Opera, I thought The Day After Tomorrow was laughably bad, and Poseidon is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

So I keep my mouth shut. This thought crosses my mind:

“Tell her she was the wallpaper on your computer for a couple of weeks during your fifth year of college.”

I don’t say that, but probably should have. I know I’d be flattered if a stranger said I was the wallpaper on their computer. Kimberly has a small crush on Ryan Reynolds. Maybe the next time he comes in I’ll say this:

“The girl I sleep with on a regular basis thinks you’re hot.”

Or, if Jessica Alba comes in:

“I’ve masturbated to a picture of you in a bikini. Recently. And I’m 24.”

These are all nice, creepy, genuine compliments. They’re also easy ways to get fired. But how fucking nice would it be to get fired telling Jessica Alba you beat it to her?

And what if she countered with this:


I’ve started a new script. A high-concept urban comedy. Yes, I’m writing a black movie. For a black audience. It will probably suck in the way that movies that sell and get made suck, but hey, I’m trying to break-in, and since life is a game I figure I’ll try to roll double-sixes and write a dumb, broad, safe-bet money-making piece-of-shit comedy that probably isn’t that funny.

But maybe – just maybe – it’ll get me some recognition and some money so I can buy some shit for my sweet new BMX.

Maybe then I can get the chicks to take off their Starter jackets.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

July 3 and 4 and 5, 2007

You remember how people used to ask “if you could be a superhero what power would you want?” Well in LA everybody would want to fly. Then, of course, the skies would be crowded, gridlocked, and Paul Haggis would produce a supernatural version of Crash.

So thank God or Ra or Allah that we cannot fucking fly.

I’m in the habit now of taking whatever bus I see. I want the 305 because it will take me up the hill and down a block in the opposite direction, which is still better than being at the bottom of the hill. Catching the 305 when it’s three to five minutes late is as perfect as my world gets right now. Unfortunately, the MTA can’t be trusted. So if the 550-drop-me-off-at-the-bottom-of-the-fucking-hill bus comes first then I have to take it, because I don’t know if the 305 is going to show up. Keanu might hijack it. The driver may stop off for a carton of Kools. Who knows. I’m not risking it.

I think it’s kind of sad that, in this world, getting to work is often times harder than work itself. I’ve been wearing a different pair of clothes to work because by the time I arrive I’m wetter than a fake teenager on Dateline’s “To Catch A Predator”. I have to dry myself and then switch into my work clothes.

Getting to work takes exercise. Getting to exercise takes exercise. I walked a mile and a half the other day just to lift weights.

Insecurity is a motivational tool.

I feel kind of embarrassed when I open my backpack to take out my peanut butter sandwich – which is wrapped up in a plastic Ralph’s bag because I don’t have baggies – and my fast food cups fall out.

Yes, I’ve been saving fast food cups for free refills.

When you ask for “water” in LA, a lot of times they’ll give you a clear Dixie cup that isn’t much bigger than what you piss in at the doctor’s office. That way, even if you get Sprite, overzealous Carl’s Jr. employees who believe in the “Career Opportunities” bullshit they read on their job applications can see the fizz bubbles rising to the top.

“No es agua!”
“Shit, I just paid $5.80 for the Six Dollar Burger. Give me a fucking break. Un break fucking.”

July 4 in LA is confusing because I can’t tell if what I’m hearing is gunfire or fireworks. The cheering leads me to believe it’s fireworks, but I imagine a successful turf-gain would elicit the same emphatic “whoo’s!” from urban youths who are getting tired of their Xboxes.

I go grocery shopping. Want to get a shitload of Chef Boyardee ravioli (cheap) but then I remember Maurice has one pot and never washes it. I’m starting to hate that long-haired gypsy poser – especially since I found out that it’s more than likely that Alex and I are paying two-thirds of his rent. Fuck his new-age, medicine man bullshit. Fucking bison salesman. He didn’t say shit to us the other day because he thought we forgot the rent. Then, of course, once he finds a thousand dollars cash on the corner of his bed, he sticks his head in our room and asks us if we’re enjoying the city and if we want him to show us any cool “spots” around town, which probably translates to this:

“Now that I’ve fucked you, would you like me to point you to the nearest make-your-own-dreamcatcher shop?”

Does Maurice’s god shower?

I see a gay couple walking down a straight road and find this amusing.

Also, I know Asian women are somewhat of a commodity to straight white males? Are Asian men the same to gay white males?

The bugs are taking a toll on me. Every morning I wake up to a new itch. Now that I’ve said that, I realize that a successful hooker could say the same thing.

I talk on the phone with Kimberly. Tell her I’m worried the city is going to take my soul. She says I’m too aware for this to happen. I tell her she’s not living in Bret Easton Ellis’s “Less Than Zero”.

I think things might be easier for me in LA if I was born without a soul.

Monday, July 2, 2007

July 1 and 2, 2007

Rent is due today. $900. Technically, I’m paying $450 a month, but Alex paid the first month so we could hold the apartment and now I’m paying the second month. If I could go back I think I’d rather pay part of the first month and part of the second month because, even though shit evens out, it never feels good giving away $900. $450 is painful enough, but $900 is a rapist’s knife pressed to your throat.

There are few things more depressing than watching your money flow out of the ATM knowing that you have to give it away. Like a young mother who must give up her child for adoption. But the good thing about money is you can always get more.

Unlike pussy.

On the street, I pass a bus-shelter-pisser (that’s what I’m calling them now – also hedge pissers) dressed in clothes from the Salvation Army’s clearance rack. I smile, nod a hello.

“You don’t want none a dis.”

Then he does one of those little laughs or scoffs or whatever that begins with a T.

“You don’t want none a dis. T’uh.”

I’m not sure if he’s talking about AIDS or sickle cell. Either way, he’s right.

I work tomorrow morning. Up at 5:30 to get in by 7:00. That’s twenty-two-and-a-half minutes time allotted for each mile. But fuck it. I’m kind of enjoying the thought of being a celebrity by proxy. If I see Jessica Alba or somebody, I get to tell my friends and then guess what? I’m the fucking man. As pathetic as that sounds.

Also, I’ve decided that I will be scavenger-shitting no more. I’d rather stand over a toilet silently willing it to “Swallow my beast!” (that’s what I say in my head) than disrupt lifelong defecation habits any further. My asshole can’t take the crystal shards of brown I’ve been pushing out in the afternoon. It’s like having a kid every day.

I’ve realized that 90-something percent of the white people in LA are from New York or somehow tied to New York. At the gym, the members always talk about how they’re going to New York or going to be in New York or just New York in general.

Do people in New York talk about LA like this?

A lot of the guys at the gym are male models or aspiring male models or just look like male models. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but I feel really self-conscious around them when I’m working out. They do light reps with little-to-no exertion and produce just enough sweat to coat themselves in a flattering look-at-me-I-use-Turtle-Wax sheen. Meanwhile I’m going balls out with 25 plates on the leg press and my shirt is fucking soaked.

I look like a vagina, not a brand new car.

When they look at me, are they looking down?

I posted a Craigslist ad looking for a new place in August. Clean, white, polite, male, etc. Posted a few (good) pics of myself and have gotten a few responses.

Mainly from gay guys. I think.

Which is fucking fine by me. I don’t care if you like meat or fish – if you have somewhere I can stay for cheap then it’s all protein. But I’ve adopted a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy wherein I do not mention my (STRAIGHT) sexual orientation and I’m worried that once these people find out that I’m not gay and just gay-friendly they will not want to rent their domiciles out to me. See, I’m trying to rent an apartment and I think they may be trying to rent my mouth.

One guy offered to put me up for free. And it’s in a real good fucking location. I’m almost sure that he’ll retract his offer when he realizes my asshole is not for sale.

When I ask him (via email) why he’d be willing to do such a thing he writes:

“You look nice and strong and I’d feel safe with someone like you in my house. How tall are you and what do you weigh?”

To me that sounds like a thinly-veiled gay-for-pay request.

Living rent-free in one of the most expensive cities in the US could be worth giving a monthly BJ for… right?

Yeah, I don’t think so either.