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.”
“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.”
“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?”
“Who do you like?”
“Oh, that indie douche.”
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.”