July 2 – I Hate You

There she was. Right in front of me, like a blooming flower in midday, it was so impossible, yet here the contradictory laid. I couldn’t imagine something so real and so fictional all at the same time. It almost made my heart break. I held back the tears, the memories, the “what if’s” crawling around my mind these past few days. I felt sick… And of all places Miss 626 had to be lying in the bed of my only communication line between my film and our first encouter: Nate. Why did it have to be like this…

After days of writing in this journal, I’ve finally learned the craft behind writing a good story. It’s been good practice for my grammar and format, by pen I’m almost a master in my own eyes, but by speech I am still, well, speechless. As much of it I have been taking care of, it didn’t help me prepare for the real thing. Not like this.

Early this morning, I came to pick up my phone from Nate’s apartment. I didn’t want to be disturbed while I was finishing my submission for the Grant, so I made sure he kept it away from me, in case I had another temptation to call Miss 626 in the middle of the night. Now that I know she’s more abused than loose, a tragedy like that would go unsaid until someone else can do something about it. A car door was too much for me. I imagined myself as her hero at that particular moment, when her date made her cry at that stop, but I suppose I needed to be faster, stronger, more of a man. I considered myself a coward for not acting so quickly. Damn my nerves, I swear…

But of all times, right when I completed my project and submitted the final cut to the upcoming film festival, I return to my phone, to Nate’s alcohol, to her…lying unconscious on his bed…his bed. I swore I woke to a nightmare when I found Eve. The walls came crashing down, and my lungs suffocated under a thick mist of jealousy. Was he to become her hero? What was there left for me? I signed the form for the Grant, confessing my ardent piece, revealing my soul through her face, Shakespeare, and stupid rap music! It was suppose to be art, it was suppose to be a masterpiece, but right then, just as I saw her snoring in between his sheets and my cell phone, I affirmed the pervert Nate had to be. The Bartender and my bane. GOD, WHY!!!

Why did she sit there with her dry lips and dampened face, sounding like a trumpet — young strumpet, are you real at all?  What was all this for, if it were to just to end in humiliation? I think, I do think too much, and much too much am I finding myself more and more hysterical, lyrical, but hysterical. God, why-God-why???

I left my car, and walked home. I have my phone, but I don’t think I’ll be able to pick it up for another year. I wish I were quicker, stronger, more of a man. Maybe none of this would have happened. Eve can stay as Miss 626, for all I care. I’ll stay in hellish Northridge forever, and forget that day of paradise between her smile and voice and shoulder and phone number. My fingers can be wiped clean now, her number’s no consolation anymore. I hate the world, I hate being me — twenty-something and a stupid artist, as if I didn’t feel isolated enough for being only half Asian, my friends have to rub it in my face how slow and weak I really really am! I hate you Nate, I hate you. And Eve, how could you?

I’m in the bus and I

I didn’t take a shower, and I’m here at Ho

I’m about to flush the toilet, my film’s about to show. At least if I get this Grant, I’ll be rich enough to move out of this city. I hate Hollywood, but the festival is here, maybe if I make it in the Indie scene, I can go to the festivals in Texas instead. But for now, the Egytian Theater is all I got left. If I lose, at least I can end my career in Art today, and get a job at some Insurance company in the Midwest, where dreams are just another TV episode on Lifetime.

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July 1 – My Eyes Burn

I took a break from the past few hours of video editing. I’m thinking of refilming half of the project, but I’m running out of time. I bought the envelope and SASE package already, and the LA Post Office has a drop off service open ’til midnight. I’m thinking of just dropping the whole project altogether, if I can’t finish it on time. I could just post it on YouTube and probably sign up with Google to earn my money that way. It’ll only take…a year, at least. Yeah. Good plan. Amazing. I should’ve thought of that before I bought the envelope. It’ll only cost me a new video card, after the abuse I put my laptop through, right?

Left the apartment to walk to the nearby liquor mart, hoping I could buy more milk for my cereal collection. I’m a brand whore when it comes down to that stuff. Forget clothes, I could rent a suit when Nate gets married. To who, I could only imagine. Girls flock to him every night anyways. Thinking about it makes me gag. They flirt, he flirts, they try to leave, he charges, and he never misses a customer. Not sure if that’s out of sport, or what?

I was about to go back, since the liquor mart was closed. Wish I stayed in, because the moment I stepped back into the night, I saw her. You know, Miss 626: Eve.

My heart never skipped so hard. It never broke so quick either… I saw her, riding in the passenger seat — with another man! I thought maybe it was her cousin, but he didn’t look anything like the sort. She walked with another man, the last time I saw her, who’s to say that this wasn’t another date with another gentleman? He was pretty and slick, and she matched him. Like an old 80’s romance comedy – a match made in heaven. They looked like they were the perfect couple: solid, grown together, finishing each other’s sentences. You could just tell by the way they were interacting.

I couldn’t stop staring. I thought hell froze over and Lucifer was torturing me for the last time with a rewind of my worst nightmare. Their conversation ended at the nearby stop, right in front of me – only six steps away from the entrance of the liquor mart. Eve turned to her side, looking down at the pavement. A tear dropped from her eye, and my heart skipped another beat.

The world was on pause, when I caught a glance of that moment. They didn’t look like they were fighting, so why did she cry? My legs felt electricity surge between that second. I wanted to leap and her rescue, and take her away from this pretty boy keeping her captive in his teal jeep. I’d sock him in the jaw and spit at his face. He could burn, for all I cared. Eve would stay with me for the night, and we would talk things through – work things out, make things better, that kind of…thing.

My legs drew strength from my veins. My heart seemed harsh on my pulse. For right at that very moment, I took the weight I buried deep in my thought, and demanded that Eve would have the right man. If it weren’t me that moment, then at least it wouldn’t be him either. I drew closer and closer, with my nostrils blowing fire from my blood. I nearly touched the handle of her door, but right before I could’ve taken another step – as if gravity wasn’t already in my way – the teal jeep sprung forward! Leaving me in the night, alone, and furious. I know life isn’t fair, but it doesn’t have to be like this. Not like this, not like this… A woman like her shouldn’t be pulled around by these men, the kind that just break her heart and pass her around, like some dame! I see exactly what’s going on, and I am not standing idly anymore. Something has to be said, and I’m tired of being such a damn coward for holding back. Who knew she was treated like that, no wonder she never called back!

I don’t care anymore. A lady like her shouldn’t be tolerating this. And I know exactly how. For her.

 

June 24 – Noon…ish @ Nate’s

I had to see a friendly face. Nate’s always been there for me, when I needed a good boost. He lives only by the next city, and his apartment looks exactly like mine, but with his stuff…and lots of alcohol. I’m not a drinker, never was – WAS, until I met Nate. He’d always pass me these mixes he learned back at New York, and he’d make them hard. My whiskey was always neat, Vodka had to be pure, and Beer had to at least be Amber. He never held back.

Today, I expected to get drunk. This was Nate – a good friend, and a good Bartender. I told him my story, Miss 626, and the poem… The whole thing was a long howl for me. Edgar Allan Poe would have raised from the dead just to laugh at my misery, I swear. I murmured, grumbled, mumbled, fumbled, and cried on his table. I asked questions: rhetorical questions, obvious questions, tangible, intangible, hypothetical, and theoretical conundrums. I could have gone on, talking like some bad American Jane Eyre movie remake, but Nate had to refill my cup for the fourth time. The effects were amazing, I was swirling between each blink, my vision blurred and circulated like a kaleidoscope, strumming my voice like an old cord — sending my confession without a conscience. I had to ask what was in it.

“Water”, he said.

What-the-fudge??? I couldn’t believe it. The rule of thumb when coming to his place is you always leave Irish. Today was not one of those days. I felt ashamed at the tolerance level I had for this faucet water he served. The liquid had a nasty taste to it. But just like that, I knocked out.

Four hours later, he explained that I was dehydrated, and suffered from insomnia. I would have argued, but he reminded me that I’ve been staying up for three days already, preparing for that Grant, obsessively. He knew my situation better than anyone, and because of it, he had no patience for my whining. He told me frequently that I was always demanding for attention, as an Artist. He says that I needed an outlet beyond my Artwork. We’d go for drinks, but I think that’s when I started the habit of returning this his place every week. The alcohol put me to sleep easily. And it’s been three days since, and I’m still sober.

Nate only had one clock in his apartment, and that was my cell phone. He usually relied on his gut to tell him everything, and for some weird phenomenon, his gut was always right. This time, it told him he was late, and according to my phone, it was right. With a cracked iPhone, and a dead computer, he was removed from society…since last Tuesday. I was his only friend…outside of Facebook.

He was almost out the door, when I awoke, running late to work, and demanding that I try the new Duchess De Bourgogne lying on his counter. He’d offer a Jameson, but he says I needed to eat before I try anything hard again. To eat, really? As if Beer can feed a starving heart. I took a swig of that bottle, and for once I actually got to enjoy something different. Is this what wine tastes like? I thought to myself.

The door closed behind Nate about ten minutes before I took my sip, but he returned to conclude my visit early. He wanted to say a few words before he took the bus to work, and realized that staying over his place would compromise his new collection of Beer, thanks to my new ailing self. He didn’t trust me.

We didn’t really say much waiting at the bus stop, but right when the 90 arrived and opened it’s sliding door, he threw my Duchess in the trash, slapped my cheek, and told me “Call her already.”

He handed me my phone back (ironic that I didn’t even notice he had it at all), and left me alone, next to a dirty old bum, wearing the same gray shirt as me. He said his name was Arthur, and he had been waiting for the bus for six years. He started laughing, crying, and fell asleep, exactly where he was – snoring life away. Poor Arthur… I looked at his shirt, found the same logo on mine, and prayed he wasn’t some future-me, sent by Doc Brown. A Flux Capacitor couldn’t be far behind, right?

I checked my fingers, and her number was gone – ALL GONE! It had to be Nate. It had to. My tempered flared, and I was almost ready to slap him back for screwing with my digits. Call her back? With what number, Fathead!? I looked at future-me, and calmed myself down. I thought about walking back home, and not wait for the bus; but right when I turned away the snoring homeless guy, my pocket vibrated. I checked my phone, and I noticed I had one missed call. It was Eve.

 

Sign,

Thee Arte

June 23 – Frozen in the Sun

Yesterday, I spent the whole day at Glendale. I needed the change of pace, going to Pasadena made me rethink about the meeting at Huntington Library. It’s not that I want to forget about her, but it was getting creepy that I was becoming such a stalker. I mean, Facebook was created just for that, right? What am I doing calling Huntington Library for her name anyways? This isn’t 1985. So, I tried to gloss over the memory for a day and roam on foot for a change.

It’s interesting how the years have changed. Being a man is way off of what I remember it to be. Now, you can’t even talk to a guy without hearing any videogame references. As visually stunning some of these games have become – looking like movies half the time – I’m still not into the deal of punching buttons all day to kill an entire RPG or MMO within a month or so. It just doesn’t jive with my java, you know what I mean?

I passed by the Mac store in the Mall, looking for new equipment for my next video shoot. Everything’s so bright now, I feel like wearing sun glasses when I want to buy a USB plug. The Lego store was pretty bad before. They’re walls were painted in highlighter yellow, and the pieces that I would have even considered buying was at the end of the store. Mon Deiu…

After a few hours in the mall, I headed out towards Broadway Blvd., hoping to find something Armenian to eat. I thought of walking far, towards LA, you know where the Hipsters chill with the Theatres and brights shops. It kinda looked like NoHo, but clean and a little gay. A perfect place to voyeur my hours away, inspecting people’s delusions, and awkward hype over nothing; like National Geographic, but with…well, Hipsters.

I had the whole activity planned, but once I stepped out in the open from Nordstrom, I realized that it was too hot for comfort…at five fifteen in the afternoon! Instead I walked across the block for Borders. Half the store is made of glass, so it’s “outdoors” enough. I like their tea service, and if you’re lucky, you’d get a good seat in their cafe. Seattle’s Best is what they called it. Anyways, I didn’t find a seat, and my tea was hot, so sweating made it feel like I was with the pedestrians, feeling the heat, and enduring the sun. Call me stupid, but imagining the experience through voyeurism is my kind of entertainment.

I went to the second floor and found some of my favorites: Akira Kurosawa, Guy Richie, and Jon Woo – you know, the greats! On the nonfiction aisle. I had the idea of just taking snap shots with my phone of the movies I found, and thought I’d just watch them online tonight. Ironically, I they were all chick flicks. The idea of books made me think about her, and had me thinking what it was like to date a girl at my age. It can’t be the same as high school, I’m sure. I mean, people aren’t as boring as to hype up sex, like they used to, right? It might be a little more sophisticated, like a discussion about culture, or wine tasting, or some kind of holiday to the museum with all the mature smart people, with their suits and cravats.

I’m sure we’d enjoy the Egyptian Theater sometime, and go watch some Indies on the weekend. I’d try to get free tickets in, I’m bound to know someone in the Staff every now and then. That is, if I could get past saving up for a Gallery. I’m almost there, and I’m sure after enough footage, I can get that Grant to showcase my installation work at a real venue, instead of my little studio apartment…

I returned downstairs for a refill, and lo and behold, I found something better than the next visual experience for my next hour of fun: her. The girl whose name I can’t remember was there, right in front of me. Well, almost in front of me. More like across the room with a guy…an old guy. An old guy that looked good, and smart, and funny, and…he was talking to her. Bridget Jones fell first from my hand, then Emma, followed by Cinderella and Tootsie. I swear, I didn’t know what I was thinking when I picked those up, but I soon forgot about them, when I saw Miss 626.

My body froze at the sight of her, leaving with another guy. I thought, damn, he’s old. But soon felt worse when I couldn’t brush off the fact that she was on a date with another guy…at a book store??? I didn’t think that was possible! But it did – they did – and just like that, she was gone. I stepped over the DVDs and attempted to follow her out. But just when I was about to open the glass door, I stepped on a piece of paper.

It was hers. It had her name, and something else…

June 19 – “626”

I don’t know her name, and it’s bugging me. I googled her number, I looked for her on the yellow pages, and I started asking around the Huntington about her…well, kinda. It was more like pretending to be interested in volunteering and then refusing, then changing my mind, just to get back to the point of asking if there were chicks involved in the Shakespeare garden. It was awkward. Never thought I’d be so desperate just to figure out a girl’s name…

I have her number, I rewrote it on my finger tips. I’m scared to write it anywhere else. I think it’s very representative of my intrastate of visual understanding – expressive to the nuance of my glossy picturesque memory. Not seeing it makes me doubt that the numbers are really in their order. I tried it earlier today, and it didn’t help that I couldn’t see it. The numbers 626 became 622 or 226 or 662 or 262 and so on and so forth. It’s a bit silly, but I have to admit, anything beyond a 323 area code makes me nervous. I remember taking the bus down to Pasadena, and seeing less and less brown people in the streets. It’s like Disneyland, without kids.

This is actually a little exaggerated, really. I’m not dialectical or anything, but the idea of losing her number just loses the point of meeting someone I’d like to date. Call me obsessive, but to call a pretty girl without knowing her name is embarrassing. I mean, what happens when she picks up and I guess her name? Wouldn’t that sound scandalous, like I was dating someone else at the same time? Or even if she didn’t think that, would she want to see me still? It’s kinda weird, right?

I’m feeling down. I’m gonna try facebook, and see if the Huntington has a group page for their volunteers. I have to know her name.

Sign,

Thee Arte