The next few days, I spend playing tourist in Los Angeles. I go to the Museum of Contemporary Art, downtown. Which is two really great buildings containing not so great art. There was an Andy Warhol show in town, on loan from the Tate Modern. It was a pretty comprehensive show. I find myself really intrigued by the ones he did of accident scenes. Pretty pictures of death by car wreck.
It was fun for a while, but I had trouble really relaxing and enjoying myself. Shocker, that, isn’t it? I just really wasn’t getting into any of it. My birthday was in 23 days. Part of me wanted to wait until then, as the plan had dictated. It was just neater that way. Not to mention, more symbolic and highly literary. Which couldn’t hurt in such a rambling, immature, misguided tome like this one. But part of me just kept asking “what the hell are you waiting for?” Maybe I was just frightened. I mean, wouldn’t you be if you really thought you might be dead soon? I kept trying to tell myself I really didn’t have to go through with it. Maybe, the Freaky Man Killer Gene wouldn’t strike, after all. Then again, maybe it would. Probably, it would. As much as I supposedly liked to go against heavy odds, this was too much. A total no-win situation. Which put me right back at square one.
Oddly enough, L.A. is a perfect town for contemplating suicide. As much as I thought the idea of bright and cheery sunlight would just irritate me when I was feeling so shitty, it actually kind of seemed like a great setting for all this. Don’t get me wrong, it was still way too damn hot in this overgrown suburb. But, much to my surprise, the constant sunlight kind of added a modern wasteland kind of appeal to the place. All that concrete, fake tits, lips, traffic, pollution…It all worked. A dead city of soulless people surrounding the man that would soon be dead himself. Or something. You get the idea. Alright, I’ll stop trying to be writerly and get on with it. Kind of cliched, too, setting my final days in L.A. Fuck. I was blowing it. Maybe in the movie version they can change it to London. That would be cool. Then again, if cliches are cliches for a reason, L.A. would do just fine. Whatever.
And then, something else truly tragic happened. I found myself bored. Deathly bored, so to speak. I had already done anything remotely interesting that there was to do here. I saw Paul when I could, but the guy had a job he had to go to (which I vaguely remembered doing myself ever-so-long-ago). So, we met once or twice for dinner and/or to get drunk over the course of the next week. All of which was great, but somehow never as great as it should have been. None of it was quite as fun as that first night at the King’s Head. I mean, these really were my final days, right? Shouldn’t every minute feel precious? Shouldn’t I feel even more alive? I thought that’s what race car drivers and all those people facing death always said. It made you feel more alive. I mean, that was the single biggest part of formulating the Grand Plan, right? The paradox that to be truly alive you had to be dead. Or, at least, well on your way to being dead. That’s the genius that is ME. And it was pretty insightful, you must admit. Yet, I was bored. Bored silly.
I thought about moving up my timetable and just ending things sooner rather than later. But somehow killing yourself just because you were bored didn’t seem right. Nope, I would have to find some way to get myself through another two weeks, or so, before me and the Mini said goodbye to this world, forever.
You don’t think I’m going to go through with it, do you? For all this talk and rambling on and on about killing myself, you think it’s just that. Talk. Well, I could sit here and tell you over and over again that you’re wrong until my little fingers can’t type anymore. But what would be the point? I’m either going to do it or not. The fact of the matter is that neither one of us really knows. Not until that moment comes where I pull the trigger. Or hit the gas, in this case. That’s the moment of truth. The rest is only words, thoughts, and ponderings. Only then, when the action taken will be irreversible, will either of us really know for sure.
Not that this matters to you. Especially after what I just told you about how not knowing for sure. But I had scoped out Mulholland Drive several times since I had gotten to Los Angeles. I found the perfect cliff for my swan song. A sharp drop from a really high perch. Survival was highly unlikely. At least I hoped so. Don’t make me repeat myself about how I, like you, fear some things a lot more than death. Being a vegetable or suffering a slow, agonizing, excruciatingly painful death being up there.
Ah, what’s the matter? I’m bringing you down, again? Still harshin’ your buzz? Yeah, selfish me. How could I talk about something so trivial like dying soon when we have your good mood to worry about? But I can’t afford to lose you. You know that. I know you know that. As they say in Hollywood, you have hand.
Moving on…Let’s talk about Nancy. I was losing interest. Actually, it wasn’t so much about losing interest in her as in just losing interest in thinking about it over and over and over again. I did talk to her on the phone once or twice. The first time was really annoying because Josh decided to get on the line with us and we couldn’t really talk about anything. The second time wasn’t all that much better. Most of it was total small talk about Los Angeles and where I was staying and so on and so forth. The only remotely important part of the conversation was this:
PHONE TRANSCRIPT – NANCY AND ME, A FEW DAYS AGO.
How are you?
And that was that. How could she say that? How could she say that she was good? After all that had been said? After all that had happened? I wanted to ask her but didn’t. And then, even more painfully, she asked how I was. I gave her exactly what she gave. I told her I was fine. Yup, that’s me. I’m just “fine.” Not that I expected to hear her break down and weep about how much she missed me and how badly this whole situation just sucked, but…OK, maybe I did want that. What’s your point? That doesn’t mean I expected it to actually happen. But at the very least, I wanted some ever-so-small acknowledgement that this was difficult for her and she was effected by it the way I was. But no. That’s not what I got. I got “Good.” She’s “good” and I’m “fine.” Perfect. Fucking perfect.
It was becoming more and more difficult to ever leave the hotel room. Part of it was that I had pretty much done anything remotely worth doing in L.A., which wasn’t a whole helluva lot (obviously). Part of it was that it just didn’t seem worth the tremendous effort it took to do anything. I guess it was lucky for me I had room service and restaurant delivery or I might have died of starvation. Not that I was really hungry very much. Not at all really. Funny how that works.
However, I couldn’t have been too far down that black pit of depression and hopelessness because, once again, I found myself getting bored of just lying there. It took a while but it happened eventually, just like it always had. Suddenly, I couldn’t wait to get out of the damn hotel. I was filled with this incredible burst of energy and just kept walking for miles and miles along the beach. And sometimes I would just stop and listen. Listen to that sound of the waves which brought me so much comfort. Well, at least until I realized how hungry I was and went to get some really good and cheap Mexican food.