Monday, August 14, 2006

The Summer of "Love"

Now that I'm at long last grasping the correlation between action and consequence, I can look back at the majority of my life and safely say... oops!

Most of them are shudder-inducing oops'.... Oops! I got a really stupid tattoo. Oops! I plucked my eyebrows on Acid and now I look like drag queen. But a couple of my oops' are precious and dear to me... they were life altering mistakes at the time, but eventually I've come to love them and think of them fondly. Kind of like children.

High on this list are moving in with Crazy Face in Brooklyn, working in a dungeon, and the entire summer of 1999.

The summer of '99 is probably my all time favorite oops. Really, there isn't a second of it that I handled well, and yet I'd have to say it was probably the best summer of my life. It was the summer I graduated High School and moved to California.

The whole damn thing was a mess. Probably a novel, a mini series AND a made for TV movie's worth of stupidity and excess, but the absolute peak of oopsocity was the week Though Though and Alabaster Came to visit me.

I was living in Long beach with Angie the robo-cop lesbian, in a giant 2 bedroom apartment on the beachfront. Robolez was out of town for the week to fight crime or eat box or whatever, and we had the place all to ourselves. The night before they were to arrive, I decided to spend resting up for their arrival.

I managed to get into bed around 11:00, but I couldn't fall asleep for the life of me because through my window, I could hear a loud party going on somewhere in the neighborhood. I put up a valiant fight to fall asleep but by 11:05 it was obvious I had no choice but to get dressed and do some investigative research. Oops!

The party was so loud it was easy to find from 10 blocks away. The partygoers were spilling out of the front porch into the street and onto the beach. I tentatively walked towards the epicenter of the party, and as I did a completely wasted dude in Bermuda shorts and no shirt swaggered out the front door and asked me, very pirate like, "Who goes there?"

I said "Hey, I live a few blocks from here and I heard all the noise..." at which point the Bermudan Pirate cut me off and informed me that I had arrived just in time for body shots. The next thing I know I'm on my back on this guys kitchen table having limes stuffed in my mouth and Patron poured into my belly button... which actually worked out pretty well since I had just had my navel pierced and had forgotten to clean it with alcohol that night.

4 or 50 shots later, Im driving some dude named Mike and his friend Crazy down to Mike's friends apartment in Hermosa Beach. Oops!

Once we get to the party, Crazy tells me about his native New Zealand and how he's trying to stay in the states but he can't unless he finds someone to marry him, but no one will agree to for the $1,000 he's offering as dowry. I slurringly tell him I'll marry him for $1,000 bucks, and we're well into planning our trip to Vegas for the following weekend when I remember I'm 17 and will need parental consent to get married.

I briefly wonder whether the note I had my father write for me in high school when I didn't feel like going to class anymore, the one that read "I hereby give Carmela permission to do anything she wants to", would suffice, but I doubt it would have. Instead I gave Crazy my number and told him if he wanted to wait it out a few months I could marry him in late November.

Just about the time my first marriage is coming to an end, Mike comes over with mixed drinks for us and we start chatting. He tells me he's going back home to NY in the morning and has decided to spend his last few hours in town getting wasted since he'll be able to sleep it off on the plane... which is just about when I remember that I have to pick my friends up at the airport in an hour. Oops!

Realizing there was no time to waste, I give everyone at the party my number, tell Mike to grab his bags and shove him into my car without asking him whether or not he wants a ride. He seemed too terrified to say no to me anyway, but as it just so happened, Mike's flight was departing at the same time Though and Alabaster were arriving.

We managed to get to LAX and double park across two handicapped spaces with 5 minutes to spare. We spent the five minutes making out, before I kicked Mike out and made a desperate sprint for the arrivals gate.

Al and Though took a while to find since Though had flown first class and left Al to fend for himself in coach, but eventually I managed to get both them and all of their luggage into my car and give Al the keys before vomiting in the airport parking lot and passing out in the back seat.

When I came to, we were in my apartment unpacking and planning our weekend. The main factors we had to negotiate were these: I had to work four out of five days at my job at the local sex shop, shrink-wrapping dildos for just above minimum wage. Alabaster was "straight" that month, so we all had to agree to a strict "what happens in LA stays in LA" policy, and Though though was at a truly fascinating point in her latest eating disorder where after fasting for three months she was now consuming around 8,000 calories a day.

For their first night in town, they wanted to go to a party, so after lunch and an afternoon nap, we piled back into the car and headed back out to Hermosa beach for a party at the same people's house I had met the night before.

Being the only clearly intoxicated blatantly underage people at the party, we were a huge hit. By midnight we were all too drunk to be functional.

Alabaster hooked up with a girl from Eureka and seemed far more traumatized by the experience than had he been gang-banged by the entirety of the Knicks. Though went home with an unbelievably, ridiculously, insanely old man... who was 27. She later would tell us it was a good evening, except for the fact that he was "abnormally shiny". And I dragged some guy away from the conversation he was having and forced him to grind with me... then let the host of the party beat the crap out of him for being a lech. Then, since they were both otherwise engaged, I left the party with some guy who I knew was trust worthy because he drove a mini-van.

We couldn't go back to his house for... "reasons", so we made out in the local playground and passed out around sunrise. Oops!

When we woke up it was almost noon. I had to be at work in ten minutes. I didn't know where my friends were, I didn't know where my car was, I didn't know where my shirt was... and I didn't have the faintest fucking clue where I was. I found a pay-phone and in a desperate hail mary called my apartment.

Alabaster answered. He said "Where the hell are you?" I told him I had no idea, but he assured me that he and my car and Though Though had all made it home safely.

I convinced What's His Name to drive me to my job, to which I would be an hour late, but I assured him they loved me there and wouldn't even mind. That was the day I got fired from my job. I've only been fired form one job in my entire life, and it was working at a sex shop. I just didn't meet the moral standards they held their employees to. That's what my boss told me when I showed up just after 1:00 in a stained leopard print dress. When Though and Alabaster came to meet me for lunch, I just didn't go back. Oops!

The rest of their visit was a drug addled haze. That evening, after Tough made us stop on the way to dinner so she could eat a burrito, we went to visit my visit my boyfriend Brad in Venice. We were desperate for pot, but Brad claimed there was a "dry spell" since the cops had been cracking down lately. Regardless, we gave him a hundred bucks and told him to do his best.

Brad returned exactly 3 minutes later with a hefty bag sized container of weed, saying "here you go, sorry it took so long." Ahhh, California.

We smoked a ridiculous amount, then took Though to get third lunch out on the board walk. By then Alabaster had given up on the whole "straight" act, and made such a name for himself at the local gay bars that I had carte blanche at all of them for three months after he left.

Though Though brought 10 rolls of film with her, but was so busy eating and smoking that the only shot she took the entire time was of a speed limit sigh that said Speed Limit: 14 miles per hour. That is the sole pice of documentation any of us have of the trip.

Five days, a million odd calories and thirty or so strange men later... Though and Alabaster were all Californiaed out. I dragged their disheveled bodies to LAX within minutes of their plane departing.

The day they left I got a completely non-sensical message on my answering machine that said "Hey Carmela, this is Crazy..."

I had no idea what that meant... but I had to agree with the sentiment.