months now, I've been having this falling dream. It's nothing suicidal.
I'm not about to jump off a bridge or a tall building or anything.
I just start falling. But, usually -- no, always -- I end up in
New York. First, I'll be sitting in my office on Santa Monica Boulevard
and I'll just fall through my chair, through the floor, through
Mr. and Mrs. Benson's apartment, into the parking garage, through
the ground, through the underground infrastructure of pipes and
wires and then all of a sudden I'll be standing in the middle of
Union Square and some homeless guy will hit me up for subway fare.
That's my falling dream. I guess you could say I miss New York.
recently asked to write my bio for this theatre group I joined.
Just a couple lines that could go in the program. This is what I
left New York against her better judgment to pursue a writing career.
She now lives in Los Angeles where she regularly ignores questions
like 'Who's your agent?'and 'Are those real?'"
not yet fond of LA.
these feelings with a friend of mine. She thought I might be suffering
from a cosmic imbalance, and recommended I see her spiritual herbalist.
Inexplicably, I did. His name was Dr. Moo.
Moo used to own a wellness center in Sunset Plaza, which later got
bought out by Frankie's Tacos. Then he moved to Laurel Canyon, but
a gypsy stole his chi and he never got it back. After that, he turned
down a bungalow in Venice because the ocean air was too silty. The
silt gets into the air and aggravates your chakras. You have to
drink turtle piss to flush them out. It's a really big problem.
Dr. Moo is a complex man.
of his traumatic experiences with bad chi, Dr. Moo became a hermit.
Which is totally easy to do in LA. All you have to do is sell your
car. Everyone will think you're really deep and pay you lots of
money to analyze their shame cycles.
he lives in the Valley, which means you have to drive by lots of
"Super Cuts" and porno shops to get to his temple of peace.
At my first visit, Dr. Moo made me sit on these bamboo mats that
smelled like soggy beef tenderloin. They're organic. He rubbed tea
tree oil on my temples and told me to focus on something positive.
I told him that the reason I'd come to see him was that I COULDN'T
focus on something positive. He just shook his head and chanted
"La, La, La, Shanti, La".
my eyes and went way, way back to the oldest, purest thing I could
remember. When I was a little girl, I used to feed the chickadees
outside my Mom's kitchen window. For those of you who don't know,
chickadees are completely amazing bouncers. They bounce in this
disturbingly innocent way, like if you scooped one up and flung
it to the ground it would just ricochet and come back for more.
Boing, boing, boing, all over the front yard.
one day, I saw one get eaten by a snake. The chickadee bounced onto
the pavement with a big nasty thud and then just sat there. I still
don't know why. It didn't bounce away. It didn't even try. Not even
when it saw the snake out of the corner of its eye. It was almost
like the chickadee was accepting its fate. The snake didn't care.
It snapped the thing up and just glug, glug, glugged it all the
way down. I imagined the chickadee sliding into the snake's dark,
smooth, liquidy belly before disappearing into nothing. That's when
I realized that Dr. Moo was still chanting and that this was NOT
a positive image. I was a big, fat failure at constructive visualization.
all this to Dr. Moo and he told me that my inner sense of self and
my outer sense of self were playing each other in a spirited game
of table tennis. The only problem was that it had turned violent
and both selves were now bashing each other on the heads. Or bashing
themselves on the heads. They're confused about who's who. Dr. Moo
said it's my personal paradox and that I should meditate about it.
This displeased me.
image of the poor, sweet, fluffy chickadee being brutally digested
by the snake is not an easy one to forget. It was stuck with me
now. Even worse, it got me thinking about mortality. Which is really
the last thing you need when you're living in LA and you'd really,
really rather not be. In Los Angeles, you need a top agent to get
you into the really good cemeteries. My last agent couldn't even
get me a meeting at the Oxygen network.
night, I had my falling dream again. Except this time I didn't end
up in New York. I ended up in a snake pit. I slid down into a snake's
dark, smooth, liquidy belly before disappearing into nothing. I
woke up shaking. My hair was sticking to my sweaty cheeks and my
head was pounding. "Where the hell am I, and what the fuck
am I doing here?"
are the perfect feelings to be having right before you walk into
a job interview, which is exactly where I was going in the morning.
It was an interview for a job writing for a crappy new TV show on
a crappy new network. In LA, these kinds of interviews are called
"meetings" to take some of the pressure off and make it
OK for you to wear jeans. I grew up on the East Coast where a job
interview is a job interview and never, ever involves jeans. I wore
a blazer, skirt and heels. They were all from Ralph Lauren. Like
I said -- East Coast.
"meeting" was at the producer's house, which was inside
a gated community, inside another gated community up near the Hollywood
sign. I have no idea why he felt he needed all these gates. Any
burglar stupid enough to rob a producer's house (I mean, really,
he'd never work in this town again), would also be too stupid to
find the place. The Mapquest directions were eight pages long. And,
trust me, there was nothing worth stealing. I mean, who would want
a log carved with a chainsaw to look like a cockatoo? That thought
occurred to me right before I heard the baby screaming in the next
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