A Night in L.A.

Doug. So do you remember the last time you were in this car Billy?

Billy. I don’t remember a lot from that week. Let’s just hope this doesn’t come full-circle.

Doug is of course referring to Billy’s last stay in L.A., wherein Billy, being too intoxicated, spent an evening meant for a pleasant dinner at an upscale L.A. restaurant puking in Doug’s car– right into the AC vents.

Doug. On a hot summer day I can still smell Billy. Just so you know, because I’m an old gay man, I’m going to be exaggerating this story to all my friends tonight.

Billy. Can you believe that was three years ago?

Doug. Shut up. God I’m old.  

We arrived in L.A. and were promptly immersed into the welcoming and sincere gay community that swirls around our two L.A. gay supremes: Doug and Vince. The following are a few snippets from that night. Some names have been changed, but the dialogue is as accurate as I can remember.  

Doug. Vince, do you know what these boys are doing?

Vince. Traveling for a little bit, right?

Doug. They’re going to be traveling for a year!

Vince. Fuck a duck!

Enter Bob, bringing his little dog, Tipsy, in tow. Tipsy tries to steal a sip of Vince’s La Croix.

Vince. No you little bitch!

Upon discovering our travel plans, Bob proceeded to inform us about the time he hooked up with an Indian prince on Grindr, and offered to try and make arrangements for us to stay in said Indian prince’s palace.

Mason. Wait so you guys are a couple right?

Billy and Elliott. No, no, nope.

Mason. *Exchanges smirk with his partner* Look it’s all fine as long as you don’t kiss.

Vince. Oh shut up you whore!

Mason. It’s fine, I know that sometimes you just gotta help get your boys off.

Vince. You sluts, stop it!

Mason. Let me tell you, ass feels better than pussy.

Mark and Andy have just adopted a son. He’s nine-months old now and rolling himself across the carpet.  

Mark. I never expected the process to go so quickly. I was prepared for years of slogging and waiting, but our surrogate mother chose us so quickly and now here we are with a nine-month-old.

Billy. She must have seen something in you two.

Mark. We had to make these brochure type things advertising our family. It’s quite a common thing in the adoption world now-a-days. So Andy and I tried to make ours as real as possible—warts and all. I think it was the realness of us that made us stand out.

Billy. The realness?

Mark. So many other “brochures” would open up with something like “We know what you’re going through and we know how hard this is,” and it’s all so fake. Andy and I have no idea what an expecting mother endures, especially one who knows she can’t keep her child for whatever reason.

Billy and I are extremely grateful for the stories, laughs, and motherly bits of advice we received that weekend … and the expensive L.A. meals. Thanks again Doug and Vince, we owe you guys a nice bottle of Maker’s Mark.

The Santa Monica Pier

In many ways the Santa Monica pier feels like the end of America. One of the few remaining piers left on the California coast, it features a road sign that reads “End of Route 66,” under which tourists pose for photos. It feels like the desperate end; the country’s last attempt to extend itself just a few more fractions of a centimeter on the world map.

One step onto the pier ensures a journey to see its final railing, a journey that takes you past a menagerie of all things American.

Past the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant. Past the cheap stalls peddling hats and booty shorts that read “This ass isn’t going to spank itself.” Past the smiling family all holding hands. Past the old man trying to take a picture of his wife, saying “I don’t think it’s working, Erma.” Past the Chinese man playing a shamisen, and past the guy playing the violin, both seemingly playing the same song only fifty feet apart. Past the boob-jobs and the immaculate tans, and the teeming mixture of people both stunning and stunted. Get past all that and you reach the end, where a few people mill against the railing, and some Mexicans fish and eat oysters, chatting happily.

There you might also see a shabby teenager with poorly bleached hair, who is clearly mad and abandoned. He screams, and shouts “Fuck America!” The Mexicans stop chatting, and the people leaning on the rail turn and laugh, unsure whether or not this is a joke or something serious, but it’s amusing anyway.