LA: How is this is not as good as it gets?

I drove to LA for a meeting yesterday morning. I felt like a real screenwriter. You know, driving to LA with a pitch to meet a director in a coffeeshop. On too little sleep. Let’s just say it – it felt real and unreal.

I feel a rising excitement as I get closer to LA, as the grafitti and wall art gets more sophisticated, as the drivers get ruder and the smog gets thicker.

The thrill is still not quite gone.


And sure, it might not work out (thought the meeting went well) but I’m just enjoying this. This is the time when, even if I’m consumed by panic, there’s still time to dream. Everything could still be perfect. And LA is a wonderful place to dream because in LA, a dreamer is never alone, although not every dreamer can afford the coffee.

"I promise you are not just a waitress" - a poster stuck to an electricity box opposite a french bistro staffed by suspiciously attractive waitrons who are probably, actually, actors.

I sat next to two old guys. They were discussing something one of them had written. On the left, two women gave each other notes on a screenplay. A few tables down, two Americans had an intelligent political discussion about Libya. Then went back to discussing a movie they’d like to make. Dreams, dreams, dreams, everywhere here.

If I’ve learned anything in the last four years is that nothing – no matter how wonderful or how terrible – is impossible. I could… find love? Maybe when I’m not looking for it, cause like, I need it like I need a hole in the head. Another hole in the head. It’s possible.

My fellow-blogger Dorothy Black (acaseofnerves.blogspot.com) collects pictures of "random hearts". Here's one I photographed. Spotted on the floor of a coffeeshop in Vermont Ave., Hollywood.

Or I could wind up a struggling screenwriter, working somewhere, writing something, living in a small but beautiful apartment in an area with really good fish tacos within walking distance.

I could live here. I'm a single.

Or they might send me home to South Africa, where I could… write that movie nobody here ever sees. Or that movie that wins a foreign movie Oscar. Same thing really – except then South Africans won’t watch it either.

Or... they say the sky's the limit. What was once in that building that's now leased as storage? Who's the latest porno superstar at Adultcon? And where are all these cars going to? What new building is that orange cement mixing truck mixing cement for?

I guess I hung around for a while. I bought three different colors of nail laquer so that I could paint all my nails different colours. Then I left. And on the way, I passed this writing on the wall: THIS IS NOT AS GOOD AS IT GETS.

Right now, just being near this alleyway leading to a dumpster excites me.

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5 Responses to “LA: How is this is not as good as it gets?”

  1. The Burg Says:

    ive said it before…i’ll say it again
    you inspire me.

    I’ve jsut moved into a ridiculous tiny office which i need to share with someone who makes me uncomfortable…its not going to be a pleasant 4 weeks…and i keep thinking to myself its a means to an end.

    but when i read your blog…thats the true means….that’s what i should be doing. I keep letting expectation get in the way of desire.

    Thank you for this journey you’re letting guys like me follow you on. Even when it becomes awkard…
    πŸ™‚

  2. jeanbarker Says:

    The idea that I could inspire anyone is always weird for me. Not bad-weird… flattering weird. And it’s not awkward for me. Then again, I am awkward, deeply so. Try not to kill him/her/it.

  3. dorothy black Says:

    πŸ™‚ loved this one – especially the last pic AND a random heart! coooool … hope you’ll find a space for a cameo for the little people

  4. Harry Says:

    Referring to your last paragraph… The grass is always greener on the other side.

    2 people (they might have been blonde) were standing on opposites sides of the river. One shouts to the other “How do you get to the other side?” The other person (I think she was particularly blonde) replies “You idiot, you ARE on the other side!!”

    As is life, people aren’t happy with who they are or what they have. They’re always trying to get to the other side and vice versa

  5. Harry Says:

    Sorry, I forgot to add to my last comment…. I am on the other side… I never crossed the river but I am comfortable with me and my person. I am going bald, don’t work out as often as I should and could earn more than I do, however I have an amazing job, basically live the dream, see the most amazing places EVERYDAY and drink wine for a living. I don’t have a whole lot to complain about, but that’s all because I never tried to cross the river…. I was happy with what was on this side of the river…. TRY IT

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