Sunday, May 29, 2005

Something strange happened yesterday while I was out frolicking between the palm trees and celebrities down on the Santa Monica boardwalk. I was sipping drinks in a beachside bar three feet from one of the actresses on ER talking with a gregarious producer from MGM Studios while dogs barked outside and kids cruised by on custom-made low rider bicycles. I sat there staring down at the last few sips of my margarita, no salt, and listening to an old friend yabber away into her cell phone while her free hand flapped around like a chicken wing.

And as the smell of the ocean mixed with Venice beach bums cruised through the open windows I realized it must have been almost a year since I woke up one morning in that little house on the busy street, sat down at my laptop and decided that if I was going to start a blog, why not call it The truth Blog? I wanted to make sure everyone doesn't just know The Truth, they know MY truth.

Then, just like now, I had moved to somewhere new. Then, just like now, I was between houses. Then, just like now, I wasn't so sure what the rest of my summer would hold. Then, just like now I need someone to kick my ass into gear.

I took all day today to find my own way around Los Angeles after most of this city's drivers raced eachother mercilessly to Palm Springs and San Diego. What felt like heavy traffic to me was nearly deserted streets along Wilshire, Sunset and Santa Monica Blvd. I haven't gone out in LA yet on big night in the town. It's not for lack of want. I'm just waiting. Waiting until I meet the right people. The right moment.

Nothing happens overnight. It's not like I just show up in Los Angeles and by the end of the first week I have a ticket to a big event next weekend and a 1.6 million dollar loft to stay in for free for all of July and August. And it's not like my neighbors will be a creator of X-men and Dean Cain, the Superman himself. Cuz that stuff only happens in kid's dreams. So tonight I'll stay home and be happy with my 6,000 visits to the truth blog in 365 days. That's more than enough to keep me satisfied. That, and palm trees. If I could have a palm tree in my front yard you bet your ass I would.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

What did you say?

From the 18th floor of the office building it's easy to look all the way down to the ocean. No one gave any warning that this time of year the fog comes rolling in off the coast somewhere between 2 and 5 each day and envelops any of that perfect sunny day that's not too hot or not too cold. I'm convinced that I'm the only one in the city who walks to work. That's fine with me. As long as I'm at my friends ( for another week or so) I'll strut those 5 blocks like a king.

In three days I haven't left my little corner of Los Angeles. I'm not afraid of getting lost or mugged or wrecked, I'm afraid of getting stuck in traffic forever and going insane. So I stay here. In my little corner of of Westwood and Brentwood and Santa Monica hoping that if I don't leave then they won't be able to steal my soul.

I want to change the truth blog a bit for the next few months. I want to bring you here with me. I want you to walk to work beside me and feel your eyelids heavy at the end of the workday and smell the breeze drifting off the ocean in the evening strolling along the beach with the white sand sliding my your toes. I want you to smile that same dopey smile I do when I see the pretty girls and an even more awkward one when one comes home with me. I'm gonna try to bring you as many pictures as my ADD allows and I would also like to update the look of the truth blog. I'm actually pretty html retarded so if anyone wants to answer a million questions about snazing things up, I'll pay you in juicy Hollywood Gossip.

I'll be here for a while. Hopefully not long enough for it to make me soft. Everyone here is completely and utterly self-involved. Even the bum on the street is too busy mumbling incoherently to himself to ask me for some spare change. That's fine, I'm already at the height of self-involvment: I have a blog.

There's something about driving where you're going. You can see the miles passing around you and feel the wheels spinning around but for some reason if I don't pass through a security metal detector and if I don't try to ignore the flight attendant in the aisle showing me how to buckle my fucking seatbelt then I don't feel like I've gone anywhere. Even if I drive for 16 hours straight through mountains and deserts and finally make it to the ocean.

People say road trips are a great time to reflect and put life in perspective. I just like to crank up the CD player and sing at the top of my lungs until I go hoarse. Having now taken my car to both coasts I can easily say that no amount of driving will ever reveal the true meaning of life. I thought I was having a religious experience somewhere in the midst of the Utah desert but then it turned out only to be a serious overdose of Cheetos and sugar.

Things you expect to be very big are always pretty small. Last roadtrip I saw Niagara Falls. Lots of water, sure, but it just wasn't that tall. Las Vegas? They couldn't even persuade me to stop. The rocky Mountains, on the other hand, are everything they're cracked up to be and more. Nothing can touch those beauties. Also, the Walmart Distribution Center somewhere in Utah was a sight to behold. (yes, each one of those tiny white things is a full semi truck parked near the loading dock).

The drive was nice and peaceful. That is until I crossed the border into CA. Suddenly all the same cars that were gliding slowly started to dodge and weave and cut and speed. There was no logic to the movement, only excessive speed and chaos and nice cars. I don't want to pass any judgments yet, I've only been here three days and I guess the Californians get a week before I start to tear them to shreds.

Job is good. Random chaos put my friend's apartment less than 3 blocks away. Somehow managed to convince someone to let me live in their 3 story Santa Monica Townhome all of July and August. Prolly because I don't have a bad bone in my body no matter how hard I try.

Some some celebrity in the pet store. Blonde and hot and all that. It's a weird town. I have a weird job here. I'll get to do a lot of weird stuff. Sure beats staying home and working for the catering company. One of these days I'm going to finally run out of good Karma. I'll have about 5 years of awfulness. That's cool. I'll take it.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

I'm en route to L.A. I'm tired and sore and broken. We'll talk soon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Had another motorcycle dream last night. Sad thing is I've never been on one in my life but I could describe to you every feeling from the sliding out the clutch at the end of that big bend in the mountain curve to gasing it hard off the line and feeling that front wheel come off the ground. Last night it was blue and it was beautiful and I had a suit and gloves and a helmet to match. The visor was gleaming metal blue and my eyes were hidden. I wasn't a man I was a machine. I was part of the bike and together we were unstoppable. Maybe one day I'll buy a bike but by the time I do I'll have a bald spot and a house and college tuitions to think about and I won't be able to ride it the way I would now.

Yesterday a friend waited impatiently for me to finish reading the last few pages of the story. I'm a horribly slow reader and the uneasy stare of his eyes were saying,"just skip a few paragraphs and tell me what you think already." Like somehow my opinion matters.

It's pretty intense stuff
I tell him.

"Intense good or intense bad?"

Intense. Your trying to go after some seriously big ideas here. It's hard to do.

"I know but you've written a lot so I thought you might have some suggestions to do it better."

I dunno. I don't write like this. I write simple, stupid things.

"you mean like you use simple things as metaphors for bigger things like this?"

No. I just write about simple things.


I knew he wasn't going to get it. It just wasn't in his blood. I could stand there and watch my sister paint a portrait a thousand times but no matter how much practice I had, I never could see the lines before I put my hand on the page. The lines just come to her. The jokes come to the comedian and the numbers come to the mathematician. The words come to me. I don't see them. They just pop out. There's no fighting with the genetic code.

"so what kind of point do you try to make with the simple things?"

Point? Points are for arguers and politicians. I don't make points. I just tell people the stories of life moving slowly. Then they make up their own.

He stared at me blankly. Sentences whizzed through my head at a million miles a minute. I tried to grab on to one of them. Nothing stuck.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Most things in life can be packed into boxes and put in a basement somewhere to collect dust. Spiders crawl across pages where pens used to. Pages where memories survive, stained clearer than minds are willing to remember. Memories grow in time from what you were to what you needed to be for who you are now. And then there are those little pieces no words will ever help you remember. The ditch out past the back yard where the waterbugs always managed to skate out of reach. The feeling of the old tree swing as it swung and spun in five directions at once. The horrible stench of burning hair.

I remember waking up at 4 a.m. one morning with the taste of phone-ordered pizza still in the back of my mouth. Slowly we gathered our gear, laced up our boots and mounted our headlamps. Three mountain summits in one day. The van slid through darkness, gently rocking enough to coax me back to sleep. We reach the trailhead with an abrupt lurch that quickly brought me from one dream to the next. The first few miles on foot we walked in silence. The body moved separate from the brain until the first pink stripes light put out the stars overhead. By the time sunlight hit our faces we had nearly reached the top of the first summit.

The pause was only long enough to smile inwardly and sip a ration of water before we began across the ridge of precariously settle rocks to the neighboring pinnacle. Feet feel heavier as they swell and only old stories of back home can distract us. No one notices the dark clouds gathering far off in the western sky.

By the time we reach the second peak and collapse from want of food the very same clouds are taking up much more of the sky. we quickly feed ourselves, sugars and starches only, knowing that the lactic acid building in our muscles wasn't the only thing that was going to keep us from reaching the third and final summit. I don't know if it was foolish pride, stubbornness or complete infirmity that drove us to our feet and back on the trail but we couldn't relent.

Walking turned to stumbling and energy grew thin. From a distance it must have been readily apparent that each step was a labored one. As we climbed the last few hundred feet the clouds timed perfectly to dip out of the sky and meet us. 100 feet. I could feel the euphoric sense of final accomplishment. 75 feet. The Clouds grew so thick I couldn't even see the top. 50 feet, The air smelled of something special. 25 feet. Dampness clung to my skin think and heavy. As I reached the summit the rocks around me began to hum in appreciation. Someone reached a hand out to pull me the final few steps but I refused it. All the hairs on my arms stood up in climax.

I touched the gold metal plate to officially mark my arrival. I sighed relief and collapsed against a boulder to wait for the humming of the rocks to quit and for the hairs to nestle back against my arms. But two minutes passed and nothing changed. The rocks buzz grew louder. The hairs felt as if they were being plucked from my skin. And all at once we realized that this was not the energy of euphoria but that of nature and Nikolai Tesla.

Suddenly I was completely alert. People were yelling but no one needed to be told what to do. In the next 3 minutes our organized line collapsed into a scrambling flock of mountain goats who were falling much more than they were hiking. Rocks sliced through skin and chipped bone but it didn't matter, we knew that we had move faster than our legs could carry us. Faster than gravity because...and then all the sudden I was blind and deaf. The flash and the boom came so strongly that the rocks tumbled down orom above and drove their way deep into my calves. Someone in front of me slipped, tumbled and I could tell from the look in his face that his arm had certainly broken.

There was no time. He knew it. I knew it. Not a word passed between us. We just kept moving. Even after we emerged from the cloud. Even after the rain stopped beating down from above. Even after we found a trail and passed others staring astonished. We made it to the van and boarded in near silence. It wasn't until we had returned back up the road to the front door that anyone could let out a sigh of relief. I fell backward onto my bed and could do little more than chuckle.

And the way it sounds on the paper in the basement under the cobwebs and the boxes of old Kodak prints is just so drab. It doesn't show the indentation on the front of my shin or that scar on the small of my back. Or the wry little smile on my face every time I think about those rocks humming to me. Because when everything I own becomes meaningless it's that noise that is my salvation.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

It's a great time to be alive. The weather is warm and mild. 16 oz cartons of strawberries are $1 a piece. God I love strawberries. The price gasoline is declining, at least temporarily. Spring is making all the girls ansy. Somehow my computer is filling with lots of good music. The phone keeps ringing and it make me feel like I have friends. I'm getting hits on this blog. Not like the kind of hits that ashley girl gets just days after she comes back from months of retirement but I guess that's what I gave up when I stopped talking about sleeping with girls who somehow, unknowingly to me, is my roommate's ex or having cross country booty calls or falling in love or rowdy forth of July's in exotic locales.

Don't' get me wrong, it's not at all like that stuff isn't happening. I haven't pledged sobriety or chastity or locked myself inside my own house. But there's more important stuff to write about isn't there? Is there? It's not like I'm going to go to LA and it's going to steal my soul is it? Will it?

Did I mention strawberries are $1 a carton? $1!! That's five for $5. I bought five yesterday. There's one left. Add an angel food cake and whip cream and that's $7. Add a 5'3" blonde girl with a tight bod and you've made a serious night for yourself.

It's a great feeling when you can pack everything you own into the back of your car. It's like somehow you haven't given up. You haven't lost yet. It's a good time to be alive.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Waking up at 1 p.m. with a serious sugar hangover is a bitch. My head is throbbing and I turn over only to get blasted by the sneakiest of the midday sun's rays that slip between the slats of my window shades. And I'm alone. The house is empty and I realize that not since last summer when I first starting writing to you had I stolen away an entire day of silence and solitude.

The little things start to creep into that front part of your brain when you're finally all alone. You start to realize how little you've actually accomplished in the last year. And that your birthday is a day away. The only relief is that this year it doesn't fall on mother's day, a sure way to ruin any semblance of a normal and happy birthday. There are cupcakes form the girl roommate waiting for me on the kitchen counter when I come back home from the remaining 7 hours of daylight errands. She doesn't live here any more but she dropped them by. Half way into my the second vanilla-frosted cupcake I'm setting myself up nicely to hit the evening sugar high when I realize that these cupcakes are the first thing anyone besides a family member or a girlfriend has given me or done for me in a long time. And I get a warm tingly feeling in my stomach. Might be happiness. Might be sugar.

Catering company I part-time for says they're going to be sad to see me go this summer. They told me they would pay me more money than I'd be making out there. But of course, they know I'm not leaving them for the money. You think I'd be in the journalism school if it was all for the money? I'd be a business major toiling away to end up in some middle-management position for the next 50 years. I told the catering bosses I would never have gotten this job without them. Working for them and another catering company since high school taught me how to put a big smile on my face and listen attentively to people no matter what kind of shitty mood I am in. No matter how much I might want to pour the wine bottle on the bride's dress just to change it up a bit and get kicked out before the DJ cranks up YMCA or Celebration. Then the sorority taught me how to walk into a room full of pretty girls without even a twinge of the nerves. I've been training all my life for this job in LA and I didn't even know it.

The best birthday present this week isn't that my car is back with a brand new front end or the drinks I'll buy for myself and my friends to come over and drink tomorrow or the clothes I'm going to have to buy to make myself presentable at work every day this summer. The best presents this week are two Gmail's that I got from some of you. There's millions of idiots babbling all over the internet and they want to tell you about their politics and their ideals and their newly invented sexual positions and the girls that ruined their life and their new computer games.

And somehow you waded through all that to get here and read this. And if that's not enough you might even like it. And some of you are nice enough to tell me you like it. Somehow my little version of the truth makes you smile or it makes you reminisce or it makes you mad or it makes you think or it makes you dream or it makes you vomit. It doesn't' matter if there are ten people reading this or ten thousand, one person's encouragement is enough to keep me going. Thanks for the awesome birthday present. Just don't start thinking that I owe you one.

Monday, May 09, 2005

There's a ritual to the first week of summer. The first step involves sleeping in waaaay past the first light of day. The second requires the consumption of copious amounts of processed sugar. And usually the third step involves some crazy from the opposite sex.

So I was lying there completely awake next to the Three Amigos girl at 4 am and feeling a little sick from that box of sour patch kids. And for some reason I can't think about all those fun body games or the cool DVD's or her hand on my stomach. All I'm thinking about how my grandfather, that hardened Jew off the streets of Brooklyn, is probably looking down at me and laughing that big belly laugh of his. And here I am going to LA. New York is where I belong. I know that. Everyone around me knows that. But I'll make my way over there. Then home will just be another flyover state.

A flyover state where I can afford a place to live. The price of living in LA is enough to make me want to cry. Will it be worth it when I wake up on my blow-up mattress to a room with no furniture? Will it be worth it when I'm dragging myself through the sticky heat down Wilshire boulevard to work? Will it be worth it when I get my paycheck for half of what I could make here to pay twice the rent and let's please not talk about food or drinks? Will it be worth it to roll to the beach? Will it be worth it when I play in the waves and lie on the sand and skate home as the last glint of sunlight peeks out over the edge of the ocean?

I'm not sure. I guess I'll have to let you know.

Friday, May 06, 2005

If I wasn't blogging what would I be doing? I'll tell you what. I'd be studying for finals, watching the first season of The O.C. on DVD with the Three Amigos Girl, biting her pinching her, kissing her, rolling around with her until 4 am and then kicking myself for letting some fragile little girl get attached to me again. Then wishing it was the G2K. But I'm not a commitment man. I'm a lone ranger. So when the Bat Phone rang again and they told me, "it's official, You're going to LA," I saw a way out of my mess for a few months and I took it.

The car will be back from the body shop by Monday. Then I'll have exactly 3 weeks before it needs to take me and any worldly possession of mine worth carrying to Los Angeles, California. The Truth Blog is taking a road trip and you're all coming. You'll get to see LA through the eyes of a fresh face whose never spent any time on its streets or lived within hundreds of miles of a beach or seen a celebrity walk down the street or skated down the beachfront path. And if that isn't enough, I'll spend my working hours at magazine that's going to show me a different side of the town then most people get the chance to see. Best of all, they're fricking going to pay me.

I want to skate around town and I want to surf and I want to meet new people and write amazing articles and drink and play and work so hard that I think my brain might fry and go to concerts and kiss girls and then wake up and do it all again the next day. And of course, I want to sit right here and tell you all every little amazing thing about it.

And you're probably thinking how is this little shit so lucky? What has he got that's so special? Nothing. It's just about being humble in the real world and cocky as fuck on some stupid inconsequential blog. And then letting a little bit of that digital cockiness bleed out of the black and white and into the real world. Because then you start to believe that you can run this funny little world. And everybody else starts to believe it too. And suddenly all your dreams start to be part of your day to day routine.

Hi ho silver.