New York may be cold, but after five days in Los Angeles, it’s good to be home, even if it doesn’t really feel like I’m here. After all, I leave again on Saturday. At least I have our bed until then.
But Los Angeles is hard for me. Part of that is being from New York; I’m sort of contractually obligated to be discomforted by California. But the problem isn’t that I don’t like LA; it’s that sometimes I do, and it brings out the worst in both my insecurities and my arrogance.
The first time I went out there was in the late 90s to work on production for a commercial. I was staying at a hotel in Beverly Hills during a terrible cold spell, and I spent most of the trip — which ended with me and some friends crashing the Miss California Teen USA pageant and getting up to unrelated shenanigans in an airport hotel — feeling both not pretty enough to be there and yet absolutely fabulous. LA is, because of the sort of nonsense it does to my head, a place I brace myself for.
But mostly, when I go, I ignore it. After all, the yearly trip is for a Doctor Who conference; that’s like the antithesis of LA, right? Even if I am often there to do some business too (and that I did this year, quite pleasantly so).
But this time we rented a car and spent a lot of time running around town in a weirdly food-driven way: we needed supplies for the con; I wanted In-and-Out burger; people hadn’t had French macarons before, and I felt that needed correction — all of which somehow led to several deeply odd mall adventures and some serious mid-day drinking in a Mexican restaurant just shy of Rodeo Drive.
And you know what? I sort of loved it. Because the me who felt not beautiful enough for LA in my 20s realized this time it wasn’t about whether or not I was awesome enough for LA, but it was about letting LA, and all it’s awful ridiculousness, making me feel awesome and invincible.
So I decided to be a little bit shameless and to play along with the city, and it flirted right back. So much so that it’s really a good thing I have this life I am making in New York and that Patty and I don’t know how to drive (although we’ve got to do something about that). Otherwise, there might be some real consequence to all that flirtation.
It was a fantastic and only intermittently melancholy few days, and I wound up nabbing some great details for a piece of original fiction I’m working on. Also, how could I not love just a little a town that has an Exposition Boulevard?
Next stop: Zurich by way of Toronto.