Awaiting a train on an immaculately clean subway platform the other day… What’s that? Subway? Yes: There is a subway in LA-LA City. Mostly ridden by brown people and Downtown’s business types, this magical recent innovation has saved V a lot of headaches caused by the convoluted parking rules, one-way streets, obnoxiously priced valet lots and traffic-congested roads—that look like parking lots—in that happening zip code of ours. On the other hand, I’ve had to confront the utter lack of control and manners on behalf of this city’s male contingent when they express their desire to not only speak to me—but to touch me. What can I say: A walking woman is somewhat of a rarity around here! Yet, still I insist on contributing my coins to the spanking brand new subway ticket machines and reveling in a system with visible time schedules and audible announcements about any possible delays or detours. (Hear that, New Yorkers?! I’m just sayin’.)
Anyway. While chilling on a subway platform the other day and trying on my best Dontcha Fuckin’ Dare Speak to Me face, I was devouring a book by a brown writer… What’s that? A book? Yes, I still read books.
So: Reading a book, on a subway platform, I was brought back to reality by the clickety-clack of stilettos that absolutely had to belong to a beautiful woman. Understandably: V looked up. Poorly balancing in her heels, the young creature wobbling in my direction looked like Bambi. She was blonde and pretty—a perfect newbie in LA. Yet everything about her screamed of wanting a little bit too much and trying a little bit too hard. I’ve seen these creatures in casting sessions before. Fuck: I’ve been one of these creature my first year of auditions! Albeit her prettiness, she hid behind too much make-up, applied by a hand of a four-year old who had stolen it from her mother. The blonde hair was teased to shit into an asymmetrical bouffant completed by a mousey ponytail. Her short black-and-white dress and a pink pashmina made her appear overdressed and utterly unaware of what it takes to navigate this city on foot.
“Clickety-clack… Clack! Clack-clack-clack-clack-clack,” she went past me, nearly tripping over her own feet.
“Oh, honey,” my heart moaned in a half-prayer as it does when witnessing another innocent creature equipped with nothing but her dreams to survive this chaotic, slightly schizophrenic town. But it was only a half-prayer—because I don’t have the time or the strength to adopt and rescue every young soul. And because she had chosen her path—god bless her! And because already having difficulty balancing in those big-girl heels, she could do without the pity by the jaded skeptics like me tripping her over. Besides: Who the fuck am I to project my own failures and embarrassments in LA-LA Land onto a young woman courageous enough to be idealistic?
Oh, but I would leave her alone, my comrades, and return to the hilarious words by my brown writer; but the young girl, who has parked herself on a wooden bench a meter away from me, shook the pink pashmina off her shoulders and revealed a frame so thin, my stomach growled like a guard dog at the gates of GULAG. The view that I got from where I stood was her nearly transparent back with every rib and every vertebra ripping through the bluish-white skin. She slouched a little, in that way of a crying child or a young girl embarrassed of her budding new breasts.
“Oh, baby-boo,” my heart moaned—that stubborn organ that always gets me to go against my better, self-protective judgment.
It was grunt by a black guy. C’mon, we all know it: that chesty, sexual, laconic groan that only a brother can pull off which usually means, “I gotta get me some a dat!” Honestly: It’s one of my favorite sounds. Because, in my experience, a black man is hard to discombobulate out of his chill by any woman; and if he is moved, he’ll take his time before actually touching the honey. Prior to the physical contact, however, there will be a dance of slow, self-possessed struts, accompanied by somewhat primal sounds. Like the “Uh!” my brown bystander granted the Bambi on the bench.
I looked over to him: Over 6-feet tall, clad in New York black, with his skin glossy and gorgeous, the man—was a warrior. He noticed me, held his gaze—fucking balls!—smiled ever so slightly, pouted, shook his head and said:
I tilted my head, meaning: “Bring it.”
Tuned in, he licked those endless lips of his, formulated the words and said: “Too skinny.” Maybe I nodded a bit too enthusiastically, but the brown creature elaborated: “I like a woman with a little ‘uh!’”
Yep. Well said, comrade. The reason the Bambi jacked up my empathy that afternoon was the utter deprivation with which she treated her young body. Because past all that desperate glamour and paint, hid a self-induced violence by her poor self-esteem which was most likely already reconfirmed by the self-loathing scumbags of this town (i.e.: agents, managers, boyfriends). Because you see, my comrades, around here—it’s difficult to be enough! There is a permanent hum of advice that hangs above women’s heads along with LA-LA’s smog: Too Fat / Too Old / Too Brown / Too Foreign / Too Brunette / Too Smart / Too Something. (Those are my favorite old tags.) It takes oh so much fucking work to never let go of your authentic self; because if you do—one un-fine day, you’ll wake up as a washed-up cocktail waitress with blistered feet and soul, realizing that your two future solutions are: 1. to go back to school; or 2. to bait yourself a rich guy who’ll buy you your Happily Ever After.
So, here comes my prayer, my comrades, for the sake of my own self, the women I know and the Bambi’s I wish I’d known before their fall: May the very womb of our Mother Fuckin’ Nature grant us the courage to hold on to our fat asses! May the armies of our shrinks and girlfriends shield us from being chipped away by those who live in hatred of themselves! May we wake up to the mirrors that sing in the voice of Maria Callas: “You are the fairest one of all—and I love your ass!” And may we be lucky enough to be accompanied by men who worship our fat behinds, and when the schizophrenic voices chime in—shag some sense into us.