By Taylor Negron
has produced a child. His name is Adam and he looks like one of
those children on the Abercrombie and Fitch bag, laughing at that
UN-hearable joke. How long will it last? My generation missed out
on that laugh.
risotto begins to emit a dense fragrance.
you seen The Swan?"
"I am not watching TV."
"You've never seen The Swan, Taylor??" They both
ask simultaneously. "It's very California Gothic, Taylor."
"It's very C.G.," Abigail says.
Gothic is the world we come from. We proudly have nicknamed
it, abbreviated it, C.G. I'll tell you -- having a mother like Jonathan's,
a horror movie star, is very C.G. Having a dusty cracked Oscar in
your kitchen is very C.G. Watching Joan Didion cry in a green Jaguar
at a stoplight on Ventura Blvd. is very California Gothic. The Brentwood
and Westwood of our childhood was California Gothic for we were
sun-bleached children who cast dark shadows. Who watched coyotes
run across Wilshire Blvd. Who smelled skunks constantly.
and Jonathan and I have remained friends for one very C.G. reason.
The three of us went to Marilyn Monroe's funeral together. On tricycles.
We drove our tricycles through the cemetery every day, waved on
by an old man in a brown shirt. On the day Marilyn Monroe was buried,
there was a huge crowd of people there and many cameras.
that hot August day, as we watched from a distance, we knew something
important was going on. And it has bonded us forever, though we
never talk about. Afterwards, we went back to Jonathan's house and
went swimming while his maid prepared our lunch of chili beans and
love The Swan," Jonathan proclaimed. "I'm fascinated
by plastic surgery and its ability to transform even the garden
variety heifer into a beauty."
can't be serious you guys. Just the idea of face lifts is so insane,"
I say. "Look, the way I see it is that when you get a facelift,
you have two choices -- Siegfried or Roy."
laughed. Both Jonathan and Abigail looked at me like I was from
another planet. Suddenly we were all eight again and I was the outsider.
I followed them around on a tricycle. I followed them around in
a Ford Pinto. Now I follow them around in a BMW.
passed me a joint. The joint smelled acrid and I welcomed the sanctuary
of being high. Abigail let out a heartfelt sigh, "These days
are just terrible aren't they?"
FOUND IT!" Jonathan yells from the back of the house. "It
was under a pile of bananas."
enters the room holding the cell phone like the precious last crab
cake. The marijuana washes over me and I think to myself that if
I ever lose my cell phone, it would be under a pile of ripe, warm
your two heads together I want to take a picture." Jonathan
puts one arm around us and extends the other and snaps. Moments
later, we are seeing the digitized image of the three of us.
never believe what I got on my e-mail, you have to watch this."
Jonathan quickly punches some numbers into the cell and then the
small screen is filled with the image of a man in an orange jump
suit surrounded by a group of men. The man is being beheaded.
stoned mind was distraught. Reality had found me the way fame had
found Fantasia. I just watched a man have his head cut off on
a cell phone.
is beyond California Gothic. This is war!
looked on without emotion, innocent of his own spontaneous action.
Abigail seemed a wasted sister in his deed. I thought I would burst
out weeping. Moments later I found myself at a table eating the
risotto, as the two of them chattered. I controlled my rage with
generous portions of parmesan.
myself early and Jonathan, Abigail and I promised to get together
soon. I drove down Laurel Canyon in perfect silence and I wondered
if I would ever see them again. The same moon floated over the deserted
city that seemed to be in state of animated suspension -- my mind
slipped into a stream of images. I was unable to dissect them or
judge them and thought to myself that we all have eyes to see what
is happening. Some will only see what is shown. I thought how ephemeral
and immaterial the bond we have with anybody is, and for the most
part we are alone to see and witness the world. I put on a Doors
CD. The Lizard king soothed my savage mind and distracted me again
from this world of doom and doofuses and politicos and distance
joggers that are devoured by bobcats.
human race suddenly seemed extraordinarily foreign and cold and
I ached for the UN-hearable joke. I needed the UN-hearable answer.
the red light at Lookout Mountain Road the warm wind gives the black
night a tinge of rust and I am stunned by a strand of bougainvillea
and how it remains vibrantly red even in the dark night. I can see
people moving in lighted windows of the houses and wonder "What
did they watch tonight?"
version for easy reading
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