Accidentally Shoplifting, On Purpose.

I was so excited the other day to have finally gotten some money on my unemployment card. I thought to myself…”I can eat this week,” and headed out to the Ralph’s to spend a modicum amount of my weekly benefits on food, something I need to survive.

After making a right hand turn into the parking lot, slamming on my brakes and having to idle impatiently while two other cars chose to block the entrance to the underground parking and apparently wait for one of the 12 spots on the ground floor, I made my way over two annoying speed bumps and parked close to the escalator, which of course has been broken for two weeks now.

I had a small shopping list that included some lettuce, chicken, cat food, diet coke, and toilet paper which I desperately needed probably more than the 20 pack of soda I picked up first and put on the bottom of my cart.

“Remember to pay for that later.” I told myself.

I cruised my shopping cart down the aisle and ran into an extremely attractive Russian brunette who picked out her most uncomfortable pair of high heels to go shopping that day, and it almost felt like she wanted to say something to me until her short Armenian boyfriend who was about thirty years her senior appeared out of nowhere. Upon seeing me about to strike up a conversation with a stranger in the salad dressing aisle, this little man decided to say something I couldn’t understand in a language I don’t speak and then proceeded to grope his girlfriend in front of the tabasco sauce as if to send a clear message to me that she is hot, and belongs to him.

Silly Armenian, I’m more focused on my 10 soups for $10 than I am on your ten dollar mail order bride you got to make yourself look better in public.

I cross the frozen food section and pick up nothing as I make my way down the snack aisle where I run into an appealing Spanish girl who asks me which cheddar and sour cream potato chips I prefer as I’m picking out the Kroger brand bag of the same flavor.

“I actually like these.” I say as I put the chips that will probably be eaten before tomorrow into my cart.

The Spaniard picks them off the shelf, and is about to put them into her cart when low and behold, another short, foreign, “hands on” boyfriend appears out of nowhere and immediately puts those potato chips back while muttering something in Spanish about how Ruffles taste better. I choose not to interject with the fact that I have been eating cheddar and sour cream flavor chips for over 15 years and that recently I switched to Kroger brand because Ruffles changed their recipe and they’re just not that good anymore.

I make my way past the half off Halloween candy aisle and I think to myself it’s  like three weeks past that holiday and 50% off just doesn’t seem to make sense to me. I’ll wait for the big after Christmas blow out in what feels like it’s two months away, but I know it will be January before I know it.

I grab a few bags of lettuce that I have a coupon for and I throw in a few power bars which is a breakfast meal I don’t necessarily look forward to but it’s cheap, and I’m frugal these days, plus they have a buy three, get a dollar off promo going on.

I pass by the cookie and cracker aisle, grabbing two bags of goldfish that I have been eating since the 1980s and as I turn the corner to grab a few cans of cat food, I see that weird Russian/Armenian couple again and as he spots me coming around the corner it’s almost on cue that he puts his arms around her waist and grabs her butt until she squeals with what I think was embarrassing excitement.

Oh God, get me out of this place already, but of course not before I find myself trapped at the end cap of that lane while an overweight asian woman mulls over which brand of toilet paper to buy and a regular sized asian man is texting while leaning on his cart which is ALSO blocking my way.

I check my list and I think I got it all, and as I look across the checkout lanes, I see the one with the shortest line and I head that way until right before I’m about to enter the lane, that Spanish couple cuts me off and oh look, they decided to go with the store brand potato chips like I told her to do.

As I’m starting to put my items on the belt I am greeted by the young, sweet cashier who asks me about my day, and tells me about hers and how it started at 7am when she dropped off her kid at school and I thank God that I’m only buying fancy feast at sixty-nine cents a can rather than baby food.

Then the uber sweet older Latino bag lady, (not homeless mind you) compiles all of my groceries into three bags, places them into my cart at right about the same time I turn around to hear that Armenian dude arguing with his girlfriend that she doesn’t need to purchase the Star, Us Weekly AND the National Inquirer magazines in her hands.

I hand the cashier my money off vouchers, and watch as a contestant does on Extreme Couponing as my total amount owed drops from $91 to $68 thanks to the Campbell’s 10 for 10 soup sale, the $3.50 off I saved, and the Ralph’s club discount I received. I swipe my EDD card, enter my pin, and I’m approved as the cashier hands me even more coupons and I thank the bag lady for packing my cart as I push it out the front door and into the elevator.

No one gets on with me, and I smile because I know I hate riding in elevators with other people, and I laugh at the antics of those two weird couples in the store as I make my way down to the basement floor and as I’m loading my groceries into my car, I look down at my cart, and it hits me…..

I never paid for that 20 pack of diet coke.

I guess I could go back in and be honest. I guess I could take the elevator back up to the 2nd floor and shell out the seven dollars for this soda, but with people across the country taking meat from the butcher aisle and shoving it down their pants to save money, I feel like maybe this accidental moment of theft is God’s way of telling me to enjoy the fruits and carbonation of my labor because no one really saw me, and getting away with shoplifting when you don’t mean to shoplift is a rush in itself.

I pack up my car, turn on some music, and drive away with a clear conscience.

And if you’re wondering…. those still are the best tasting twenty cans of diet coke that I never really paid for.

 

Don’t Doubt Yourself, Idiot.

I woke up the other morning with the blues. There was really no rhyme or reason for it. Nothing tumultuous had happened the night before to cause me to feel this way, nothing in my life had changed that much from yesterday and aside from the fact that it is unseasonably warm and dry this week and my hands feel like they can’t hold any moisture anymore, everything was pretty much the same, except for this wave of doubt and uncertainty that consumed me as I lay on the couch and did nothing the rest of the day.

Maybe it’s part of my self-sabotaging plan to talk myself out of plans that I plan to follow through with. Perhaps it’s in my nature to think that something is going to go wrong when nothing has had a chance to wrong yet. Maybe I’m in the middle of a mid life crisis that doesn’t seem so much of a crisis until I put all this unrealistic pressure on myself to have it all figured out.

I paid all my credit card bills in one day, and that was probably the catalyst. It’s depressing to shell out hard earned money for the lifestyle I bought myself the last year, and then realize that I’m still going to be paying for it well into 2016 and beyond. Those Nike Air Max I bought on sale in March don’t really seem to bring me the joy I thought they would in November. That cell phone bill that I’ve been hiding within my credit limit rears it’s ugly head once every month on the 17th, and the big idea that I have been creating since October that could move me somewhere new is the one mindset that I shouldn’t be allowing negative thoughts to creep into, but somehow, I find myself in the middle of a doubt, without the indecision of a falling out.

I don’t think things could be worse, because believe me, I know that they could and I’d be writing an entirely different blog if that were the case. I guess I just want to know that my plans will come to fruition, without this wave of hesitancy that is hanging around like a bad cough. I guess I just want to be confident of the perfect mess inside my head that makes sense to me, but may not make sense on paper. I guess I just want the security to know that everything is going to work out the way it’s meant to, even though I know that euphamism could go either way.

There have been too many signs of agreement about the ideas I’m putting into motion for me to start to doubt them now, but I think a small amount of uncertainty is healthy. It just makes me a little bit more particular about what I put out into the world, and it makes me slightly more energetic to talk to people about it, and it makes me have to write it down to define exactly what it is that I want to have happen.

The doubts that creep in are just distractions that are trying to sidetrack me. In the immortal word of Quentin Tarantino,”That’s pride fucking wit ya.” Ok, perhaps it’s not pride but regardless, the weather will change, and then change again and I will have to remember that the key here is not to listen to that noise inside my head.

I have to tell myself that I’m not an idiot, because idiots don’t write this well, and idiots don’t have precise thought out plans that they know are for the best, and idiots don’t have friends in places that appear when the time is right, and idiots don’t let doubts and confusion rent any more space inside their head.

I guess I’m not an idiot after all.

 

This is Racist, That is Rapey

I bet you’re here because you saw the word racist and rapey in the title, and just HAD to click the link because apparently we are a nation obsessed by being offended by everything. 

That would be including (but not limited to) instances where putting the French flag atop the Seattle Space Needle instead of the Kenyan flag was questioned as racist, and this ad for Bloomingdale’s was taken down for promoting a “rape culture”   

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Seriously?  Give me a fucking break… on both accounts.  

The French flag flying atop the Space Needle is a show of solidarity for the terrorist attacks on France, who is our ally, who gave us the Statue of Liberty, and who also helped us win wars hundreds of years ago which is one of the reasons we are free country today… well, a free country that is being watched, recorded, and listened to by the government through all of our computers and cell phone devices but oddly enough, I’m ok with that.  

They’re not looking for me….unless of course I do something  so “racist” according to this article by putting the French flag on top of the most famous building in the Pacific Northwest, instead of Kenya’s flag in honor of the hundreds that were killed in THAT country back in April.

It was a bad week for the world I get it, but let’s be honest…there is NOTHING racist about that.  I’m almost offended that someone would be offended by that and call it something it’s clearly not.  Both events were a tragedy, but I think people are getting a little too casual with throwing the word racism out there just for the clicks. 

Click this link to find out that nothing in the headline is actually true, because clicks are the new form of currency in the world.  

What if the owner of the Space Needle is French and not Kenyan?  What if there is only one flag pole on top of the observation tower?  I wonder if the writer of that article would even know what Kenya’s flag looks like.  I mean, where would one go to get a Kenyan flag anyway?  7-11?  Home Depot?  Is there a Kenya town in Seattle next to China town?

If I’m the United States, and I’m back in high school and I see one of my best friends get beat up one day by a bully, I’m gonna have their backs the next day because they had mine at one point 300 plus years ago.  Then,  I’ll show the rest of the world my respect for them by flying their flag atop my privately owned landmark.  This is of course in a fantasy world where apparently I own property, and all of my friends have personal emblems, but what I’m saying is  The United States is best friends with France, and just acquaintances with Kenya.  Doesn’t mean one tragedy is worse than the other, and it’s NOT racist.

Show me the people in Kenya getting offended by the French flag and maybe I’ll believe you, but in the meantime we can’t put every countries flag up every time there is a disaster.  And by the way, killing and/or treating people unfairly because of the color of their skin is racist, not putting up a flag of one country as opposed to another country just because you make the point that white people live there.  

Now on to this ad.

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I laughed the first time I saw it because I got the joke, but at the same time I was definitely NOT surprised to find this was attached to a post questioning whether or not this ad suggests a “rape culture” insinuating that the guy roofied the eggnog. 

Wow, pretty rapey huh?  Another word that just gets thrown around like a trending topic on Twitter these days.  Let’s analyze this…

The guy in the ad IS kind of creepy looking like he just did something wrong, and the girl is having a good time right?  So of course I can see how some sick and twisted people would take this to the dark part of the brain that suggests he is definitely going to rape her later. 

That’s fucked up, but people seem to love being offended by things instead of seeing them in different ways.  Here are some other scenarios to consider.

What if the guy is the ad is gay? What if he’s looking at his best friend who is talking to another guy at the party that got cut out of the final billboard?  What if he’s looking past her, and staring at some dude hoping to have sex with HIM later.  Would that still be considered rapey?  

Consider this… what if SHE spiked HIS drink?  Now she’s laughing about it and the dude in the ad is like, what a crazy bitch that woman is.  What if the roles were reversed, and by the way, don’t call me racist or rapey because a good friend of mine is the one who suggested this scenario and guess what, she is a woman!

Finally, how does one serve eggnog at  a Christmas party anyway?  Isn’t it always in one giant bowl with a ladle and a lots of reindeer shaped cups like Uncle Eddie had in the movie Christmas Vacation?  If so, then whomever spiked the egg nog just roofied EVERYONE at that party and it doesn’t matter cause they will all pass out soon with no one to force sex onto them, except of course for the people who didn’t drink the eggnog.   

It all depends on how you choose to look at it, but let’s try to remember that even though we don’t like something we may see or read, being offended is a choice, not an instinct.  

I choose to feel like the owner of the space needle did something to show his or her support for France, a country that helped us during 9-11 and prayed for Kenya, who we all share a deep remorse with.

I choose to feel the billboard was humorous and festive and also I choose to think that if you put two people dressed like it was 1950 in that Bloomingdale’s ad with the same text, no one would think there was anything wrong with that.

Being offended is a sign of the times, I understand that,  but going around labeling things racist and rapey just to get people to click your link or jump on your team to argue over some silly point is just childish. 

I think we’d be a better country if we stopped trying so hard to be offended, and tried a little harder at understanding each other.

Images appearing in this post may be subject to copyright

screenshots taken from http://www.entrepreneur.com and http://www.youtube.com

Making Friends (with Lagwagon)

I went and saw a band last night that I have seen about a dozen times since 1995.  However this time, twenty years had gone by since I first heard this song live. They just never play it, until last night.  Of course it resonated with me again and I woke up and played it about ten times already. I could elaborate about what it means to me, but when it comes down to it,  some things just never get old, even though you get older.   These are the lyrics which I can’t take credit for.

Making Friends

As you’re in this, search for something to hate
I can feel you rally around someone with your peers
But can you stand alone?
Can you take the long way home?

‘Cause I stood in the circle a hundred times before
And I feel safer in the eye of the storm
You can throw your stones
I’ll only bleed for you for one day

They all answer to the hearsay
but they will only care for one day
It’s so small, it’s so small
And I would love to show you all

I can see you in the middle of a doubt
You told them we had a falling out
Sick your dogs on me as you take the easy way out
So I will be a freak show when the circus comes to town
And I will rain on your parade without a sound
Then we will draw a crowd that’s only breaking down for one day

I graduate this class with honor
And I will never fail drama

-Lagwagon

Losing Yourself to Find Yourself Again

I went through a tough time this summer. Not to be redundant, but you if you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you probably already know that.  I was texting with a good friend of mine from Seattle and something she said hit me on both a personal and a professional level.  

She wrote :

Your instincts are your guide.  You sometimes have to be in places that aren’t personally fulfilling.

I thought about what she said and how when the months of July and August were upon me, I was doing things and putting myself into places that weren’t personally fulfilling. They weren’t good for me and I knew it, but I continued to do it anyway. Those nights would always end with me calling myself an idiot and swearing I would never do it again, until the LAST time I did it again.  

Now, I’m out of it and I came out of it a better person, more determined and focused than ever before, and of course with the foresight to know that I don’t have to go through shit to get to heaven.   But, I came to a humble epiphany at the end of it, and that is the belief that sometimes you have to lose yourself to find yourself again. 

I had to lose ME to find “me” again.

Not the me that moved here 12 years ago, or the me that is telling me it might be time to go.  Not the me that says “Fuck me!” when I can’t get to sleep well past sunrise, and not the me that is enjoying this cooler weather as I lay in bed a few minutes longer every morning.

It’s the culmination of everything that makes up who I really am, and who I really am is someone who has the right people in his ear, and the power to make an instinctual choice that could change my life for the better, as well as the knowledge to know when to talk myself out of those other instincts that keep me where I am.

I wrote my first paid article recently for a new online men’s magazine and the website launches in a month. (please hold your applause till the end)  I’m pretty proud of myself for the story I wrote.  In the middle of my summer demise and even lately when things have gone slightly better I have asked the powers that be to give me one obvious, unmistakeable and blatant sign to let me know what the fuck am I supposed to do with my life now.   The last time I asked that question was on a Tuesday in October, and the very next day I got that writing gig.  

It’s not a lot of money, but that ongoing little job is agreement from the universe that I’m on the right track and even I’M tired of hearing about the “universe and it’s energy” too, but it’s totally what it was.

I don’t know if it’s for everyone, but I beat myself down so I can get back up.  I have the word “stronger” tattooed on my chest for a reason.  The last time I suffered from a similar self inflicted beat down was almost 10 years ago, and I came out of it a better man, a more powerful soul, and I felt stronger because I didn’t fucking die when I was making myself that way so I GOT that tattoo on my chest.  

strong

I see it every day as a reminder, and today it reminds me of how much it didn’t kill me this time either.    

I guess the saying now has to go…  

You sometimes have to lose yourself to find yourself again…

                                                               
every 10 years or so.

The Girl Who Was Sick in the Head

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I met Missy at my place of business in 2006. She was 19, Italian, had a spunky personality and her honest and genuine smile was something that I was immediately attracted to. She had the checklist features of my traditional female which included light eyes, dark hair, and she liked to laugh at my jokes. I have to say I wasn’t in the right state of mind at this point in my life. I was a little sick in the head and as I would eventually find out, so was Missy.

I had been casually dating this one girl I met through my co-workers, and I had been trying really hard to get off of that California snow that was making me crazy when Missy entered my life. Before I knew it, I stopped seeing the other girl and I started spending more time with Missy. Then she dropped this bomb on me.

“I’m sick.” She said. “I have cancer.”

This totally blew me away. I was like, what do you mean you have cancer? Cancer of what?

“Brain cancer.” She replied.

Now look, I didn’t know a single thing about what that meant other than I had to highly doubt it’s even possible to have brain cancer and be walking around like nothing is wrong. In my alternative state of mind I kind of felt bad for her, but at the same time the part of my brain that was actually grounded and still rational questioned her as to whether or not she was telling the truth. She didn’t like that, and immediately pulled away from me.

A couple days later her and I met up again at my apartment and we had a long talk. She went on to tell me about how she had been sick as a kid and how she had just gotten back from an Oncology lab in Texas where she was getting tests done and other cancer-related things. She was going to be going away soon for treatment, and she was really convincing. I guess I kind of believed her at that point. We spent the next week hanging out and making the most of the time we had left.

Things between us were good, and I even talked about marrying this girl, albeit might have been a desperate attempt to prove my love, but I didn’t care. I told my friends who would listen about her story and they all felt really bad and supported the two of us, except for a few people at work.

“She doesn’t have fucking Cancer Christian. I had cancer, and I know that girl is lying.” My co-worker Lainey said to me.

Lainey was making a lot of sense, but I was in a state of mind where I couldn’t tell whether to believe the awful truth that perhaps Missy was making this up, or continue to play into the idea that her cancer was real because why on earth would someone go to such lengths to get my attention as to make up a fake story about having one of the worst diseases in the history of the world?

I started to do some research. In between my days of being with Missy, my nights of not sleeping and my afternoons of not wanting to get out of bed, I secretly started googling stuff about cancer and a lot of what Missy was saying added up. There really was an Oncology lab in Texas and the doctor she told me she was going to see really did exist. In fact, he was one of the top cancer research doctors in the country at the time…he even had done some successful brain surgeries in China to alleviate the disease.

I went back to my friend Lainey, and I told her about my findings. She wasn’t impressed, and she continued to inadvertently have my back by trying to tell me I wasn’t thinking straight. Perhaps I should have listened to her.

“I don’t like that girl.” Lainey said. “I just don’t trust her.”

That was fine for her, but I really cared about Missy because over the last week or two she seemed like the only one who understood me. At one point she saw me at my worst, up for two days and crying, and she still said she loved me and it was going to be ok. When I had an bad experience and it felt like my whole brain was going to explode, she borrowed someone’s car and drove right over to my place to see if I was alright.

Plus, my cat liked her and that in itself was saying a lot because it takes a awhile for my cat to warm up to anyone. I knew if I were to even doubt what Missy was telling me again I would lose her forever. I was one of the only ones who believed her, because I wanted to believe her. I was in a real shitty place mentally back then, and in some sick and twisted way, Missy having cancer was the only thing keeping me alive.

It was September of 2006 and I was watching Maria Sharapova in the U.S. Open when Missy told me she had to go away for awhile. I wouldn’t be able to contact her because she had to go overseas to China to get treatment for her cancer which made sense to me after what I read online. I spent the last few days with her hanging out in Hollywood and in Malibu at the Paradise Cove Cafe, eating fried calamari from a giant martini glass, and listening to the song Invincible by Muse on the ride back from the beach.

I had quit my job, and I got a new one tending bar at the Wiltern in Koreatown. I made Missy a mix cd and booklet with all these pictures of us so she would remember our time together. One of the outcomes of her 50/50 procedure was the possibly of memory loss and the one thing I wanted her to remember was how much I loved her and how all I wanted was for her to get better, even if she didn’t remember me.

She left me on a Friday in September, and even though it was tough, I went on with my new life, praying every night that she would be ok. I took a little trip by myself to Arizona to clear my head before I started my new job, and I got myself clean, at least for a few weeks.

When I returned, I received a MySpace message from one of Missy’s friends stating that Missy was ok and she was rehabilitating on the east coast. I tried sending a message to this mysterious person asking for more details and hoping that I would be able to get to talk to her, but I never received a message back. I would spend the next few weeks writing blogs I posted on MySpace about how much I missed her and about how I couldn’t wait to see her again This is an excerpt from one of those posts:

11-13-06

(originally posted http://www.myspace.com/*starduster)
I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and I was thinking about Missy. We used to say to each other…”I heart you” I liked that. I like that we made everything our own…and I love that we did it deliberately because we really meant it even though we knew we didn’t have much time together. It kind of all makes sense now…. Even if I never see her again….or even if she never finds me or if she decides that it would probably be better if we were just friends or if I’m off in Romania when she comes knocking on my door…I still can be happy to say that she loved me unconditionally and she couldn’t have come along at a more perfect time in my life. I loved her first and I always will. I’ve never doubted it either….it kind of freaked me at first but sometimes you need that to really know how you feel. Love is always on my mind and that’s what I’m putting my faith in these days. Sometimes I forget how simple life is because there are so many damn illusions that feel like the real thing. I’ve always been good at giving myself a reason to go on and I’ve always known exactly what to tell myself to make it all ok for now. I heart you too…..and I always will.

I continued writing for a few more weeks, as I poured my heart and soul out to anyone who clicked on my MySpace blog. Then a friend from my old work told me something I didn’t want to hear, but I think at that point, I NEEDED to hear this.

I saw Missy on Hollywood boulevard today. I called her name and she turned around, and then ignored me and kept on walking. She’s not in China, and she’s not rehabilitating on the east coast. Christian, you have to believe me.” he said

What the fuck?!? I knew something was rotten in Denmark because my friend Joel had no reason to lie to me. That’s when all the doubt I had been ignoring the past few months started to take center stage. It wasn’t soon afterwards that I got a knock on my door at 3pm on a Tuesday.

For some odd reason, I didn’t answer it, I looked through the peephole and I saw someone out there, but then I put my ear to the door and I listened. Just then I heard a familiar ring tone go off. Missy’s ring tone. I couldn’t confirm that it was her, but it felt like she was standing right outside my door, which I never opened.

My mind started to piece it together. If I was about to be found out for telling a humungous lie, the first thing I would do would be to show my face again to the person I lied to before someone else told me about it, right?

I went through my MySpace account and looked at the profile of the girl who had been sending me information about Missy. She had no profile picture, and she didn’t have many friends in common. Back then, anyone could send anyone else a message because privacy settings didn’t exist. I started looking at all these phone calls I had been receiving from a “restricted” number who would hang up every time I answered, and then I came to a conclusion that I should have known from the beginning.

What if the whole time that person who had been sending me messages was Missy herself? What if the restricted phone calls were Missy was dialing *67 before placing the call? Was I being cat-fished?  Was I getting duped by a girl who was born in the 80s? What was the point to all of this anyway, and how could I have been so stupid not to see this coming from…..oh right…I was a drug addict back then. (figuratively)

Something occurred to me after that day. If Missy was sending me messages on MySpace pretending to be someone else, then she was able to read my blogs about her as well because you didn’t have to be friends with someone on MS to see their page.

I had to find out if this was true, and the only way I knew how was to put it out into the world, and see what came back. I posted a blog called “and now I know the truth” and basically stated the whole cancer story thing was a ruse, and I ended it with the sentence, “You deserve everything you get in life, and I hope you get nothing but regret. Goodbye Missy.

The next day I was sitting in the car with my friend Dana outside of a pot store when I got a text from Missy.

“Why are you writing negative things about me on MySpace?”

“Who is this?”

“This is Missy. Who are you?”

Who am I? Wow, this girl had some balls to keep lying to me even after the fact, so I called her out. I was like….Let me get this straight….You don’t remember my name now, probably because of the brain cancer surgery you didn’t have, you have no idea who I am or how this number got into your phone, but somehow you managed to connect the dots to the fact that I posted something on MySpace about you, and then assumed this random number in your phone must be that very same person? There’s about a million holes in that story, the story she told me before, and every other lie she had told me up until this point.

I didn’t even want an explanation, I just wanted her to go away. Do you have any idea how embarrassed and duped I felt for days afterwards? I felt like someone ripped out my heart, put it through a blender, turned up the settings to high, and then WATCHED me from afar as I tried to piece every thing back together.  It was fucking creepy, and it didn’t stop there.

Missy kept trying to contact me over the next year and I ignored her. Eventually, I talked to her on the phone some time in 2008 and she came clean about everything. She didn’t have brain cancer, (obviously) but she told me she had some “form of cancer” which I think in itself was still a lie, but at this point who really cared?  She told me she had a boyfriend/fiancee the whole time she was living in L.A. while sleeping with me, and that she made up this story of brain cancer and having to go away because she just couldn’t bear to tell me the truth.

Now, I don’t know what causes this kind of thought process, but it seems to me it would have been a lot easier to just tell me you had a boyfriend in the Marines who asked you to marry him, instead of cheating on him with me, lying to HIM about it, then lying to ME and everyone else we worked with by fabricating some ridiculous story about brain cancer and China and having to go away for months. In fact, you probably could have just told me the truth and lied to your boyfriend and no one would be any the wiser.

The last time I saw Missy was in 2009. We met at the Roost in Los Feliz, and she looked different to me, but maybe that’s because I was seeing things for how they really were, or maybe I was still angry and upset with her for what she did to me. I’m not anymore. She has apologized many, many times and I have forgiven her for what she did. I’m not saying it was ok, but if you hold on to anger and resentment in life, you end up making yourself sick in the head.

I know why I had to go through all of that. I was in a really bad place when I met her, and my short lived love for her and the belief that I’d be able to see her again someday was the only thing that got me through that time in my life. I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but I understand the life lesson.

Missy recently got divorced. This past summer she contacted me and every now and then we would talk or text. A few months ago I got a text from her saying she would be in L.A. for the night and she wanted to see me.

“I’ll call you after my meeting” she said

I never heard from her again. Maybe the meeting got moved to Albuquerque, or maybe the plane got hijacked or maybe she never landed in Los Angeles at all. I don’t know, but I don’t need an explanation any more about any of it. I’m done with that chapter of my life.

However if I know Missy, I’m sure there is some crazy story to go with it.

You send your lover off to China, and you wait for her to call.

You put your girl up on a pedestal, and you wait for her to fall. -CC

Say Goodbye to Hollywood

My rent is due today.  The new amount of the “rent controlled” building I live in is $1150.98 per month for my one bedroom apartment in Hollywood with two parking spaces, a pool, and easy access to the freeway needs to be paid before 5pm and I have the money, but my God how I feel like I’m overpaying for the “privilege” to live in this town.  When I moved to Hollywood in 2003, I lived just a few blocks away on Tamarind Ave. across the street from the Scientology Centre, and I paid $620.  I lived in a one room studio which I would imagine used to be a hotel room at some point in the 1960s because it didn’t have a kitchen and there wasn’t any parking.  I didn’t mind paying my rent back then because I felt like I was in the right place at the right time, and any day I was gonna get my “big break” as an actor and I could move across the street to the apartments which included a  full size refrigerator and private gate access.  All I really wanted back then was to not spend twenty minutes driving around the block looking for a place to park my car and a room big enough for me to not stretch my arms out and be able to touch both walls with my hands.  Now here I am in that position,  able to leave the apartment and drive anywhere and still have a place to park, able to walk between four rooms and never see the same wall twice, and as I stare at my full size refrigerator that I can barely keep full of food, I hate to say it, but I don’t want what I have anymore because it’s killing me to live here.

Hollywood is being gentrified.  On almost every corner where there used to be an empty lot, there is now a construction site promising “affordable” housing which I guess means you’ll pay about $1350 for a studio apartment.  They are pushing out the people who moved here with stars in their eyes, and replacing them with people who have money in their bank accounts, OR whose parents pay their rent.  I can’t say I blame them, because if owned a patch of land in a town where a bunch of idiots flock to become famous I would raise the prices too.  It’s simple economics.  Corner the market, then raise the price.

I get it, but just because you have a view of the Hollywood sign from your balcony doesn’t mean that if you look down you don’t see a crazy person taking a leak in an empty milk jug that they found on the street.  Having a zip code of 90028 doesn’t mean that every Friday and Saturday night you won’t be able to hear the television over the sounds of a police helicopter that is circling overhead, and it definitely doesn’t mean that just because you get on the freeway at 11:30pm you won’t be stuck in some ridiculous traffic jam because someone decided to close three lanes on the 101 on a Monday for absolutely no reason.  I just don’t think it’s worth it, and I can’t understand why on earth someone would want to live here.

I have to move soon, mainly because I can’t afford to live here anymore, but also because I don’t see the point. What am I still doing living in an area of town that charges me abhorrent  amounts of money to live in a place that is constantly noisey,  overcrowded, and crawling with tourists who feel the need to wear shorts and flip-flops everywhere no matter what time of year it is, who stop walking in front of me every fifteen steps to snap a picture of a star on Hollywood Boulevard of some actor who died thirty years ago?  Why am I paying for the opportunity to live in a part of town that soon will be full of rich privileged white kids who haven’t worked a day in their life and whose mommy and daddy will pay for their Hollywood lifestyle until they figure out something better to do.  

Am I bitter?  Well, maybe a little bit.  I never got my big break as an actor, but I don’t even care to be one anymore, so why am I still living in Hollywood and paying two fifths of the money I made last month just for the opportunity to come home to a place in a central location for the next 31 days that doesn’t really feel like home anymore?  I told myself last December that I’m going to give it one more year and then re-access the situation.  Well, here we are 11 months later and I’m on craigslist looking for a two bedroom apartment in Long Beach where I hope I can convince someone to move with me to so we can shack up and split the rent and I can go back to paying $625 a month and living within my means, and not above them.  Did you know that two bedroom apartments in the LBC start at around $1100? Sure, it’s about 20 miles away from L.A. and I might be stuck in some traffic  for an hour when I need to get to some place, but that’s a proverbial six hundred fifty eight dollars and ninety eight cents less than the check I’m about to write to my landlord for my current one bedroom, and that doesn’t include the check I’m going to write for the power bill, the cell phone bill, and the cable bill which I just had to practically get rid of because sitting on my ass and watching T.V. isn’t going to get me a writing job.

I know things have to change, and I know that the easiest way out of a difficult situation that is choking me to death is to cut the knot closest to my neck.  For me to do that, I need to be flexible, and I need to get out of my comfort zone.  For me to continue living in California, I need to explore other avenues and I think one of those roads is leading me to a place where I have to admit to myself that it’s time to say goodbye to Hollywood.  

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a check to write for a ridiculous amount of money that most people in America could use to pay for their mortgage, car payment AND have enough left over to go to Olive Garden with their family of five and eat food for the next three days.  I wonder what THAT feels like…you know…having money to live comfortably?