Sunday, August 26, 2007

On Brick Top, My Hollywood "Signs" and The Wheel in the Sky...















...see that sign...up close, it's just that...a fekkin' sign comprised of huge letters on a hill but it boggles my dome sometimes at all the drama that takes place in this town just below them when the cameras aren't even rolling...if those letters could talk...I started writing this last week, after a screener while waiting for a bus in front of the Larry Flynt building over on Wilshire and La Cienega, I continued writing on the subway and finished it up when I got to the pad...it was about 12:30 but the adrenaline from realizing that I was almost smoked an hour or so prior was still swirling through my veins...





...I just got in from that 3:10 to Yuma screening and will have to get right back up in a couple of hours in order get to the check in...I should be dead tired after riding around all day...but I'm not...I can't sleep because there's been a rush of adrenaline pumping through me ever since I almost lost my life, ironically, not that far from where I almost became a road burger back in March...but wait, I'm getting ahead of myself...

I've mused on here once or twice about how long was I going to keep "Forrest Gumpin' " my way around this town before I either 1, got my grind on 2, tucked tail and skipped town or 3, buy the farm in some freak accident that involves me, some strangers I met in Venice Beach, a llama, a bottle of Ouzo...and a John Deere woodchipper...these have been a wild and woolly couple of months for me but I've been keeping the lupine lot loping on the lateral by writing, reading and writing some more...But just because you don't see 'em doesn't mean that they're not out to get you....my mother is a staunch believer in signs from the beyond that we all should look for when trying to get on with our lives and although I've been known to say shite like "man, the last time that occurred "X" bad/ good thing happened to me"...if I apply my Vulcan powers of logic, I know that it's a sham...a futile attempt to take control of the steering wheel of fate which is akin to ice skating uphill...you'll get nowhere fast...still things like what I'm about to explain make me think twice...





















...I've noticed out here that when you talk to someone you don't know who's been here long enough, especially during a business call with some departmental dogbody (who already hates their gig and wants you to know it). At the end of the call, instead of saying "goodbye", the person says "thanks" but its not like "thank you-thank you" it's stated more like a "sit-and-spin, asshole"...sounds like "Thaay-anks"...with an extra emphasis on the forced second syllable...I fuggin' loathe hearing it...I call it the Hollywood hang-up...which brings me to a hang-up of another stripe...I had a meeting with an IT recruiter downtown today, just before the film, a meet and greet, nothing fancy...so I go down to meet her (forgetting how shitty people drive downtown when they're released from their cubicle cages)...I got turned around in the traffic and tall buildings (about two blocks from the one pictured in the center above) and instead of arriving at the address I was supposed to, I went to the same number in a building one street over-- meatheaded, right? Well here's where the "sign" part kicks in...I'd called the recruiter a few minutes prior...she knew what I looked like (from stuff of mine out there on the internets)...when I get there...she's gone! ...(she called me a half hour later when I'd gotten on a train)...I think I passed her in the hallway after I'd changed back into my riding clothes but by that point I thought, "fuck it...if they're playing games at this stage, who knows what's around the corner?"...so I left; cut my losses and headed west toward Sunset on the Red Line...they called ME!!!...I've always known that I'm not cut out for die korporative Welt and this was another confirmation but a man does what he must whilst he tries to get his creative cheese spread on the Tinsel Town Ritz cracker...I must be walking around with some weird light emanating from behind or, people see a colorized cloud of ominousness hanging over my head like that character in that Stephen King novel who's cursed by an old Gipsy with a piece of funky pastry...duly noted counselor. Stay away from tall buildings and questionable cakes while trying to keep the rain off your head...

Apocryphal: adjective - of a story or statement) of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true. See spurious...noun/ (used with a sing. or pl. verb) 1. The biblical books included in the Vulgate and accepted in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox canon but considered noncanonical by Protestants because they are not part of the Hebrew Scriptures. 2. Various early Christian writings proposed as additions to the New Testament but rejected by the major canons. 3. apocrypha Writings or statements of questionable authorship or authenticity.

Apocrypha etymology: [Middle English apocripha, not authentic, from Late Latin Apocrypha, the Apocrypha, from Greek Apokrupha, neuter pl. of apokruphos, secret, hidden, from apokruptein, to hide away : apo-, apo- + kruptein, kruph-, to hide.]


...did I ever mention I'm a cyclist? Yeah, a rare breed here in Los Angeles for sure...A lot of people who live here tend to believe that the automobile you're sitting in defines who you are...I'm sorry, I'm not from around here and I've had my fill of shitty car leases, swarthy mechanics and extortionate insurance bills...so I use the MTA, take taxis and am unrepentant about that...deal with it Los Angeles, I'm well aware that many of you driving around in those fancy rides can barely afford them...the jig is up...at any rate, I get to the screener, I lock up outside where I've been doing so for years and go inside, sign in with the outlet I'm covering for and settle in for the shoot 'em up...midway through the film, a blue-blazered security guy comes in and tells me the people in the club next door want me to move my cycle...and have threatened to call the fuzz to have the lock cut and the bike removed...but a sister working the floor that night had interceded because she knew I was in the screening room...good looking out, girlfriend...I made sure to tell her as much...



...apparently the place next door was some new club down on the end of Sunset, close to BH and there was some red carpet thing going on and some celebrities were going to show...I more than likely knew most of the people covering it on the other side of the throngs of people...ain't that about a bitch? Luckily the guard in charge wasn't tripping (I found out later that she's from North Hollywood, so she wasn't fazed by the celeb stuff in the least) and she sorted me out so I could get on with what I was there for...I can still see the smirks on the faces of all those bald-headed schnooks in monkey suits as I rode off...their expressions said it all..."fuck you writer-guy"...I'm sorry...I'm not from around here, partner..so go fuck yourselves...I gave 'em a single-shouldered neck roll and sneer that would've done Snatch's Brick Top Polford one shite's sight better...like I'd just stumbled out of the Drowning Trout, stoked on pints of Irish Fighting Fuel...calm down, son...behave yourself...instead I shot down Sunset toward La Cienega....where I missed an appointment with my maker by about 30 seconds and 200 feet...




















...the intersection where La Cienega crosses Sunset is at the top of one of the steepest inclines on that side of town and offers a splendid vista across West Hollywood that goes clean out to Culver City, sometimes Santa Monica, on a sunny day. On weekend nights it's clogged with traffic too but not on a Monday...I shooshed on down the hill...I got a green at the 7 - Eleven three blocks down, so I kept on truckin' and then I got a red at Sunset so I started braking-- all of a sudden I heard a loud screech behind me as I pulled to a stop. I looked behind, where I'd been just seconds before, in time to see an intoxicated driver careen straight through the intersection I'd just shot by like a two-wheeled bullet and crash into a light post in front of that Seven - E...the signal was still green going in my direction so he'd run a red light, swerved uphill and hit a pole-- a couple of hubcaps kept rolling up the hill like they had better things to do...if I had hung out just a couple of seconds more fucking with those guards back at the night club, talking shite like I might've in the past, back in Manhattan, I would've probably been in that intersection when that dude punched through it...road kill...a sign?

























...I don't know, maybe it was...maybe it wasn't but my ass is definitely circumspect, right about now...I can't call it but I'm certain that all of this shite transpired in the span of five hours the other day and it made me wonder if this town is trying to tell me something...we live our lives going forward with one foot on the accelerator and the other on "fast" so much these days it sometimes makes me think about those necessary pauses that we should take for sanity's sake but never do or think about until it's too fucking late to do anything about it...It'll put a grip into perspective when you get down to brass tacks and realize that tomorrow is promised to nobody...things might have been rough, but not so much that I was ever ready to punch the clock for good...sure it will no doubt get rougher at some point but who fekkin' cares, boyo? ...quiet as I keep it during phone conversations with her, I still don't cotton to my mother's notion that there's signs, signs, everywhere signs but I won't reject it outright, either...seen too much of the inexplicable to do so...she doesn't read as much as I do, but experience teacheth wisdom and all that jazz (she's definitely taught me that the surest way to see whom your true friends are is to call 'em when you're down and out...then the truth arises, sure as you're born)...I still lean more toward Marcus Aurelius' words on Stoicism because when it's all said and done, there's nothing left to say...just get on with it...do it...as cheese-ball as it might seem to some, I've embraced the thrust of this Journey tune from the album above long ago when I was still playing music on the road...the lyrics speak volumes and if you've ever written a tune with year heart on your sleeve and played it for people, you know what I'm talking about...fuck the VH-1-ish video sideshows, every time I hear Steve Perry sing it, I immediately identify with the protagonists' self doubt...there's some truth in there...an innate, inexplicable urge to carry on, despite how dark things appear...I've seen a lot since I started hittin' it and gigging out as a 17-year old university freshman and I haven't encountered any enigmatic burning bushes or talking coyotes out there since I started, either...nope, not one yet...having said all of that, I've learned its best to just push on toward your goals, whatever they are...embrace the challenge...ignore the sucker-ducks, nabobs and nay sayers (they're full of shite, I know I can be sometimes, though this ain't one of 'em)...a positive anything beats a negative nothing and that's word, yo...keep all lines of communication switched on and wide open...but don't forget to get a whiff of those rose blooms up in your face...when you're down, dust yourself off, post haste and get the fuck back up because that which doesn't kill us-- well, you already know the rest...laters...

Labels: , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home