June 21, 2006

Late Night Donuts

By Tenzin McGrupp © 2006

"Oh my God, I can't feel my lips," Nicky screamed as we drove past the Laurel Canyon Country Store. "That's some awesome blow."

Good thing she drove up through the hills as Beck blasted on her iPod. We safely navigated the winding Mulholland Drive and drove over to Lake Hollywood. Yeah, there's an actual lake in L.A., the one that was featured in the film Chinatown.

As we drove close to the infamous Hollywood sign landmark, an old hippie woman hitch hiked as she struggled up the hill.

"Gonna stop?" I said.

I goaded Nicky into picking up the sketchy woman who stuck out her thumb out. She wore a purple dress and had on too much Native American jewelry.

"Hell no. She'd probably carjack us and smoke all our weed."

Nicky took me to Kings Road Cafe for brunch. Most of the places you'd eat lunch in L.A. are super crowded and not by people on their lunch hour. Instead, lunches are populated with well-off slackers, trophy wives, out of work actors, and troubled writers. Those are the people who are actually free to sit out on the sidewalk and bullshit about nothing for two hours as they get served overpriced food and semi-decent coffee.

A woman who sat down next to us on the patio looked like Diane Lane. In Hollyweird, you have to check twice because that person who looks like some famous more often than not is someone famous. That instance, it wasn't her. Diane Lane never would had carried around a fake Hermes handbag. After a closer examination of the stitching, Nicky determined it was a knock-off. The real deal goes for $8,000. The Diane Lane look-a-like sipped on passion fruit iced tea and kept a close watch on her fake designer bag.

The meals I had been eating in L.A. were not substantial. Even eating $200 worth of sushi wasn't filling. I've been craving a big meal. They are hard to come by out here. A bagel, a slice of good pizza. Anything.

* * * * *

"You're ruining my life!" Nicky screamed at the old man in the Lexus who cut her off. "Fucking douche bag!"

She did her best to calm down, but it wasn't working. In between puffs of a bowl she continued to berate the horrible L.A. drivers. The funny thing is that she lived in L.A. most of her life and she still grew angry by retarded SUV drivers on cell phones.

We met Joe Speaker and his cousin at 14 Below in Santa Monica, a typical dive bar that featured bands and smelled like spilled beer and patchouli. Despite the trashiness of 14 Below, they booked solid bands from time to time like Leo Nocentilli and Tea Leaf Green. Most of the trendoids in the joint were there to see Supercreep at Midnight. We had to endure the atrocious sounds from two terrible bands before they took the stage. We sat at the bar drinking heavily and watched Joe Speaker teeter between bouts of self-loathing and sheer excitement that he was out in a bar in L.A. and only steps away from sexually lascivious sixteen year olds, who were holding a private party next door.

"Oh my fuckin' God! I went to college with the singer in that band!"

A blonde in a pair of $200 jeans broke into a horrible cover of AC/DC's Shook Me All Night Long as Nicky shook her head. The second band was awful. Their lead singer wore a pink cowboy hat and was at least 45 years old. She looked like Roseanne Barr on trucker's speed and wore spandex pants. They were an 80s cover band and kept playing random songs from Journey. After each song ended, I'd scream, "Play more Journey!"

The Irish bartender was not amused with my cat calls.

"Please don't encourage them," he said with a stern look ready to kick my ass.

Even he'd had enough of their awful renditions of Journey songs. They played two U2 covers, too. Joe Speaker was piss drunk and would shout out curses about his soon-to-be ex-wife.

"She's a fucking liar!" he shrieked at one point drowning out the melodies of the Journey cover band.

The place had a decent amount of female talent. There's always a small percentage of jaw-dropping hotness in the women that populate L.A. Joe Speaker was enamored with one woman sitting at the end of the bar. She looked like Jennifer Connelly and I had to walk up over to her to make sure it wasn't. The rest of the bar was packed with an interesting mix of music industry hipster types and pothead friends of the bands that were playing. One fucktard wore a plaid blazer, designer jeans, and a pair of $400 aviator sunglasses inside while he sipped on a vodka and Red Bull. I wanted to punch him out on principle alone.

Nicky and I swapped turns all night long hitting up the bathroom for a toot or two as we fought through the crowd to get to the bathroom. I was too drunk to drive home, so Nicky took the wheel after we waited ten minutes for valet to bring us the car. On our inebriated drive back home to Beverly Hills, we continued ripping gaggers while Wu Tang Clan's Shame on a Nigga echoed from her car speakers.

"Let's get donuts," I muttered.

Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.

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