Just another Saturday night here in Los Angeles, the only difference being that I am SO tired of sitting in this apartment by myself ALL the time. Let me make something clear right away. I have no problem being by myself, in fact I rather enjoy it for the most part. As far as going out on the weekend is concerned, I did the hell outta that (most nights, in fact) from the ages of 14-32. I don’t need to go to a club, bar, theater, whatever. There are times though where I feel as if I’m climbing the walls if I spend too much time at home working, lacking any sort of human interaction, unless you count the occasional telephone conversations with family & friends, which I don’t. I truly love these people, but if I talk to them too often, it reminds how much I miss their physical presence in my life & I hate that feeling. So instead, I just don’t use my phone much for talking, unless it’s business. I’d have to say my closest friends in Los Angeles are the homeless people I see most days around my neighborhood…well & the 7-Eleven guy I get my Dr Pepper Big Gulps from every day.
I bet you’re asking yourself as you read this “why hasn’t some guy snagged this gem up by now”. Let me briefly enlighten you on that subject. I had managed to attract every Douchebag in the metro Detroit area, with the exception of one great guy, who I will always love. He’s married now, but we’re good friends. I’m grateful for that! Then one fateful day in 2008, I ran into a guy, or I should say met a guy, who I fell in love with within the first 10 minutes of knowing him. I didn’t even see him coming. I was SO exhausted when he approached me getting out of my town car at the hotel I was staying over the weekend before flying to Detroit to FINALLY meet my brand new niece for the first time. I was working Warped Tour when she was born. Specifically, I was in Milwaukee & I cried the whole day, because I wasn’t there. These are the choices we make when choose a life of traveling. So, back to the guy, that weekend began a tumultuous 2 year off & on relationship that ended when he died last year. I was planning to move to Los Angeles to be with him when that happened. 7 days later my grandfather passed away. I believe because of these two events, as well as far too many losses over the 3 years before that week, I chose to follow through on my promise to move to Los Angeles last October when I was offered what seemed to be a dream job that paid amazing, still allowed me to travel, but on a smaller scale & moved me up in my industry. What has transpired in my life in the 7 months since I moved here can only be describes as complete bullshit! I have repeatedly trusted the wrong people, which is SO unlike me. I lost my job, had to move 3 times due to crazy living situations & even spent a little over a week sleeping in my car, mostly because my pride & shame are so strong that I couldn’t bring myself to tell my loved one’s what was going on, telling them when we would speak that all was well out here in LaLa.
At this point I’m sure you’re wondering what the title of this blog has to do with the personal ramblings I’ve typed up to this point. It was a lead in that I needed to put out there, as it does tie into the person I mention in the title, Marc Maron. Back in January, when my living arrangements were falling apart & the tension in that apartment was so bad I didn’t know if I could control my Machete tongue if I was confronted in any way by my former roommate. A week or so before this, I was visiting with a friend at her apartment & she showed me an episode of Conan in which Maron was on. He was hilarious. His stories were real & dark & felt honest. Cut to a week later, I’m reclining in my little car, in Laurel Canyon, because I really like it there & I stumbled across Maron’s podcast WTF with Marc Maron. If you haven’t listened to it & you are a fan of comedy, you should really give it a listen, good stuff!
Anyway, there were two interviews that were listed that caught my attention right away….Kevin Smith & Henry Rollins. I really enjoyed the Smith Pod, he’s always interesting. But listening to Maron interview Rollins while I lay in my car, feeling beyond alone & too ashamed to call or write a real friend, I made the choice (which I now regret) to write an email to Maron. He really does endear himself to the listener. I don’t in any way believe it to be a put on. I think he is genuine in his caring for his listeners & fans. He is not a guy who is all caught up in his success & he doesn’t seem to be affected by it in any way. To my surprise & delight at the time, he wrote me back immediately. We went back & forth, ending with him yelling at me (because he typed in all caps) to suck it up, go home & sleep in my bed, so I did. I actually listened to this guy & felt bad for upsetting him enough with my self-pity & stupidity that he felt it necessary to yell at me. At the same time, it felt nice to feel understood & cared for. It was also a relief to be talking to someone who is just plain honest & not afraid to be, like I am. (Usually, I’ll explain in a sec)
I didn’t continue writing to Maron right away. For many reasons, why would I keep writing some dude I don’t even know? That’s weird. Mainly though, it was because when the end of January came around I had to move out of my apartment & hadn’t set up a new place to stay. I had spent all my savings & was waiting on my tax money to get into a new apartment or go back home. I spent a total of 9 nights in my car before finally sucking up my pride & calling a friend to ask for help. While I was spending that time in my car, I continued listening to the Pod & it kept me company, made me laugh, cry & forget about the fact that I was sleeping in my car in Venice (so I could be close to public restrooms & because I LOVE the beach). I wasn’t as scared, because I was distracted, by both WTF & Keith Richards Life Autobiography (which was AWESOME, I highly suggest it!)
I think it was when I got slightly settled at the Hollywood Tower, staying with this roided out (juiced), obnoxious gay friend of my friend when I made the choice to write Maron again to give him an update on my situation, in case he was concerned (right). We exchanged several emails & one day, when I know I was being incredibly pushy, he said he was gonna be in my neighborhood & asked if I wanted to come to where he was to say hi. Of course I said yes, I wanted to thank him & I’m always up for making new friends. Thanks to the boy I was staying with, I didn’t get there until he was about to leave, but he was gracious enough to suggest we grab a coffee & talk. Well, I don’t drink coffee, hate it in fact even though I do LOVE the smell….odd, but I said yes anyway. We went to a really cool coffee joint, independent, the best kind. It’s actually become a regular hang of mine since. We sat down & talked for about a half hour & it was a disaster. It wasn’t him at all, he was great. He was friendly, engaging, made eye contact. He was cool & I liked him. It was me. I couldn’t seem to keep up my defensive walls with him & that FREAKED ME OUT. I didn’t want to be honest with him about the boyfriend who died, that I hadn’t hung out with a new guy since that time & also that I was still recovering from nearly two weeks in my car. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t look him in the eyes. I couldn’t be me. When we were walking out, he asked how long we’d been there & when I said about an hour he commented that it had felt like ten hours. That felt like a dagger in my pride. I knew that I couldn’t even argue that fact. I should have paid closer attention to that sentence. If I had, I would have never contacted him again & been able to hold on to a bit of pride.
I should have been smart, like a guy, about the situation. But did I? HELL NO! My dumb ass text him, telling him it was great meeting him. I emailed him, saying nice things to make him smile (well, that was the intention anyway), trying to somehow make up for tanking on our first meeting. All that got me was even more embarrassment & him pulling back & eventually never replying to me again. I thought I had a shot at maybe making a new friend who I could talk to, but that wasn’t to be. A few weeks after the last time he replied to me, I went to see him perform at a small bar in Hollywood. When he walked in, I noticed that he had a girl on him, I mean with him. She was young, I wouldn’t put her any older than 27 & it was obvious she adored him. It was sweet. I always like it when I see people like that, so into each other, gives me hope that I’ll get another shot at it. Either he didn’t remember me when I said hi to him as he was standing next to my table or he was so freaked out by me at this point that it caused him to look at me with a slight contempt in his eyes. Who knows, maybe he thinks I’m a crazy stalker fan girl, which if you know me is laughable. He doesn’t know any better, so I don’t blame him. His set was short, personal, honest & pretty funny. He talked about the girlfriend. He talked about having no interest in “nice, age appropriate women”. Immediately I thought “Damn, does that mean I have to start dating wrinkly 60-something guys now because all the guys in my age group choose to date 20-somethings for their youth & a longer time frame in which to have children if that’s a goal?” Or am I supposed to follow the new “Cougar” trend & find my own 20-something? There is NO way I’m doing that! I felt so awkward about our cold “hey” experience that I was relieved when they left. I never made eye contact with him once after I greeted him, not even when he had to walk past me after finishing on stage. I just stared straight ahead & continued clapping. My friend who had come with me that night said he would look over at our table with this concerned look on his face. What am I gonna do, go over to him & cause a scene? PLEASE! First of all, I don’t do that sort of thing. Second, while I did find myself kinda liking him the day we met, my hands were sweaty, I felt the butterflies, I giggled like an idiot…..whatever. He not only has NO interest in speaking to me, but HE HAS A GIRLFRIEND! You will never meet a woman more respectful of that than me. I don’t mess with attached men, it’s bad karma & is also something I am very familiar with, as the girlfriend being cheated on by uncaring boyfriends & disrespected by other women.
I wrote him one last email, on the 1 year anniversary of Corey’s passing, because I needed for him to know, for whatever reason, why I was so awkward the day we met. I didn’t really address any of the other stuff, because it truly is irrelevant now. I misread him, or more likely, I put too much into the possibility of a connection. I thought maybe he liked me as a person & we might become friends. That was stupid of me. Like I said before, none of the blame lies on his shoulders, it was all me. I was going through a dark period, feeling lonely & reached out to a stranger, because it was safer. I then made the mistake of thinking it was becoming something more than just a guy feeling sorry & concerned for another human being. He was being nice. He was trying to help. He is a good person.
Now, I dread the thought of running into him somewhere. I doubt I would talk to him now, don’t think I would even make eye contact. It’s not worth the awkwardness. I am not the person he thinks of in his mind. The bad thing is, when you make a really bad first impression, it’s basically impossible to recover from that. What can I say, sometimes I don’t like it when people don’t like me.
Back to my original story (wow, that was a LOT of back story, huh? sorry) Tonight I heard he would be doing a set at the Smodcastle, which is owned by Kevin Smith & Scott Mosier. It was cool to go there. I went alone. I sat in the back row. I watched his set. I laughed. I clapped. Then I left, as soon as he finished his short set. I’m glad I went. I’m also glad I didn’t have to interact with him. On the drive home I nearly got into 3 car accidents, because that’s just how horribly the people drive around here. The first incident was caused by a cop car who cut in front of me, slammed on his brakes & turned on his lights. I was SO mad, but am glad I have good driving reflexes. Then there was a box truck & another car, both who cut me off as if I was invisible. I have driven in 46 of the 48 continental states & this city is easily in my top 5 worst places to drive! Especially on a weekend night.
The moral of this story…….I need to get over myself & let this irrelevant bullshit go. Who gives a shit if some guy doesn’t like me or want to be my friend. I have a beautiful array of friends, many of whom I’ve known for over 20 years. Life is too short & precious to worry about shit that doesn’t matter in the long run. At least he got me into checking out live stand up gigs, which I never really bothered to do before meeting him. I mean, I worked at Second City in Detroit for a long time, LOVED that time of my life & my friends there, but it’s a different world from stand up. I’m starting to enjoy the hell out of it. So, thank you Marc Maron….thank you for being a decent, funny, good person. I wish you a good life that makes you smile more than it makes you cry.