Sitting again in the Jewish cafe next to Shwartz’s bakery on La Brea.
I munch on my mushroom and egg bagel. It is Monday and reasonably quiet – a few empty Yellow school buses drift past; people are either too lazy to get up or they are already at their desks and counters. My only plan today is to re-register the motorcycle, get a new back tyre and breakdown insurance.
Yesterday was more frenetic. In the morning Jason appeared, he had been up all night attending a gig by the psychedelic trance dj Spongle. Matthew and I agreed that we would just rather not be packed in to a sweaty box listening to $40 worth of tinnitus-inducing schtuff (sic) when (at least I) could be soundly asleep in bed. Jason nodded in agreement, “It wasn’t that good, man.”
Half an hour later a ratty looking white Japanese two-door slid up onto the driveway and a tired looking but slim woman manifested into the living room. The two guys pecked at her cheeks and they exchanged greetings obligingly with Chantal, a pretty petite woman in her early forties. Her skin looked that it had been shrunk on her face, it revealed her tired bones underneath, accentuated by her brown hair gathered back off her face. Introductions was made and I, for once, kept quiet as she clearly intended to dominate the proceedings. My cell rang and it was Rob Simone, he of the Rob Simone Talk show on ResonanceFM . Rob suggested we meet at The Grove in Hollywood, not too far for me as I was two bus stops away from there. The others winced as I agreed to meet there – “Its terrible there, man the people, the shops.”
In fact The Grove was ok if a little dull, it turned out and sits next to the Farmers market on 3rd St. which is a bit like Camden market but with more food and beer stalls.
Chantal cheerily accepted my gift of 6 bags of liquorice allsorts I brought as a small offering to her. We all munched on the aniseed sugary goo in the semi darkness of the 1930’s LA scenery shifter’s bungalo. Dusty Springfield’s Dusty in Memphis wailed quietly from my iPod plugged into the grubby CD player, ignored by all of us as we chatted away. “We must go to the beach then.” Chantal apologised and said she had to go back to work. She looks after two old people, their PA. Ok.
Before I knew it, Chantal offered us her neck (to bite on) but sensibly held it a good four inches away from our lips. Her car coughed into action and disappeared,
We agreed we would meet later but I told them I was meeting Rob and then would travel onto the Khandakapla buddhist center in the Hollywood hills where my old teacher Lekma lived and ran the place.
Typically, I arrived to meet Rob at the Grove at 14:00 hours. Yes, it is one of my foibles that I have to be on time and I get very anxious if I am late – to the point I will gain comfort by arriving half an hour early and wait, rather than suffer the agony of missing the agreed rendezvous. Time passes and Mrs jtreg exchanges SMS messages under the hot afternoon sun as an assortment of mankind millaround me. There had been terrible floods in London and the Satellite, TV, pc in our office and wifi were all knocked out. I think the residual circuit breaker must have tripped and she could not figure out how to restart my home made heath robinson computer. I texted, press the micro switch on the end of the dangling orange and white wire and it should fire up. And to her credit, she did. I miss her a lot as the days go by and feel guilty.
“Hey, mr jtreg!” a man appeared with cream coloured chinos and silver watch, outstretched. He had the blackest beard I had seen, dipped in black indian ink probably. Rob Simone, writer, lecturer on UFOs and conspiracy theories, host of a talk show featuring guests (some may call loons) on London’s premier Arts station Resonance FM hugged me, beaming. We found a beer bar in the middle of the farmer’s market and he told me of his forthcoming series on the History channel and the great show he had going out… actually in twenty minutes time.. he sent to show to London well in advance but confessed that he did not know what he was going to do one week to the next. I explained to him that I also had no fixed plans either, that I would be free to discover the joys of what comes up. I think it made sense to him. He confided in me that I could get to meet Art Bell if I wanted to. Wow, I said. Yes, he has moved back from the Philippines to Parumph Nevada, where he used to live. You ought to go down there, James. Hmmm …. Art Bell is the host of America largest radio audience Coast to Coast AM – a syndicated night time show that goes across the American Empire and ‘covers it like a blanket’ as Bell says… his wife died of an asthma attack in their Nevada desert home 18 months ago and almost a month later he remarried to a Philipino woman and took off. Now he is back, I did not know that.
(to be continued)