As I was saying, Nancy’s reaction to what I told her and her insight into me was just so huge I had pretty much shelved it at the time to deal with later. And later just happened to be right now, as I was driving down the PCH.
According to Nancy, I set my life up as a series of almost impossible tasks to achieve. Challenges. I then obsessed about said challenges until I achieved them or got so fed up and frustrated I gave up. Of course, I liked challenges. Who doesn’t? But I guess her point was that, more than most, I made them the focus of my life in a really unhealthy way.
Which made me think that maybe there was something else to it she hadn’t really come out and said. That unspoken thing being that I needed to create challenges because I needed distraction. Something to throw myself into. Something big enough and complicated enough to never have to deal too much with the real issues. And this was the big light bulb going off. The real issue was her. It had been for a long time.
For all her talk about how I had created an obsession out of her to give myself something to do, it ignored one huge thing. It was all designed to get over her. Which, honestly, made me feel pretty pathetic. But that’s beside the point. Just stop for a second, Dear Reader, and think of what’s on the list of things I need to do. By far the biggest and most time consuming tasks involve being with other women. Being with women who aren’t Nancy. Whether it’s to get laid or to say thanks or whatever bizarre reasoning I had created, it all gave me someone to pursue and obsess about besides her. ANYONE to obsess about, besides her. Duh.
Just in case you were wondering, by the way, you didn’t really miss anything of importance between Nancy and I before I left town. Well, it was important, very important, at least to me, to just be with her. But in terms of our saga, saying good-bye to her after that day in the park was an incredible non-event. A nice hug. Some kind, but not too heavy, words.
I did ask her how much Josh knew about things. And if she was going to tell him about our talk in the park. She said there was nothing to tell. Which kind of hurt in a way because although nothing physical had happened, a whole lot had happened. If you know what I mean. But, I guess it was her way of 1) reassuring herself that she had done nothing wrong 2) telling me that things between me and her would always just be between me and her. Or maybe not. I realize, as I’m telling you all this, that I really don’t know what the hell that meant. Oh, well.
Right now, I had more pressing issues on my mind. You tell me, how is a person supposed to know the difference between being in love with somebody and just obsessing over them? If you read any great romance novel or see a love story it seems to me that obsession is always a big part of it. Almost as much as being doomed. Romeo & Juliet, doomed. Anthony and Cleopatra, doomed. Sid & Nancy, doomed. Me, doomed. Yup, fits right in there. Obsession and doom equals great romance, right? Right? How come you’re not answering?
So, why was I headed to L.A. again? Right, to see Paul and to thank him. And…Yeah. That other thing. See, I do that doomed part down really, really well. But I still had time. I was a full month ahead of schedule from what I had originally planned. A lot could happen in a month. A whole lot. Was that a sigh of disappointment? You really want this thing to end, don’t you? Just skip to the last page then, if you’re going to get all impatient on me. Go on. Go ahead. You won’t do it, will you? You can’t. Because that just wouldn’t be right. And after all, rules are rules.
Don’t worry, I promise to kill myself as quickly as possible, just for your benefit. Happy, now? Fucker. I mean, Dear Sweet Reader. Now, where were we? Yes, just about to drive by some amazing rocky seashore along the PCH and head down to Southern California. Alright fine, I’ll pick it up, just for you. Now, entering Los Angeles…
Ventura, actually. Just across the County Line. It’s amazing how the geography changes as you keep heading south. The rocky cliffs give way to wide, sandy beaches. The air gets warmer. Hot, in fact. But it is beautiful the way the ocean stretches out around you.
I stop to eat at this seafood shack I used to go to once in a while. You pick out whatever fish, lobster or crab you want as it swims around in these plastic tubs. Then, upon your request, they kill it and feed it to you. It’s good to be the king. Beats being a fish, anyway.
Eating so much just made me feel really tired. Not to mention, creating the usual side effects it had on my stomach. Which, of course, I just mentioned by not mentioning just to torture you for pissing me off earlier. Anyway, I didn’t move from my little wooden bench facing the sea. I thought about how much Nancy would like this place. I mean, for one thing, that girl liked to eat. And I think she would just enjoy the vibe of the place. It was a weekday, so it was particularly peaceful and mellow. On weekends the place could almost (but not quite) get annoying. Anyway, after sitting there for the better part of two hours, I finally decide it’s time to get in the car and get to the hotel.
The drive along the coast through Malibu was great. I didn’t even let the site of The Country Mart get to me. For those ignorant of the ways of Hollywood, let me elaborate. The Country Mart is just a strip mall of no consequence except for one thing. All the Hollywood Power Players, real or in their own minds, hang out there on weekends. It’s not unusual at all to see a Multi-Millionaire Media Baron, or two, hanging out at The Coffee Bean in their shorts, shooting the shit. Most of them had a weekend place out in Malibu even though their “Main House” was only a half-an-hour away or so in Brentwood or Beverly Hills. So, basically, this stupid, banal, architectural-piece-of-crap becomes “a power scene.” L.A., you gotta love it.
Then again, unless you were in “The Industry” you probably would walk right by the type of powerful geezers I’m talking about and just go to The Country Mart to do your shopping and leave. But why, oh why, would you be in L.A. at all if you weren’t part of the Film Biz? Nobody’s here because they actually LIKE the place. In spite of what they may try to tell you. Alright, maybe a few. But they’re British and don’t know any better.
Actually, I was happy the Brits had colonized Santa Monica (which is in L.A. for those of you sad, sad people that didn’t know that). The only pub worth going to was there because of them. “Them” being the Brits I was talking about. The very pub I planned to go to once I was in Santa Monica. That is, if I could ever get through the Fucking-God-Damn-Traffic which had been making my life hell for the last forty minutes.
Finally, I arrive at the hotel. I stayed at Shutters not because it was necessarily the greatest hotel in the area. I mean, it was really nice but actually kind of boring. I stayed there for two reasons. 1) The location was great. 2) Many, many years ago, I had had one of the best dates of my life in the restaurant downstairs with Kristin, my ever-so-fuckable LA-X. Something which I still loved wallowing in the nostalgia of. I really wish I could find a way to contact her again. Oh, well.
Anyway, I checked into a “Junior Suite” with an ocean view. It was really pretty nice. I could also see the Santa Monica Pier from my room. The pier was this huge boardwalk-type-thing with restaurants and a small amusement park on it. It even had a good-sized Ferris Wheel on it, which they lit up really nice at night. Well, at least they used to. It had been a couple of years since I was out here last. But they must still light it.
I just sat there in a chair and stared out at the view as the sun began to set. I was still full from the crab I had ordered executed on my behalf. I was also damn tired. So, I sat some more. Perfectly content to not move for hours. I kept thinking about Nancy. What had been said. What hadn’t. How much I wished she were here with me. How much she would like the room. How the two of us would leave the windows open as we had sex on the huge king-sized bed. Catching a glimpse here and there of the view as we exhausted each other and did things to each other all night long. God, I must be tired. I don’t even feel like jerking-off thinking of this stuff. What the hell is wrong with me?
Yearning and obsessing. Obsessing and yearning. Woe is me. Woe is me. That pretty much sums up the rest of that evening other than a quick walk to get some food on the Promenade (a pedestrian mall thing they had here). God forbid, I spend too much time telling you things before I give you what you really want. And no, I don’t mean the sex. It’s the other part of the sex and death equation that I know you Sick Fucks are really waiting for. Death. Mine. Don’t worry, we’re getting there. Hold on just a little bit longer and your bloodlust will be satisfied.
THE JOY OF SUICIDE at http://www.first100books.com