Sunday, February 17, 2008
Note to any LA douchebags who read this:
Yes, I'm aware that Bar Marmont is probably considered uncool and easy to get into by you avant-garde party fixtures, but to an out-of-towner like me who doesn't own any Ed Hardy shit, it's not so easy. So don't hate. Let me small fish it.
I never get into Bar Marmont. Of the four times I've tried, I've hit once -- but that was on a Sunday at 9 after our company holiday party and I was with about twenty of my attractive coworkers. The other times, I've been held back by my lack of money, vagina, and status (or the perception thereof) -- always velvet-roped by a scarf-wearing, European-looking black man who says they're at capacity while he takes bribes and lets in overmakeupped girls in slutty black dresses. Last time I tried, the girl I was with (Lauren from the shop) threw a temper tantrum and told me to fuck off so she could get in.
She did. I went to McDonalds.
Last night was different, though. Patrick and I were originally supposed to go to this trendy Hollywood club called Mood for an Armenian birthday function with Aaron and his girlfriend Nooneh, but a zero hour text message put the kibosh on that:
"dont come tried to charge 30 cover"
Thirty dollars. Valet not included. Pussy not guaranteed. There better be a magic portal for that price. One with a majestical, Legend of Zelda fairy pond sound that shoots out Inspector Gadget arms to blow you, finger you, and spray you with expensive cologne as you pass through to enter the club.
By the time we find out we won't be grinding up against big round asses that belong to girls whose last names end in -an, I already have two drinks in me and am working on my third. Yes, the alcohol flowed early, my friends. Like a fourth-grader on her period. Throw some potcorn in the mix and I'm the coolest motherfucker on Earth.
There's a knock at the door. Marcus, the security guard.
"No, dude! We did NOT get another fucking noise complaint."
"Man, I been standing outside your door for a minute and I can't hear shit. I don't know who's trippin' on y'all."
We invite Marcus in for a drink. He's a young, good-looking black guy from South Central. And he's alive. He calls down to the foreigner at the desk and tells him our music isn't even on and everything is cool. I pour him some vodka and throw on some west coast rap and idle conversation rules for the next half hour.
Fun fact about me and black people:
I like to think I'm cool with more black people than the Beverly Center. The truth is I have to work very hard to feel this way. Whenever possible, I steer conversations towards rap or rap-related subjects. If a black person happens to be talking about math, I'll mention the number 24 and start talking about rims. I'll switch up my word choice and use a lot of gerunds. Instead of saying, "She was hot" I'll say something like, "That bitch was straight banging." I can't help it. I need to be validated by the urban element. This behavior probably isn't helping.
Patrick calls up Christian, a trainer from the gym who's anything but. He's at the Libertine on Sunset, the scene of an incredibly fun Asian night a few weeks back. I ended up pole dancing with some J-Pop-looking girl named Noriko, except I kept calling her Norelco. I think I called her Nintendo once, too. She gave me a kiss a on the lips and giggled like a Pokemon.
Off to the Libertine we go.
Patrick parks a mile away because we don't have to pay, and we trek up Crescent Heights. The whole thing takes about thirty seconds in my head because I am sufficiently buzzed and spend the whole walk drunk-dialing and shouting "motherfucker" at anything that moves. We get to the Libertine and, by some miracle, I remember the dreadlocked doorman's name (Conrad). I mention our mutual friend (Berman) and we get in (free).
Unfortunately tonight is not Asian night and it's dead inside.
Christian is posted up at the bar finishing a beer. We stand around and try to look cool while we figure out where the fuck we're going to go. I suggest the Body Shop and then immediately regret it because I don't want to pay a ten dollar cover charge for tits I will never have in my mouth.
So I suggest Bar Marmont, which is right across the street.
Christian and Patrick kind of look at each other. They're thinking exactly what I'm thinking: we'll never get in. Eleven-something on a Saturday and people already crowded outside, some of them female. We're three dicks, six balls, and zero clout. Not a fucking chance.
We try anyway.
The Bar Marmont is a wooden-doored tavern tucked in a wall of ivy at the beginning of the Sunset Strip. Steps lead inside so you feel superior and chosen when the doorman finally unclips the velvet rope for you. Tonight, my stubble-having nemesis hangs back smoking a cigarette while a short white model/actor plays point. He has a perfect square for a jaw and looks like a cross between Tom Cruise and the guy who played Chuck on The Wonder Years. He plucks souls for entrance like God's assistant.
Travis, one of the membership guys from my gym, has mentioned before that he has a Bar Marmont hook-up -- a white guy at the door. Could this be him? And if it is, what's the proper way to go about name-dropping? Do I say "I'm friends with Travis" or "I know Travis" or "Do you know Travis?" I don't want to fuck this up. I--
"Is that the dude from Can't Hardly Wait?"
No. But Vinnie Jones comes barreling out with a lady friend that will rim him if he blinks twice and I realize that if we get in tonight, it's a victory. This is the same place I couldn't get into with my girlfriend in July, barely over a month in town. How fucking symbolic and cool and uplifting and awesome would it be if I got in tonight, without the bitch?
I approach the doorman:
"Is Travis in there?"
He looks me over. Patrick. Christian.
"I got you guys. Hold on a sec."
The next eight minutes are suspense. People coming, people going. At one point, when it looks like we're going to get in, a posse of bimbos who reek of cigarettes and perfume slut on up. So we wait some more. A brown-haired girl steps outside and calls down the steps to her blonde friend. She reaches to her, like an angel beckoning from the other side:
"It's everything you've ever dreamed. Overpriced drinks, ugly guys with money, friends of friends of friends."
A minute later, the blonde friend gets in. Two cholos with a visible wad of cash strut up. More girls come. Things are looking bad...
"I've really gotta get these guys in. They've been waiting forever."
And then the doorman unclips the rope for us and it's a sweet fucking moment in my LA life. I'm swept up the steps by a wave of false accomplishment. I don't look back at the people who won't get in. Not because I feel superior, but because my head feels like a Windows 3.1 screensaver and I don't want to swivel it around too much.
I want to tip the doorman, but all I have is a twenty and a couple of ones and I don't want to insult him or ask for change. I have no idea what the standard doorman tip is anyway. Probably way more than I can afford. Christian tells me "never pay at the door". I tell him I could've created a relationship. It's a Pavlovian thing, like training a dog -- treats and praise will get you everywhere:
"Thanks, man. Really appreciate it." Handshake him money.
You do that a few times, learn his name, ask a couple bullshit questions about his life, and then eventually take away the money. I'm speculating of course, but I can't imagine being far off.
It's not that crowded inside. Definitely not at capacity like the lie I've been told so many times. I see Jason Segel from Knocked Up and How I Met Your Mother. He is one 9/11-tall motherfucker. I want to congratulate him on knowing Judd Apatow and having a career because of it (plus he's talented), but he's talking to a short girl and I don't want to cockblock a burgeoning celebrity with my off-kilter, drunken congratulatory-ness:
"Dude, you... hold on..." Throw up on his bitch.
At the bar, Christian asks me what I'm drinking. I know I should get a beer -- switch from missiles to guns -- but when you're drunk you never envision reaching the point where you're too drunk. It may have happened before, but that was before. This time, more vodka will only make you happier and improve your altered state.
It's so good I can't taste the alcohol. We take a seat in a couple of high chairs and revel and bask in our glory. Our victory. LA: a million, Us: one. But that one feels like a million and that's all that matters. What sucks is I'm too drunk to fully appreciate the moment. I can't make this count because I can barely see straight. I have maybe enough sober in me to lie to one girl about who I am and what I do. And even if those lies made her want to blow me, it probably wouldn't matter because I doubt my dick would work -- like an old lady with a broken hip or Brody Jenner.
Hot Aryan girls walk by and Patrick, a Swede, tells me to ask them if they're Norweigan:
"Are you Norweigous?"
They continue on and I'm left wondering what the point of that was.
In my chair, I invent a dance called the typewriter; I stutter my body from left to right and then slide back to the left and do it all over again. Christian tells me people are going to think I'm a retard. I stop. For about five minutes.
I figure out that if I sit a certain way it feels like my feet are having an orgasm.
And then that moment comes, the one that you thought wouldn't. The moment when it all stops being fun. This is the Tommy Devito in Goodfellas moment, where you're Joe Pesci and you think you're getting motherfucking made when you're really getting motherfucking whacked. It's all over. You're finished like a bowl of rice in Darfur.
"... no more..."
I see the look on Patrick's face. Because he's such a good friend, he knows his night is about to end too. He and Christian send me outside to stumble around against the ivy while they finish their drinks. When I walk it feels like I'm walking in a dream. I'm too fucked up to even smoke a cigarette.
I bow my head in defeat. Most victories are bittersweet anyway.