California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Frank – Lost Breakfast

Not me in this one but my roommate/band mate, Frank. He struck gold while suitably plastered up in West Hollywood.

He woke up the next day, in a strange apartment. Pleased with himself that he was not alone. Lying next to him was a beautiful babe from the night before. Frank, still suitably enamored, offered to cook her breakfast, tackling the short walk to the store for bacon and eggs by himself.

Alas, all was not well and after 2 hours of knocking on doors he realized he had totally forgotten where she lived.

He called me from a payphone on Sunset while he was walking to the store and told me that he couldn’t remember whether her name was either, ‘Emma’ or ‘Anna’. Then called me again in a panic some time later while looking for her house asking what two names he’d told me she might be called having forgotten both of those as well.

He returned home to me and our stinking apartment where he prepared breakfast for us both with a heavy heart and the bluest of balls.

It was delicious, but he never saw her again.

 

I love this story!

 

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Another Life – Chapter 19

Barbara and I got together the following weekend. We had a couple of drinks, and just like at the party, the conversation flowed freely. I lost track of time of time (much easier to do when you aren’t checking your phone every three minutes. Barbara took it as a compliment.

A few nights later, we went to see a band who specialized in Led Zeppelin covers. The guitarist was pretty good, but it was the lead singer people paid to see. She was female, very attractive, and could really belt it out.

By our third date, I was getting very comfortable with Barbara. She was easy to be with, and a very pretty lady. The combination of dark hair and light eyes never failed to stir me.

– “It’s getting a little noisy in here.” I said. “Want to have a drink at our place?”

Barbara smiled. I wasn’t fooling anybody with my attempt to be clever.

– “That sounds great.” she said.

I took her hand as we walked back to the apartment, and she gave my fingers a squeeze. It wasn’t very cold out yet, so we didn’t have to hurry.

But as we passed the bakery, and turned into the lane, I saw someone sitting on the step in front of our door. The person stood up, and took a step towards us.

– “Joe?”

It was Sam.

“Can I talk to you?” she said.

A hundred thoughts raced through my head. I’m not sure how I did it, but I kept my cool. I turned to Barbara.

– “I’m sorry.” I said.

She understood immediately. And she handled it with pure class.

– “Call me tomorrow?” she said, softly.

– “I will.”

Barbara squeezed my hand, and then turned to go. She only had six blocks to go to get home, along a well-lit main street. I probably should have walked her home, but I couldn’t be in two places at once.

Sam could tell from my face that I wasn’t pleased.

– “I’m sorry.” she said. “But I can never get you on the phone – I leave messages, but you never call me back. I’ve missed you …”

I took Sam inside, and made us some coffee. Fortunately, my roommates were all out.

Then I took Sam to the little table where our phone sat. I showed her the scribbles on the wall, where Laurie had (sort of) left me messages.

– “Rose always gives me the message.” I told her. “With Laurie, sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don’t. Ronnie never tells me that you phoned. But you already know that.”

I had her sit at the kitchen table. She looked more achingly pretty than ever. But her looks had never been the problem.

“Sam, if you want to call me, that’s fine with me. I won’t ever duck or dodge your calls.”

She nodded. She believed me.

“You know that I like you. You’re a beautiful woman. Sex with you is… was … fantastic. And you know that I liked being with you even when we weren’t … having sex.”

“But I can’t be your boyfriend, Sam. We can’t be a couple.”

That was hard for her. She knew it already, of course, but it wasn’t what she’d been hoping to hear when she sat waiting for me. She started to cry a little.

– “Do you have to go home – or do you want to stay over?” I asked. “No sex – but you can stay with me tonight if you want.”

Sam sniffed back the tears. “I’ll … stay.”

I turned off the coffee, and took Sam to my room. I put her to bed, and held her in my arms while she had a good cry.

Eventually, she fell asleep.

 

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=427

 

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Sabrina – More Good News

When I last wrote about Sabrina she had just gotten a great new Marketing job with a company down on the waterfront.

She sent me some photos of her office and view. She has a really nice space and a clear view of the boats docked in the harbor. I’m really happy for her!

She asks if I’m doing my usual Monday routine. I tell her I’m over at Cavanaugh’s writing about when I lived in California n the early eighties with my band. So, yes just a regular Monday.

“I’m so proud of you, Sabrina! You really stepped up and made that new job happen. You’re office is amazing!”

“Thank you! I spoke it into reality with a little help from my friends.”

“You did it. Determination and drive. Proud of you! Now get divorced and get your alimony and freedom!”

“Yes that is next on my list!”

“This is your year, Sabrina! Rise up! Rise above!”

“Yes the last two years I lost everything! Now I’m coming back for everything that I lost and more.”

“Yea! Drop the bars of the cage you’ve been in and walk the heck out! You’re free!”

A week passes…

“Sunday brunch?”

“I work 11 to 4pm at the salon on Sunday, but would love to see you after 4.”

“Yea, then Sunday dinner. Would you be coming to my house in Havertown?”

(Could she mean sex?)

“No way to get there.”

“Oh right. I guess you can Uber? It’s $10-$11 bucks. Or I can meet you in the city if that’s better. I want to get my spray tan soon too. And give you a hug!”

(I like that last part)

“Can you come to the city?”

The next day…

“Hey are you at the tanning salon?”

“I am!”

“Ugh actually I gotta get back to work. I was gonna stop by real quick. I’ll see you Sunday.”

“Cool. See you Sunday.”

 

And it ends there. So Sunday we’ll meet up for some dinner. She doesn’t have to buy me dinner. I think she feels that because of the positive energy I provide and the snap to it assistance in trying to find her additional work, she feels she has to do something for me. I want nothing from her. I’m happy to help people. But if she wants to meet up for dinner, I could at least get the tip. (Remember how I used to always complain about the wallets never coming out? I need to seize her offer and enjoy her company!)

I know a place we can go that has reasonable priced food and is quiet. I was there recently with my friend Mary. (See: Mary – 2015 to Present – Unexpected Table for Two) I’ll figure out some options. But, in the end I’ll just be happy to see Sabrina.

 

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Murder Mystery Weekend – Chapter 20

https://lapetitemort17.wordpress.com/?p=296

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 14 – Santa Monica, CA. – Kesslerville

We found a place in Santa Monica that was up at 23rd and Cloverfield.  There was a guy named Kessler that owned every house on this banged up old dead end street. All the houses were pretty run down so I guess you could call Kessler a Slum Lord.

Our rent back then was $40 a week. That’s cheap as hell even by 1982 prices for apartments.

It was perfect. We lived in a small one bedroom apartment on the second floor. (Over the garage) Kessler was a fat slob that had a shitty van with a dashboard clogged with trash and snakc wrappers.

His house was next door to us where he lived with his wife, and his hot blonde daughter who looked and dressed like Ellie May from the Beverly Hillbillies. (Yea…I wanted her)  He also had a son that seemed like a half-wit that lived in a trailer out back. If you looked out our bedroom window you could see the entrance and roof of the trailer. (Did this inbred have to live in the trailer o he wouldn’t diddle his sister?)

Across the hallway from us lived this old guy named Mike Lamia. He was in his forties and smoked tons of weed and delivered pizza’s for a living. He was divorced and had a couple of kids somewhere. We assumed they lived with their mom. He also said he owned a piece of land out in the desert. It sounded like he got ripped off or it didn’t exist because he said he could see his land, but couldn’t get to it. So it was either on the side of a cliff or all in his drug addled mind.

He would get high all day long and watch his little black and white TV and play the bongos. When he found out we were musicians he was always pitching us songs and we were like, yea that’s great but, fuck no.

The best thing we liked about Mike was he would always share his weed with us. The other thing we liked about Mike was the fact that he ALWAYS had pizza in his fridge. He never cared if we came into his house and grabbed some slices, heated them up and ate them. His door was always open and so was ours. It was kind of cool living next door to a burned out old hippie that had endless supplies of pizza and weed.

Frank and I both worked at restaurants so we always got fed there everyday and there was always pizza so we never went grocery shopping. It was a good setup for a couple of young musicians.

Our apartment was over a garage and Kessler let us jam down there as long as we didn’t play too loud or too late.  Liam and John would be joining us in a month and we’d have a whole band and hopefully start getting gigs. Sometimes Kessler’s daughter Patty and her friends would stop by and hang out when we were practicing. She seemed like the sweet normal one in the family. She wasn’t around much so I assumed she went to college somewhere.

The only drawback to the apartment was the roaches.

They weren’t rampant but they were small brown ones and were present. Frank and I slept in the same room on just box springs and mattresses. Frank’s bed was against the wall near the window that looked over the trailer, and mine was on the other wall by the window that was broken. There was a cardboard banner advertising a circus instead of a window pane. I didn’t give a shit because it was always warm in California.

I remember hanging some shirts up in the closet (no door) Frank and I shared. Written on the wall were the words: “Sadder… Budweiser.” I thought that was a clever statement about alcohol and regret, so I never forgot it.

There was this other couple that lived down the hall from us. They seemed nice and normal. Too normal for this neighborhood of misfits. But one night we were all partying and the doors were all open.  Frank and I are drinking these 16 oz beers called 102. Apparently it took 102 tries to get the formula for the beer right. I’m thinking, what a bunch of fuck ups theses brewers are. But… it was $3 for a six pack! We drank oceans of that shit on our limited budget.

The folks who seemed quiet and normal are fucked up out of their minds. They’re laughing and acting crazy. Even Mike thinks they’re gacked to the nines. I ask the dude what he took and he shows me a bag of mushrooms.

“Want some?”

“No thanks. We’re good.”

He points to a light switch on the wall that for some reason someone drew a turnip in marker around it. He goes: “What’s that?”

“It’s a light switch with a turnip drawn around it.”

“No it’s not! That’s my wife.”

“Your wife is right over there.”

(Points to the light switch) “Then it’s my wife’s vagina!”

“Okay….”

(Flicks the light switch to the ON position) “And now she’s turned on! Get it? HA HA HA HA!”

“Yea, dude. Whatever.”

For the first time in my life I realize that all drugs are different. You don’t just get high. Every drug makes you feel a different way and think a different way.

Mushrooms made my neighbor nuts. Weed makes Mike introspective. Booze just makes Frank and I arrogant, giggling idiots.

Mike cruises over and he is high as fuck. “Hey guys, what if the color blue isn’t the same to me as it is to you?”

Frank: (Drunk as usual) “Check the crayon box, asshole.” (Bursts out laughing)

I love him.

So we liked where we were crashing. We’d come home drunk. Get high and go to bed listening to Steve Miller’s, Abracadabra album on my boom box.

When you’re drunk and high you don’t care how many roaches are in the room in the dark.

I remember lying on that bed and thinking about my be d at home and how different my life was now.

I was happy to be away from the prison of Wildwood and my father’s idea of what our family’s life should be. Poverty was actually really nice to be with my best mate, Frank.

We’ll get there and have a great time doing it. This is only week two here in L.A.!

We need to earn some money and go out and check out the music scene in this town!

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 13 – Los Angeles – Pacific Sands Motel

We get to L.A. and I’m starting to feel like this is how California should look like. All the tall skinny palm trees, beaches, surfers, and beautiful people.

We pull into the Pacific Sands Motel at 1515 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. We decide to rent a room for a week and look for jobs and an apartment. Because it was the off season, (March) the rental for the week was really cheap. But it felt like summer to us. Everyday in southern California it’s sunny and 70. That’s why the film industry originally came out here. The weather is consistently nice and that gives them more days to shoot.

So day one we head out to explore. I’m walking by the Santa Monica Bay Club and I see Lee Majors shooting a scene for his series The Fall Guy. I’m instantly blown away because I loved him in The Six Million Dollar Man back in the 70’s when I was a kid. I knew he and his lovely wife Farrah Fawcett had split up and I absolutely worshipped her since seeing her on Charlie’s Angels. Should I drive up to Bel Air and see if I can find her? (No you shouldn’t. That would be stalking!)

We stop in a few places and apply for jobs. Within two days, I got a job as a busboy in a restaurant called Café Casino and Frank got a job as a cashier in bar/restaurant called Merlin McFly’s. So we were set! We didn’t start our new jobs until next week so we started looking in the local newspaper for an apartment and also do a little exploring.

There was a place close by called, Tom’s Number 5. I’m assuming there were a few others  around town since they were numbered. Every time I ordered from that place they always ended up putting chili on whatever I ordered. I’m from a super White suburban neighborhood in Philly. I’ve never eaten chili and don’t know anyone who has. But the L.A. obvious has a huge Latino community so there’s Mexican food all over town. Anyway, I didn’t like exotic foods back then. I was used to a very bland diet. So chili was alien to me and would probably give me stomach disorders. So every time I ordered I’d say hold the chili. I’d get the food back to the house, and boom slathered in chili. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken all blasted with chili. Just culture shock for a Caucasian kid from the burbs.

The motel was right near the beach. It’s different than beaches on the east coast. East coast beaches are really flat and so is the land mass leading up to it. We had to walk out, and there is like a huge embankment covered in grass with a bunch of beautiful palm trees everywhere. You have to walk down these wooden steps to get down to the beach in Santa Monica.

Venice is more flat. That’s a fun area. All along the beach there are shops bars and stores. Kind of like the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ. There’s all kinds of street musicians and performers down there on any given day. It’s a cool hip place to hang out.

Now to find an apartment!

 

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