Los Angeles, CA
I walked into the coffeeshop. Don't Stop Believing pumped through the sound system at a moderate volume as restaurant sounds tried to drown them out. Dishes clanked as the bus boy tossed them into a tub. The grill behind the counter sizzled with bacon and a veggie burger. Snippets of conversation swirled around, while the outdoor sounds of Los Angles (mostly cars honking) rushed in whenever the front door was opened.
The TV at the end of the counter showed an episode of TMZ. I sat down three seats from the end and noticed a trio of paparazzi sitting in the back booth chowing down on a meal. Appropriate. They must be grabbing an early lunch before they stalk the Beverly Hills eateries in search of young starlets to snap and exploit.
Two booths in front of them sat a couple of folks that I'd call LA douchebags. One of them talked about starting a Facebook page for his girlfriend's dog and that's when I realized that he was trying to hire the other guy to do it for him.
I unfurled a couple of printed pages -- two different things I wrote over the week that needed editing. I scribbled down notes in the margin using a red pen and sliced and diced my way through the pieces, hoping that these quick edits will improve the quality, or at least, assuage any fears that I've gotten lazy with my work. There was a time when I was overworked and swamped with deadlines that I didn't have a choice of turning in only rough drafts or first drafts. One of my editors was kind and send she barely noticed a difference. Another assured me that a first draft from me was 1000% better than third and fourth drafts from the rest of his half-baked staff. After a while, I had to triage each assignment and determining on the importance of the publication along with the amount I was getting paid had determined the amount of time that I set aside to work on said project. For example, the lowest paying gigs got the least amount of attention and rarely got a second or third draft. Sometimes, I'd have less than a few hours to work on a piece, often starting them at 6:30 am for a 9am deadline. Conversely, for the more important clients, I used to set aside a full day of research and writing, along with additional day of re-writing and editing if necessary.
But when it came to myself (here and Tao of Poker), I was really pressed for time, and went for the super speedy write up, when I don't even look up at the screen and just type for fifteen straight minutes and then hit publish, which is my mea culpa for the abundance of typos, run=on sentences, and other gaudy grammatical errors.
It's not that I don't care about you, it's that I don't care about me and I sacrifice that time and reallocate it to those who pay me, which is important sometimes and resentful at other times, especially when I lack free time or don't get paid on time or compensated to the fullest extent of my ability.
I sat in the coffeeshop and my food arrived at the same time that TMZ ended, which was followed up by one of those home video programs where average Americans who live in flyover states submit home videos of their dogs singing like James Brown or their kids swinging whiffle ball bats into their unsuspecting dad's groin region. Most of that stuff is laugh out loud funny, but it appeals to the lowest common denominator and should have been a precursor to the popularity of YouTube.
I got a few stains on my pages and re-read my pieces a second time before I left a 30% tip and paid my bill. A couple of motorcycle cops walked in while I walked out. I hoped that I didn't smell too much like weed.
I walked back to the apartment and I gaze up at a few sporadic clouds in the sky. The previous nights was sort of like a carnival in the sky with a odd sun shower that sprinkled over our building for 10 minutes while the buildings on either side were spared any water. My neighbors stood in the street and pointed up at the multi-colored sky, something that resembled a Bob Ross painting with pink and orange puffy clouds. Nicky had left a few minutes before to pick us up Indian food in Beverly Hills and she sent me a text that it was pouring there and that a couple of hipsters were standing in the middle of the street snapping iPhone pics of a double rainbow.
Usually, LA fabricates double rainbows, but we've been blessed with one. A real one. And we didn't have to put on special 3D glasses to watch it.
I never heard of a double rainbow before that crazy wook in the YouTube video got his fifteen minutes of fame jizzing in his pants over the bows. I saw one at Jones Beach this summer before a Phish show. It was kinda funny to hear people screaming like the wook in the video, poking fun at the absurd enthusiasm.
May your world be filled with double rainbows.