Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Hello, handsome!

I've been way stressed out about work stuff, which is why I haven't been blogging. Sorry dudes. I miss it like a drunk misses the bottle, like a killer misses the knife.


I don't know. You know what I mean.

Have you noticed that I have been completely acting as if there were no such thing as war? And no such thing as gun nuts?

Look, we all know those things exist, so you don't need me to remind you. Maybe you need me to remind you about ice cream. The Chinese doctors said "No ice cream--too cold."

The Chinese doctors are actually Japanese, Chinese, and, today, Singaporean. (?)

My fave by far is the Japanese guy. He's so fucking nifty. He makes me laugh like crazy as he's poking me, which kills. It feels like the needles are poking into my soul. (People always say, "Oh, acupuncture doesn't hurt at all--they're full of shit and I'm here to tell you so.) I give him shit in turn for being so violent and unprofessional. He gives me shit for staying up working till 4 am. He gets really frustrated with me because I'm bad.

He's 42 and he's a real classic-rock guy--he buys those expensive tickets to see Eric Clapton and the Eagles, junk like that.

Today the Singapore guy said, in Oriental medicine, the patient must work to get better, and if you don't, the doctor gets sad and becomes sick. So your job at a certain point is to make the doctor well again. We suffer!

He told me, when you're writing all the time, you're taking all the fire from your spleen, and you can't digest your food. (Tell me something I don't know!)

I love my new doctors. Today was the best ever. They did some gnarly tummy needle stuff and then the two guys sat at my feet with these yummy campfire-smelling sticks and held the burning sticks up to my toes and shot the shit. For like 20 minutes. I said I felt like a princess, and my favorite guy said, "And I'm the slave."

Anyway, it was another typical day in Hollywood for me--music, poverty, beauty. Took my first guitar lesson with Axel in months--we learned "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"--which, it turns out, is a blast to play--even though it's not much fun to listen to. I think George took all the fun in that song and funneled it into the finger stuff and there was none left for the listeners.

I locked my keys in the car at Mayfair Market and had to wait outside for a tow truck in the dark, with my tummy all tender from the needles and the damage done. There was a young woman with a little boy asking for change. We started talking and it turned out she was homeless and spare-changing for a hotel room. She was grateful for the stupid dollar I gave her. But after I asked some questions I found out she needed quite a bit more.

I believed her, although she didn't look homeless. In my (limited) experience with homeless shelters, most homeless people don't "look" homeless, whatever that even means. Most homeless people are temporarily homeless and not accustomed to the circumstance, and are well-groomed and have clean clothes. In any case, I've never seen a young homeless woman with a child before, as opposed to the lovable but chronic homeless guys who live in my hood. (There are two, and they're both really sweet, but they're both nuts I think and aren't really going anywhere.) She didn't seem crazy, and she didn't have the sketchy aura of a substance abuser. You can tell when someone has a monkey on their back.

The little boy was filthy and had peed on himself and left a little puddle.

The whole thing was just too sad. It reminded me of the Bible, when Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan. It also reminded me of Dickens. I always think of him when I meet homeless people, and I try to see the world through his eyes. It also reminded me of the general delicacy of experience. Lots of people don't have a safety net. The barrier between them and the world is paper-thin.

Everyone has a time in their life when they need some help from a stranger. Everyone has some time when they're really down on their luck, whatever the situation. Everyone has a time when they need to ask the universe to catch them. I believe that you can build up your emergency fund by helping strangers who are in that place, that universal place of need we all get in sometimes.

Really, a person is fortunate if they are given the opportunity to help people. Sometimes I feel like I don't get that chance enough with the people I love the most. They won't let me help them; they won't tell me when they're suffering.

Christina Ricci walked by when I was talking with the homeless woman. I finally had my Christina Ricci Mayfair sighting. Apparently she goes there almost as much as me. She's very short and beautiful and she has a funny kind of butt. I also saw John Oszajcka, this musician who I used to vaguely know through mutual friends. He dated Lisa Marie Presley and almost became a Scientologist, or maybe he is--I don't know.

This is Hollywood.

Yesterday I was having coffee on Larchmont and a couple walked by holding hands who looked quite unusual. The man had a tattoo covering his face and head that made it look as if his skin were a green-blue puzzle. The woman had a double-mohawk and tattoos on her legs of cheetah spots, and she had plastic whiskers sticking out of her face. She was a self-made catwoman.

The older gay man at the next table turned around after they left and announced to the general vicinity, "It just goes to show, there's someone for everyone. If you ever get down because you're alone, just think of them."

I drove through the neighborhood today where Beck grew up--it's so beautiful, the cacaphony of street markets and people everywhere. It all made sense. Beck was so right in a recent Spin interview when he said, sometimes there's more resonance in a 99 cent store than in an existential void.

More on that later. Got to sleep now.

I love L.A. way more than Randy Newman does, I promise you that.



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