But onto what he did leave: pizza boxes and other garbage. The room was starting to stink. I wasn’t sure if it was the trash or if Buzz the Cat planted a shoe-sized rat he caught somewhere in the room.
But there were maggots on the floor. Little white grubs worming their way across the wood. I pick up a bag of garbage and find the source: a hole. And inside this particular bag is some of Alex’s old yogurt, Lactaid, and bread. All rotting.
And the smell. Oh God. Like two mammoth dykes eating each other’s assholes out in an elementary school cafeteria.
I dispose of everything.
The thing with maggots is they turn into flies. So my last two days in the room are hell – nothing but heat and bug bites. Somewhere in this universe, there’s a sick fuck who jerks off to such things. I can see the porno now: Sweat and Mosquitoes.
I move out.
There’s a law to moving out. Not a law law, but a scientific law. Newton, etc. Let’s call it the Shit-You-Have Law. The Shit-You-Have Law states that what ever shit you THINK you have, you ACTUALLY have double of. This is why, when moving out, you often think or say “Goddamn, this is a lot of shit.” Or some variation of that. It’s science.
Nate, my new roommate, picks me up and helps me load my shit into his car. He’s a nice, normal guy from Pennsylvania. Likes pussy and sports. Works as a grip on productions.
We stop at Ralph’s on La Brea so he can recycle his beer cans and water bottles for laundry money. Easy, right?
There’s a recycling station out back and every person with an annual income under $40,000 who drinks soda is waiting in line with garbage bags. Worse than Cracker Barrel on a Sunday after church.
What sucks is there’s no bulk method of disposal. You have to feed each can or bottle into the machine. One at a time. When the machine clogs up (every other can), you have to wait for an attendant to come over and unclog it. I always thought working in a toll booth would be the shittiest regular job to have, but this might be worse.
An old leather-skinned man with a drum-belly and a hat advertising septic services gets mad when the machine won’t cooperate with him.
“Ain’t s’posed to do that with cans! Ain’t s’posed to!”
He shouts at a Hispanic attendant and makes her come over and do his recycling for him. He gives me one of those “can you believe it?” looks and lights the last cigarette from his soft pack. He drops the empty pack on the ground.
Littering at a recycling booth. That’s like listening to rap on the way to a Klan rally.
We get back to the crib and I move my shit in. Some pictures:
This place is definitely a step up from Maurice’s yoga dojo. Well ventilated, carpeted, screens on the windows. I can sleep at night without fear of being sacrificed. There is no hommus, no raw butter, no walking in on Maurice trimming his pubes – which did happen by the way. No, they weren’t braided.
I feel almost normal again.
I pass an old woman slumped in a wheelchair in the shade by the McDonalds on Sunset and Vine. Homeless. There’s a yellow-stained paper towel stuck to her ankle, flies all over it. She’s asleep or dead. Normally you can go by the smell, but not with homeless people. They smell worse alive than most people do dead, which is fucked up considering how many car washes this city has – at least one on every block.
This is why I think cities should have a weekly hobo bath-giving day. Call it the Homeless Hosedown. At designated car washes all across the city, homeless people can show up, get soaped up, and hosed down. Donated towels will be provided.
I’m dead serious. In fact, why isn’t something like this in place already? Are we afraid such a thing will dehumanize the homeless? Make them seem like pets? Because I tell you, there’s nothing fucking human about digging in the garbage can, unless you’re at the movie theaters and looking for a refillable bucket of popcorn or a giant plastic cup. But cheese sandwiches? No way.
I win a screenwriting contest. The Tennessee Screenwriting Competition, which most likely won’t do shit for me. But the $500 prize money will help. Not sure how many entries there were this year. At least a couple hundred. This is all bittersweet though, because two of the three scripts I submitted to the Nicholl, the big career-breaking competition, have already been bounced. Think I caught a bad reader, which happens. If you’re familiar with screenwriting competitions, you know that a script that wins one contest may bow out in the first round of another. There’s no consistency.
I’ve been working six or seven days a week, lifting, and writing my latest screenplay, so this is why the updates have been few and far between. Right now this blog is what I call “break writing” – the writing that happens when you get burnt out working on the important stuff.
Yes, I write to take a break from writing. Somebody, on another blog, said if you can’t understand this then you’re probably not a writer.
But writing and getting paid to write are two different things, aren’t they? So pardon me while I get back to what may someday earn me a little cheddar.
Or not. Either way, it’s the hope that counts.
And I’m sorry for not writing more about the city, but I just don’t have the time to indulge my wanderlust at the moment. So talk all the shit you want about how this blog sucks now or whatever. It's probably like having sex with the same person for an extended period of time -- exciting at first, less interesting with each subsequent thrust.
But it happens.