Theme by nostrich.
Text reblogged from DON'T STOP BEREAVING with 159 notes
July 2nd, 2010
I’ve waited in the loading zone at LAX for my boyfriend to pick me up, weighed down with luggage, sweating through a vintage shirtwaist dress. I’ve driven up Mullholland at dusk, smoking cloves and listening to the Twin Peaks soundtrack, then coming back down for onion rings and milkshakes at the 101. I’ve stood in a crowd at the Troubadour, hoping my Iowa wasn’t showing, comparing outfits with the scenester kids and staunchly refusing to dance.
I’ve sat in a DJ booth at 3 in the morning, shrouded in a hoodie like Eminem, playing Oingo Boingo and fielding calls from people at coke parties in Silver Lake. I’ve sat in a fetal position staring at the palm trees out my window while I cried to my mom on the phone about Bush winning a second term. I’ve put on extra perfume when I was going to a party that Topher Grace was supposed to be at, even though I didn’t particularly like him. I’ve had fights over patty melts, breakfast burritos, grilled cheese sandwiches, and apple pie a la mode. I’ve lost fifteen pounds.
I’ve lugged a mini fridge and a futon into a studio apartment on a block in Koreatown that they used to film CSI:NY on, walking to work past snow route signs and Sabrett’s stands. I’ve drank from flasks in Karaoke booths on my 20th birthday, the first birthday after I lost all my friends, in cowboy boots and wool skirts, trying to keep it together until I was safe in my private 400 square feet. I’ve gone to shows at the Wiltern by myself, feeling magnified and mythical the more alone I was, I’ve waited by the back door for the band to come out before saying fuck it and walking home. I’ve woken up in the Biltmore Hotel after making a terrible mistake, I’ve begged and begged to be taken home, please please please take me home.
I’ve felt the narcotic thrill of the laughter of a packed house, I’ve smiled and accepted praise and flirtations and invitations, I’ve been stalked on MySpace and taken it as a compliment. I’ve been the cause of fights in quiet parking lots of Valley condominiums, I’ve passed a billboard with a picture of the guy I just made out with and who I’d just gotten off the phone with, and wondered naively if my life was about to change. I’ve been stood up.
I’ve gone to the car wash on a first date. I’ve watched a first date become a first year, and then a second year. I’ve lied on the sand watching fireworks in Santa Barbara on the fourth of July, I’ve crammed into too many photobooths to remember, at Shortstop, at the Cha Cha. I’ve stumbled into a car on the brink of lovely, happy alcohol poisoning on my 21st birthday, the one birthday with so many guests, so many people I considered friends. I’ve been well-liked.
I’ve stuck my nose in the gargantuan flowers in my neighbors’ yards, walked to the Beverly Center on scorching summer days when I was broke and had nothing better to do. I’ve had my apartment made over by a show on the Style Network. I’ve driven to a strip mall on the other side of town to be taught by an ex-gang-banger how to make the perfect Manhattan. I’ve had eighty billion haircuts, in eighty billion colors, I’ve sat on the floor backstage at the Long Beach Convention center in some ridiculous bondage-inspired outfit, starving and unable to support myself in patent leather stripper heels anymore. I’ve gone out to the worst and snobbiest clubs and skipped to the front of the line, danced to two songs, done a line in the bathroom, then come back out again.
I’ve raced to finish a scene before the light left the Hollywood Hills, I’ve made egg scrambles for twenty people at four in the morning, I’ve danced in my own party scene then raced back to look at the monitor. I’ve spent the night in an editing booth in Melnitz Hall, I’ve tried to vault myself off the inside of the Serra, and contemplated asking Jared Diamond for an autograph as he trundled by with his gnome beard and safari hat. I’ve turned my tassle to the right, unbothered by the looming problem that is and was my future.
I’ve found the perfect swimming hole outside Ojai, and floated on my back drinking a Tecate in the blinding sun. I’ve gone out to Venice Beach at four in the morning when the moon starts playing with the waves in strange, quiet ways, I’ve sat in a deck chair at the Tropicana, watching aspiring porn stars play in the pool while the acid kicks in. I’ve listened to “I Can’t Believe You Actually Died” on loop as an alarm clock before biking back to Hollywood from Mar Vista. I’ve questioned the deepest philosophical roots of everything I’ve ever wanted to do and felt no better when I realized this is what everyone does the summer after they graduate. I’ve been told by the saddest person I know that I’m too sad for them. I’ve gone to sleep in a closet in Little Tokyo with half a bottle of Jameson and a handful of pills in my stomach, and I’ve been considerably disappointed with my continued existence in the morning. I’ve left LA.
I’ve put all my stuff in storage. I’ve lost my car to the city. I’ve couch surfed, house-sat, floor-crashed, and otherwise been homeless. I’ve spent nights in an empty bedroom on a hilltop in Echo Park, using a plastic mattress cover as a blanket while the ghetto birds swarm overhead. I’ve sworn off lots of things: dairy, meat, communication, people.
I’ve tried to start over. I’ve become gainfully employed. I’ve moved into my dream apartment and planned out my dream existence with my dream partner-in-crime, then watched it all fall apart and ended up curled on the floor while somebody threatens to call 911. I’ve laid out on the roof overlooking Skid Row in a catatonic haze. I’ve fallen asleep in the Central Library and in line at Social Services and I’ve moved out of my dream apartment.
I’ve sat in a light-filled bedroom on the second floor in a Hollywood apartment, typing rapidly for somebody, anybody who might be reading, the smell of distant family cookouts wafting through my room. I’ve walked past Hollywood Forever and felt the incongruous cemetery chill waft out onto the sickly-hot parking of cars waiting to get in for the movies. I’ve sat on the deck drinking coffee and observing the progress of the garden, thinking that life was pretty pleasant, even if I had no money. But these things can only continue for so long.
I’m leaving now, Los Angeles. I do this not with a secret fuck-you or sense of smugness; it’s been seven years and I’ve given you everything, and that’s not something you do out of pride. I wish you liked me as much as I insist that I like you. Because I do like you, Los Angeles. I’ve lived here since I was seventeen; I’ve grown from being ridiculously out of place to just another desperate soul basking in the hot awfulness that seeps from the cracks in the pavement and hangs in the air with the smog and the scent of orange blossoms. There was always something beautiful happening, no matter how bad things were. You can’t say that about a lot of places.
So I’m going to go live with my mom in Tacoma like a quitter, and I know you hate quitters, Los Angeles. You like dreamers and doers and go-getters and networkers, and I might have been one of those things at one point, but now I’m just tired. I really, really love you, Los Angeles, but I am tired.