The sky falls into darkness bringing its stars to life & a radiant moon out in all of its glory. Yes, it is another night-out in the City of Angels, walking among stars & beneath your feet in the old stomping but legendary grounds of Hollywood & Sunset Blvd. No matter how many times I’ve been here and the late night spots -which have now become landmarks- they never ever seem to get old. It is simply a treat to still hear live music reverberate through its streets after all these years. This is no longer the 80s, no longer a portrait of decadence when glam metal dominated the scene, flyers by the tons on the street and poles, bottles of alcohol on the sidewalk and vomit everywhere. And yes, Tower Records remains in its spot but closed for more than a decade, just an empty structure that serves as a reminder of the times that were. Now, corporate america & coffee shops are plastered on the strip but its echoes from a wild past remain latent.
After settling at the Troubadour, drinking the first Lemmy of the night, 15 minutes go by and the iPhone screen flashes with one of my fave names in toggle case, it is a text from Abbie:
“I know you’re in town, mister. Out & about?”
“As always, WeHo. How ’bout you?” I replied.
“I’m at a friend’s house in Van Nuys. Why don’t you come?”
“Not yet… I’m a gentleman, I’ll make sure you come first”
“Hehehe, you haven’t changed one bit. I can swing by and meet you somewhere near, I feel like dancing!” she responded with tons of emojis.
“1Oak in an about hour. Sounds good?”
“Just like their neon sign says, we all end up at 1Oak… See you there, boy!”
“There is absolutely nothing to this, no magic pill or potion to making an interaction work. All you need is genuine interest and be present, that’s it.”
Abbie. I met her at a well-known, hipster restaurant on Sunset. After looking at the drink menu for awhile, I turned to her with a puzzled look & waved the menu, she leans over and says “The organic strawberry lemonade here is hella good, you just gotta try it but spike it with vodka!”. As I like to tell everyone, there is absolutely nothing to this, no magic pill or potion to making an interaction work. All you need is genuine interest and be present, that’s it.
After some small talk, we exchanged numbers and said our goodbyes. We started going out, and her easy going attitude made it even better, the only downside is the fact that she digs Kanye, Drake and Lil’ Wayne -according to her that is the holy grail of Hip-Hop- which starts heated arguments but all in good nature. I still love that girl.
Our encounters were and have been very casual, we are talking casual 101: it involves drinks + live music/club + chill at her place & fool around. Repeat cycle.
Back at 1oak, we catch up for a bit and get onto business as usual, bouncing between the dance floor & bar, back and forth. After a couple of hours, we decide to leave and go back to her place, we chill, fool around, get physical and then just laying down side by side, she says “where is this headed, it’s almost like we are in a never ending story of fun, which is great and all but don’t you wanna find out what else is there?”
“All this is right here, these are just euphoric moments, great enjoyable ones, living in the here-and-now, but it is just an illusion of love, nothing more”
Of course, this is the dreaded question that eventually everyone faces after sometime of being in a casual relationship or at least in one where there has not been any explicit labels. “Honestly, I don’t. We have something cool going, why complicate it!”
“And that is why I wanna find out” she replied with conviction, her tonality conveyed that no matter how much I try to avoid this, she is expecting a solid answer and nothing less.
“Just don’t love me, I just don’t want that pressure in my life. It will only create expectations and complicate things. All this is right here, these are just euphoric moments, great enjoyable ones, living in the here-and-now, but it is just an illusion of love, nothing more”
Silence fills the room quickly. I sit on the edge of the bed trying to process what just happened and how simple words can change the complexion of a relationship, a friendship, a connection, life itself. Someway, somehow I felt like I needed to reiterate how this all started and what was the unspoken expectation. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, I like this girl very much, I hold her in high esteem and think she is wonderful but now it is not the time, at least not for me.
After putting all the cards on the table on why it isn’t the time, and telling her that I was willing to walk away on the spot if she wanted me to, and if she didn’t want to see me anymore, I would understand. She put her hand on my shoulder and told me if I was just some other guy that was fun to fool around but with no real rapport and nothing else to go on, she would have kicked me out of her place in a heartbeat but did not because she knew that I truly had and still have her best interest, she means more to me than just casual fun, that I am going to be there when needed, that we can talk and be who we really are with each other because there is no judging, she knows it and I know it.
Ultimately, this boiled down to a matter of bad timing, not a matter of “wrong place, wrong person” simply timing, timing that was not on our side. For now, this amazing connection, this ‘casual’ connection that is filled with fantastic moments is just that, maybe one day this may change, maybe but as it stands, this is just a reel of euphoric moments, an illusion of love and nothing more.