We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master - Ernest Hemingway
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Mike Gamms - Another Night in Hollywood
Why am I even going to this party? I'm not going to like anyone here and they aren't going to like me. Especially if I keep drinking like I am now. We haven't even gotten to the door and I already want to leave. I see the person I can only assume is the host approaching us.
"Hey guys thanks for coming!"
He is as big of a twit as I imagined. The kind of tool who tells his friends back home he works in the film industry when in actuality he rips tickets in a movie theatre. Him and Roger have some pointless conversation about God knows what. I over hear him say he moved to Los Angeles for the weather. God, people are fucking lame. I'm not sure if I'm more pissed about what he said, or the fact that I've undoubtedly said the same lame crap before. I try to convince myself that it's different because I'm aware that I sound like a jackass, but I'm not sure if I really believe it.
I continue trying to forget what he says before he's even done saying it. If it's important enough I'm sure I'll hear it again. I don't even remember his name and hopefully in a few minutes I won't remember his face. I'll let Roger make small talk with idiots and hopefully I'll be left out of the conversation.
"Who's your friend?"
"This is Chuck, he's a writer-"
That's fucking great. There's already enough self proclaimed "artists" at this party, and now I'm one of them. I'm not sure what annoys me more, that people are going to think I'm one of them, or I'm actually going to feel like one of them. The host looks to me for some sort of conversation, but I don't even bother.
I am quickly on the move. Roger can handle this guy on his own. When I finally find the beer, they have nothing but a few dozen Mic Ultra Lights. Don't get me wrong, I'm no beer snob, but I'd prefer to have something with a little more kick than that. But I think the point of having such a sissy beer in such low quantity is so that people like me don't get drunk and make a scene. But considering the fifth I drank for lunch, that's all but unavoidable at this point. I complain about the booze selection to a woman at the bar but she doesn't see the problem.
"I like this beer. It's low calorie so I don't feel as guilty about skipping the gym tomorrow."
I debate telling her that her fat ass probably makes her feel more guilty than any beer could, but I'm feeling pretty lonely and the company of a woman doesn't sound like a bad idea at this point. And besides, pretending to be interested in her isn't going to make me hate myself anymore than I already do right now. I tell her I love Mic Ultra because I have to do twice the work to get half as drunk. She isn't smart enough to get it, but she's smart enough to know it's a joke and laugh. Some girls are so desperate for male approval its sickening.
Just as I'm starting to think today isn't going to be all that bad, the guy from the front door is headed my way again. Roger is no where to be seen, so I'm actually going to have to talk to him on my own. I can't remember his name or much of what he said, but that fedora hat and beard tell me he's a struggling artist. I'll just get him talking about himself while I concentrate on downing these beers. I ask him if he's working on any projects right now. This will keep him occupied for a while. Plus he really doesn't care what I have to say anyways, he just enjoys hearing himself say it.
"I've got a terrific script I'm directing. In fact, I wrote it myself!"
I tell him it sounds great. But really I just wonder if his girl blows him as much as he blows himself. I don't get how people like him can think so highly of themselves when there is clearly so much to dislike. Or maybe I'm just bitter that fools like him can find bliss in their own ignorance while I constantly drown myself in my own self misery. I can't take listening to this guy anymore, so I excuse myself to the bathroom, grabbing two new beers along the way.
This is where I find Roger. The only other person here foul enough to not only take a shit at the party, but to bring his beer with him. After we finish our respective business, Roger pulls out a bag of coke. Knowing Roger, this isn't surprising. Roger may pretend to be my manager, but it's mostly just a gimmick to trick girls new to Hollywood into sleeping with him. Not that he isn't still successful in his own right. Roger makes most of his money owning shady motels off the Sunset Strip. Renting out motel rooms by the hour, you get pretty familiar with the world of cocaine and loose women. I'm not saying I'm any better than Roger, I just can't afford as much as blow as he can. I have to skip meals to buy 3 dollar bottles of whiskey. But if Roger is buying, I'll gladly partake.
Coke makes me feel unstoppable. All the self hate seems to disappear. I stop destroying myself on the inside and start destroying everyone around me. Today's cut is pretty strong.
We wipe our noses, licking the last of the residue off our fingers as we head back to the bar for more beer. I stumble into some guy, spilling his drink. Unfortunately, he's the kind of guy who takes himself way too seriously.
"Who the fuck do you think you are, asshole!"
His tight shirt and smug expression are a dead giveaway of an aspiring actor. The coke has me feeling powerful and fearless. I tell him I'm a talent agent at CAA and I want to sign him.
The look on his face says it all. It's almost sickening how quickly he changes his opinion when he thinks it might help his acting career. But he just as quickly realizes how foolish he looks. Making such an insecure little man look stupid only proves to make things worse. He takes a swing at me, but somehow in my intoxicated state, I am able to dodge his attack. I can't help but laugh.
Distracted by my own good fortune, I forget that the actor doesn't find this as funny as I do. The second punch doesn't miss. The haymaker to my jaw has me hard on the floor. I try to shake it off and get on my feet, but he clocks me square in the jaw and darkness fills my eyes.
Mike Gamms is a 24-year-old unemployed writer living in Los Angeles. Originally from Upstate New York, he occasionally writes awful things at www.mikegamms.blogspot.com.