The People's Exhibit A (davidology) wrote,
The People's Exhibit A

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I have been one aquainted with the night.

I am elated. I am all smiles and dated, in my man bites dog town with a Spanish name.
I am all bone. I am two tone, red as a newborn, white as a corpse. -Eve 6, "Promise"

Walking through Bloomingdale's in Beverly Hills "Adjacent," I heard a familiar song. It was "High Hopes." All of a sudden I was reminded of my two friends at SDSU who introduced me to Pink Floyd (and of course the pot that goes along with it). They taught me the difference between skank and kine, glass and plastic. We hung out, took trips to visit their parents in the valley. I lost touch with them, and I wondered what they were up to now and if they still lived in San Diego.

On my way out, I stood on the top floor of the Beverly Center parking structure, near my car, parked where I usually park it, in the "secret" area most people don't know about, having avoided much of the traffic by going in the back entrance most aren't aware of. As I stood at the edge and looked out at the Hollywood Sign through the light brown cloud of smog, I thought about how much I love hate love L.A. Since I moved here from San Diego, it's been fun. But as I stood there, I couldn't help but wonder what have I accomplished and what do I have to show for being here. Mike and Dan were genuinely friends. I had nothing more to offer them back really other than my presence, but that was enough. I remember fondly the end of the year after finals when we shroomed, running around campus all day long. I thought about James, Marilyn, Nancy, Steve, Hayessa, Jen, et. al. We were all friends. Friends whom I've lost touch with when I left San Diego to come out, and at what cost.

Things I left behind

Friendships here too often seem to be worn as fashion accessories, coming and going as the seasons change. Others seem so often based on what one can offer another. Are you cute enough? Do you have cute friends? Do you know industry people who would like to see me act/read my manuscript? After a while, it feels phony, you feel phony, and you are phony. Naturally, you start to question everyone's motives behind every "Hello." You get cynical, guarded, and so does everyone else. I remember a more naïve me who, after moving here defiantly swore to friends he would never become so jaded and so distrusting. It feels like a lifetime ago, but it wasn't. Things and even people in L.A. aren't always as they seem. Like the TV show set, they're facades. It's part of the charm and excitement as much as it's part of the frustration. In West Hollywood, you're either bitter, jaded, and insecure, or well medicated.

The spring of my discontent

It's of course foolhardy to blame a city for your issues; that comes from within. But as living beings, we interact with and respond to our environments. Sure, a perfectly well adjusted person should be able to find happiness anywhere, regardless of others and things around him. I'm just not certain I'm willing to wait for that level of self-actualization. Especially in a community where being straight forward seems rude, and passive aggressive jealous backstabbing more the norm, I think I've learned it's easier just not to try. In this environment, I've observed that I fall back on coping mechanisms I learned as a child. I stop caring, pull away, and play with my toys. I stop getting upset at disappointment, and that's kinda really sad. But, I can't get hurt if I don't try. And, so I don't, at least not very hard. I feel like in so many ways, that's where I've ended up, and I haven't been to this place since I was a child.

L.A. is and feels like home, but as my allergies cause me to cough and my eyes to water, it has crossed my mind that this might not be where I was meant to be. I miss the old me who could answer the phone without wondering what favor I'm going to be asked after the 2 minutes of idle chitchat are over. When I left San Diego, I always felt as if I'd be back one day. Now it feels like two hours and lifetimes ago. Sometimes I feel I should go back, get a fresh start. But is that running away? Then I consider the possibility that I'm just more in sync with the energy there and will more easily re-find happiness.

On my way home down Melrose, I passed a crew filming and realized how parts of reality are part of the show, and how so many of us here are actors, even when we're not.

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