elsewhere

1

Very tired last night but got the call that people were gathering at nightclub Hyde. Was tempted not to go but there’s always the sense you might be missing out on something — the suspicion lingering over from high school years that real life, good life, is happening wherever you are not. The last time I turned down a clubnight was for new hot place Area — I remember thinking to myself, Do I really want to drag my sorry self out there just to occupy the same room as Paris Hilton? Answer being no, no, and no. Which of course was the same night our group ended up at the table next to a celebrity I actually would have liked to spot — I’ve been nursing a bit of a crush on Jamie Foxx ever since MIAMI VICE — something about his humor, his dramatic acting talent, the intense almond-eyed gaze, etc. (On a somewhat related note, the rock god of my adolescence was David Bowie*. I was at a music event a few years ago and the man himself passed directly behind me. As in, the woman I was talking to suddenly said: “Hey, there’s David Bowie” but by then he was lost in the crowd and through the door. And throughout the rest of the night, partly because he was at a table with the important types way up front, and we were among the not so important types way in the back, I never caught a glimpse of the guy. Meanwhile I can’t bloody turn around without seeing The Socialite Who Shall Not Be Named Again.)

But more than that, there was the sense of — I’m in my early thirties now, I have kids, how much longer can I get away with this? Carpe diem and all that. (This is when I always hear the theme song from ‘Cabaret’ in my head — those lines about putting down your book and your broom, nothing ever happens when you’re alone in your room. Because, as already stated, life happens elsewhere.) Hyde is a small lounge off Sunset next to the Improv theatre, and because the place is still having its Moment there were black-clad papparazi strung along the sidewalk. (They always dress in black, it seems, which makes sense at night — oh, those stealthy ops! — but less so during the day, against the vibrant sunlit palm tree mecca that is west LA. But I digress.) I pulled up to the valet in a respectable car, which meant they all shifted in my direction and got their cameras ready…only to be disappointed. As I dealt with the velvet rope people (“I have friends inside, they have a table”) I tried to eavesdrop on the photographers: heard a French accent, an Italian accent, one of them saying “Lindsay came out wearing it” in the casual tone you use when referring to someone you see everyday at the office.

While in the club — since I’m blatantly name-dropping celebrities, bear with me, almost over — I was talking to an acquaintance who is steadily becoming a friend when Owen Wilson passed by and she touched his shoulder and they exchanged smiling hellos. She shrugged. “I can tell when he’s sober,” she said, “because that’s when he’s very sweet, he remembers my name and knows who I am. Otherwise I can tell he has no idea.” Was he sober right then? “No.”

2

One of the real pleasures of westside Los Angeles is driving at night. No traffic. Long, smooth, sweeping roads, lit just enough to see the beauty of the place — the palms, the hills, the parks and gardens and pretty buildings, the misty halos of streetlamps, the dark lush green beyond. We love LA to the depths of our black little souls says LA blogger Mark Sarvas and some moments are more true than others. Easy enough to believe that ugliness happens elsewhere.

Off to write.

*He did some great and highly underrated stuff throughout the 1990s, when he could have made a whole new fortune just repeating stuff from the past. Love the man. Love him.

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