Let me begin at the beginning.
My best friend in elementary school played the clarinet. When we went around the room in band class deciding which instrument we would play, she shocked me by choosing the clarinet. I chose the flute. I don’t know why I chose the flute, I don’t know why she chose the clarinet. It cracks me up that in a room full of kids who couldn’t care less about any musical style other than pop, we were forced to pick instruments that most had never even heard before. All I know is that between the flute and the clarinet, the clarinet is quite possibly the least sexy instrument I’ve ever seen. Add to that the sucking on the reed and that whole spit nonsense and I really found it repulsive. The even funnier part of this story is I’m pretty sure Jenny picked the alto sax first, but she was told she needed to move to an easier woodwind. Good teaching, teach!
So with that in mind let me tell you about my Sunday.
Tara and I rallied through our hang overs and made it just in time to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market to get some vegetables for her new juice kick. I bought some flowers, honey, cheese and beet spread. Leave it to me to go to a farmer’s market and leave with out a single fruit or vegetable. Afterwards we went to the most ghetto swap meet in the history of ghetto swap meets including the swap meet that is actually held in the ghetto. Guess whose neighborhood this swap meet is in? If you guessed mine, you are a smart lad or lass.
I didn’t take any pictures there because I didn’t want to draw any more attention to myself. Also, I didn’t want my camera to be whisked out of my hands and onto someone’s table with a $50.00 price tag and a how-do-you-do. Tara’s big concern was what kind of people buy deoderant from a table full of things like used nails, obviously hot TVs and a pile of dirty t-shirts. People who live in my neighborhood, that’s who!
I did find this pitcher to put my daisies in, so it almost made us feel a little less dirty. Tara, the queen of loving all things ghetto and urban, got zero enjoyment out of this expedition. As we were heading back to my apartment Tara remembered an ice cream shop. I’ve been on a kick of not eating ice cream. I had had some from the “big break-up ice cream for dinner and possibly breakfast binge” I went on shortly after I moved into my new apartment, but other than that, I just don’t eat it. At least not in public. (Wow, eating disorder alert!) But since I’d dragged Tara to the ghetto swap meet and I was feeling a little sun burned and hot, I magically complied.
We found ourselves behind the most annoying vegan couple I have ever laid eyes on. Vegans are not high on my list of people who aren’t annoying, but this couple took the cake. After they swooned around and hugged each other a lot and order 5 pints of vegan ice cream, we finally got to order. Coconut Thai Iced Tea Ice Cream from Scoops is maybe the perfect antidote to ghetto swap meets and annoying vegans. To top it off, an old friend from film school was there and we got to briefly catch up. She was trying to get time off to learn how to climb trees in New York, I am still getting over a break-up three months later.
[Are you wondering about the clarinet story that started this out? I’m getting there!]
Tara and I finally made it back to Echo Park where we worked on a screenplay that’s been haunting us for 4 years. That’s a long time to be haunted by an idea, you might be thinking, but truth be told, it’s kind of a thing that happens to writers who have day jobs and boyfriends and are easily distracted. Anyway, we worked some stuff out, put our heads together and I think we’ve come up with a solution to the problem we were having with it. We decided with that great break through we needed to eat.
We both kind of were in the mood for a tasty sandwich so we hopped into Tara’s car to go to Alcove. As we drove down Sunset Boulevard, I saw El Compadre, a restaurant I’ve never eaten at, but wanted to try. Three margaritas (each) later we decided it might be a good idea to pour ourselves home. As we walked up Sunset Boulevard we passed by a little cafe that had some people sitting out in front of it. It’s one of those standard L.A. cafe/coffee shops with big open spaces where doors would be in cold climates and furniture sitting outside.
The men said something like, “Hey, ladies. How you doing tonight?” And Tara and I gave an enthusiastic thumbs up. Then the woman sitting with them told us to sit down and hang out, her friends band was playing. There was a couch sitting right there and we had no business driving so we sat.
Which is when we were joined by James. I started to get the feeling that I was on a trip. You know, when you travel and you just sort of happen upon cafes and meet interesting (possible lunatic) people, but you don’t live there so you just sort of go with it? That’s how I felt.
James started talking about music and who he had played with and that he was really into the clarinet. I’m pretty sure I laughed out loud. I had an image of Jenny sitting with her clarinet in the second row looking like the total band nerd that we were. He told me that I shouldn’t make fun of it and he disappeared for a minute.
When he came back he was carrying a black case.
“This is my bass clarinet. I’m really digging it right now.”
He took it out of the case and put it together, the whole time Tara and I are desperately trying to change the subject, to get out of the clarinet business. I looked over to where his friends had been sitting and they were all inside setting up for the band. This was going to happen. We were going to be serenaded by a bass clarinet while sitting on a couch on Sunset Boulevard. And he played. And it was fine. I didn’t explode into nerdy flames and neither did he. But seriously, no one fucks the clarinetist, do they?
The night went on and his friend Julian came over and sat down next to us. Julian really had to be somewhere and James was his ride.
I had to be home soon because it was a school night, but James had offered to give me guitar lessons. I took his number, he took mine. And normally you would never hear from the clarinet playing guitar teaching Europe loving actor you met on the street while walking to your car again.
He called me yesterday. I might have a guitar lesson tonight.