Los Angeles, CA
The actress took down the curtains, which indicated she was either 1) moving, or B) bought new curtains/blinds and was going to install them.
I had not heard much from the actress in the previous two weeks. Not a peep. No theatrical performances or fits of screaming. Ever since the big blowup with her boyfriend, things were super quiet I assumed he finally moved out and they broke up.
Part of the break up entailed abandoning the apartment, which had become a vortex for negative energy. Besides, a struggling actress couldn't afford to live in the Slums of Beverly Hills by herself, so who knows where she ended up. I noticed her mother was here last weekend and assumed it was a visit, yet the more I think of it, maybe she she's giving up the "dream" and moving back to the Midwest? She came so close, but was never more farther away from cashing in on her talents. Her former roommate had a brush with stardom and went deep on American Idol, but the actress never landed that sitcom during pilot season, or got callbacks on auditions for cell phone or light beer commercials. Despite the constant rejection and degradation for almost seven years, she lasted a pretty long time waiting for her big break that always seemed to be within grasp, yet so far out of reach. She wasted weeks and months of her life stuck in traffic trying to race across town from audition to audition. All things considered, the actress had already beaten the odds and survived much longer than the average aspiring starlet.
The actress took down the curtains yesterday. When I looked up from my desk and gazed out of the window of my office, I saw naked windows for the first time. Nicky said she heard rip-like sounds of packing tape all afternoon, which confirmed my initial suspicion that she moved out.
I'm going to miss her... the actress... mostly her voice. Kind of angelic at times. Never knew when it would pop up out of nowhere, often when she was in the shower. One second.... nothing and the next... something melodious and harmonizing. Come to think of it, I'll miss the random blow ups too. Cheap, yet enthralling entertainment.
You never knew when an explosion would happen. 3am. 3pm. 10am. 10pm. The skirmishes and shouting matches (mostly her shouting and her drunk boyfriend not saying much) flared up around six months ago and had been increasing in volume, volatility, and frequency.
What was once a "once in a blue moon" spat had become weekly hysterics, which quickly accelerated into daily occurrences. Then it got even worse. I almost started a Twitter account (@HipsterNeighborsFight) because the actress was on the warpath and had become a dangerous volcano blowing her top two or three times a day. I guess her boyfriend's boozing and coke-totting had gotten to an all-time low and the two crashed into each other like speeding freight trains. What's worse than one trainwreck? How about two of them?
Both the trainwrecks lived next door.
What if he was getting wasted every morning and every night because his girlfriend was a narcissistic wanna-be actress who turned into a psychopath and took out her frustrations and failures by yelling at him nonstop? At some point, what came first... the chicken or the egg? The psycho girlfriend? Or the alkie/cokehead boyfriend?
This is a tough town. Hollywood really beats people down and makes you feel utterly worthless. Even if you do succeed in your field, you're constantly on edge and paranoid that someone is scheming to get your job, yet constantly self-conscious about how you're not good enough, or worried that you'll wake up one day and not be able to do what you do, or sometimes you feel totally manipulated and unappreciated and used like a pawn or some other disposable piece of garbage. It doesn't take more than a few days living in Los Angeles to realize that dreams are just that... dreams. Reality is hell. If you get an audience with the devil's minions at CAA, then you might be able to sell your soul for peanuts while your pimps rake in mega bucks for your sweet ass. Everyone else struggles on the fringe and becomes starving cannibals, slowly and brutally eating each other, one chunk of flesh at a time.
The face-offs between the actress and her boyfriend were so captivating that a couple of times you could hear everyone (who lived in my building) dropped what they were doing and positioned themselves quietly along windows facing the alley so they could listen in to her verbal lashings. Better than reality TV. Too bad she didn't have a camera on her, because this was juicy entertainment and raw emotion. Two people who once had tons of potential who were beaten down by the system and their dreams mercilessly crushed. I guess we were all curious after all, we lived next door to the drama and became a built-in audience by sheer geography, but deep down we knew that we were all just one bad day away from being in the same situation. One of my neighbors is an old hippie lady struggling as a painter, and another is a young violin player. Will the violinist be able to still do her art in three decades like the old lady? Or will she get eaten up and crushed by gears of the Hollywood machine, just like the hysterical actress spiraling into a black hole of despair, desperation, and mutual self-destruction?
* * *For more stories about the actress and the Slums of Beverly Hills, check out...