Literature In Los Angeles

Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

SANTA

In DRUGS on January 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm

When the policewoman walked into the store, the first thought that came to Santa was to wonder why the simple act of owning handcuffs made a woman so attractive. 

Santa had earned his nickname because his hair and beard had turned white early in life and because of the distinctive pear shape of his body.
But make no mistake: there was nothing jolly about this elf.
He always seemed to belong to whatever homeless camp was nearby and the police frequently questioned him when crimes were committed in his vicinity whether he fit the suspect’s description or not.

Unfortunately for Santa, on the day he found himself in handcuffs again, he was more than a suspect.
His day had begun with the purchase of his daily pint of cheap scotch. After he had paid, another patron of Louie’s Liquor and Firearms had bumped Santa’s elbow, causing him to drop and break his purchase. The other patron ran away leaving Santa alone to face the clerk and demand that Louie’s provide a replacement bottle.
Like everyone who came into contact with him, the clerk was creeped out and called the police.

For her part in the matter, Officer Maguire was well prepared. Having grown up the only girl in the middle of four brothers she was used to dealing with unruly, smelly men.
There were less pleasant looking guys around and there were many who drank more and/or bathed less but, this guy was in a league of his own.

Santa

His one-sided conversation in the back seat made him enjoy his ride to jail for the first time. Even the beginnings of alcohol withdrawal were not curbing his ardor for her.
He tried grooming himself in the reflection of the security screen, but with his hands secured, his contortions resembled a seizure, and Officer Maguire almost drove him to the hospital.

Another reality of the situation began to dawn on Officer Maguire: the reaction of her fellow officers if they were to discover the object of Santa’s infatuation.
Her only hope to retain any dignity was to get him booked as quickly as possible and get him out of her life.

Her dream was dashed as soon as they entered the jail.
A group of Shriners had been celebrating a birthday at a local strip club.
The booking area was still packed with the remnants of the celebration, many of whom were trying to remember whose birthday they had been celebrating.
There was no way for Santa to not stand out in the crowd: he was the only male in handcuffs who wasn’t shirtless and wearing a fez.

The only female officer in the room escorting the only prisoner still wearing all of his clothes was cause for comment.
Arresting Santa was almost a rite of passage, but the combination of Santa and Officer Maguire carried a promise of entertainment.

A group of Shriners began to sing a paean to the pleasures of brotherhood, alcohol, and easy women and the rest of them quickly joined in.
Inspired by the song and a flash of distant memory, Santa dropped to one knee and began serenading Officer Maguire with “If Ever I Should Leave You.”

What he lacked in ability he made up for with unmusicality.
Both the officers and the Shriners stood transfixed as though Pavarotti had suddenly appeared in their midst. They took a hard look at the horrified policewoman and recognized Santa as a kindred, if undesirable, spirit.

The only sound in the booking area was Santa’s voice. The only movement was Officer Maguire’s desperate attempt to dissolve into the wall.

His gestures were limited by the handcuffs so he tried to put as much into his facial expressions as possible.
When the sound on the booking area video – which was available on YouTube that same day – was turned off, Santa appeared to be attempting to chew and swallow a large, sharp object.
His dentures, which had never fit very well, had slipped causing additional problems with his diction. The title line of the song sounded like “If Edward Eyes Wool Sleeve You.”

With a heart freed by love and unburdened by rational thought, when Officer Maguire’s emptied the pepper spray in his face, he was the last to notice.
A quick-thinking sergeant took Officer Maguire’s gun right before she could shoot any of the Shriners and cops who took great delight in improvising a choral version of Santa’s love song.

The booking area had to be emptied while it aired out and Santa was taken to the closest hospital in the hope that his eyesight could be saved and a lawsuit avoided.

It took the medical staff a great of time and effort to get Santa cleaned up.
Throughout the ordeal he kept asking for a priest and assurances that his injuries weren’t fatal didn’t seem to have a calming effect.

When Father Ramirez got a good look at Santa, he stopped and took out his Bible with a quick reminder to himself that “We’re all God’s children,” wondering if in this case an exorcism was necessary.

His priestly reassurances that he was in no danger from his injuries were met with an almost violent sideways shaking of his head.
“I know,” said Santa.
“I just want to get married.”

Story by Milton Irvin.

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ROMANCE

In SEX on January 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm

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― “Oh, please, you don’t need to call the FBI…”

I take a breath and light a cigarette.

― “…he disappeared overnight, that’s true but, I’m sure he’s still at the Coffee Bean on Sunset and Fairfax where you guys met… same bullshits and same compliments. Just, for somebody else, now.”

We’re at the Patio Café of the Sunset Marquis Hotel.
Her little actor has just evaporated in the Hollywood sky but, Romance’s real anxiety is all for someone else, who’s now playing on the very flexible ground of this hard rock hotel.

There’s a reason if this morning we’re submerging ourselves into such a deluxe coffee: the sunset-to-sunrise rushes of passion with her rock’ n’ blues man are still tingling between these walls and purpling the blood under her skin.

Right now, he’s back in town. Back in this hotel. Back in their room.

Romance didn’t accept to follow him to Broadway.
Their two-week affair was too fresh. Fresh but not very clean, as she found out later, when their matchmaker went to jail.

Under this five star sun, I’m trying to convince her to go upstairs and let her lover know she had no idea he was paying five-hundred dollars for each fuck they had.
Based on their mutual attraction, we’re talking about big money, here. Enough to leave that pathetic job as waitress.

These things happen when you have a roommate whose boyfriend always carries an unreasonable amount of cash.
His job? “Celebrities’ advisor.”

He had seen Romance around the apartment for quite a while, the night he asked her to join him for an exclusive party.

As soon as they walked in, she noticed this prematurely gray but handsome guy at the bar. Same did he.
Ten minutes later, the “celebrities’ advisor” and that salt and pepper smile were talking and looking at her.
She caught them and smiled back. Done deal.

Let’s say it was weird that, for the first “date,” the music man called through the “advisor.”

Let’s say she didn’t understand the concierge’s prompt “I perfectly understand…. This way, please,” when, only for a second, she hesitated to sign the hotel’s guestbook.

Let’s say the champagne helped her to find exhilarating the nonchalance he used to call the same concierge with, two or three times every night, to make him run out to buy the little plastic bonnets for his penis.

Let’s also say this American idol had a “little” thing for cocaine, was a “little bit” paranoid about not-existent paparazzi and asked her a few times (too many) what size of condoms he should have ordered, until she attentively studied his very heated up musical instrument and finally said: “…yes, this time it’s a large…. Maybe.”

~

Photobucket

~

After winning the sun’s reflection on the I-Phone’s screen, I take a closer look at a picture of him she is showing me with the circumspection of a thief.

Same hazelnut, melting eyes. Same tiny, sugary smile. Same creamy bones.
Two puff pastries meant for each other.

Just a few days ago I was watching Romance walking to my car through the traffic of the college entrance and I was wondering how you can match this French petit douce, in this town.
She’s got a sumptuous fill of tasty brains, an always happy cascade of chocolate hair and the invitingly gentle strength of a princess but, still, in this city of images, a thin, sulky, sexy, crumbling candy has definitely more chances to find the lollipop of her mirrors.

―“So, Romance, why are you now afraid to tell someone who has been paying for you that, actually, you were there for free?”

She looks down.

― “At least, tell him to pay you personally, this time!”

― “It’s not about the money,” she grumbles.

― “So, what’s all this about, Romance?”

As she stands up, puts on her Ray-Bans and turns to the ladies room, the air starts playing a warm Spanish guitar of gipsy lyrics:

Taking your charms and dreams to the Golden State
Make your way, seal your fate

But who gets cut when the knife is dull?
And who gets lost when the map is full?

Nobody wins and nobody loses
Just a handful of sorrows
And too many excuses
.*

I try to get more coffee from our baby Casanova server that has totally forgot us for the lavish, promising nurturance of a multi-plastic-surgery elderly doll by the pool.
He must have a lot in common with Romance’s just-evaporated little actor, now that I pay more attention to the perfect symmetry of his expressionless, flat, plastered face. In fact, they totally look like each other’s (totally useless) photocopy.

Looking at him, I suddenly empathize with Romance’s decision.
Why should she put at risk the consolidated balance of the sparkling, unique encounters with her music “client?” For what, exactly?

Our baby Casanova is just a sign from this Golden State sky: when it comes to romance, never exchange a fortuitous, solid, prolific bond with a faithful customer for the charms and the dreams of a deliberate, weak, poor situation with a flake boyfriend.
Never ever. Believe me, it’s not convenient. Not in LA.

Story by Liliana Isella.

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*West Texas Sky by Taylor Hicks

SHANNON

In LITERARY FICTION on January 1, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Painting by Shannon Crawford

“Do you wanna fuck all day? Yes?!? Do you wanna fuck all day?”

“…Yeah….” – It’s a whispered surrender to him, Shannon, to his enigmatically voluptuous art, his tempting eyes and his dog smile.

The abortion clinic is right on the canals.
I’m waiting with Kaylan. Her grandfather owns the clinic.

We’re looking at the melancholic water out of the window.
I ask how this growth could happen. I’d already had my regular bleeding, after Shannon.
She calls it “the trick of the first week.”

I look at the grave sky of Venice, at the fading clouds of my evanescent obsession.
And I miss to death the bright light of that afternoon there, on the Hollywood Hills.

Shannon tells me his life was laying in a dark studio in Downtown, but he exited the obscurity of his alcohol dependence and, naturally, new colors painted it – “…and you’re one of them… you’re such a real and rare beauty….”

The sun, enlightening the two of us in the reflection of the market windows at the Grove. He puts his Rayban side to side to mine, and we smile to the camera. Together we look killer, indeed.

Our last kiss in my car, between the blinding trees of that Primerose Avenue whose name makes fun of our decaying passion.

Shannon walks away his fresh promise of introducing me to his daughter. But I stare at him still, to catch the last glimpse of his joker smile.

“… I’ve just died in your arms tonight….” *
I wake up and the song is still playing.

Over the phone, Kaylan and I were hysterically laughing at her new profession.
Her grandfather owns two clinics: one for births and one for abortions. The first was full, so now she picks up phone calls in the second one.
– “…you see what happens when you wait too much to look for a job in LA?!”

I stand up from the semidarkness of my nap. I feel dizzy. My right hand checks my belly. Thank God, it’s still flat.

Flat and hollow like the consuming desperation of an abandoned lover. Five days – Shannon is lost. I know he won’t call. I read it on the sweet surface of his violet smile.

Exhausted I walk to the bathroom, to wash away the dead leafs of that horrible mid-summer afternoon nightmare.

Through the garden lighted mirror, the shade of an overblown love looks back at me. My arms are the spectral reminiscence of my strength and my tummy is the crumbling shelter of the wasted, withered rose Shannon left behind. Black tears try to gather the petals falling from that murdered hope.

His illusory compliments, his insidious smile, his fake promises and his vicious lies are stuck down here. Not by shaping me into a mother, they’ll change this painful impression of myself as a woman.

I’ll kiss them to acceptance, waiting for the next two weeks to reveal their destiny.
Hopefully, it won’t be any of its “first week tricks.”

Story by Liliana Isella.

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*(I Just) Died In Your Arms by Cutting Crew

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