I spent last weekend in Los Angeles visiting my buddy Brian in his new digs, a condo building on Laurel near Sunset Blvd. It had a beautiful tiled inner courtyard with a pool, like Melrose Place, though I preferred to think of Mulholland Drive instead. Friday night we sat out by the pool talking, enjoying the warm night (which we never get in San Francisco). I sat on the edge of the pool, my feet submerged. The pool was lit from within, and my feet looked pale and thick below the surface of the water. I told him about the last time I had sex. Liquid patterns of light and shadow played against the underside of the palm trees within the courtyard.
The next day we swam and lay in the sun. A few of his neighbors were there as well, lying on the deck chairs reading. I swear to God that half of them had scripts in their hands. The other half were reading either People or Us. I kept dropping the word “industry” while talking to Brian to show how cool I was, but nobody paid any attention to me.
That night we went to the Arc Light, a state-of-the-art movie theater where you can literally reserve seats ahead of time. The little planner that I am, it was an exciting experience. As we looked for parking in the nearby ramp, I noticed a rather large family walking back to their car. I immediately scoped out the Daddy, and then I gasped “Oh My God, is that Corbin Bernsen?”
“Where?” said Brian. “Oh, yep, that’s him.”
“Wow. Corbin Bernsen.”
“He’s totally checking you out.”
“Maybe he’s gay.”
“Maybe he wants to see the person who still recognizes Corbin Bernsen.”
Later people applauded the car chase in the Bourne Supremacy. And half the theater stayed for the credits. On my way out I passed two guys, one of whom was saying, “…yeah, I normally don’t do those kinds of films, but Nancy Travis’ husband is a friend of mine…”
Thanks to everyone who responded to my adolescent-girl-outburst regarding my new apartment, especially those of you who’ve told me of nearby coffee shops and delis. I still can’t believe I get my own studio. I feel like I could just maybe handle New York now.
It’s official. I bought a one-way ticket for August 15th, smack in the middle of New York’s balmiest month. At least the city won’t be so crowded then. Luckily I can crash with Jennie till the movers arrive with my stuff. I have an appointment to sign my lease on the 16th, after which I’m sure I’ll be running around the city picking up things I’ve forgotten to pack. I realized over the weekend that I haven’t lived alone in about ten years, and there are so many things, like kitchen stuff, that I don’t have, since I’ve always used my roommates’ stuff. I’m spending a lot of money right now; thank God I may have found someone to buy my car.
I like moving about as much as I like getting a root canal. This may have something to do with my childhood, when my parents had joint custody of me and my little brother. For some reason, instead of choosing a more normal schedule like, say, a month at Mom’s followed by a month at Dad’s, our schedule was more like Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at Mom’s, Thursdays at Dad’s, with weekends alternating at each house. I was scarred for life. I have an overpowering need for a quiet, stable home. And I need to have everything in one place or else I get anxious.
I have a little less than two weeks to pack, which is plenty of time since I’m already halfway done (see “little planner” above). I have four shopping bags full of books to sell or give away, and my room smells like cardboard. I got a little emotional yesterday, sitting on the floor surrounded by piles and piles of boxes I had pulled from storage. My need to streamline runs smack against my sentimentality. I have stories and poems I wrote in grade school, report cards from the eighth grade, notes I passed in junior high, press clippings from every article that ever mentioned my name back when I was a poetry slam champ. I have copies of the literary magazines that published one or two of my poems and rejection slips from all the rest. I have every journal I’ve ever kept, except for the one that I left on a bus in Minneapolis. I have old xeroxed photos that I hung on the wall of my college dorm room, the year I came out of the closet. My favorite is of two skinheads, one is drinking a Bud while the other gives him head. I have scores of old photos and stacks of old letters, nearly all from people I’ve forgotten. I picked up one, a letter that I never sent, and was depressed to see that my problems with men haven’t changed much in ten years.
Maybe it was just the physical condition of my room; everywhere I looked was another pile demanding attention and categorization, and I knew how little space I’d have in New York. Maybe it was old memories. But I sat back and sipped from my bottle of water, looking around my room, and I didn’t move for nearly an hour.