Tag Archives: starlet

Welcome to Hollywood! What’s YOUR Trip?

“How is it out there?”  I got a text from a long lost comrade, on the East Coast of my youth.

It came in between my feverish dreams on behalf of the girl next door with a terrible cough; and another girl, also sort of next door (more like behind the door diagonally across the hall from mine), who insists on slamming that fucking thing every time she leaves or returns to the premises.  (And considering that the girl behind the diagonal door is a new starlet in Hollyweird, she comes and goes quite a bit.  I also presume she must be quite forgetful, ‘cause that door usually gets slammed a dozen times before the joint returns to its habitual silence.  All that noise — from one little girl!)

Oh, and then it was one those fire drill days in my building; and once I returned to my heavy, sweaty dreams — after the new starlet finished her door slamming for that portion of the day — off it went:  A horrific sound of metal on metal, meant to save the living and to wake the dead!

I reached for my earplugs.  Normally, I sport those if going to bed after midnight:  when the ghetto birds come out to cruise my ‘hood and wake up the girl next door — and her terrible cough.  But yesterday morning, I was meant to sleep in.  (I had been awake for half the night, every night of this week, due to a heartbreak-related insomnia.  FUCK.)  Except:  I forgot to read the memo plastered on the door of our garage earlier in the week.

“Probably another filming notice,” I dismissed it at the time.

But the memo multiplied like an occasional stampede by rodents; and by the morning, it appeared on every door of the joint.  When the drill when off, I stumbled out of my apartment into the corridor, with purple earplugs ‘n’ all:

“Is there smoke?”  I thought, trying to remember where I used my laptop last, before finally falling asleep:  ‘cause that’s the only thing that was worth rescuing.  “If there is no smoke, I’m going back to bed!”

“Dear Tenants!”  I first read the paper on the diagonal door before noticing my own copy.  I skimmed over it.

“Cocksuckers!” I thought.  So much for sleeping in!

I closed the door, jammed in my purple earplugs further and went to the fridge.  That’s where I keep my coffee, you see, and anything else that I would hate to see be invaded by a stampede of rodents.  Top shelf:  Hemp milk, honey…  FUCK:  I’m out of coffee!  Totally forgot!  Must get to Trader Joe’s today, but:  FUCK.

I got out a gypsy skirt, utilized it as a dress, took the stairs, stepped outside:  Lovely.  Perhaps not really a beach day, but still:  Lovely!  I took out my purple earplugs and walked to the 7-Eleven on the corner.  Behind it, a construction that’s been going on for over a year was starting to look like a building, not a skeleton of steel beams, and plastic, and fiber glass.

“Afternoon, m’am,” a bearded man in an orange helmet grinned at me in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven.  These guys are awesome:  construction men who are often warn their invasion of an neighborhood with signs like “Caution:  Men Working”,  “Men Working Above”, “Caution!  Men!”

“Afternoon?” I responded.  What frigging time WAS it?  Come to think of it, that fire drill memo did mention 12 noon.

Armed with my watered-down coffee, I rushed back to my apartment.  Sure enough:  12-fucking-30!  FUCK.  I gotta publish!  The horrific sound of the drill made me consider visiting some coffee shop at a walking distance, but then you never know with those, in Hollyweird:  Some lonely exhibitionist may always impede on my work there, and then I’ll need my purple earplugs again.  I got to work.

After a typical three-hour session which sometimes feels like a catharsis, and other times — like a mean constipation — I finally got around to returning my messages.  There was a semi-flirtation by an old lover.  Cute.  Then, there was the request to take a raincheck on a date from a player I just met.  An actor.  Of course:  What was I thinking?  Two lines were sent to the old lover, one — to the actor.

“How is it out there?”  I reread the text from my long lost comrade.

Right.  What to say to that one?  I stumbled around the apartment for a little longer (the fire drill was finally over), and decided to do a little research on behalf of my curious witness, on the East Coast of my youth.  Because I’ve been out here a bit too long, to be easily impressed to give him the answer he may want to hear; so I thought:  Why not take a little walk while running errands?

First stop:  The bank.

“I’m SO glad there is no racism out here!” 

As soon as I stepped in, I overhead a white woman do her spiel in front of two clerks, in the lobby.

“Right, right, right,” one of them was responding.

They didn’t have a choice but to listen to her.  None of us did.  I began testing those dinky pens with strings, just so I could sign my checks.  Apparently, she had just returned from Paris and was “shocked” — “SHOCKED!” — by the state of the racial affairs over there.

“I tell you:  This is exactly why Los Angeles — is the best place on the planet!” 

I looked over at the African American security guard by the door:  Was he as uncomfortable as me?

“Right, right, right…”

The white woman was finally marching out, laughing at her own joke, seemingly relieved (had she just fulfilled some civic duty?); and as she passed the security guard — now holding her door — she ignored the courtesy to thank him.  Oh goodness!  I was already craving to get back to my apartment.

But:  FUCK!  I’m out of coffee!  And didn’t they just build a new TJ’s around here?  I decided to walk around a lil’ more.

“How YOU doin’ today, mami?” — a Chicano was smoking outside another bank I passed on my excursion.  I examined him, head to toe:  I’ve been out here a bit too long to be easily impressed.  Then, toe to head.  The head was smirking, disarmingly.

“Good,” I answered.  Fine:  I looked back and pressed my lips together (my version of a smile); then kept walking.

“Nice poom-poom!” he hollered before I disappeared behind the sliding doors of TJ’s.  And how would HE know?!  FUCK.

Screw it!  Quickly, I picked up my staples:  I’m pro.  A woman on mission.  Besides:  The inside my apartment was starting to feel very tempting.  

Ahead of me in line, a young mother was venting to the cashier:

“My son was beating up a boy over these seaweed snacks!  And I was like:  You’re in kindergarden!”

The cashier smiled uncomfortably while stuffing her bags with what looked like a month’s supply of seaweed.  The young mother looked back at me for some better sympathy.  I pressed my lips together.

“I mean:  This is what the children in Hollywood fight over!  Seaweed.”

She took her time paying, while figuring out which credit card was going to work that day; and finally settled on writing a check.  This — was gonna be a while.  I put down my items.  Scanned the shelf of Zico coconut water.  Oh!  I NEED me some of that!  I grabbed a about a month’s supply, and approached the tortured cashier.

“Rough shift?”  I said.

He pressed his lips together:  “Just another day in Hollywood.”

I packed my own bags, paid cash, took a different exit to avoid the smoking Chicano and stepped outside:  Lovely.  Perhaps not really a beach day, but still:  Lovely!  I strutted home.

Oh, but:  FUCK!  I’m out of coffee.  Totally forgot to buy some.

FUCK.

A Prayer to My Fat Ass

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.  

“Uh!” 

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 dunno.” 

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.