Dinner with “D” in Glendale
I had dinner with D last night. I had not seen him for a couple of years, and if he had walked by my on the street I would not have recognized him. He wore designer frames, his hair was gelled upwards and his dark circled eyes smiled wearily.
He was born (1981) and raised in Chatanooga, TN. He is about 5’10, dark haired, brown eyed and medium built. He looks like he might be Italian or perhaps Armenian, but he is Jewish. When he opens his mouth, a soft drawl comes out. Think of a yarmulke and Jack Daniels on the rocks.
He has been through a rough couple of years, having fallen in love with an older woman who made a lot of money and then treated him poorly. He drove around in her Porsche and lived in a variety of nice places like Calabasas, Woodland Hills and Agoura. Finally, he followed her to Port St. Lucie, Florida and then they broke up and he crawled back to Tennessee where he sold cars. Now he is back in LA and living with his older brother in Burbank.
D dresses well and has an affinity for nice clothes. He was wearing some nice suede boots and a Tattersall blue, broadcloth shirt, neatly tucked into his jeans.
He graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism. But he doesn’t know what to do with his career. He likes film, he likes TV, he likes editing. But every time he takes a step forward, his mind is bombarded with all the choices and he becomes exhausted with the futility of trying to button up his mind and cross off his possible jobs, and then he ends up taking something he hates.
We talked about t-shirts, and my photography, and the possibility of creating t’s with photos on them. We also discussed retail clothing stores and what we like, and discovered that we have similar tastes.
We walked around the polished plasticity of the Americana Mall in Glendale and he stopped to smoke a cigarette outside of Barnes and Noble where the mall management allows nicotine. He told me that sometimes he wished he were gay because “gay people have it easier” and they help each other. I laughed, because I am gay and know we don’t help our fellow gays just because they share our sexual orientation.
“But I don’t have a gay bone in my body,” he said with a hint of resignation. He was thinking that the imaginary camaraderie of men was enviable. Easier, in his mind, then the tough choices heterosexual guys face.
We talked about porn, and I told him that I sometimes write porn for an Internet site, and he laughed. “But it brings in some extra money and doesn’t hurt anyone,” I said. He ruled out acting in porn, but he wouldn’t rule out working for a porn production. Most production companies, porn and non-porn are whorishly run. They abuse and use people and when they are done with them, they throw them into the street and never call them again. That’s TV production, that’s Hollywood.
We looked around the Americana at the just completed luxury apartment with enormous wrap-around iron balconies, French windows and a mansard roof. There was a lone model apartment illuminated and furnished for show. And the casual pedestrian might look up and imagine that we live in country where some people can still afford million dollar apartments overlooking a fake Main Street with 24 hour a day piped in Sinatra, valet parking and dancing fountains.
D and I said good-bye and he told him he has plans this weekend to go camping in Joshua Tree. He isn’t going with anyone, not even a dog, just himself.
We promised to keep in touch. And all those ideas we tossed across the table last night, well those are some ideas.