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What the Hell was I Doin' Drinkin' in LA... at 30 Something
"...What the hell am I doin' drinking in LA at…" brought back a memory, not a best memory; certainly not the highest of heights of my life, my drinking career, nor my career for that matter. Just another little almost lost little memory. A bit of fun had, three maybe four lifetimes ago (as if anyone is really counting). Certainly long before I'd settled into my first, second, my third and final attempt to become a New Yorker. After which, it would be a demand that LA become an enemy state of mind. It was my second trip to LA. Stupidly, I was silly enough to think I'd had the place figured out by then.
We'd been given the opportunity to travel to LA to visit the ex-First Woman Prime Minister (of Canada) Kim Campbell in the home they'd given her as a big ol' thank you for being the First Woman Prime Minister (of Canada), and then promptly losing them the election. One of those, quick, get the guy/gal out of here before anyone notices, before she get's lynched by the faithful plump n' juicy patronage appointments. And then there I was, here in LA, little ol' me, all suited up in his best Dick Van Dyke style skinny pants suit, ready to roll with the rollers, sipping wine and munching on canopé in the house of the Canadian atché to this or that cultural woo-ha-ha or something like that. The complete lack of stars was telling; I would learn later that night… there were more glorious stars in LA than I'd originally counted on.
Now, when I end up at a suaré such as this, one of two many me's is bound not to show; I'll either be you know, that guy the one standing over there, you know (all by himself), or the other guy, gob-handing and yickity-yacking with any and all of the anyones and everyones willing to listen to whatever gibberish is dripping outta a mismatched brain n' mouth at any particular given moment. If I recall, at this particular suaré; I came as the all by himself... guy. Almost lost behind the enormous girth of one of my new business partners, and the sheer stupidity of the other who'd dragged me across the country so they could canoodle with their inbred-industrial money-burnin' associates in the Film & TV Industry (oh my, are my under-bitter-pants still showing)? - If I further recall, although not gob handing or spouting gibberish, I was on it and generally having a good time quietly talking... at least to the staff.
Having been recently un-married and singled, and in LA and younger than most that had showed up to this suaré and almost as stupid as I'd ever be… I was indeed ogling the one and only almost babe that had appeared. The ex-First Woman Prime Minister (of Canada)'s parties didn't draw too great a bevy of, are they broads or dames? Even though it was the quieter me who'd shown up, I was able to pull off a few manoeuvres and soon found myself in a wonderfully pleasant conversation with, if I further recall one of ol' Kimmy's personal aides. I have only a vague recollection of this young lady, her age, name and number escape me. All I recall is that the conversation was bright n' lively, she had a similar suspicion of the crowd we were in and… I'm pretty sure she was a brunette.
I haven't a clue how it happened; I guess I'd let drop that I had great later plans. Whether I asked her or she simply decided to tag along is beyond me; likely the latter as I'm dreadful at "the pick up line"… I think mine has worked all of once. So, let's call her Alice (for the sake of this story) and I ended up in my semi-slick rented Mustang convertible and off to you'll never guess where.
The first time I went to LA, I didn't have the slightest clue. My Eastern Seaboard / Midwestern Toronto upbringing left me to assume that all cities were the same and, if you simply looked hard enough you'd find a nice little neighbourhood, compacted with this restaurant and that bar and this little grouping of things you could do before sauntering off to the next neighbourhood right there just up or down the street. I think our cab driver was stunned when we asked him to drop us off on, in no place in particular, along the Sunset Strip, anywhere, you know, where the action is, was or would be… he dropped us at something like 10,678; after walking (quite) a bit, we found a place for a beer at, like, dude 8,456 Sunset Boulevard This second time around in LA, I rented the car, the semi-slick Mustang convertible.
So later that evening, after the suaré, here's "Alice" and I cruising the freeways of LA, towards, somewhere out of the city at super high speeds. Before travelling, I'd conducted some semi-extensive research and found where the ravers would be while I was in LA. What this recently singled, boneheaded, early 30 sumpthin' was thinking… well that's a whole other story. Maybe Alice had thought it might be fun to help this silly man from out of town drive out of the city to search for the third dry lake bed to the left of some place or another in search of his these kids, the ravers…
It took us what felt like hours to find my kids, perhaps twenty of them dancing by their make-shift car stereo super-sound system, while juggling glow sticks and marvelling how this Dick VanDyke of a Canadian guy and some sweet woman named Alice had managed to maneuver themselves in such a manner as get a Mustang up and over the ruts on the roads leading to the dry lake so they could crash their little private party out in the pitch black middle of the night in the absolute middle of nowhere somewhere north of the City of LA. - We were kind of surprised ourselves I guess; and pretty much turned right around.
I recall quite fondly the quiet ride back to the City. A couple of lost "once were kids" in an open roofed car, laughing to themselves a wee little bit; not really talking likely totally exhausted and dying to get back to wherever it was they could simply shower and jump into bed. And, it's not what you're thinking… I dropped her in some lonely suburb out on the freeways, she pointed me in the direction of Santa Monica and thanked me for a wonderful evening. I sped away halfway tired and thinking how lucky I was to meet such a wonderfully nice person… thinking of the stars so damned close that you'd almost felt you might need to put up the top of your opened roofed car that you'd forgot now was rented. A now totally rough road ruined semi-slick Mustang convertible, covered in dry Lake Bed (with luckily no dents in the paint job). I'd likely forgotten how how close I'd come to ruining a moment by dropping the ecstasy I'd smuggle across the border on my way to Kim, the ex-First Woman Prime Minister's party… nope, just a nice drive back to my hotel room, to shower and sleep and then hit what was then the AOL chat boards to find out where best to look for "the kids" and find next night's wild, fun goofy little party…
…I found them. Or, perhaps… they found me.