Oh noes!!1! It's teh goodbye post! Say it ain't so!
This is Roy, by the way. Laurie's on the couch reading the latest and final installment of the Harry Potter series. Speaking of which, I must thank my wonderful aunt who is cool through and through for letting me stay on the couch, for showing me around feeding me, for parading me in front of all her friends, and for putting up with my silly crap all week without braining me.
Though LA was newer to me (and therefore scarier to country folk like myself) last time I was here, I found I had a greater sense of wonder this time around. Maybe the rain and the taped up glasses on my last visit had something to do with it, but I feel I came away with a stronger impression of LA, or at least Hollywood, this trip.
Which is a strange thing to say. There is so much to see just in Hollywood, so many people, places, stories, that I imagine my impression is akin to the impression astronauts got of life on the moon during their brief stays. So while I don't know how much to trust it, I have come away with impressions none the less.
For one, it seems there is something to see around every corner. Restaurants, bars, clubs, stores, shops. Actors, musicians, drifters, hookers, hipsters, and dealers. Filming locations, recording studios, places where famous people lived, places where famous people died. Even without a tour guide, Sunset feels like a playground where you can find anything you're looking for.
Like vintage Star Trek posters and Double Doubles.
This place soaks in a sense of the absurd. Coming from Pennsyltucky and all, everything here seems a touch over the top. That's not the right phrase perhaps. If every place here were a picture, the color contrast would be pushed to a point just past natural and just before discomfort. The artifice of The Industry bleeds into the area, making everything hyper-real, or when the glow wears off, absurd. This absurdity though, when acknowledged, is embraced, and feeds back into the experience. The restaurants and shops, the stores and the clubs, everything conceived with either a smirk or a smile. This is Hollywood, after all.
On a late night snack run to a 7-Eleven, we passed some hipsters, a family on bicycles (one literally in tow), and a couple of strung out looking aimless folk eating hot dogs (bathed in mustard). I said to my aunt, "you know, the nice thing about this place is there's so many weirdos that it's impossible not to fit in by default."
I said it to be humorous, but there was truth in my statement. Maybe my impression is naive, or tainted by the fact that here I'm an anonymous stranger, but coming from a workplace, neighborhood, and town where I don't feel I fit in, Hollywood is inviting. Where I come from, people have a story not of how they ended up where they are, but why they ended up where they are. It's not a good enough place just to be. A night at the bar feels more like a liquor sodden support group, assembled to cope with, or forget, why we are where we are. (It's not that bad, is it?) Not that folks here don't have their problems, but that they are here doesn't seem to be one of them. There are so many people here for so many reasons that there's no need justify simply being here.
Of course, I always have been a gullible boy, so set me straight if I'm off the mark. It just seems that, from meeting Laurie's friends (which is strange to write considering they're pretty much the audience I'm writing to) that this is a place where people are comfortable with where they are, if not who they are. We could use a bit of that back home.
Dang, I'm wasting my last day writing a book here. So hello and goodbye! It was a pleasure meeting all of you. Thank you for your kindness.