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Welcome to Hollywood

January 19, 2007

Mike followed her to the car. She stood taller than him in her high heels. A seafoam green top, ruffled at the edges on her shoulders matched well her skirt. It ruffled in the gentle breeze, a bright white contrasting her tan skin. He tried best he could, without much hope of doing so, to avoid the cruves of her breasts, made more apparent by the tightness of the shirt.

“So what do you want to do?” she asked while they waited for the light to change at the corner.

“Hungry?”

“I could eat. What do you want? Burger?” He pulled his suitcase behind him as they crossed.

“Whatever you want. I want to see into your life a bit. Go where you go. Eat where you eat. You choose.”

“I know a good place. Hope you like it.”

Bags stowed in the back of the Taoreg, they drove. Idle chit chat filled the interior while he gazed out the window. He hadn’t seen palm trees in years. The city sped by, revealing glimpses of Los Angeles. It wasn’t what he expected.

You get an image of what you think a place is like. The glamour of celebrity status. A world class city. Landmarks dotted the streets. The Chinese Theater, headquarters of international corporations, even grocery stores you hear about, like CostCo. But so much is the same. McDonald’s, Burger King, and Best Buy mingled among the unfamiliar. They passes Jim henson studios. He gaped at the statue of Kermit the Frog.

The restaurant was a small one. Locally owned, but looking like a chain store in it’s sterility and familiarness. He ate some kind of beef dish. It was good, but not amazing cuisine. A woman nearby was talking loudly with two other men. Something about animal rights and how she met some celebrity. She was old and ugly, and made him feel at home, oddly enough.

The meal finished they piled back into the car. Mor elandmarks known only from movies and news reports.

“That’s where Robert Blake didn’t shoot his wife. The food’s good there. That coffee shop is the place to be, because it’s not the place to be. The coffee is terriblke though.” She informed him. The idea of trendiness stemming the lack thereof was strange.

“Why not just get Starbucks?”

“Too commercial to be in now. People want to be where people aren’t.”

“That’s just stupid. People really think like that out here?”

“Image is everything. You’re not in Louisville anymore.” she said, perhaps a hint of discontent. She used to act, even did a scene with Will Smith that was left on the cutting room floor. Puff Daddy takes his car to get washed the same place as she does. He’d heard the stories from her as if it was talking about the weather. When you’re surrounded by it, I guess the glamour fades. “Here’s my complex”

She reached up and touched a small garage door opener. On the right a parking garage gate moved to allow access. It swallowed them whole, closing it’s maw behind to keep out unintended guests.

“Nice place.” He said, admiring the layout of the apartments while he removed his bags. They walked up and out to the middle of the complex. It was like a little street, with the apartments on the sides, but security gates were at each end. Their steps bounced back off the walls enclosing them.

“And now you get to meet the doggies. Chewbie will start barking soon. Listen.” He followed up a narrow stairway, her feet landing hard on the steps. Barks came in answer. They laughed while she opened the door. “Chewbie!” She exclaimed, raching down to pet the small dog. Gorgie waited there too, but he did not bark.

Chewbie assaulted him and his bags immediately. Jumping up on his leg, her tail wagging as she begged to be petted. Gorgie walked forward slowly, his nose working right up until he bumped into Mike’s leg. “You must be Gorgie. I’ve heard a lot about you.” He reached down again to pet Gorgie, who shyed away from his hand a moment. It’s hard to expect it when you’re blind, he supposed.

“This is my apartment. I love it!”

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