Day 17: Fake boobs, real friendsAugust 24, 2008
23 August 2008
The two weekends I’ve been here have mostly been about taking a breath and preparing for the next week. That’s fine. Finding a steady source of income is the priority at the moment. I know the exact right job will happen.
The library was on my list of stops for the day because I want to start making a regular review of Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter part of my routine. I’ve still not received that silly little address card from the library, so for another day I’ll be library-cardless. Took a few notes I’m not sure I’ll do with. I do know, though, that this upcoming week will see a serious ramping up of my efforts. I feel like I’ve been working hard, but more is possible.
Across the table from me there was a man who had set up a makeshift cosmetics station so he could apply some fake eyelashes and hair extensions. His make-up was already done and… well… it was on just a little too thick – even a mid-1980s Tammy Faye Bakker, bless her soul, would have recoiled. I’m not sure if he was a working girl or not, but have to believe there is a better venue than the public library for this, um, delicate beautification process. The harsh, unflattering, fluorescent lighting alone should be enough to send any beauty queen running.
I dallied around in West Hollywood for a while after that. I found the entrance to Equinox Fitness on Sunset Boulevard, which had remained a mystery to me. The sign is clearly visible on Sunset Boulevard, but I had yet to see an actual door, so the logical conclusion was there there was some cloaked, underground or otherwise remote teleportation device serving as the entrance. Lo and behold, I walked around the back of the building and saw the actual, physical and non-science fiction inspired entrance. Just a glass door. Disappointing. Still, I relaxed in the shade there a bit watching the models, actors and upper crust socialites come and go. I’m longing to join a gym since it used to be a regular part of my routine, and this just happens to be the closest one. Plus, my friend Eric works out there! (OK, so technically he’s not my friend right now, but I still contend we are psychically linked and will be buds before too long.) I moved on from Equinox because I had left a nose-print on the glass door, and then a SUPER-fit, overly chipper aerobics instructor came out with a cattle prod and told me to get my untanned, flabby, working-class ass out of the area. Damn. I soooo need to belong to this gym, right?!
One more stop at the grocery store before I headed back home. This was the highlight of my afternoon, because for the first time today, I saw my first pair of bona fide, super-sized breast implants. For the sake of clarity, they were actually ON a woman, not just two silicone pouches abandoned next to the tangerines. Now I’m sure I’ve passed other women here with fake bazooms, but these screamed IMPLANTS louder than Mel Gibson’s battle cry in Braveheart. I first saw them when I was in Aisle 2, although she was still in Aisle 1. I’m not familiar enough with breastages and their size categories to provide an adequate frame of measure, but to me it looked like two football helmets stuffed into a 5T/toddler size T-shirt that would even cut off Kate Moss’ circulation.
Melons, headlights, fun bags. Let’s get some of that adolescent boob-speak out of the way right up front. Everyone was staring at her torpedoes, including the seasoned and jaded LA natives, because her bazooms were like a set of high beams approaching in the darkest of nights. Horribly out of proportion, bordering on the grotesque high beams, but a vision none-the-less. The Waldorf-Astoria could have presented their Sunday brunch spread on her humungoid, shelf-like tatas. The don’t call it a rack for nothing, I suppose. These wopbopaloobops would be visible from space, which could be a good thing if NASA ever needed another landing strip for the Space Shuttle. They were aimed up and out toward the heavens, too. A wrong move on her part past the pineapples would have necessitated a clean-up in the produce department. I didn’t want to get too close because I was worried the floors around her weren’t properly reinforced.
No judgment here about this particular woman or her decision to get implants. I mean, who among us doesn’t enjoy a lovely set of flapdoodles? Even the gays. Plus it’s just fun using words like norks, jahoobies and chesticles. But in truth, many people have body image issues – I myself have gone under the plastic surgeon’s knife twice: once when I was a teenager to have a sebaceous cyst removed (still have that scar on my face, thanks very much) and the second time for rhinoplasty, because my old nose could shelter a school bus full of orphans from the rain. (My teeth are next. Yeah, yeah, I know. Just love me.)
So I found myself thinking, “Where is this woman’s support system?!” She can’t possibly think these look natural or normal in any way. Seriously, what kind of environment must she have grown up in, and who are the people around her now who, quite frankly, are blatantly lying to her face (including her plastic surgeon)? Her gazongs were so disproportionately gargantuan she would have needed a skin graft to make up the difference between the end of her old Mulligans and her sternum. I couldn’t decide if her plastic surgeon (it must be a man… come on!) has no conscience, a microscopic quimstake or a seriously demented breast fetish. Probably all of the above. All of this makes me even more grateful for my friends, family and others around me. They are keeping me grounded in reality.
On my way up the hill, I spotted an open house being hosted by a realtor and decided it was worth a look. Sure, I can’t pay my electric bill, but why not check out this little $1.4 million gem nestled in the Hollywood Hills? It was what home buyers refer to as “cozy.” I think it had 3 bedrooms with a cute little balcony off the master bedroom, and a nice, quiet, stone patio out back. Personally, I thought the price was a deal for this neighborhood, but what do I know? I didn’t take a flier so can’t recount the square footage, but it was charming. The decor was a little too quaint/country-inspired to be a swinging gay bachelor pad, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed by some black lights, a bubble machine and a trampoline.
Peter’s show was tonight, so that was next on the agenda. He thoughtfully put me in touch with another friend of his who was willing to give me a ride to North Hollywood for the show. How nice is that?! This is but one example of how much Peter’s friends must love him – I mean, at Peter’s request, to go pick up a newbie LA transplant and drive him across town to the show? So sweet.
At the show, my job was to sell T-shirts, and I had a great time. Peter has a dedicated fan base and given the audience response, clearly won many new fans last night, too. The show was wonderful – something of which I hope he is very proud. I had a fantastic time watching the performance, not only because he did an amazing job, but because when he’s performing, you can tell he’s completely in his element doing something he loves and is passionate about. He’s in the zone, and the joy of the experience emanates from him very powerfully, and I really wanted to absorb some of that good energy. Peter made it very easy to be present in the moment, sit back and thoroughly enjoy the experience.
Afterwards, I accompanied 5 or 6 of Peter’s friends to a bar called Oil Can Harry’s on Ventura Boulevard. I think it’s mostly a country bar, but on Saturday nights it becomes a retro disco music dance extravaganza. The place was packed with a fun crowd sans the WeHo ‘tude, so much fun was had by all. To me, Peter’s friends seem like the antithesis of the LA exclusivity and self-absorption I’ve been frequently warned about. They bought me drinks, we talked, we laughed. We were all out dancing to Donna Summer, Abba and some old school Madonna (Burning Up, anyone?). When the disco version of Olivia Newton-John’s song Xanadu came on, this sense of Yes, this is right and all is well came over me. Not only is it one of the top guilty pleasures on my iPod, but if someone willingly financed the shamelessly craptastic movie Xanadu (now enjoying renewed interest as a Broadway musical – which is faaaaabulooouuus), surely I can find a literary agent and some production work as I create my life here.
After the bar closed and we were all saying goodbye, I thanked Peter once more for including me in this special night of his. Being away from my friends has been hard, and this was an opportunity to spend some time with a group whose friendships are deep and very real. I made sure to take a mental snapshot of how I felt so I can pay it forward in the future. I want to be the kind of person who gives good energy to every person and situation. It might sound a bit mawkish for some tastes, but the truth is I’m grateful for the welcome Peter and his friends have given me, and I’d consider myself one lucky transplant to spend time with them again in the future.