The Return of The Police.
Friday morning he wakes, brushes his teeth, puts in his eyes, makes his bed, and does fifty pushups. He drinks a soufflé cup of ginger tea and eats an entire kiwi including the skin and half a cup of cottage cheese for breakfast.
He pedals the Golden Dragon to Yoga and submits to Bella, the Spanish goddess yoga instructor (think Penelope Cruz) who he may or may not be secretly in love with; another story altogether.
“Namaste mi yogis,” Bella whispers in the darkness, her students in scattered shavasanas around the studio.
“Namaste, mi amor,” Logan whispers back.
Pure and on a natural high, Logan bikes through Hollywood, weaving between cars crawling in midday traffic; in the land of gridlock, bikers are king.
He gets home, packs his dirty laundry, drives to the Laundromat, and dumps his clothes in the wash. He walks across the street to Queen Bee for a steaming cappuccino and a croissant sandwich while he waits and reads Desert Solitude. During the dry cycle, he drives to Pavilions and buys milk, produce, cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios) and two bottles of red—well, one cabernet and one rose.
Normally, Logan wouldn’t consider buying a rose, but tonight he has something special planned. He’s been sexting with a new female starlet by the name of Penny Sparks. They met on Twitter because that’s how true and honest connections are made these days. Penny is twenty-two years old and of Korean descent; her skin is a perfect butterscotch complexion. She’s been working in the industry for less than three months. Penny is scheduled to arrive at LAX in a couple hours and has planned to spend the evening with Logan, so he took the initiative and bought a bottle of her favorite light and fruity libation.
He drives back to the Laundromat, folds his clothes, and packs them in his car alongside the groceries. He drives home and unpacks everything. He hangs his clothes, he vacuums the carpets, he mops the floors, dusts the appliances and window sills, cleans his cat’s litter box, scrubs the countertops, tabletops, and shower tiles (he’s trying to make a good impression, damnit). As a coupe de grace, he stands in the middle of each room and sprays Michael Kors Cologne toward each corner of the ceiling, letting it disperse and slowly rain.
He trims his dangly bits, showers, and soon Penny arrives. They sip wine (rose) and chit-chat about nothing in particular; he plays piano and sings for her, he decimates her in Mancala, and he explains to her the rules of the card game Cinelinx and how it’s purely for nerds who love film—a topic about which she admittedly knows next to nothing.
Logan asks her to sit on his lap and make-out for a few minutes; she eagerly assents and straddles him. They suck face and dry hump and he runs his hands along her body, slipping underneath her clothes with ease. After some adolescent debauchery they compose themselves.
They finish their rose and Logan calls an uber to pick them up and take them downtown so they can attend Janice "Spunky" Spunkmeyer's fundraiser for her upcoming work/share art space for marginalized artists in LA. Spunky is the proprietor of the giant pink stickers of Drake’s face seen prominently plastered across the city. The party is held in a small gallery in Chinatown. Provocative nude art adorns the walls. Logan introduces Penny to Spunky and they delicately pet Spunky's micro teacup Pomeranian, delightfully named, “Dwayne Johnson.”.
“Because, he’s like def the most inspirational person to follow,” Spunky says, nuzzling Dwayne Johnson. “And this furry ball of love inspires me to be the best me everyday.”
There is a keg of PBR in the corner and pink solo-cups stacked on top. They have a few drinks and watch a live mock “TED Talk” about Britney Spears and her schizophrenic Instagram. Afterword, an all female Blink-182 cover band called Pink-182 plays and everyone head bangs and sways to the sounds of nostalgic 90's punk.
Logan and Penny step outside to get some air and smoke a joint, during which time Penny drops her cup and inexplicably faints. Thankfully, Logan catches her before she gets a face-full of concrete. He walks her over to a nearby bench where she comes to and claims to have no recollection of passing out. She says she didn’t take any pills beforehand, and as far as she knows the only person to hold her cup besides her was Logan.
“Trust me,” he says. “I would never do something like that, not cool, not my thing.”
“Well, what about your joint?”
“Are you kidding me? That weed was like twenty-five an eighth; mid-shelf, at best.”
“Do you think it’s because I didn’t eat any dinner?”
“…Yeah, that might have something to do with it. All right, let's say goodbye and get some food, huh?”
They leave the party and on the way home Logan orders an extra large Garage Pizza. At his apartment they watch It’s Always Sunny and he eats four slices while Penny eats none.
“I’m just not very hungry, you know?”
“If you say so.”
They go to bed and fuck. They wake in the middle of the night and fuck again. They fall back asleep naked in each other’s arms. They wake; they fuck.
Saturday afternoon Logan leads Penny on a hike at Griffith Park. Afterward he takes her to brunch at the Bowery Bungalow and they (he) devour a Lebanese platter for two while sipping Turkish coffee from tiny espresso mugs.
They get home and fuck again in the shower. He drives her back to where she’s staying, and conveniently, she’s downtown right next to The Last Bookstore. This is a relief from the typical fare of starlets flying in by the dozen to stay in unkempt and overcrowded Valley McMansions.
Logan spends the afternoon with his filmmaker friend Geoff—a recent NYU Grad and the closest thing in Logan’s life to a living, breathing personification of Billy Walsh--in his newly acquired editing bay provided by the production company he recently signed with. Together, they (Geoff) edit his latest music video in which a young boy kills and eats the family dog out of sheer curiosity. Later the two of them discuss locations for Geoff’s upcoming short film, entitled, “Nazi Punks, Fuck Off.”
“It’s an art piece, but nobody’s gonna fucking understand it,” whines Geoff.
“Isn’t that the point?” Says Logan.
“I don’t even know the fuckin’ point anymore, man. This fuckin’ oppressive sun zaps all my energy and it’s turning me into a zombie. I just want to walk to dive bars, shoot pickle-back and get some dollar slices, but no, there’s not one fuckin’ good slice of pizza in this town and nobody fuckin’ walks anywhere.”
“Alright, so why don’t you cry about it?”
“…I wish I could cry, man. I wish I could.”
Saturday Night. Fox Theater. 10:00 P.m.
In bold black print the marquee reads:
“Go away. Nothing to See Here. Keep Moving, folks.”
Inside, a once forgotten about dance-punk band is playing a secret show with all of their friends around watching. This is the band’s fifth pop-up in the last five years since their cathartic departure at Madison Square Garden in 2011, but now they’re back, and he, Logan, is there with his friend Budd, getting innocuous with the rest of the privileged few.
The atmosphere calls for something cinematic, so, naturally, he falls in love.
While he waits for Budd to hit the slopes and get drinks he notices her standing nearby talking to her friend, waiting for the arena to fill and the show to begin. Out of his periphery, she reads well--petite, dark brown hair, caramel skin--but once again succumbing to his shyness out in the wild, Logan never garners the courage to crane his neck to make affirming eye contact, let alone introduce himself.
Thankfully, Budd handles the situation and makes it look easy. With bright eyes and flared nostrils, Budd notices her and her friend, and without even the slightest glimmer of doubt, he enters their space, and puts himself out there, stealing their attention, and it works, of course it works. They like him, as they should. He is genuine; forward, but harmless; loud, but complimentary. They smile and laugh at his jokes, and suddenly their social bubbles merge, proving yet again that all it takes is eye contact, a soft smile, a small sense of affability, and the willingness to interact and play the game.
The four of them already have something in common: they’re all fans of the band; the music is what brought them together.
Logan shakes her hand.
“Megan,” she says, smiling.
“Megan, hi," he says. “So, where are you from?”
“San Fernando City.”
“What would you say is your Favorite Song?”
“Pow-Pow? Me too,” he says, half-lying.
He takes a chance and asks her one of the renowned 36 questions:
“So, if you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?”
She deliberates for a moment, intrigued, willing to play along.
“Charles Bukowski,” She says with earnest.
He remains silent, observing her deep brown eyes.
“…Perfect answer,” he says, sincere.
The band soon takes the stage and for the next ninety minutes nothing matters but the beautiful lights and melancholic melodies of someone great losing his edge live in front of of die-hards, squares, social media celebrities, and porn stars.
After the hits and out front of the theater, Logan asks for Megan's number.
“We should keep in touch, go downtown sometime and hit the Last Bookstore.”
“Yes, please. I’ve never been.”
“Really? An LA native who actually reads and you’ve been to the Last Bookstore?”
“I’ve been bad,” she says, playfully.
“We should definitely go; I’ll give you the tour.”
“Okay. What are you doing tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow…taking you downtown?”
“Really? You want to?”
“Absolutely. I’ll text you tomorrow.”
“Call me in the morning. I try to avoid texting; I’m weird.”
“I like that. Okay, cool, I’ll call you tomorrow.
They hug and part ways. Logan struts to Budd, renewed.
“Gotta date with her tomorrow,” he boasts. “Gonna take her to the bookstore.”
“Oh, fuck off,” Budd Laughs. “The second I heard her say Bukowski I was like, ‘My god, I think Logan just nutted himself.’”
“Fuck yeah. To say I’m excited right now would be the understatement of the year.”
They get into Budd’s dented 03’ Corolla with expired plates and drive back to Hollywood, stopping first to get some celebratory fast food.
Sunday. Logan meets Megan out-front of the Last Bookstore and before entering they walk through the farmer’s market, wandering and absorbing the scene. Inside, they saunter the aisles and shelves and talk about their favorite authors and titles. Logan buys copies of Choke, Into the Wild, and, Sex, Drugs, and Coco-Puffs—A book of essays, Megan's recommendation.
They leave and get lunch at Cole’s. Over beef French dips and IPAs, Logan learns that Megan has lived in Los Angeles (the Valley) her entire life; she’s of Mexican descent and speaks fluent Spanish. She has two back tattoos of different wilderness landscapes and a tattoo of a lighthouse on her left shoulder. She teaches pre-school and also works as a TA for a high school teacher who once taught her and was the first adult to encourage her to read Bukowski. Megan read Women when she was fourteen; one can only imagine how that must’ve shaped her teenage years.
Eventually she asks, “So…what do you do?”
Logan sighs and asks if it’s obvious that he’s trying to avoid the conversation (or at least put it off until after she decides she likes him). He tells her everything, his years in the business, and his “success” as a performer. Megan is initially shocked by his admission, but it’s a pleasant surprise; it appears so, at least. She’s eager to know the gritty details, the ins and outs, yearning for good story.
After lunch and a couple more drinks atop the Ace Hotel, they make plans to see the Dodgers play next Friday. They share a goodbye hug and Logan gives her a kiss on the cheek.
On his way home Logan receives a text from the 2016 AVN/XBIZ Best New female Starlet, Abella Danger; her body is a handcrafted personification of Hedone herself.
About a week ago, Logan and Abella ran into each other on set and reminisced about the one and only time they’re worked together in the past, conjuring fantasies, stimulating the senses.
In her text, Abella says she’s been craving him since their rendezvous. Logan loves hearing this. He invites Abella to come over and get intimate, the details of which will remain private, but rest assured they have a sloppy and slaphappy good time. Abella leaves around 1 a.m. to drive back to her apartment in the valley.
Logan lay in bed relaxed, reveling in the wake of the weekend. Sometimes when he’s down and feels small he wonders if it’s all even worth it; if he’s just wasting his time in this business and in Los Angeles, but then he has a weekend like this, full of adventure, spontaneity, lust, love, and such prospect. These experiences are what fulfill and nourish the spirit; he feeds off the constant and complex chemical reactions. He relishes these moments where he can reflect on a life he never imagined possible, this life; his very own beautiful dark twisted fantasy.