Thursday, August 10th, 2017
Throughout my life, I have been excluded from the list. Even when I receive invitations to gain access to special events (media-related things, or even private birthday parties), and I reply confirming my attendance, there have been very few times when my name makes it onto the list. Take last night, for example. Because of the various music coverage I’ve done, I was invited, with a +1, to a private listening party of Grizzly Bear’s new album. So, my girlfriend Leslie and I got all dressed up for an exciting night out, and headed to the venue. As we approached the table where people were checking in, a suited man looked at me as though my presence was mysterious. I brushed it off and announced the purpose of my arrival; that I was invited to this event, and my name should be on the list. He scanned it with a dull expression, and then asked who had invited me. I gave him the name, and he stared back, blankly. He had never heard of the person. Oh, and my name was definitely not on the list. I showed him the invitation I received, which resulted in hushed conversation amongst the staff. Leslie and I were directed to step to the side, next to the other people whose evening was uncertain because they were not on the list. Several minutes went by, then another employee, who seemed to appear out of nowhere, asked if we would like to go into the “General Admission” area instead of the VIP area (that was reserved for people on the list). Our enthusiasm was waning, but we trudged inside. As I reflected on this encounter, Leslie mentioned several other occasions where I had been missing from the list, despite my legitimacy. “Hmmm,” was all I could muster, knowing that this exact scenario would soon present itself again.
Monday, 7th August, 2017
So far, I have walked 11, 052 steps today. This is 4.1 miles according to the Health app on my iPhone, and 7 miles according to FitBit. How could be the discrepancy be that huge? In any case, I’m having trouble determining which feat to celebrate. Yesterday I played tennis with my friend Sarah and received a blister on my foot the size of half my thumb. When I got home, Leslie cut it off with nail scissors. I’m glad I didn’t have the wretched thing when I walked 7 miles.
Tuesday 1st August, 2017
Last night, Leslie and I went to see a friend’s band perform at a small venue nearby. It was magnificent; truly a spectacle of musical accomplishment and not the same boorish sound we hear on the radio every day. At the end of the show, our friend announced that it was their last show ever. Rejection had taken its toll, and they were moving on to pursue other creative projects. “If I’d known five years ago that it wasn’t about the music, it was about the networking…” our friend said, trailing off. A brilliant evening had reached a devastating conclusion, and I felt utterly deflated. This morning, another friend whom I have great affection for gave me the eulogy she wrote for her dead sister, suggesting that I might understand her better for what she’s lost. If there was an instruction booklet for how to behave in exchanges like these, I would be the first to consult it. Walking in Silver Lake, I encouraged my dog not to consume the vomit that lay splattered on the sidewalk along with shards of glass from a road accident. She seemed disappointed, but we pressed onward and I promised her a fried egg treat on her kibble at tonight’s meal service.
Monday 31st July, 2017
Today I to a branch of the Los Angeles Public Library to eagerly pick up a book I had on “Hold.” Approaching the reception desk, I announced the purpose of my arrival. A stone-faced woman mumbled something incoherent and pointed to an overflowing shelf a few feet away. I found my book amongst the alphabetically arranged “Hold” items, and returned to the desk. A different woman, bespectacled and older, asked “What is this for?” as if she genuinely didn’t know. I clarified that it was on “Hold,” and she motioned for identification in such a way that indicated she thought I was clueless. I passed over my library card and she grunted at the small print before punching numbers into the computer. Moments later I set off the security alarm by walking away with my supposedly checked out book, and as I stopped briefly to wave at the older woman, she managed a weak smile. I don’t know why, but it made my day.
Sunday 30th July, 2017
During a mid-week phone call with my father, I asked if he’d seen any films directed by Edgar Wright. “You know, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End.” A brief pause. “Oh, yes,” my father said in a dull voice. “They’re awful.” With my enthusiasm punctured, I made only a brief mention of his new film before changing the subject. A few days later, my father called early in the morning, rushing into excited conversation. “Have you heard of this new film, Baby Driver?” he asked, in a tone that suggested I probably hadn’t heard of it. “Yes, the new film by Edgar Wright,” I answered, matter-of-factly. “It’s wonderful,” he said. “Well, the plotting is pretty implausible and Kevin Spacey’s character is laughable, but it’s a great action film. You’ve got to see it.” I told him I’d give it a go, and he pressed the recommendation more than once more before we hung up.
Saturday 29th July, 2017
After attending a birthday drinks party, Leslie and I stopped by Del Taco for a snack at about 10:30pm. The drive through area was jammed so we parked and went into the restaurant. Inside, a young overweight girl expressed seeming frustration by pacing the floor and humming loudly. Her mother, whose obesity was lessened only by the severe eczema that covered her arms and legs, talked to her in a disappointed tone while they waited for their tacos. Back in the car, I wondered who this girl would become.