August 21st, 2005


Everything back to where it belongs

It’s been over two weeks since I’ve written anything other than talent contracts, I’ve been completely absent from Live Journal, and damned if I don’t miss it. During the hiatus, though, I’ve been approached to write two treatments: one for a series that I’ll do for political gain in the office, and the other a ridiculous film idea that has a nice chunk of cash attached to it. It’s time to warm up my lap with my iBook and get busy.
• • • •
Once the furniture and all of my clothing finally arrived, I swam through a sea of paper and cardboard unearthing all of the things that lived in DC for two years, but finally found their way back home. Each box brought a sharp old pain dusted off for new use. This is supposed to go here. Billy had put this there.. And so it went, for the past two weeks as I tried to recreate our home exactly like it was, knowing it would never be exactly like it was, but dammit that wouldn’t stop me from trying.
• • • •
In sharp contrast to the interior executive offices at headquarters, my new office has floor-to-ceiling windows looking over the Los Angeles Country Club, and the hills of Beverly. The club has long been a bastion of the powerful and Christian. No Jews are allowed, although the rule is couched in the term No show business types.

The people in my new office are nice enough, but a little horrified at my loud job and its attendant brashness that interrupts the library hush. During one particularly raucous exchange with an attorney who was blowing a deal on a minor business point, one of the assistants within earshot took particular offense when I slammed down the phone and screamed, “Motherfucking cockfuckingsucker!” She asked if I could close my door. Um, no, Sugar, I can’t. You’re in show business. Deal with it.
• • • •
The first thing I noticed when I arrived back home was the thick air from the sea, and a cool breeze at all times. When Joe took me to Ocean City, we picked out some wind chimes with a small wooden Navy anchor dangling at the bottom. Their gentle random music doesn’t stop. People may deride LA as the epicenter for shallow culture, but you can’t beat its air, and if you love shallow culture as much as I do, there’s no place like home.

I’m actually home. There were times when I thought it was an improbable dream, but I lie in bed at night surrounded by everything placed exactly where it belongs, and even though this is the first time I’ve lived in the house completely by myself, I sigh and sleep well.
• • • •
After two years’ absence, I could still drive there blindfolded. I pulled off the freeway, drove over the train tracks, the only ones I know of in Los Angeles, and turned right into the driveway of the flower shop that is adjacent to Rose Hills. I saw the middle-aged Latina who runs the place, and she smiled.

I never choose from the bunches of carnations, and never the roses, which I always found too fussy. No, I like the mixed bunches that have a sunflower or two; I like laying one of the sunflowers on top of the bench. I debated over two or three of them, chose one that had little blue daisies, brought them up to the cash register. A young woman with huge brown eyes and one arm severed above the elbow effortlessly folded the flowers into newspaper. They know not to wrap them up fancy here. All the flowers end up at the cemetery, anyway.

“Can I also have a large bunch of baby’s breath?” I asked the woman. Her eyes lit with a memory.

“You haven’t been around in so long.”

“I was in DC for a job.” She retreated to the back area and came out with an enormous bushel of white spindly flowers. She whispered something to the one-armed girl when she handed them to her.

“It’s nice to see you back. You’re the only one who ever asks only for baby’s breath.”

“It’s nice to be back home. And thank you for remembering.” I wanted to tell her the joke about those flowers that Billy and I shared, one often and randomly repeated from a routine by Sandra Bernhard. I thought I’d put in a little baby’s breath. Why not? I wanted to tell her the whole goddamned story, but she probably knew all she wanted to know, and she gave me a discount.