I'm in LA, living beyond my means.
I wonder how many other people do this, live simply for most of the year and then blow it all on a weekend or two with the jet set.
I kicked the trip off right by using all my miles to upgrade to First Class on United. I was excited when we were called to use the red carpet to board the plane. I was almost worried that I would be outed as an imposter - he doesn't belong, he's not one of us! - and kicked back into coach.
But when I saw First Class I thought there must have been a mistake. This was not the beautiful First Class of my dreams. This was actually a step below coach on Lufthansa and British Airways. Or Royal Jordanian, for that matter. Our country has fallen so hard, though we are not allowed to admit it.
The seats were comfortable enough, the wine passable, and the meal easily digestible. The movie was some awful Nicholas Cage tragedy, and I never put the earphones on. I'm glad I didn't actually pay for this. I drank a couple glasses of red wine, read a few more chapters of my book (Com Toibin's baeutiful The Master,) and after two hours I called it quits and popped an ambien.
Which did nothing, so I popped another.
I woke up in LA a few hours later, and quite appropriately high as a kite.
First stop, breakfast with Gary. Second stop, the beauty salon. My first. Had the massage / facial / manicure / pedicure special combo. It was overkill. The massage was bad, the facial nice, and the pedicure ... well ... I said I was high, right? I thought I was sober, but not sober enough to engage my brain before my mouth. The girls asked me something I couldn't understand, I said "whatever you think is good," and I now have bright shiny opalescent nails.
Apparently this stuff doesn't come off naturally, or with time, so I will need to find someway to remove it before I show up for paddling next Thursday.
On to the tanning booth. Long Beach was full of trash in town for their Grand Prix, so it's a good time to be somewhere else. Evening came and we headed into LA proper to meet Gary's new boyfriend, W.
He's a wonderful guy. And the kind of guy I would never meet in my normal world. We drove through Fairfax to ??? (Hill something; a neighobrhood with big houses and lots of Hasidim). We turned left at a mansion built for Hearst (a smaller mansion, one he built while waiting for the big one to be finished), and arrived at his bungalow.
It was an ocean and a world away from my nighborhood. We exchanged stories of Mexico. I went south of the border and had great food. He went and stayed with the woman who inherited Telemundo. He's oil money, flats in Paris, random tours of Europe and Asia for work, and celebrities subletting units from him. He designs furniture based upon classical Italian inspirations. His master bed looked like a miniature Baldachinno, but it was Cornelius not Bernini who inspired the spired posts (look! My Master's thesis just paid off!)
He poured us an amazing Margarita (95% Patron, with just a splash of orange liqueur and lime juice), and I looked out the window to see the principal from Ferris Bueller walk by. He still looks the same. I didn't yell Save Ferris!, though the thought crossed my mind. That would have been both trashy and cruel, and I would have probably had to sleep on the sidewalk instead of the guest bedroom.
But we got along, though our world's could not be more different. Whew. I was worried, to be honest. One tequila more and my roots were showing. We had dinner at El Coyote, where Sharon Tate had her last meal and Gary and I had our second to last. And now it's an early night, and W's off to Hong Kong and Gary and I are off to Palm Springs at the crack of dawn.