Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mama's fallen angel ...

LOS ANGELES -- The mayor of Inappropriate-ville is sitting across from me on a flight from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City (1). After a brief interaction with a tot before we boarded the plane, she finds herself seated next to the child's father, while the child and her mother watch a Disney princess movie in the seats behind me. The woman, an athletic sort with her breasts bandied into a single unit, turns to the father and said: "I don't believe in coincidences. I knew when your daughter talked to me that our paths would cross again." When both parties realized they were both traveling to Tahoe, she made a noise that sounded like the opening guitar wail in a song about stalking.

This paved the way for the single most uncomfortable 2 hours of conversation ever witnessed by my ears. My favorite moment: The man was talking about the trapped miners.

Inappropriate-ville: Oh, I haven't really been following it.
Man: It's pretty hard not to ...
Inappropriate-ville, responding as though trapped miners are like AIDS: You know. I've seen so many headlines over the years about trapped miners, and what I want to know is this: What are we going to do about it?

Little does that woman know, but she is about to become the protagonist in my first short story since college, written in the vein of Joyce Carol Oates. 

***

We flew into our favorite airport, The Bob Hope in Burbank. Love this place for its 1970s roller skate rink decor. It feels like the kind of place where John Candy should present you with a lei when you step off the plane. 

Stepping outside was like walking into dragon breath. It is the hottest air I have ever felt in my life. I took my sweater off, walked back inside, and was already sunburned on my left shoulder. That's some powerful sun. Admittedly, for about five minutes, I wondered why we weren't vacationing in Alaska.

***


We were both sleep deprived, so spent all of yesterday wandering around Hollywood Blvd., and Sunset Blvd., staying close to home base lest one of us spontaneously narcolepsied This gave us plenty of time to hit all of those chain retail environs that Duluth doesn't have. Like American Apparel, where Chuck stared at a pair of pants with a 25-inch waist and wondered what sort of manorexic third graders this place caters to.

***

We ate burgers that dripped with sweat, convinced my doctor to refill a Cipro prescription, collapsed on Cath's furniture and shot the shit, then slept so hard that if my life was a soap opera, my evil twin sister would have run off with my boyfriend while I was out. (2)

***

Whenever I am in LA, the song "Fallen Angel" gets stuck in my head for the duration of my stay. This was helped along last night when I saw a dude dragging luggage, a guitar slung over his back. God bless America.

***

Since I spent 12 days here earlier this summer, I've started saying "I used to live here."

FOOTNOTES
1. The Salt Lake City airport has little smoker alcoves. Inside. Wha?!
2.  I've started recycling 140-character jokes I post on Twitter. Pretend you've never seen them before.

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