“This is a fictional take on exploring different perspectives and points of view and should not be taken as any more than that. Seriously. Don’t sell Drugs.”
A side question before I begin. Everybody familiar with a writer named Dante? You know…the guy who wrote “Inferno” and at least at the time, provided a conclusive definitive analysis of the disparate regions of Hell.
More specifically however, the fact that it consists of 9 circles. Now I hate to straight up diss a guy like that..but what can I say…he was wrong. And wrong is wrong. And I really don’t give a shit if he just so happens to be a one of the charter members of the elitist club known as “classics”.
But I’m a reasonable muthafucka. I don’t look to talk shit just for the sake of talking shit. On the real though, I respect the guy. Seriously. But as good of a writer as he was, face it..he couldn’t see into the future. So that’s his cop-out: context. This guy was analyzing shit back in the 1300s or some shit. There’s no way (in hell) (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist the obvious turn of phrase) he could have known that he missed two circles. Probably because they didn’t occur until Satan decided that even Hell, like any other present-day major metropolitan area, required gentrification. I mean, I’m sure even Hell is not immune from having to deal with the process known as “white flight”.
So yeah, I’m sure anyone who’s been in these situations would agree with this hypothesis in a heartbeat. Pretty much as quickly as a lonely extra line would get hit by the leeches that seem to be the bottom 75% of any given Hollywood afterparty. But as usual, I digress. I’d get to the point but I like to think that getting there eventually is half the fun. That…and what can I say? Damn I’m a wordy muthafucka. But as far as addictions go, at least my addiction isn’t product. It’s pontificating. And then pontificating some more. And not stopping unless I get the slightly light-headed feeling telling me that oxygen/tobacco intake is required at that particular point.
But without further ado, the 10th circle of hell: LA rush hour. Straight gridlock…any given street any given freeway…surprisingly enough, the true definition of equality. It don’t matter what race or what social class you are…unless you’re one of those Malibu muthafuckas that helicoper into Hollywood…because, heaven forbid such august individuals have to be stuck behind us normal people on PCH.
That exception aside, face it, you’re as stuck as anyone else. And naturally, such a situation has endless potential for extreme aggravation. It’s a simple equation: Car (sitting in a fixed position without moving for extended periods of time) x Exponential Growth of Anger (because LA traffic is an epitome of individual selfishness and an exercise in sudden navigation by initial gut instinct) x Any Time Constraint Currently Faced = Aggravation. And as a writer, even though I barely passed algebra and shit, I still remember the Transitive Property.
And with that in mind, since LA traffic = Aggravation and Aggravation = Hell, therefore LA traffic = Hell. And here I thought I was incapable of this mathematician bullshit…What can I say, even someone as eminently undeserving as myself, has his moments. Truly it would seem that every dog really does have his day. Or at least a randomly assigned minute.
But back to the present. Because it will, without any shade of doubt, define the 11th circle of Hell…by corollary and shit. Like the 10th circle, it is also rooted in aggravation..but of a particularly virulent subtle-like-an-anvil-dropping-on-your-head strain akin to being straight-up annoyed to death. But not like being annoyed by a younger sibling whom you can simply smack upside the head and call it even. It’s to the degree where you’d risk a car accident or being pulled over by a cop in exchange for a merciful end of the presently occuring form of maddening torment.
I can see what you all are thinking though. And it’s ok. It’s perfectly natural to have that line of thought at this point: “Oh he’s just going on and on as usual..I’m sure it can’t be THAT bad. He’s just exaggerating as always but at the very least he’s doing it in undeniably grandiose yet breathtaking prose.” Well, I hope no one placed any bets. Not to mention that in that eventuality, I want my percentage of the profits. Because there’s no other possible definition of torture, even by Bush Administration standards, that’s worse than being confined in the same vehicle as a drugged up Mel especially knowing that you can’t escape for at least another 10 minutes.
And believe me, they WILL feel like the longest 10 minutes of your life. It also goes without saying that you will also hit every red light possible. That’s Murphy’s Law for you. I can’t hate on Murphy though. Like gravity, it is what it is. Plus he’s like me but fictional. Think of it this way, hypothetically put me and him together in the same spot and just watch as we’ll combine up like demented giant Japanese robots and exude enough negative energy to qualify instant perscriptions to Zoloft for everyone within AT LEAST a six block radius. I love it. It’s like a WMD of depressing thought and relentless cynicism. I shall name it “Negatron”. For no relevant reason whatsoever to plot continuity except to indulge in a brief moment of gratuitous stupidity.
But even though it’s usually reason enough, it’s not just Mel being in in the same confined space as me for any longer than two minutes. It’s Mel incoherently babbling all sorts of nonsensical bullshit (At least I get to a point eventually after the usual convoluted epic journey). While being in the same confined space as me for any longer than two minutes. And the annoying fact that my car doesn’t come equipped with an eject button..whether for his seat or mine..I can’t say I really give a fuck at the moment.
Seriously though. Tell me. I dare you. Tell me that dealing with that sort of shit in the early morning while watching out for cops at the same time isn’t a clear winner (no recount) for the title of the 11th circle of Hell. Tell me I’m not playing when I riff off of Denzel Washington’s most famous line in “Training Day”, improvise a little, and say, “Fuck anything you say…Guantanamo Bay ain’t got shit on me”.
So while I think happy thoughts about water-boarding, we begin our final approach to our destination: The Roosevelt Hotel. AKA “The Rosie”. Historic tourist trap by day. Den of debauchery for the Hollywood afterparty-set by night. It’s kind of funny though. Sometimes I wonder what tourists chilling in the plush lounge area near the lobby would think…if only they knew that the antique-looking ornamental tables they’re propping their Birkenstocks on during the afternoon will, as invariably as the tide coming in at night, be lightly dusted by white residue on a near-constant basis within a couple hours after sunset. I kid you not as I’ve been asked to put shit down on those tables before. The first time that happened, I sat there completely dumbfounded. “Are you fucking serious? We’re in fucking public!!” To which ,the guy replied, “It’s all good bro, I’m cool with security.” It was such a stupid move to begin with, and obviously nowhere near a safe and inconspicuous move either. But how can I argue with that kind of logic. It’s so blatantly DUMB yet it made perfect sense. Especially since Hollywood doesn’t seem to operate on the same rules as normal society.
I mean, when it comes down to it, none of the party people give a shit. Because they’re too stupid or drugged out to give a shit, Security doesn’t give a shit. They get their under-the-table shit so they’re paid to not give a shit. Hotel staff don’t give a shit..they’re probably getting paid selling their stories about the shit they see to the paparazzi. And I don’t give a shit either when it comes down to it. As long as I get paid and I bounce out clean. Everything goes as long as you got money, product, or a combination of both. It’s anarchy except everyone’s too fucked up to even bother realizing it, not to mention, having the requisite functioning brain cells to be able to label it as such. Like Murphy’s law remixed with a dazed out sort of apathy. It is what it is. And natural laws like that and gravity and shit..you really don’t want to go heads up against them..simply because all that’s going to happen is you’re going to end up ass down once you try.
And finally, I’m there. Well…not quite. No trip to ANYWHERE in LA, whether you going to the club, a friend’s spot, or the fucking grocery store is without the dubious pleasure of the notorious process known as “finding parking”. A time-consuming process fraught with peril, much circling of the block, and plenty of cursing directed at the stupid fuckers who can OBVIOUSLY PULL UP A LITTLE FURTHER SO I CAN FIT IN BEHIND THEIR CAR, and, as always, much aggravation in general. I think I have to take back what I said earlier about how getting there is half the fun. Because in all actuality, it’s like getting there is when the misery really starts.
But as you all can probably tell, I deal with enough aggravation as is. I mean, shit, that’s all I seem to talk about. And people wonder why I’m so cynical. So I opt for the easy way out and head towards the valet. Making my grand entrance and shit with my drab and dirty Japanese import jostling for pole position with gleaming Benzes and rimmed out Range Rovers. Naturally I’m ignored by the valets until I’m the last car left. But that’s just they way things work around here. So I exercise judicious patience knowing that sitting in the car and waiting for the valet is the closest thing to a final moment of peace and tranquility I will have for the next couple of hours.
Naturally, five minutes prior, Mel couldn’t sit still long enough and promptly bolted out of the car to congregate with his fellow crackheads. Whatevers. I don’t really care, he’ll call me as soon as he needs some shit or needs a driver. Cry havoc and let the craziness commence. Time to make my ring around the Rosie, go door-to-door floor-to-floor and finish off the workout with a couple laps around the cabanas. It’s the graveyard shift and finally the end is sort of in sight. Like you can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel but whether you’ll make it through the endless darkness is still a toss-up. But I get out of the car and head towards the lobby, dreading every single step, muttering “goddammit” every two steps or so. Dragging my heels to Judgement Day and shit with my jeans sagging lower than Haman.
Well what do you know..it’s like I’m like Christopher Columbus and shit. I think I’ve just wandered through the wilderness and discovered the mythical/theoretical 12th circle of Hell. Yeah. I know. That was weak. And definitely not funny at all. But shit. What can I say…that’s about as humerous, intelligent and sophisticated as this part of the night is going to get. I’m at the lobby of the Rosie. I may be going up the elevator, but it’s more than likely that things will only go downhill from here.
The Enemy is RR’s contributing writer, and he’s currently living in Los Angeles.