Monday, March 9, 2009

can you see and wait for my stare ...

LOS ANGELES -- in the grand history of my life, last night might have been my greatest adventure to date. it started at a mexican restaurant where we caught a strong case of the fiestas! from a table filled with accountants celebrating an ultimate frisby victory to the tune of lethal margaritas.

machacas con huevos con tequila con oh-lay-oh-lay-oh-lay ...

we left a little dizzy and continued the party on cath's roof with a nice view of downtown LA and a neon sign for the motel we almost had to check into when we realized we were locked out of the apartment. cath in her tiger stripped slippers, wondering how they would withstand a subway ride into work in the morning. this excitement ended 13 minutes later when the building manager in a neon blue three-piece suit with a blue tooth leached around his ear let us in.

chuck and i wandered down the street to the white horse, a bar where bukowski allegedly used the corners as his own personal urinals, the stools as makeshift teeter totters and the women as drink holders. the bouncer was watching the movie "street fighter" on his portable dvd player. he paused briefly to welcome us to hollywood. this place closed ridiculously early, considering it was the bacterial breeding grounds for one of our nation's finest dipsomaniacs.



"i've come from a goth party on the corner," a man smoking a clove cigarette told me. "apparently the guest of honor is really into D&D."

from there we went to relax, a thai bar where i recognized from the tingy pop sounds coming from the speakers that there was the potential for karaoke. i asked our non-english speaking bartender if it was karaoke night, which i pronounce "kah-roh-key." she looked at me puzzled, and frowned.

"kare-ee-ohkey?" chuch asked her.
she beamed.

the selection of american pop songs left much to be desired. no fleetwood. no "let's hear it for the boy." no beyonce.

"mah-doe-nah! mah doe nah!" the dj suggested.
i selected "crazy for you" and began singing. the thai-to-english translation of this song was suspect:

"i see you through the spooky hair."
"it's always new."
"can you see and wait for my stare."

stuff like that. my quick glances at the screen were interrupted with my own giggles. i sang from memory, closing my eyes and pretending i was in the shower. to the left, a table filled with friends laughed and laughed and laughed. i got the distinct impression that if i spoke their language, i would hear a lot of bad things about myself.

when i finished singing, the DJ said to me "endless love?" he wanted to do a duet to a song i haven't heard since FM radio was invented. i explained to him through mime that i didn't know the song. by then we were on the second verse and i found myself breathing heavy sighs into the microphone"

"my. endless love."

the DJ followed up with the song "hello" by lionel richie.

the dj slapped chuck on the back and said "you sing." chuck said "nah ..." and the dj looked at him and said "you sing," more emphatically this time. by then the music for "hit me baby one more time," had started; chuck sprinted to the stage. chuck performed his growly punk rock version of the song.

this had the hecklers in a tizzy of giggling.



this was the alternative version of chuck's fannie.

from there, the stage was overtaken by an alternative version of myself: a thai woman in a green hoody, with a pony tail. dominating the stage with her take on thai pop songs. duets, solos, song after song after song. she was fantastic and i cheered her on, hoping the universal language of clapping would dull her table's desire to mock us.

"this place is like the thai-o," chuck said, likening it to the pio, a diveish bar where i spent about 3/4ths of my life savings and killed my common sense and built up a resistance for most communicable diseases for my first six years in duluth.

i decided to take a proactive approach and tried to ask the bartender, the DJ and the table o'gigglers what i could sing that they wouldn't make fun of.

"mah-doe-nah! mah doe nah!" he said.

i sang "papa don't preach" and the regulars ignored me instead of giggling. it was a nice change of pace.

***

having exhausted my money, i asked the bartender for an ATM. she wandered into a super secret back room to wrestle up the karaoke dj. through the door, we could see another layer of party, cigarettes and men. i like to imagine there was cigar smoke and cock fighting, too. but it was obvious that this was some sort of super-secret-party room where we were not invited.

the karaoke dj, who spoke the most amount of english: ATM and madonna, guided me out the front door of the bar and down two store fronts, ushering me into the building and pointing me toward a cash machine.

i didn't look at any signs. maybe that was on purpose. from the corner of my eye, i saw "lesbians" written on a small sign atop a collection of movies. i'd taken a wrong turn, and doubled back to another aisle, realizing that 30 male eyeballs were watching my every move. here, too, there was a secret back room. the growls made it sounded like someone was holding a t-rex in captivity. i quickly got my money and left.

back at the bar, i shook a finger at the DJ and said "sex shop!"
he gave me a quizzical look.
i immitated the t-rex and he smiled "yes! yes!"

soon the bartender stopped serving people who weren't in the special VIP room. she unlocked the front door and let us out on hollywood blvd. we needed something to soak up the liquid, so we stopped for the third time at torung, a thai restaurant with quite liberal hours of operation.

we shared two appetizers and stumbled back to cath's.
when i woke up, it was like i was trying to give birth to a litter of chinchillas.

***



we did other stuff yesterday: the museum of jurassic technology, the la brea tar pits and the LACMA.


i couldn't really get a feel for the theme of the first museum, but it had some cool stuff: small sculptures of a pope in the eye of a needle, two mice on a piece of toast, portraits of the dogs that had been in space.



it all ended in a room draped, but a little sunny and completely quiet. a woman was sitting, reading, with an afghan hound resting next to her. i wasn't sure if he was stuffed, a scarf, or a pet until i finally saw his stomach rise and fall.

"would you like some tea?" she asked us, filling three mugs.
we sat there quietly and drank it.
i'm not sure what any of this meant, but we all agreed it was straight out of a david lynch movie.

at the la brea tar pit, we saw a woolly mammoth mom sinking in the muck while her husband and baby watched from the shore. i've written up some dialogue to explain the conversation going on at this exact moment. i'm going to turn it into a play.




3 comments:

theblogbloglog said...

that tar pit scene is just horrifying. i can not wait for the play.

Mach1 said...

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall.

Well, that might have been gross in the sex shop. But you know what I mean.

(P.S. My favorite part were the Thai-to-English translations).

mage2001 said...

La Brea Tar Pits... are the damn silliest things in LA. A "tar pit" with plastic molded mammoths etc. in them surrounded by office buildings.
totally weird.