Homeward Bound... i think
as i walked down the dark alley toward my car, fiddling with my phone all the while, i couldn't help but pause and think of Allison.
"what kind of person goes around walking down dark alleys?" i had said incredulously.
apparently, i do.*
so i set my GPS to guide me home, and... there's a crucial moment when you're being directed by a navigation system where it tells you to make a turn and gives you time to switch lanes. at this particular moment, my mother called. i panicked. if i picked up the phone, i wouldn't hear the navigation directions. if i let it keep ringing, i wouldn't hear the navigation directions. i rejected the call and saw that i was in the wrong lane and would not be able to make a right turn.
"oh, no. i'm lost."
so, of course, i panic even more and when the GPS tells me to make a right in half a mile, i make the first right i see. and when the GPS tells me to take a left in 3/4 miles, i take the first left i see. i, finally, start listening to the logical side of my consciousness that, by this time, is screaming, "Chelsea! what the fuck are you doing? LISTEN TO THE GPS! JUST FOLLOW THE INTRUCTIONS!"
so i take a deep breath, say, "ok," and follow the navigation's instructions till i'm home.
On the Catwalk
so, GPS navigation systems are useful and hilarious tools. useful in that they get you places, hilarious in that they butcher street names. Hazletine is has-ul-tine. Cañon (canyon) is canon. and La Cienega (see-en-egg-a) is La see-nigga.
once i found the place on La SeeNigga, it was time to play the parking game! i circle the block 3 times before i find a spot in the alley that doesn't threaten to tow my car if i'm not a patron of Blockbuster** or a resident.
after parking, i find i'm not the only one favoring this alley way. apparently, it is also a good place to learn to walk like a model in 6 inch stiletto heels. taught, of course, by a tall black gay man. i mean, to be honest, i wasn't a block away from the Beverly Center, so i wasn't exactly thrown by seeing a tall black man in heels. i was more shocked by how fancy and chic they were. i was more shocked to see someone drive up and drop off pink, sparkly heels for the model. i was more shocked that they felt this alley was a good place to practice.
at the door, people were checking names off a list. i wasn't on this list. i asked if you had to be on the list. the guy said that if there were any no-shows, he would let me in a 8pm. so i had 15 minutes to kill. i sat in my car***, chatted with my mom on the phone, and surreptitiously watched the model-walk lessons.
Blow It Up
to do anything interesting, you have to drive over the hill, out of the sunny Valley, and down into the wonderful chaos that is Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and eventually, the coast. you are not in Kansas anymore. it would not be unusual if you did, in fact, run into representatives of the Lollipop Guild.
this is the perfect place for a book signing by Chuck Palahniuk, an author whose characters would feel right at home in WeHo (way-ho)****.
at 8pm i walk to the door, pay for a book (which is the entrance fee), and get an assigned seat in the front row.
so the basis of "Tell All" is the story of a woman who's award is weighing her down. (that was the crappiest explanation ever, but i need to move on.) and apparently Chuck likes to have games during his readings. so he got a bunch of blow up award statues. i mean, these things stood about 5 feet tall. and there were two rounds where you had to blow these up as fast as you could, and in the last round you had to blow up a giant heart. the few who could blow these up the quickest would get a blow up turkey as a prize.
"I saw these and I just HAD to get them!" says Chuck, admiring the signed turkey he's holding up.
he was nervous. but he played it off well. only if you were really paying attention (watching his hands shake as he turned the pages, watching him play with a ring while he answered questions) would you realize his nervousness. his voice didn't waiver, his eyes didn't wander. when he stops to think before answering a question, he goes into a kind of suspended animation. he crosses his arms, presses his lips together, stares straight ahead, and just stays there. not moving. then he reanimates and says his answer.
one thing i did not like. NO PICTURES! who doesn't allow pictures?!
it was a strange night. but i would have been disappointed had it not been. :)
*i would like to point out that i still stick firm to my stance that a gun would not have improved my situation had there randomly been 5 guys there waiting to pounce.
**seriously, Blockbuster? you're gonna pretend you can fill all those spots? cuz we both know you're a dinosaur sinking in the tar of the internet. not even half of the parking spaces were taken! and we both know most of those cars belonged to employees.
***this car is not, in fact, mine, but a rental. short story: the car freaked out on me on my way home from work on Monday and we rented a car for the week on Tuesday morning. the work is under warranty, so no new cost on our part. and in fact the work is finished and we've gotten the car back, but we still have the rental.
****WeHo, or West Hollywood, if you don't already know, is SoCal's gay capital. (SanFran or Frisco, obviously being NorCal's captial.) there is also a NoHo. and to be fair, it is north of Hollywood, though not actually in Hollywood at all. it's in the Valley. i spent most my childhood there. by the way, we seem to like our shortened names here in Cali.