We’ve been home for two weeks now and the patina on my copper is turning green. I didn’t think anything was wrong when I woke up this morning. It was really late and I had taken a Benadryl for the third night in a row because I’ve had an itchy throat and what felt like allergies to the smog in the city of broken dreams. And yes, our little magic man has been coughing all week but not the cold and flu-kind-of- cough so please do not judge me for letting him go to school. It is clearly nasty-bits-in-local-air-supply hacking that has been singing its way through our apartment and not infectious-contagious-shit like Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest thespian interpretation of a regular, middle class lady we can ALL identify with. She really knows how to represent the every woman who can’t afford the money or the time for that $500 blow out and perfect foil color and who cheats on her sexy, Damon-y husband and wears ugly bathrobes JUST LIKE US when she feels a plague coming on.
I woke up late after both Dave and Otto had eaten and dressed feeling like a shlub and a boob and stumbled downstairs covered in confusion and fog. The night before, after watching what amounted to seven hours of season premiere television Dave and I discussed going to a matinee the next morning. This is something we do more often than is normal or healthy because Dave is a movie freak, maker, writer and I love walking out of a movie into the blinding sun before the clock reads noon. That way I haven’t really fucked off too much, I saved ten bucks on a movie ticket, I give other misdirected miscreants a chance to point fingers at the lady wearing dirty pigtails and something half-clean from H&M so they can feel momentary uplifted.
After agreeing we should matinee, we got out the door in less than ten minutes, got Otto to school and then scooted off to see a movie at one of those huge, first class cabin-like theatres with huge chairs and clean carpeting and hipster dudes selling popcorn and expensive ice cream bars. As we wound our way through traffic one asshole after another kept cutting us off or driving like a cement block or pulling out and blocking all three lanes or running stop signs and then flipping us off. I felt like we were in a video game called DOUCHE BAGGERY AND BAD CHOICES. Everywhere we turned some tool out-tooled the next tool.
By the time we turned off of Hollywood Boulevard my blood was boiled and my brow was beaten. Pink Floyd’s “Mother” had just come on the radio and it was all over. Ever building looked grimy, every car looked dented, every sidewalk was freckled with used chewing gum and lost souls and any hope I had of holding in my sadness and frustration crumbled like an animal cracker at the bottom of a diaper bag.
Dave pulled into a parking space and I exploded in a torrent on snotty, unsexy tears, the kind that dudes who barely know you run from with Hussein Bolt speed and a brain’s surgeon’s precision. I wept for the city I no longer love, for a career that never happened, for the friendships that have perished, for the ones that sustain me, for Otto’s future and for the rat I feel like in a race I cannot win.
I wept for Dave’s father who is in a prison of confusion and his mother who can do little else but stand on the edge of the pool and watch her husband sink a little farther into the deep end each day. I slobbered for my family who live 3000 miles and a lifetime away, a group of magical people who came together this summer and saved me a little bit each day. But thanks to Roger Waters and his bucket of perpetual angst I cried because the world can be shitty and the race is long and hard and I was sad and I wanted my mommy.
Dave simply put his hand on my shoulder and let me wail like hyena saying nothing and knowing full well there was nothing he needed to. When the song was over, I wiped my tears with a Starbuck’s recycled napkin, put on my imitation Chloe sunglasses and got out of the car. We walked toward the theatre entrance hand in hand without a word until we reached the door.
I turned to Dave and said, “Men need to masturbate and women need to cry.”
My wonderful masturbating husband bought two tickets, walked me down the hallway into the darkness and sat with me as I watched Drive. And even though I couldn’t have my mommy and I can’t just pick up and move to Boston like I want to, a fast car, a tortured, hot dude and extreme violence cheered this girl up.
And sure, I feel like I’ve been in Los Angeles too long. But those seats are sweet!