Down And Out In Beverly Hills

16 Nov

If you’re really feeling low, you gotta go talk to him, he said and snapped his head toward the front door.
He’ll set you straight no matter what. He’s a fuckin’ genius like that.
Him was a long-haired, long-bearded yogi wearing nothing but a Speedo swimsuit.
This was Beverly Hills. I had arrived here by mistake. I broke down in El Segundo and left the car on the shoulder for the rats to lift it to a chop shop and make a profit on parts. I walked through abandoned oil fields and vacant lots and hooked up with two heroin addicts and a teenage male prostitute in North Hollywood. We shared a broken down tenement unit off Irvine and Vanowen. I worked as a short order cook at Bennigan’s and picked up freelance videography gigs from old, retired film executives rotting away from dementia in Laguna Beach.
Six bucks an hour from these rich geriatric fucks. In Los Angeles, in the early 90s you couldn’t buy a roll of toilet paper with the weekly wage I pulled in.
You gotta gat? Own one, like? Legal or illegal, although illegal would be best. Untraceable and all that. A forty-four maybe. Forty-four magnum. You know what a forty-four magnum can do to a man’s balls? Although nobody carries a forty-four anymore. Hell with Harry Callahan. All the kids pack nine millimeters now. Still. Forty-four man. Pull that out and the rats scurry. Guaranteed.
The yogi. He talked like a Tommy gun. And in perfect American English.
No.
You gotta have a gat. Gotta. It’s life in the big city baby. You ain’t shit without a gat. Correction. You can’t do shit without a gat. Seriously.
I’m from DC. I didn’t need a gun there, I said.
DC. Ha. East coast. Politicians. Ha. Pansies.
He re-lit his joint. The ash fell on his bare belly. He didn’t notice.
I don’t know. There’s some tough motherfuckers on the east coast.
He thought about it.
Who’s the president now?
To be decided.
Yea, right. What do you drive like?
What?
Wheels. What kind of car do you drive?
I don’t have one.
Ha. Kid. This is Los Angeles. You ain’t shit without a car in Los Angeles.
He took a long drag. Then offered it to me. I burned it down to my fingertips. I gave it back.
Where you from originally? You talk funny.
I told him.
He waited and dragged down on the roach until his fingers turned black.
Fantastic then. I’ll set you up with a balalaika. Can you use one?
What?
A balalaika. Can you use a balalaika?
What, you mean like play?
Play, use. Yea.
I don’t know…I can’t play…
Fantastic. You call me, I’ll set you up with one.
I don’t have a phone.
Call from a payphone. Get my number from Uncle Milti. Go ahead man.
Who’s uncle Milti?
The yogi laughed. Two girls were leaving. He got out of the way and looked them down and smiled at them.
The guy who put on the party. You don’t know Uncle Milti? Everybody knows Uncle Milti. Go ahead now.
Yea.
Call me okay? I’ll set you up with a balalaika. Don’t forget, okay?
All right.
He didn’t move. I took it that he was done with me. I turned to leave.
Get yourself a gat, East Coast. You need one, okay? I don’t care where you’re from. I don’t care where you lived.
All right.
Welcome to Hollywood baby.

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One Response to “Down And Out In Beverly Hills”

  1. Slyboots 17/11/2009 at 11:41 AM #

    I’m totally vibing on a “Big Lebowski” thing with this one. And that is a good thing. I love The Dude. I’m enjoying what you’re playing, sunshine! Keep it up!

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