Human Oreo

Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, June 19, 2011

Driving across the Los Angeles city limits while listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers just felt right.

Thanks to Facebook, a friend from Denver found out I was in the LA area.  She and a friend had come down for the weekend to get a good fill of dancing, drinking, and clubbing - California style.  I met them at their hotel right downtown - the Omni - a 5-Star luxury California dream with more class than I could ever dream (or want) to have.  I pulled in to the front roundabout to ask about parking.  Three or four attendants were standing outside, none of whom approached me, but rather just stared in disbelief at my struggling, dirty, bug plastered, mud splattered truck pulling in to their establishment.  Surely, this man is in the wrong place, they must have been thinking.  I stepped out and walked up to one, who was still looking a little stunned, and asked what the parking options were.  He pointed out a lot just a block down.  Thank you very much!  I kind of wish my truck would have backfired or had a nice belt screech as I was pulling out, just to complete the visual.

I got to the lot.  $8.  I had a single Washington and a baggie of change, which was lost somewhere in the depths of my truck.  I parked, rigged my topper door to stay open, and crawled inside, being watched in humorous disbelief for the second time in less than five minutes.  Eventually, I found my change bag.  One of the attendants, who didn't quite know what I was doing, looked over as if to ask if I needed help.  Like a young boy who just found a frog, I bestowed a wide grin and held up my change bag in triumph.  Both attendants just started laughing.  I don't quite know if they were laughing at me or with me, nor did I care.  I was happy, and thought the whole thing to be pretty funny, as well.  In broken English, they pointed out a [somewhat shadier, in both senses of the word] lot across the street that was only $6.  I smiled again, thanked them, took my truck and change bag across the street, and somehow conjured up six dollars worth.

When I first saw Juli, we hugged, I was introduced to her friend Shaun, and the very next words out of her mouth were "If you snore or puke it'll be the murder hole for ya."  What?!  Since fancy hotels don't want people slipping or jumping to their deaths, the windows either do not open or, in the Omni's case, there is a small "window" that hinges open about 6 inches.  Dubbed "The Murder Hole" by my friends.  More like a laundry chute, but I guess if you really wanted to, you could squeeze and kick and shove a body through it.  Apparently she had woken up that morning to the horrendous sounds of the man in the next room heaving his guts out.  If she could have, and if the puking didn't kill him, I'm sure she would have done her best to get him through the Murder Hole.

Following a 5-star shower we headed to Trader Vic's for some dinner.  When asking our feisty waitress for recommendations on whiskey or bourbon drinks, she first mentioned the Maki Maki (miki miki?), a "delightful bourbon drink served in a slightly pornographic mug."  Without letting her even get to the next drink, "I'll take one!"  When she returned later to deliver our drinks, she regretfully informed me that "the normal mug is nowhere to be found, so we compensated you with extra alcohol."  Even better!

After dinner it was back to the hotel to get dressed for the evening - a night at the Club Monte Cristo for Malediction Society.  "Club Malediction Society is like stepping into another realm.  It is a place of dark and beautiful dimensions, brooding darkwave and pounding EBM/Industrial music, and other musical genres somewhere in between."  My companions came prepared - sexy black leather boots, little black dress, black goth pants with all the chains and rippings and fixings, they looked GOOD!  Myself: Tony Lama cowboy boots, blue jeans, and a white t-shirt.  I think they were looking at me the same way that the front bellmen and parking lot attendants were.  We did, however, form a perfect human Oreo.  :)

The club itself made itself known.  Pounding walls and vibrating windows give that away.  The entrance, however, was a little trickier.  Around the corner, across a parking lot, into a small, dark entryway, up a stairwell, across an open roof, into a dark room, and through some thick, black velvet curtains.  Like the belly of a whale.  Noticeable shapes and figures, a red chandeliers and a disco ball hanging from the ceiling, an open dance floor in the middle with a dark cubby off of one side housing the hardly-visible DJ, a number of tables and couches on another side, and the bar straight to the back.  All perfectly clouded, illuminated, and blended with just the right amounts of light and dark and just a whisper from a fog machine.

It took a few drinks to get there, but eventually I was out on the floor, a white cowboy in a sea of black leather.  But nobody cared.  I don't think anybody even noticed.  Unlike other clubs I have been to, which are little more than a bunch of high-maintenance bad boys trying to find and grind on the drunk chicks in the place, all of the people on the dance floor were just dancing by themselves, for themselves.  Some were flowing contently like seaweed in an ocean current, some dramatically throwing themselves and kicking off of the gogo boxes, some simply demonstrating their basic goth dance moves (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean), and one was even twirling and jumping, presumably a ballet dancer when not in chains.  Every one of them was completely respectful of others around them, but at the same time, practically oblivious.  Just dancing to dance.  The fantastic DJs, along with the welcoming crowd, created an energy in the room that was so easy to get lost in, and I soon found myself wholly engulfed, still an individual, but also feeling as part of a larger being - dozens of people coming together under a common roof for a common purpose.  I know that my friend was drunk because at one point in the night she actually said to me, "you're a really good dancer."  "What?!  I've never been told that before!"  "No, you have really good rhythm," she assured me.  They would both tell me the next day that I did alright, that I adapt well.  Not bad for cream filling.

They were without transportation, other than feet, cab, and a 3-mile radius hotel shuttle.  I had been itching to see the ocean for months, so the next morning (after a 5-star sleep on the floor, no puking, no snoring, no Murder Hole) we checked out, Shaun hopped in the bed, and we made our way to Santa Monica.  Oh, beach.  I love the mountains.  Can't live without them.  I will always need to live in them or somewhere they are close.  But I still love the ocean.  Scares the bejeesus out of me, but I love it.  The hot sun.  The cool breeze.  The inspiring sound of waves crashing.  The girls in bikinis.  The sensation of sand like thousands of tiny kisses of my feet.  The saline smell (along with other smells, sometimes...).  The first touch of water splashing against my ankles.  The rush of running and diving headfirst into an oncoming wave.  The realization upon coming up that my mouth wasn't quite closed and I just swallowed a pint of saltwater.  Feeling my body heave as I hack it back up.  My face tight and sticky after the ocean water dries on it.  Leaning over 2 hours later to pick up my sandals and feeling a tablespoon of warm, salty water drain from somewhere deep within my sinuses.  Yeah, I love the ocean.

A large iced latte was required after the combination of 2 hours of baking in the sun on the beach and some fish n chips that were literally dripping grease.  We threw Shaun back in the back and drove to LAX, lucky that Mr Policeman who almost stopped us near the entry did not see him riding in the back.  Bags and humans were unpacked, we said our goodbyes (there have been a lot of goodbyes on this trip... but I guess that means there have also been a lot of hellos), they hopped on a plane, I hopped on the 105, and they flew 1000 miles in probably about the same time it would take me to drive about 30, on to La Habra Heights (coming soon!)
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