By Taylor Negron
know my cell phone is around here. I hear the battery dying."
could hear a battery dying, a mechanical chirping falling sound
-- like a gay cricket reacting to bad news. A feverish sound, for
this lukewarm night off Mullholland. Jonathan is inhaling on a joint,
mixing a pot of risotto and fixating on the whereabouts of his new
know it's here." Jonathan speaks like his father -- deep, courtly.
Jonathan's father has an Academy award. Jonathan has a small Crystal
Meth problem. The battery continues to pulse. A metronome to the
a very cool telephone. It has a camera and you can watch TV and
get E mail on it. It must be buried under one of those damn Thai
a kitchen window and see the moon floating over the deserted hills.
I am on the run from reality. War, Fox News, Debra Norville, Paula
Zhan. In that order. I am tired of Joan Rivers. I am tired of her
little child, too.
days, I will accept any invitation from anybody to do anything just
to get out of my apartment. To avoid watching television, I have
recently attended a wine tasting in Arcadia, and I have played poker
on the Queen Mary in Long beach. I hate television. Tivo can lick
my ass. Now, don't get me wrong, I like it as furniture, I just
can't stand what's on it right now. Reality TV? What's that about?
I can't stand reality. Reality seems to be peopled with anorexics
and men who have had gastric bypass surgery and young girls that
resemble stylized warriors drawn quickly in white lines like on
ancient Greek Amphora, their thighs sheaths of muscle layered in
sipping my wine in the kitchen of an Ultra Modern Tudor Chinese
house in Laurel Canyon with my two oldest friends from kindergarten
-- Jonathan and Abigail. Lil Kim is playing. Or is it Lil Bow Wow?
Whatever is, I have a Lil headache.
guitars and pools. Museums and fruit cocktails. I don't like prisoner
abuse. I don't like American Idol. I can no longer bear witness
to the intense dehumanization of individual spirit/souls.
I should tell you the Rosetta stone of my personality. I suffer
from A.A.D. Attention Abundance Disorder
Nothing escapes me.
I perceive every detail of everything. Sounds. Echoes. The curled
lips. I can hear houseflies tapping their heads against glass.
this is self diagnosed, but I believe my condition is heightened
being a native Los Angelino. Ah, Los Angeles. Where the dysfunctional
hate the codependents and the codependents hate the abusers and
everybody hates Michael Eisner. Los Angeles is the only place where
a boy who acts like a girl, but talks like a stud gets paid like
other thing you should know about is my relationship to Popular
Culture. I am not that into it. I have never seen the Super Bowl.
I have never drunk an entire Coca Cola. I don't like the taste of
fast food. I have never seen an episode of Friends -- and
I was on it three times. I just recently saw my first Laverne
and Shirley. Really funny! I have purposely avoided Holocaust
Films -- anything involving WW2 makes me inordinately hungry. I
actually gained weight during Schindler's List.
recently asked me if I had seen Mel Gibson's The Passion of the
Christ. To which I replied, no and I will not. I'm still upset
about that movie where the Von Trapp Family had to walk over the
mountain in the lederhosen. I'm still freaked out about the white
slavery sequences in Thoroughly Modern Millie.
here I am tonight, with my oldest friends -- Abigail, who was, and
is, very rigid and beautiful, and Jonathan, who was once pudgy and
effete, and is now muscular and effete. I haven't seen them in over
a year. Jonathan is wearing a short sleeved shirt that exposes a
tattoo of chain link around the bicep. Does everybody have this
tattoo? I ask myself. It seems like everyone has a tattoo of
links around their arm. Did I miss the mailing on this one?
myself from saying "70 percent of all people admitted into
emergency rooms have more than one tattoo." Instead I benignly
lament, "I hate cell phone conversations. I think cell phone
conversations are the new secondhand smoke."
Taylor!" Abigail says. "I love to eavesdrop on other people's
cell phone conversations. There was a lady at Gelsons behind me
in the checkout line the other day, who had just been fired by her
boss, a real prick, and from what I gathered he gave her 10 minutes
to pack up her personal belongings and had her escorted out of
the building. She was freaked out! And absolutely petrified
to tell her mother and she had a child. And then she hung up and
left me hanging. I wanted to know what was going to happen. I wanted
to say something to her but I couldn't really, these days one can't
say anything about anything to anybody."
is a curious quality to being with friends that you have known for
a long time: In the midst of all the aging faces, past the enormous
you become still
you become middle aged. You
go through the motions of putting the wine glass to your lips. Of
laughing and asking yourself, "Can the drinking and lovemaking
extinguish the need to understand? The need to disappear into the
warm night -- the way cars do on a freeway-- fast, furious and sometimes
like my friends, taking the wrong exit?"
Jonathan and I are the children of the people you used see in the
cigarette ads on the back of Life magazines. Handsome people
in yellow terrycloth pants and penny loafers looking like they just
heard the funniest story of there lives. Those people mated and
had us; and we now look like the people you see in the magazine
ads for Lipator and Viagra. Wanting -- sad -- unsatisfied.
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