from Friday, July11th of the year2008.
I’m going to travel again tomorrow ““ to Los Angeles, and then to London, and I haven’t been updating this space because of frantic preparations for this trip. Whenever I’m frantic, I start forgetting things, or thinking I’ve forgotten something. For instance, the other morning, I thought I had forgotten where I had put my toenail clippers. While I was showering, I was SURE that I had figured out where they were, and so I rushed out, and over to the window, where I found (a) the toenail clippers and also (b) six eager Chinese toddlers, peeking out over their rooftop at my naked form. Great. Now I can add little Tiffany Fung to the short list of people who have seen me naked (including my old FedEx lady uptown, SORRY, I seriously thought you were somebody else.)
Right now, I am in Los Angeles. I have rented a white two-door mustang, and a GPS system governed by an officious woman who tells me when to do what. Yesterday, she tried to get me to buy a whole lot of grey Carol Christian Poell shirts and then she tried to get me to go to a Starbucks Drive-Thru. Last night, she helped me find the Hollywood Bowl, which is amazing! It’s like Tanglewood for these people! The bowl was lit with a flesh-colored, rosy light, and the whole thing was very supple and inviting. The concert was over-the-top: Saint-SaÃ«ns’s's Organ Symphony, and Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique. Having just come from Actual Tanglewood (as opposed to Paved Tanglewood) where I saw some seventeen hours of Berlioz, I think I’ve had enough for the week.
I wish I understood LA better. I am somewhere, Location A. Miss GPS says that it will take me 20 minutes (or 55 minutes in traffic) to get to my Destination, where I need to be in One Hour’s Time. Should I leave now, and then risk being early? Every meeting I have here comes with nineteen people’s assistants emailing talking about “Guest Parking Spot” and “Validation” and “Lot” and “Pass” and “Security Officer.” How do people keep all of this straight!?
I am in a coffee shop using $25 (!?) WiFi.
Something to think about. When traveling (or sometimes when not) there are a lot of moments where you approach somebody in a position of some sort of authority, say, a hotel clerk. You brandish your paperwork, you give her your last name. She makes a FACE, and it’s this FACE that I want to explore for a second. The FACE is like, “Oh, I don’t think we have your reservation.” Even if it lasts a microsecond, that face is the difference, I think, between Okay Service and Not Okay Service. Seeing that face is completely devastating, especially after complicated travel. I got that face yesterday about seventeen times, attendant to every appointment I had. The worst was, I had been left a ticket to the hollywood bowl, along with the instructions, “Drive up to the security guard, and you might have to fight with them, and tell them that you’ve been left a pass at the stop sign.” Are you crazy? What is this, Lagos? Bribing a security guard!? So stressful. And of course, I roll up in my White Mustang and the Nice Officer wanted nothing to do with me and my window-rolling, “It’s at the stop sign” saying ass. Stressful. I wish there were some kind of secret code-word that indicates, no, it’s alright, I’m meant to be here. Maybe this is just a deep-seated anxiety about access/lack of access.