I'm at R's place in West Hollywood.
Wherever I end up, I stay at the home of someone who's cell phone number begins with (305).
My long dispersed tribe.
I'm reading a script tomorrow morning at Warner Bros., my job paid for me to come out here and they set me up with a rental car. The lady said I could take anything in Lot 11 and there were Prius's and Nissans, but I grabbed the tiniest little Chevy I could find. It's nearly a smart car. A Chevy Spark.
"Any parking space you got, I'll fit," I thought.
Driving over the highway, hitting a pothole was an event that felt like it could send the engine popping out of the hood. And when I'd revv up, it reminded me of riding my goped around the neighborhood. More ringdingding than vroomvroomvroom.
I'm looking forward to pulling up to the studio in my baby blue smart car wannabe in the morning. Obviously unimportant.
R and C live like demented gods. Dozens of wax candles on a large crowded coffee table, messily burned down to their butts, weed everywhere. A tin of unsmoked joints, not being saved for later, but simply because they're of too mediocre a quality to smoke, being the free ones they give you with your purchase at the dispensary.
In the kitchen, every pot is dirty, and so are many dishes. Nothing is in its place. There are no surfaces on which to place anything, and nothing is in its place.
In their bedroom, clothes are everywhere. And not the way your mother means, when you have a pair of jeans on the floor, last night's socks in one place and a couple of worn but not-quite-dirty shirts loose on a chair. I mean they have several two-foot tall mounds, a large shelf just stuffed with unfolded clothing, a recliner piled four feet high with all manner of towels, underwear, shirts, and dresses. There is no discernible system.
Still, they're happy, their kind, gracious hosts, and smart, loyal friends. C is reading The Sixth Extinction, which I've been meaning to check out. R hasn't quite finished Vol. 3 of My Struggle. And despite the apparent clothes situation, they are a couple of the most stylish people I know.
They get stoned out of their minds and go to bed late, leaving Netflix to play Curb until it's forced to consider whether they're still watching, their dog scrunched between them.
Then they get up at 5:30 in the morning, and begin their routine of getting ready for the day.
They teach children in the ghetto, and with LA traffic they're lucky to only spend an hour and a half in the car, and R likes to try and do some screenwriting in his classroom before the kids pile in.
About school, R tells me how he ordered McDonalds delivery for his students yesterday, because one girl hadn't eaten in three days. She was with her dad at a casino, and he was on a losing streak. R teaches special edâ€”kindergartners.
C has been teaching grade school for years at the same spot.