Four Days In L.A. (Part 2)

I got off the plane at LAX around 3pm on Saturday July 23rd.

I stop in at the International terminal, and I immediately think how I am going to be surrounded by anyone other than Americans so I should watch out for European families on vacation, dressed in tacky print shirts, khaki shorts, fanny packs, and middle-aged men wearing sandals that have no right to do so. It’s the only terminal that you can just walk into and get a drink at a bar without having a ticket to board a plane, so I sit at some pizza restaurant and order a skinny bitch, otherwise known as a vodka and diet coke.

I know you’re probably laughing at the fact that I sometimes order that drink, but it tastes good to me, and even if I’m hungover the next day  I surprisingly still enjoy drinking diet coke so that says something about the truth of my addiction to diet soft drinks. Probably not the worst thing in the world. I mean, it’s not like I’m a heroin addict.

I text Tasha that I’m on the Departures level of the International terminal because it’s less busy and easier to pick up people than on Arrivals. Thirty minutes later as I’ve been waiting outside on the top level for her to pull up, and after I specifically text her two more times to make sure she chooses the Departues lane when she gets to the airport, she calls me to tell me she’s on the Arrivals level. Of course she is.

I’ve known Tasha for over 9 years now, and the fact that I made a point to make sure she knew where to go, and she ended up not going where I told her to go doesn’t surprise me at all. That’s just Tasha. There are some people who can connect the dots when driving cars and multi task like a pro and who also have a good sense of direction. Sadly, this is not Tasha, but she makes up for it so many other ways that it doesn’t really bother me. I remember when it used to, when we dated almost 7 years ago and we were the pinnacle example of a hot and cold couple, which probably had everything to do with how dramatic we both were. I’m sure it was no accident that Katy Perry had a song out that year by the same name.

Thing is, Tasha is one of my favorite people and the only ex of mine that I became best friends with after we broke up. It was almost like life wouldn’t let us NOT be friends. After the relationship we worked together, we lost a pet together, we went to all my friends weddings together, and then we created a televison show, sold it, and then lost the deal together. She’s my best friend and we’ve been through some good times, some difficult times, and some shit times, and all of that has led up to this momemt, me returning to L.A. after six months and her pulling up outside the terminal in her pearl white Fiat Abarth.

“Welcome back, bitches!” She screams as I open the door.

I’m excited to see her. She looks great, but Tasha always looks great. She’s fabulous and takes good care of herself and has these big features and this natural beauty that doesn’t even wain when she wakes up from a hangover. I start telling her about my drink at the bar with Anna Faris, and she starts telling me about this indie horror movie she’s up for called Clown Motel.

Not Clown “Hotel” which I imagine would come with a continental breakfast and free Wi-Fi, but Clown “Motel” which is most likely located on a creepy, desert road with a gravel parking lot, two vending machines and an ice bucket. We laugh but of course I tell her I’m proud of her because I know that she’s is way more talented than this town has given her credit for.

We make our way back to her new apartment in Beverly Hills, but it’s not as glamourish as the Walsh residence from 90210. Tasha has just moved into this sublet with her rabbit Rocco after 6 months living at my old Hollywood apartment. We have to do the final walk through tomorrow, but now all I can think about is this little bunny in front of me who got me through some hard times the last year or so when he frequently lived with me in L.A.
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I tell him that my cat Dapple who he lived with for three years has passed away, but I’m pretty sure he already knew somehow. It’s great to see him, but it’s also time for Tasha and I to freshen up and go get ourselves some dinner and many many drinks.

We Lyft to Kabuki on Sunset and Vine which was always our go to place for business meetings, happy hour, (aka jappy hour) and gorging on sushi and wine. I walk in and accidentally kick the glass door with my foot. The host makes a funny comment and I realize I’m back in a town where people just speak their minds.

“If you break my door, we’ll just add it to your bill.” he says.

I laugh because it was funny and we get seated at a table and I immediately request a bottle of wine to start. We order three different types of rolls and a garlic steak, Tasha and I start catching up from the last six months.

I left L.A. because I felt like there was nothing left there for me. I was exhausted mentally, physically, emotionally and financially and I was tired of the struggle and the competition and I had been there for thirteen years and even though I aged gracefully, there is this enormous amount of pressure to stay young and defy the laws of physics. As an actor I had a small amount of success in my mid thirties, but by the time I turned forty, I was so over the rat race and the mental traps that I would seldom fall into that it started to take it’s toll on my confidence.

“You’re so much more confident now than when you left. I can see it in you.” Tasha says

She’s right. I used to get panic attacks in L.A. cause I was stressed as fuck, and my dating life was non-existent because seemingly the first and only question that everyone asks you on a first date is “What do you do,” which implies that the answer you give next will decide whether or not this person is interested in you at all. Everyone is a writer/actor/producer in L.A. but somehow if I told the truth that I tended bar at the Palladium and Wiltern it wouldn’t come off as an impressive field of expertise.

We talk about the drama that I had been through up in Seattle and how it started off so fucking great as I landed a lucrative job, was dating a hot girl I work with, was ready to plan out my future, but then I crash landed back to earth when we broke up in June and my cat Dapple died a few days later. That is a lot for someone to go through that quickly and I’m amazed that one of the only casualties of that debacle was the temporary loss of confidence I felt for a couple weeks and the erratic sleep patterns and highs and lows I felt along the way.

I guess a part of me understands myself enough to know all I really want in life on a daily basis is to feel like I do a good job, I’m appreciated, and that people like me. I’ll admit it, part of the reason I moved to L.A. was to follow that dream of having someone somewhere tell me that I’m good at what I do, but trying to live out that dream in L.A. along with the 2 million other hopefuls with stars in their eyes is just like being a small fish in a big pond trying to get a piece of bait.  Somehow though, living in Seattle and working at the bar is like being a big fish in a small pond. There’s less stress, the money is good, I’m doing well, and I work with a great bunch of people that I would like to think appreciate me for who I am. When it comes down to it, I really just want to be happy and stress free although those two ideas are easy to visualize and difficult to manifest.

“Are you happy up there?” Tasha asks me.

I think about this question a lot. Everybody in life just wants to be happy, I mean I said it myself three sentences ago, but I don’t think that happiness is something you feel constantly day in and day out. It’s a fleeting feeling that comes and goes like the seasons. Sometimes I can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning and start my day, other times I just want to sit on the couch and eat a whole pizza and not leave the house at all. Sometimes I’m depressed or sad, and other times I feel content as if nothing really bothers me. Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down, and yes I realize that what I’ve been writing sounds like the lyrics to a pop song that has been playing over and over again in my life.

“I am right now.” I said.

And I really am. I’m back in the town that I spent most of my adult life in, I’m sitting at the table drinking wine and eating sushi with my best friend who I haven’t seen in six months, and I’m about to close the door on a chapter of my life that will hopefully help to open up another door to the next chapter, whatever that may be.

“Good.” She says. “It sure seems like it.”

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We order another glass of wine each and I text a few of my friends to see where they’re at. Ironically they are just down the street getting out of the movies at Arclight so we all plan to meet up in a little bit.

For the first time in awhile, I don’t feel stuck, I don’t feel stressed, and I don’t feel like I need to be someone I’m not. It just feels good to back in Hollywood.

Maybe Love Will Come Around If….

I haven’t had a girlfriend since 2009. That equates to six years of being single and six years of Holidays and Valentines that have been spent either drunk, alone, or with other friends who also share the same relationship status as me. I have to say, as much as I’ve appreciated saving a little extra money by not having to buy someone a gift around these times, those 8 to 9 days a year are some of the loneliest and depressing nights I have to endure and one of the major reasons why I don’t look forward to the holiday season which in a few short weeks will be upon us in full swing.

In the past few months I have come to the realization that I may be flawed, but I know I’m a good person and I know I would make a good boyfriend. The problem is finding that girl who can compliment me and at the same time who doesn’t take away too much focus from my work and my writing. I like the idea of love. Ok, I love the idea of love, but I also know just saying that out loud doesn’t create an opportunity for love to come around. So what does?

I’m picky. I prefer a certain type of girl and I prefer a certain look to that certain type. It’s never been easy for me to find someone to love. It’s not like anything else in life that I desire and I could just go out and get. I don’t even know where to start.

I tried the online dating sites and what I have ascertained from them is that computer dating takes the fun and soul out of the idea of dating. There may be a connection, but that connection fades when I’m not online.  I already have the odds stacked against me because I live in Los Angeles and there are about 1000 better looking guys than me out here.

Ok maybe that’s too harsh…maybe there are less than 1000 better looking guys, but the point is my personality isn’t going to shine through via a two dimensional screen with pictures of myself and some witty words that girls rarely seem to even care to read. I’ll admit it. I look at the pictures and then I decide if I want to read her profile, if she even took the time to make one. I know that finding love on the internet has been done before, and done before by me, but I got to be honest, there is something unromantic about swiping left or hitting the “fave” button and paying $45.00 for three months to get rejected and flaked on by some girl in some town who thinks there is someone better coming around the corner.

Maybe love will come around if I had the perfect online profile? Probably not.

Timing is the one factor that I can’t control. Perhaps the girl I really enjoy talking to and would like to start dating, just started dating someone SHE really enjoys talking to and has now put on her horse blinders and can see me only as a guy to put in her bullpen. If you don’t know what I mean by that reference, then I suggest you watch a baseball game.  

If you still don’t get it, you probably haven’t been single in a long time, so I suggest you go back to your husband or boyfriend or girlfriend and figure out where you two are going to go on date night this week.

Regardless, “I wish I had met you a few weeks earlier” has been said to me a couple times. “I’m not looking for anything serious right now” has also been said to me. So in essence, I could have found the girl I wanted back in June, the last time I got laid, and it could have been the perfect time for me, but NOT the perfect time for her.

So, what do I do then? Oh right, I stop seeing her completely and I go on a four month span of depression, not dating, and feeling like nothing is worth my time, and then I end up writing about her in a blog titled “The Flight Attendant.”

I started thinking maybe love will come around, but she never gave me the chance. Maybe love will come around if the timing is right? Well that just sucks. The timing is never right for love, is it?

The other day I was hanging out with my best friend who recently started dating someone and is now in a full blown relationship. I mentioned to her that I would like to have a girlfriend and the first seven words out of her mouth were “I didn’t know you wanted a girlfriend.” Sure I do. I’ve always wanted someone to love, but I want the right girlfriend, or the right someone to love. Do I need to declare that fact and make it known to the world by putting out a status update on Facebook stating that I am now accepting applications for the role of “Girlfriend.”

GIRLFRIEND: (27-35 Caucasian/Latin/Ethnically Ambiguous) 5’3’’-5’7’’ dark hair, light eyes, big features, not too much drama, but preferably a hot mess that doesn’t really have it all together, but strives to want to get it all together at some point and between the two of us maybe we can figure out a way to compliment each other’s messiness.

I’ll admit it, I’m a hot mess right now. I probably will be one for the remainder of my life, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to try and hide the fact that I don’t have it all together in a town full of women and men who are in the same position as me. Enough of my life is in sync now that I feel like I have something to give to that special someone who hopefully feels the same way about me. I don’t mind if it happens really fast, but I don’t want it to take over my life and deter me from my goals. I want her to be cool, and quirky, but not Kristen Wiig quirky, more like sexy quirky as in Angelina Jolie in the movie “Hackers.”

I want her to be crazy enough to get on a flight to Vegas with me on a Monday, but down to Earth enough to know that we have to be back by Wednesday cause I have work. I want her to be so many things, but part of the thrill of being in a new relationship (as I remember it) is finding out what makes the other person tick, so I still want an element of surprise to go along with these other desires.

I want her to be able to deal with what goes on inside my brain, and be attracted to me on the inside as well as on the outside. How do I manifest all these things? How do I draw love to me in a way that once it’s here it won’t make me step back and go “Whoa, I’m not ready for this”  because that’s the opposite of what I am putting out into the world, and I’m NOT going to be one those people who gets what they want, then changes their mind about what they want and how it came about.

Truth is, I do want love in my life and I do want there to be someone special for me to have adventures with but how do I know if it’s the right time and the right place for the right girl to come into my life? When I say that I’m a true believer in love because it’s the most powerful emotion on the planet, I mean that. It scares me, but deep down inside I know….

Maybe Love will come around if… I want it enough.

I think I can live with that logic