6.08.2011

Farewell and Hello

Hi friends. Those of you who have stuck by me, well you are just plain amazing. Clearly I have done some major moves and now I am on to another (me being me...not Louise). I am off to New York and sadly Louise will not be making this leg of my journey. Thank you for your fierce loyalty. You can continue to follow me on twitter @LezAndTheCity where I will keep you updated on future fiction/online projects. Love you guys.

Always,
Anna

4.07.2010

Back in Black (and Gold)


I know I know I know.  It has been almost four long months.  I bet you never thought you would see me again.  That I had been lost in the abyss that is LA.  Happily, I can inform you that I am alive, if not a little the worse for wear.  I am back for keeps this time.  So much has happened a full recap would be excruciating.  So here it is in brief: the highlights:
JANUARY
After the episode with Margot my head was a mess.  I confessed all to Cecilia and Ruth while I was in Northern California for the holidays.   Where do I go from here?  Ruth was adamant that I talk to Margot, explain that it just wasn’t appropriate, and although I was very attracted to her, I just couldn’t go “there” because of work.  Cecilia was less black and white I could tell but she didn’t want to rock Ruth’s boat.  In any case, neither were very helpful.
I wanted Margot.  There was that.  But there was also something I saw in her eyes that night, the eyes that initially drew me to her.  When she talked about “sleeping my way to the top” it didn’t seem like a joke.  There was something sinister in her eyes...even malicious.  I saw a darkness that could easily chew me up and spit me out, both physically and emotionally.  And career-wise.  Yet I knew I was already in too deep.  I couldn’t quit my job.  I couldn’t even quit Margot.
Originally I had planned on doing a San Francisco New Years with Ruth and C, but after a week up North I was suffocating.  So I convinced them to do a mini vacation.  We hopped a flight to LA, a heavily sedated Cat Called Wanda in tow.  When we arrived at LAX New Year’s Eve morning it was about ten degrees warmer, and I was able to breathe ten times easier.
The girls checked into their penthouse at Chateau Marmont. The beauty of Cecilia’s absentee parents is the guilty money they fling at her each holiday season.  What then followed was of course a ridiculous weekend with the girls as well as Kim, Leah, and even the usually M.I.A. Andi.
I finally returned to work after a long vacation.  Things where awkward with Margot.  I couldn’t look her in the eye...which probably was for the best.  She was utterly professional however, and pretended the whole thing had never happened.  Unfortunately I have once again been relegated to silent coffee fetcher and reader, much to Karen’s delight.  I have been keeping my head down and doing my work.  There is unfinished business here but I just can’t deal with it at the moment.  
FEBRUARY
For once in my life I got off work early.  Ruth was in town (minus Cecilia) for a work conference.  When I unlocked the door I was greeted by Kim (of course) who flung herself immediately into my arms, tears streaming down her cheeks, A Cat Called Wanda in her arms.  A muffled meow rang out in protest between our bodies.  Ruth was close behind her.
Oh jesus Louise I am so glad you are home early!  Andi left!  She just fucking left!  We are over!  Like WTF?  Kim blubbered.
Her face was red and blotchy; her light blue eyes huge, the whites tinged pink as she looked at me, glazed over in sadness.
What happened Kim?
She just said she was done!  She said she wasn’t happy.  I don’t fucking know.  She already moved her shit.  How will I even afford this place without her?  I am so fucking fucked!
Ok calm down.  We will figure out the money.  We will figure this out.  Here is what you need to do: go get in the bath.  I am bringing you booze.  Then come with us to Voyeur, and we are going to paint the town pink with Ruth.  Ok?
Kim sniffed and nodded.  I took her hand, leading her down the hall to the first bathroom, where I turned on the hot water in huge claw-foot tub while pouring in a generous amount of bubbles.
Get in.  I’ll be back.  I went to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of Stoli out of the freezer, and three glasses of rocks.  Ruth followed me, smiling slightly.
What are you all happy about?
Oh I got promoted today.  But it means I have to move.  To LA.
I set down the glasses abruptly.  No shit!   
And it looks like you are going to need someone to take up the slack in rent...
NO SHIT!  Ok and you know this means Cecilia is going to be down here in a heartbeat.
Exactly.  Okay 5 second celebration and then let’s go take care of Kim.

We jumped up and down screaming silently, holding hands like little girls and then stopped, took deep breaths, and returned to the bathroom with our best sad masks.  Ruth took a seat on the toilet and I leaned on the edge of the sink.  Kim was in bubbles up to her chin, sniffling still, but the hysterical tears had stopped.  I poured her a generous vodka, and smaller ones for myself and Ruth.
Where’s Leah?  I asked, never knowing where the enigmatic roommate had gone.
She went home to New York last week [ahh makes sense of course she is from New York] but she is back.  I don’t know where she is though.
Does she know about you and Andi?
Kim sniffled [oops] No.  It just happened this morning.  I woke up and....and...she was already packed!  Kim burst into another round of sobs and I pointed to her glass of vodka which she obligingly drank from deeply.
The front door banged open.  Speak of the devil.  Leah’s heavy motorcycle boots pounded the wood floors as she made her way down the hall to the open bathroom.  She peeked her head around the corner, a hand over her eyes.  
Coast clear?
Clear.  I told her.  She uncovered her eyes and took in the vodka, me and Ruth, and bubble covered tear-stained Kim.
What the fuck is going on?
Andi....Andi....dumped meeeeeee!  Kim wailed and then took another gulp of booze.
What?  Damn.  Heavy.  Leah came over and and sat on the edge of the tub, grabbing the vodka bottle from the floor and taking a swig.  She choked slightly and pulled out her  Marlborough reds.  Mind?  I shook my head and stuck out my hand for one.
I want one too.  Kim warbled, pulling a prune-y hand out of the bubbles.  
You don’t smoke.  I reminded her.  
I fucking do now.  Leah?  Leah shrugged and handed her one.  We all lit up and let out sighs.
Women, man.  Muttered Leah.  Succinct and wise, that one.
We are going to Voyeur tonight, interested?
Yeah why not.  I was going to drive to Vegas but I’m over it.  Hotter chicks here anyway, Vegas is a bunch of amateurs.  This elicited a giggle from Kim.  Which was a good sign, even if it was a slightly tipsy giggle.
Voyeur was another whirl of epic breasts, strong drinks, dancing, and we managed to get Kim to bring home a girl that can only be described as a tall drink of champagne.
MARCH
The green month found Ruth fully ensconced in our apartment, and Cecilia in a ridiculous condo in WeHo, lazily job hunting, much preferring to girl hunt.
Always, 


Louise

1.04.2010

Champagne Wishes and Career Dreams


A triangle of light blue sky piercing grey clouds with a white burst. Steel ocean and thick foam; rocks cutting through at points like aggressive barnacle covered whales. Moss covered cliffs meeting the sea in a kiss of spray. Waves rolling in an impossible rhythm, shouting with a muted fury, a thundering roar of the gods. Humans, just specks on fragile fiberglass boards, braving this, attempting to conquer this.


I flew back to Northern California in all of her rugged glory, for the holidays to spend time with the twins, who were home from school at UC Berkeley, and my mother. Ruth and Cecilia came from San Francisco to join us by the beach as per usual. Ruth’s family, conservative, old-school Asian American Christians, disowned her back when she was a rebellious and angry baby dyke and Cecilia’s parents, divorced, never seem to live or be anywhere closer than ridiculous European locations. Both girls grabbed me in a tight hug when we reunited in Monterey and Cecilia whispered Welcome home! in my ear. I didn’t say it out loud but I no longer felt this was home.


Christmas was quiet and stormy; Mother Nature having decided to wash the earth clean getting a head start on a fresh beginning for 2010. We had a lovely family dinner on the covered balcony, heat lamps blazing and an ocean mist swirling. I was entirely distracted the entire time, replaying a different dinner in my mind. Dinner with Margot Whitney.


She arrived as I watched a neon 7:59PM flicker to 8:00. Kim answered the door and for once couldn’t say much. Tripping over herself she ran down the hall to my room. She found me sitting on the edge of wrought iron canopy bed staring at the boots I resurrected from the Paris trip.
As Kim burst in she giggled Ms. Whitney here to see you!
I laughed and grabbed my clutch, heels tapping as I followed her out of the room. Margot was waiting for me in the living room. Of course she looked incredible, dressed in a black ux-style jacket, her long legs clad in skinny denim, startling eyes rimmed in smokey liner. Leah was stretched out on the couch, a cigarette behind her ear, unabashedly checking out Margot. Navy eyes followed me as I crossed the room, and Leah winked, the left corner of her mouth curving up and her dimple deepening with pleasure at my blush.


I said awkward goodbyes to the roommates and followed Margot’s perfect ass out the door, down the winding stairs to her 1956 black Porsche Spyder, trying to keep my jaw attached to my face. I slid into the leather seat, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly through my mouth. The butterflies were wreaking havoc on my stomach. We sped off, Sam Sparro’s Black & Gold filling the silence.


I don’t really do small talk. I don’t believe in it. I don’t really believe in wasting time. Margot finally said.
I agree. I replied, relieved she had said something and turned on at the same time by her incredibly easy bluntness. She looked at me out of the corner of her eye, that bright topaz tiger eye, and grinned.


Arriving at the London in West Hollywood, valets immediately opened our doors, greeting Ms. Whitney who shook their hands, tipping each of the bumbling men generously. As we made our way through the sleek and chic white lobby to Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, this continued--everyone knew who she was.


We were immediately escorted to a private room, which was elegant and at the same time opulent in its gilt, mirrored, and marbled decor. A bottle of Veuve was waiting, chilling in a silver bucket.


Margot dismissed the host with a casual flick of her head and we were left alone. She popped the champagne herself and gave me another one of her penetrating gazes.


To Louise Laurent, and her complete lack of fear.
I gulped down a sip from the crystal glass, unable to look away.
So you are a writer Louise. You are here to make it happen, live the dream, etc etc. Correct?
Correct.
Well I want to help make this dream come true. I have no idea about your talent but you have something almost better: balls. The way you interrupted today was...unusual. Do you have anything I can read?
I worried for a moment when I pulled out my samples I had been keeping on hand. It occurred to me I might have to literally dust them off from all the time they had been just sitting in my bag. Luckily I didn’t have to suffer this. I passed my work to Margot.
Excellent. I will read it tonight. Now tell me about you. I am fascinated to know more.


And so we wined. We dined. We went through the entire Chef’s tasting menu. Margot was interesting and dynamic and funny and sexy and completely intoxicating. It was hard to tell by the end whether it was the alcohol or her.


After dinner Margot grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the restaurant to the elevator. Tipsy from the drinks, I stumbled slightly behind but didn’t question where we were going. She hit the button for the roof and grinned at me mischievously. I wish I could say that confined to the small space of the elevator I said something charming or clever, or that I became a sexual beast and shoved her against the wall, kissing her with wild abandon. But I didn’t. Instead I stared at her, drinking her in, quietly watching the way her black eyelashes fluttered against her cheeks each time she blinked.


The elevator made a bing and once again Margot grabbed my hand, pulling me onto the deserted rooftop deck. If I was speechless before, now I became positively mute. I stood still, watching her walk with an easy and sexy swinging pace past a glittering aqua pool, roaring fire, and white cabanas. Panoramic views of LA surrounded her as she leaned on the glass, the only thing separating her from a steep free fall to the city below. Arms spread, gripping the glass, she turned to smile at me over her shoulder. This smile just dripped sex. I felt mesmerized, as though she was the charmer and I was the cobra, as I was pulled--it could not be called a walk--to her. When I finally closed the gap, which seemed an endless and slow journey, her topaz eyes pierced me. Margot took my hand and an electric current surged through our bodies.


She lightly ran her fingers up my arm leaving goosebumps in their wake. Her hand, strong and sure, continued its journey to my shoulder where she tugged down the thin strap of my flimsy top, while looking at me and smiling a very small, very coy, smile. Continuing on, Margot’s hand grasped the back of my neck and pulled my face to hers. While her other hand climbed my buttons, slowly releasing them from their confines she bit my bottom lip.


This is wrong... I said on a sigh into her mouth.
I know. Doesn’t that make it feel even better?


Her hands tangled themselves into my hair and she pushed me against the glass barrier, the LA city lights twinkling brighter than stars all around me. My shirt, now completely unbuttoned, fluttered in the cool breeze and her hands snuck expertly inside; one hand on the small of my back pushed me against her tall length of body, while she bent her head to lay her lips on my neck.


Wait... I tried again more firmly Wait. I can’t sleep with you...you’re my boss.
Haven’t you ever heard of sleeping your way to the top? She smiled but there was an edge of darkness in her bottomless eyes, pupils dilated with arousal.
I can’t...I don’t want to do it this way. I just...I have to go.


And I ran. My heels clicked as I quickly escaped, rapidly buttoning my shirt and jumping into the elevator. I took a deep breath as I punched the lobby button several times. When the doors reopened I sprang out and hustled to the front door where a valet quickly hailed me a cab. I jumped in sighing with relief. The old driver held up a pack of cigarettes and asked with a heavy Russian accent if I minded. I shook my head and we both rolled down our windows and lit up. I let out a gust of breath on a plume of smoke, letting the cold air hit my face hard.  I pondered the Northern California waves, and their violent and repeated crashing against the cliffs...


So work might be a little awkward when I get back from my holiday break.


Always,


Louise


12.16.2009

Sweet Dreams are Made of Shes


I met her while I was at work.

Despite always arriving on time, kissing some major ass, and keeping several copies of my screenplay in my Chloé bag (just in case), my job as assistant to the assistant consists mainly of fetching Coffee Bean and Spago’s to go. I have not so much as lifted a pen to paper the past month.

Los Angeles decided to become freakishly cold one morning. I sped to work on my vespa, and found my nose frozen and cheeks pink after the ride. As I was taking off my leather jacket and sitting down at my miniature desk--which I seem to be sharing with someone’s Maltese puppy--the actual assistant, Karen, hurried over. Side note: Karen is thirty-something and takes her job very seriously. She wears only black, probably a remnant of her days working backstage during high school theater productions. Heavy black eyeliner, red lipstick applied liberally, and a generous spritzing of Bath and Body Works Vanilla Noir are all hallmarks of the look. Karen is faux-easy going, still prefers cassette tapes to “compact discs,” knows all of the Hollywood gossip but is a part of none of it, and has a picture of her pet parrot, Gregory, on her desk. As I was plopping down in my red swivel chair Karen swooped in and grabbed my arm--not a totally shocking move as she is oddly touchy-feely.

I need you to sit in on a meeting today. I need you to not draw attention to yourself. I need you to bring the Coffee Bean order. I need you to take notes. I need you to absolutely not speak unless you are spoken to. Can we do this?
Yes we can. I said, keeping the sarcasm internal, and looking her solemnly in the eye. I was also doing a little dance in my mind. Finally. Something!

That is how I found myself a few hours later handing out non-fat soy lattes and green tea ice blended things. I took Karen’s rules to heart and kept my head down, trying to be as discrete as possible. Then I handed over a ridiculous holiday raspberry hot chocolate and the sexiest hand took a firm hold of the paper cup. My head surreptitiously raised to look at her face and suddenly I was drowning in these cat-like topaz eyes, fringed by long black lashes. She arched an eyebrow at me and I coughed and scurried away.

Here is the thing. I have been playing it cool as a cucumber the last few months, juggling girls, phasing them out after a night or two, and generally being in charge of celebrations. Despite the level of attractiveness, and amount of fish in the sea, no one has left me tongue tied. Not like her. The butterflies were flying around my tummy with wild abandon.

After taking my seat, slightly behind Karen, I thought it would be safe to look up again. Wrong. She was looking back at me, sitting straight across the table. Then I did something I have not done since...I don’t even know when: I blushed. The blood rushed to my head and all of a sudden I was in a slow motion movie sequence. Zero 7 played something sexy and slow as she licked a little bit of whip cream off her lip. My heart thundered in my chest and then stopped beating for an eternity. Her eyes held mine and I tried to blink breaking the penetrating gaze. God those eyes. They screamed sex and desire and passion and artistry and torture; her warrior eyes assaulted me. Suddenly I was composing terrible poetry in my head.

I guess everyone else arrived for the meeting: a smattering of suits and writers. I didn’t really register anything until she broke my gaze and then shocked me further by calling the meeting to order in an authoritative and throaty voice. Obviously I should have known--she was in charge. And therefore, that made her Margot Whitney, creator of the series and head writer. Holy shit.

The meeting began and the suits and writers argued back and forth over minute details. I forced myself to focus on the task at hand and take notes, rather than staring at Margot’s incredibly luscious mouth as it formed words. They began to argue over one character “Clara,” and where they wanted to go with her storyline.

She’s boring. She is totally boring. We have heavy hitters vying for these parts. This isn’t the fucking Disney channel!
What if she gets pregnant?
That has been so done! So done!
Eating disorder? Drugs? Bisexuality?
Warmer warmer...

For some reason I forgot that I was an outsider. I forgot Karen’s rules, and all of sudden it was creative word vomit everywhere. From my second row seat I put in:
What if she leaves her boyfriend--say a hot player type--for a chick? And not just any chick but a full on dyke. That stuff is really now, you know? It would be shocking. And you get say a Blake Lively type or some other pretty little starlet looking for an edge. People would eat it up...
I trailed off looking around the room at surprised faces. A little bald man glared.
Who the fuck is she?
Karen, wide-eyed and practically shaking tried to move her chair further in front of me. Sorry Dale, that is no one, just my assistant, she didn’t mean to interrupt, maybe we should take a quick ten? I really don’t--
Shut up Dale. Everyone turned and looked at Margot. I stared at my laptop and where I had stopped taking notes when I busted into the meeting. Waiting.
It is fucking brilliant. Daring. Interesting. Bold. Different. What’s your name?
Louise. Laurent.
Thank you Louise.

Since I am not an utter moron, I managed to keep my mouth shut the remainder of the meeting. When it was over I quickly tried to escape, fearing for both my job and my life, either by Karen’s hand, Dale’s, or both. I had just made it to the door when one of those sexy hands grabbed my elbow. Walk with me Louise. Margot steered me down the long hallway into a massive glassed in office looking out on the city. She shut the door behind her, and then sat at a long sleek desk, gesturing for me to take one of the leather seats opposite her.

You’re new aren’t you?
I choked back a nervous laugh Yeah.
New is good. It is fresh. We need fresh here. I am tired of all the inhibitions. You don’t have any do you Louise?
Actually...well...very few.
I knew it. I want to pick your brain, if I may. Dinner tonight?
It took me about fifteen seconds to register what she was asking.
Absolutely.
Perfection. Have Karen email me your information. I’ll pick you up at eight.

Leaving her office in a daze, I wandered back down the long hallway wondering what exactly had just taken place. I returned to my desk where Karen was waiting for me, tapping a clunky heel.
You are so lucky this time Louise. SO lucky. Don’t ever ever EVER do that again! DId you completely forget the rules? What the hell?
Unable to help it, I smiled.
Karen, could you please email Margot my contact information? Thanks.


Always,

Louise

11.15.2009

Ex Marks the Spot



I am going to go out on a big limb here and say something that I never thought would come out of my fingertips. San Francisco was one of the best cities in the world, in my humble opinion. But these days...it can’t hold a candle to LA, at least in terms of the lesbian scene. There. I said it. My heart will always be in San Francisco but Los Angeles is completely taking another little piece of my heart (now, baby).

That was the reflection portion of this program. And now. The drama big. Because I broke all of the rules of singleland.

It has been about a month and a half since the move and I am already becoming a permanent fixture at every single lesbian event possible. I may or may not be back up to my old tricks that I had temporarily sworn off in SF when it started to all catch up with me. In reporting home to Ruth and Cecilia I have left out some minor details because basically...I really am not in the mood to be lectured. Kim is happy to have a partner in crime since Andi is such a homebody and Leah is somewhat of an enigma. Plus Kim is a perfect wingman, which is good for me. Honestly, it is as though I have had one of those makeovers you see in films. I got a Melrose haircut at Rudolph’s, I spent almost all my savings on flimsy tops, killer shoes, and ridiculous lingerie, and when I step out at night I feel powerful.

And so it was with these delusions of power, sex, and glory, that I walked into major trouble last week. We went to APO at Rockwell, a more mellow cocktail party. I got checked off the guest list, with Kim nipping at my Chanel encased heels, and Leah aloof as ever, all smokey eyes and spiky mohawk.

RULE #1: If you are single DO NOT try to make friends with a couple of your same sexual persuasion. (Broken, check)

After mingling around and saying our hellos I got pulled away from Kim and into a conversation with a very attractive couple. Everything I said was apparently hilarious, and the next thing I knew they were buying me shots of something fruity and delicious and deadly. The blonde of the couple, a tall femme with killer legs, seemed particularly interested in everything I had to say, and insisted that we must hang out sometime soon. She did seem to be coming on a little strong but the more champagne I had the less I really cared.

RULE #2: Don’t get pulled in. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t get drunk and forget the rules. (Broken, check.)

The music was great, the drinks were flowing, and Leah was even cracking a smile. I had two new best friends and I didn’t want the party to stop.

RULE #3: DO NOT invite the couple over. You just met them you moron! (Broken, check.)

I invited them back to our place. We piled in Kim’s car, and I was squeezed in the back next to Blondie. Her hand was on my thigh. Shit. I awkwardly tried to move away only to be pressed up against the Brunette girlfriend. Shit and shit, but yes yes I was drunk drunk drunkkkkkkk.

We got back to the apartment and Kim poured screwdrivers for everyone. Andi even came out and downed one, although she didn’t look totally pleased about the late night partying. Leah put on some of her angry dyke music, and I went to the kitchen for a refill. Blondie followed me.

RULE #4: Don’t encourage it even a little bit. Don’t encourage it at all. (Broken, check.)

You’re really cute Louise.
Oh. Thanks ______.
Yeah. this is kinda bad isn’t it?
What is? What is bad?

Blondie smiled, catching her lower lip with her white teeth, looking up at me from under heavy lids. Oldest trick in the book. Oldest. Trick. I laughed nervously, but my guard was still down. I was drunk I didn’t give a shit.

RULE #5: Don’t go there. Just DON’T go there. Don’t go to the bathroom! (Broken, check.)

I have to go to the bathroom. I told her and semi-stumbled away. She was following me, I could feel her. I could feel her eyes on my ass. She wasn’t being even slightly discrete. The party had moved to the living room and Brunette was laid out on the couch semi-conscious. Kim and Leah were doing lines of coke (where the hell did that come from?) and Andi had seemingly disappeared back to her room. It was all blurry and surreal as I walked down the hall. I could hear her heels clicking behind me. I pushed open the bathroom door and her hands were on my waist all of a sudden and she shoved me onto the marble counter, and her tongue was in my mouth and my brain was shouting STOP and my body was in complete disagreement.

It all happened extremely fast. The door flew open. There was Brunette. FUCK ME!!! Screamed my brain. Blondie let go of me and raced after her girlfriend, tears already running down her face: I can explain...

I sat on the counter frozen. Shit shit shit. I grabbed my drink and finished the rest of it in a quick clean swallow. Then I jumped down and walked into the living room. Leah and Kim sat on the floor confused. The front door was open, swinging slightly on a warm breeze. They looked up at me.

What the hell just happened? Kim exclaimed her blue eyes wide, pupils dilated from the drugs.
Dude, Louise do you know who you have fucked with? You have to learn to keep it in your pants.
Did they leave?
Yeah. Want a bump?
Yeah. Yeah, I do.

I sat down on the floor next to them, shoved some white powder in my right nostril, and coughed, staring at the ceiling. Leah rubbed my back and Kim squeezed my hand. Thank god for the solidarity of my roommates. I had already screwed myself--and a decent portion of the LA lesbian population--the last thing I needed was to lose the few friends I had.

And so I have entered into a whole mess. I am officially a part of the LA scene and not necessarily in a good way. I need to go back to following certain rules of engagement. I like trouble. I don’t like drama. But I will be out again at the next party, causing something I am sure.

Always,

Louise

10.27.2009

Lucky be a Lady


I have been pounding the pavement trying to get a job. Living off my meager savings will not last for long. And so I shook myself awake about 6AM and stole to the shower before any of my roommates could. I threw on what I judged to be a professional blazer, skinny black pants and tall flat boots. I was going to brave Pinky (my vespa) for the first time and head deeper into Hollywood. Amazingly, I had lined up seven interviews for personal assistant positions. Shocking, I know.

Shoving a fiber-health-disgusting-cardboard bar in my mouth I grabbed my bag and opened the front door. There was a package there. For me. How did everyone miss this yesterday, coming in and out?
It was fairly large, so I reversed back inside and threw down my bag. I used my keys to tear the thick tape, looking at the label with handwriting I didn’t recognize. After digging through styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap I got to it. A big red box. Shit.
A Les Ateliers Ruby motorcycle helmet. Only the most expensive, most chic, helmets possible. I have longed for one for ages but couldn’t throw down the cash. Shit shit shit. I opened the box and moved the black tissue away gently. It was perfect. Black with white polka dots, and pink leather lining. Totally cute and vintage and me.  And inside a card; loose handwriting, heavy black ink:
You could have said goodbye.
Be safe.
Maybe this will bring a little luck too.
Missing you,
Fiona.

SHIT.

So I grabbed my bag again, grabbed the box full of packaging, and slammed the killer helmet on my head. I mean, I couldn’t return it, could I?
I took the stairs two at a time, stopped by the recycling and tossed the box, and headed to Pinky. This was one hell of a good luck charm.

And as luck would have it, ten interviews later, I had a job as a peon assistant to an assistant (yes, two assistants in there) writer for an HBO show that was in the pilot stages. I officially have been inducted into Hollywood. Let the hazing begin.


Always,

Louise

10.11.2009

Tigers in the Fire


So before we get to anything juicy, you are probably (maybe? maybe not?) wondering two things:

1. What happened to Pinky the Pink Vespa?

2. What happened to my cat called Wanda?

Well let me put your mind at rest. Wanda is currently ensconced in Cecilia’s apartment for the time being. The plan is that I will win my roommates over with my fierce loyalty and lovely sense of humor and seduce them into the idea of having a cat called Wanda on the lose in the apartment. Foolproof plan.

As for Pinky, I simply forgot to mention that she made the trip down with us in the back of the Ruth’s pickup. You don’t want to know how we got it in and out of there (we may or may not have had to stoop to a medium low and ask for man-help). However, I am still not sure how I feel about riding her on the rough and tumble streets of LA. I am going to ease into that one.


Well what else is new... perhaps my attitude. I am working on a take no prisoner approach to life right now. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let my inner bitch out a bit more. It helps if you buy a new pair of Alexander McQueen origami snap boots. (Whatever, it is my welcome to your new home gift to myself...thats what plastic is for).


Saturday evening I was all self-loathing and wallowing in a certain amount of homesickness slash self pity while decorating my massive bedroom. The vintage chic from San Francisco needed to be revamped and modernized for my LaLa Land digs. I paused and stepped onto my balcony, to lounge on one of my new black iron chairs and smoke a cigarette and brood about my abrupt decison making issues. I could hear Leah’s angry Riot Grrrl music bumping even outside. I pictured her in her room sullenly drinking cheap beer and creating aggressive messy art. She is an artist by the way. She is also dangerous--I need to watch myself around that one; I could easily make some very poor decisions.


Kim burst in on my musing with an open bottle of champagne and a huge grin.

No sads Louise we are going OUT!

Kim it is only 7 o’clock.

Exactly. Time to sip some champy and get ready. Wear the McQueen boots. Drink.

She shoved the bottle at me and I shrugged and took a gulp of the bubbles. I got in touch with my inner punk fashion-wise, throwing on skinny grey jeans, a cropped black leather jacket, and Marc cuff for good measure.

And so the roommates scooped me up, forced me into something stylish and lugged me downtown to a hole in the wall club. You gotta get outta WeHo once and a while Lu Andi explained (and now she has said a total of 12 words to me since my move).


So it was a hole in the wall. Literally. Outside looked like someone just hammered out a hole. Inside was a different story though. The entire place was white, like stepping onto a set for a fashion shoot, with high ceilings, and Louis XIV style moldings, alongside swaying blue and magenta track lights. A band called Love Grenades played while hipsters swayed coked out and mesmerized. Dancing in the middle of this was the lead singer--an urban Katy Perry, gyrating and bobbing in a gold lamé unitard, her effervescent voice carried to the ceiling:

Let's play tigers in the fire

I know this is just desire

So won't you stay with me

Oh, if you stay, you'll see

You've changed

Nothing is the same...

I can screw anyone that's nice, then walk away

Put your hands on me, we can make sweet love in the winter breeze

I can do anything that I like

I can screw anyone that's nice then walk away...


A drag queen stood to the side taking it all in, while I took in her tribal gown and serious afro. She would later grab the mic and shout in a husky falsetto O M fucking Geeeee!


Leah’s mohawk bobbed through the crowd ahead of me. The hipsters moved about--young skinny chicks teetering in impossibly high vintage YSL heels, gay boys with ironic mustaches holding hands and sharing cigarettes (yes inside)--a sea of vintage, plaid, flannel, and lace. I blended in but I didn’t belong. My clear drink was glowing blue and I sucked on the tiny straw while trying to sway a bit as some girl grinded behind me provocatively. I gingerly disentangled myself and went stand near a fan and some bored gogo dancers.


Transplant? I turned. A tall androgynous brunette leaned over me, her skinny lithe body curving close. I smiled.

Completely. I feel a little like an alien.

You’ll get used to it. It grows on you. Kind of like a fungus.

Lovely.

She laughed. You’re cute.

Gee thanks.

She laughed again. That came out wrong. Sorry. So you aren’t much of a dancer?

Not at the moment. I glanced at the dancing and tried not to visibly cringe. She caught that too and laughed harder.

So let me guess. San Francisco?

Bingo.

Yeah, the leather and little look of discomfort are what give you away. But its not a completely wicked town. I’d like to show you things a little maybe...if you are interested.

I eyed her and raised an eyebrow. Are you coming onto me?

She smiled but turned serious. I can if you want me to.

And then I did something completely inappropriate and totally out of character (HUSH!): I leaned in slowly, towards her mouth but shied away to her ear and whispered I’d love that.

I pulled away and she was grinning, her green eyes twinkled at me. What’s your name?

Louise.

Corrine. Pleasure to meet you Louise.


Ok things are getting interesting here. It is amazing what a pair of McQueen boots can do for a girl.


Always,


Louise

9.27.2009

Off to See the Wizard


Toto, I don’t believe we’re in Kansas anymore.

Ruth saved me from a UHaul and offered her truck services, despite her misgivings about my decision and Cecilia joined for the journey. Riding into West Hollywood, the old Toyota packed to the brim with as many shoes and furniture pieces I could fit, there was a picture of Dorothy’s ruby slippers on a lamp post. I don’t know if this was a welcome for “friends of Dorothy” or a sign that there is no place like home, but either way it was oddly reassuring as I asked myself repeatedly if this whole plan was a gigantor mistake. I sat in the back seat (which if you have ever ridden in that spot from SF to LA you know the pain), peering around a vintage lamp, craning my neck for a view. Cecilia remarked cynically that Los Angeles was the darkest sunny place she had ever been and it’s not too late to change your mind...we can turn around. I shook my head but have to admit that it was not the most convincing no. Admittedly, I was feeling the pain of my abrupt decision and I had forgotten to pack my heart when I was leaving San Francisco.

We finally pulled up to a chic apartment building. My apartment building. I fell ungracefully out of my cramped position, narrowly catching the lamp before it crashed to the ground along with me. Immediately, I was slammed in the face with a hot Santa Ana wind and the smell of garlic plants, which are everywhere in LA. Of course my brow immediately broke out in a sweat--I am a Northern California heat wimp after all. Ruth and Cecilia decided to wait at the truck with my loot while I got into my new place.
I climbed a wrought iron winding staircase to the top floor and knocked, more aggressively than I meant to. My hand may or may not have been shaking a little.
After what seemed a lifetime (in which I fully considered the price to my bank account as well as pride if I took Cecilia up on the return trip), the door swung open. Leaning casually in its frame was a very tall, very thin girl, with huge navy eyes and a black mohawk. Her entire right arm was covered in a tattoo of a 50‘s pinup. Wowsa.

Leah. You must be Louise.
You win this time Leah (I thought) and said Hey yep.
Welcome to Los Angeles Louise. Come on I’ll show you the place.

I followed her lanky gait down a narrow mahogany floored hall into a large modern living room. Two girls sat on a long orange couch drinking beers and listening the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
The blonde immediately jumped up and hugged me.

Louise! You’re here! Yay! I’m Kim! That’s Andi! she pointed to her girlfriend sitting still. Andi saluted me with her bottle. Let’s go see your room. Where are your friends? Ohmygod are you just so excited? I am so glad you are here it is gonna be great you’re gonna love it here, I just know it. We are going to Truck Stop tomorrow you have to come I already put you and the girls on the guest list. Where are the girls? Come on you have to see your room!
Wowsa.

Kim grabbed my arm and pulled me through the room, past an incredible modern kitchen of stainless steel and all state of the art amenities. Maybe I will learn how to cook. She dragged me down the narrow hallway, which had tall ceilings and skylights with white light streaming through. We passed three bedrooms that were a blur in her her rush, as well as a bathroom I would have to investigate later. My room was last in the series. And it left me speechless.

The ceiling was extremely high with different angles jutting into one another. One wall consisted entirely of floor to ceiling windows, off of which was a balcony. It was white, elegant, and completely 21st century...the opposite of my tiny old apartment in San Francisco. I literally moved into a fresh slate.

Amazing right? Love it. If it wasn’t the smaller one Andi and I would have totally grabbed it. (Small? I laughed to myself). I think it will be just perfect for you Louise you are going to fit right in you won’t believe it.

Kim kept up the high paced dialogue with herself as we walked back down the hall. She followed me outside to fetch C and Ruth who were at once highly amused and taken aback by her incessant chatting.
My new roommates helped my old friends and me dump the contents of my life from the truck to my room. Evening came and it was time to go out on the town and check out the scene. My first night in Los Angeles. Truck Stop in WeHO (aka West Hollywood, gay and lezbo central).

I walked in. And I was alive. I felt on top of the world...a euphoria usually only achieved through great triumphs, amazing sex, or drug use. Girls akin to the Pussy Cat Dolls danced on the bar. Women in designer clothes, butch, femme, and everything in between danced....the most sexy women...style that was just beyond. I stood in a corner sipping champagne and pondering myself when a tall blonde grabbed my wrist and said NEW GIRL and pulled me onto the dance floor, which was a sweaty writhing mass. All of a sudden I felt like my heels grew wings and i was flying. LA felt like a world away from San Francisco. An alternate universe. One that I was going to have to learn how to navigate and figure out but damnit I was going to.

Toto, we most definitely are not in Kansas anymore. We may have arrived.

Always,

Louise