Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dead Monkeys. Swimming Pools. Movie Stars.

Almost every group of young friends sooner or later will spend some time voting among themselves, deciding who is most-likely-to-succeed, who is most-likely-to-be-divorced-before-thirty, who is most-likely-to-spend-time-in-prison. Those kinds of things.

I did that with my friends in high school. Most of us were show business wannabees of one kind or another. I wanted to be a novelist. My friend Derrick wanted to be a screenwriter. Martha wanted to be a writer-producer-director-performer. Et cetera. One afternoon about a dozen of us sat around in an abandoned chapel (I went to a Catholic high school) and we decided that everyone would get voted something.

So, Martha got voted most likely to have her own TV show. Phil got voted most likely to have his own comic strip. Derrick got voted most likely to make a movie.

Everyone got voted something.

I’ve never attended any of my high school reunions so I can’t compare how my group of friends actually turned out compared to the votes. I do know, however, that from among my friends I am the only one who hasn’t (yet?) made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles.

Tomorrow I’ll tell a story about my friend Derrick’s eighteen month excursion to Hollywood to be a screenwriter.

I’ve always remembered Tom Snyder saying that Los Angeles is a wonderful, wonderful city to live in—if you have a job. He said that the better your job, the more wonderful Los Angeles is to live in. If you don’t have a job, Los Angeles isn’t so hot.

I’ve always been waiting for some set of circumstances to transpire so that I could go to Los Angeles without having to put an open guitar case on the sidewalk in front of me and depend on my Neil Young-like guitar and voice skills [!] for making a living.

Yeah. So, everyone was voted something.

I was voted most likely to end up floating face down in a swimming pool.

I just know that when I do go to Los Angeles someone like, say, Jamie Lee Curtis will mistake me for the guy who is supposed to take away her dead monkey.

I’m not fighting my destiny. Not really. I’ll go to Los Angeles. I’m even kind of in a perverse way looking forward to going there. But there are just one or two things I still want to do before I go out there and check-in to the swimming pool with my name on it.

Sunset Boulevard Wiki

1 comment:

Angeline said...

Mark, I'd miss you too much if you went to Los Angeles. I really, really would. BUT it's not too late to have an adventure! The whole Neil Young-like voice and guitar skills thing has got me very worked up and intrigued! For some reason, it would seems to fit you really well. Sing and play a song!