Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Justin Has None

Last Night One Tried To Kill Me -- I'm Sure

"Meet me at that place. Down the block. The one that shouldn't be open but is."

So I did. I drove there.

New to Los Angeles, not caring that no one thought my crappy French car was cool, not caring what trendy cars the bottled blondes drove.

On the street were six Suzuki Samurais, all driven by newly blonde actress wannabes carrying plastic water bottles and yoga mats.

Five years later, they'd be driving some other trendy car. Then another one. Then New Beetles and Mini Coopers.

At the place where we met, she ate something organic. I tried a bite. It was disgusting.

"Why aren't the streets glistening?" she asked. "They always glisten in the movies."

I looked down the hallway, which was painted to look like a Japanese Pagoda. Now it looked like a hallway with peeling Pagoda paint. The bored vaguely Asian waitstaff scurried about, heating sake for the exclusively White patrons.

"I don't know that they're always glistening," I said.

She smiled. "Always. There's never been a movie where it's not raining in Los Angeles."

She wanted me to argue, to be logical. But I didn't want to. I was tired.

"It's like someone waved a magic wand at Los Angeles and made it rain. But only in the movies." She looked far off into the distance. "I wish I could make it rain here."

She finished her meal. I couldn't stomach mine.

Then she asked if I wanted any gluten-free chocolate cake. I didn't. I was tired of trendy food. "I've got an idea," I said. "Let's go somewhere and have real chocolate cake. Made with sugar and flour and eggs and chocolate."

She scowled at me. "That's disgusting."

I shrugged as she poured water from the bottle into her glass.

"I just wanted something real."

She stared around the room at all the women with fake breasts and said nothing.

"You know," I said, "Evian spelled backwards is 'naive.'"

She shook her head, looked at me across the table, and said the words every man in Los Angeles hates to hear: "I signed up for an acting class."

We said nothing for a very long time.

The French car outlived the relationship, but not by much. I got an equally untrendy but more reliable car.

In the restaurant, the paint continued to peel. The fake breasted women pushed food around their plates and eventually left. The newly arrived blondes went off to yoga in their cute cars.

Some of the details changed (the make of the cute car, the container used for designer water, the hairstyle), but the essence was the same. The same old thing that you saw 12 seconds ago.


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