Saturday, March 15, 2008


Nearly everyone I know in Los Angeles is at SXSW this week. It's pretty strange to be in a city that is essentially a second home, where I've always taken for granted the multitude of friends and acquaintances and things to do and places to go, and to suddenly find myself a loner. I guess it has been a blessing in disguise. though. I've had no distractions, and have been able to focus more than ever on pre-production, which is going really well. The songs are starting to really pop. I've also devoured a novel and a half in the last four days at sunny tables outside various coffee shops. That's always a good feeling.

Last night, around ten or eleven, I got an itch to go out. I texted a friend and asked for a recommendation, something in the midst of the splashing lights and rattling conversation of Hollywood that I could do by myself on a Friday night. Something that wouldn't be lonely. She suggested I go and read at a dark coffee shop a little ways out from the belly of the beast, and I took her up on the suggestion. After parking my car though, and gaping upwards at Scientology's Celebrity Center, after walking past a block full of carousers pouring out in to the street from various restaurants and bars, after walking in and finding the place calm and empty save for a scattering, I turned around in the doorway and marched back to my car, throwing my book on the passenger seat and driving back to the apartment I'm staying at.

Going to the bar alone always seems like a dreary prospect. I thought about it, picturing myself perched on a stool leaning quietly over the bar, all spattered in liquor, stabbing my drink with a straw, and it seemed pretty damn depressing. But sitting there in the empty apartment, alone in the sprawling city, I thought to myself, what's the harm in seeing what happens. I was in the mood for a drink, and felt like having a conversation or two, about anything, with anyone. I said, "fuck it," and walked a few blocks to the nearest and least intimidating place, and stood in line to get in.

Two hours later, as I stumbled home after last call, I laughed and laughed to myself. I hadn't realized how perceptive people are to another's solitude, and in an alcohol soaked room, one of the few places people feel fine approaching strangers, I got effortlessly invited to join two separate groups of people, the first of which brought me in before the bouncer had even checked my ID. When they asked if I was there alone, I didn't have to explain much at all before I had been introduced around, bought shots, made to feel more welcome than I was comfortable being. Certainly I can't remember much of consequence that was discussed, but it was really the mere act of talking of clinking glasses that I was looking for. When I felt I had overstayed my welcome with the first group, I wandered off to write a drunken text message, only to be pulled immediately in with another gathering.

People surprise me sometimes.