Was supposed to meet a friend for dinner tonight, but somehow all her calls went straight to my voice mail and were not delivered until almost 8:30…By which time she had given up on me and gone home…sadder in the thought of someone driving around thinking I was not calling them back than loss of Indian food…although that is sad in itself…
But, in the hour or so I thought she was not calling me, and in the hour after, I did pound out the last half of a 10 page short screenplay. What Anne Lamott would call my “shitty first draft.” On one level, a shitty first draft makes me feel good–I know I’ve started on the process. On another level it just makes me feel shitty. Plus I didn’t go to yoga because I thought I was meeting my friend, so I have that feeling of having sat in a chair for too many days without exercising.
So I peeled myself off the pleather to go get milk for my cereal in the morning. Even Whole Foods at 10pm is depressing and surreal. Aging rockers in skinny pants and homeless people collecting your dollars in the parking lot. I am very conflicted about the beggars in L.A. I am very aware that I am more privileged than most, and I’m not opposed to adding a few dollars to the local economy, but I feel very forced. I either have to pretend they are invisible, as so many do. Or I look them in the eye, and if I recognize them as human, they recognize me as a mark, and shake their cups in my face, glaring my obligation. A man stepped walking on the sidewalk stepped into the street to put his cup in my half open window the other day. He did not like me for the money in his cup. Does he like anyone? Does he have relationships? Family and friends? Does he ever help someone out with the cash from people like me? Or is there never enough? Is he just another black hole of want and need that nothing will ever fill?
Sometimes when I walk across a strip mall in L.A. I feel assailed by this huge pulsating conglomeration of want and need. The beggars, the owners of the half empty restaurant, the shopkeepers all wanting. The women with their pants stretched tight and their faces stretched tight wanting. The cashiers, zombie-like by late at night, wanting all of us to disappear. Maybe this is the reason people in L.A. hate to get out of their cars. A windshield is at least a token protection…unless you listen to the radio. Not only are there a litany of products I should by, the radio station seems rabid for me to log on to their website and sign up to be a “Rockaholic.”