THIS IS A TRUE STORY.
(Except for the parts where I exaggerate. . . or lie. . . or quote statistics.)
On my birthday this year – June 2 – my life took a gigantic U Turn.
I moved to Los Angeles.
I had been commuting to L.A for two years, and over the course of too many round-trip journeys on too many super-crowded freeways, my buttocks and lower back became permanently molded into the shape of my bucket seat and my once-girlish figure began to resemble an overripe and overgrown pear. Soft and bottom heavy.
And so, I became convinced that my life would become oh-so-much easier if I simply pulled up stakes and moved to L.A..
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, easy about L.A.. (Except, perhaps, the morals.)
I am a writer. I work at home. So, wherever home is, it shouldn’t really affect my writing life. Right?
Wrong! Again. (And no, not you – me!)
Because I have discovered that every other person in L.A. is writing a book, has written a book, or is about to write a book, and whenever I happen to let it slip that in addition to writing and editing books, I also happen to be publishing them – well, let’s just quote Sherlock Holmes here and say, “The game’s afoot!”
And a hand. And an eye. And frequently an elbow. Or any other body part that blocks my exit and forces me to stay put. . . cornered, actually. . . and listen (and listen, and listen), as the next wannabe Tom Clancy pitches his or her book idea. Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum. Add crazy.
I think I’m beginning to understand how Martin Scorsese feels. (You know, that famous Hollywood producer with the eyebrows and the glasses? Can’t miss him!) No way that boy can travel incognito.
Martin and me.
Me and Martin.
Cuz the word is out on this particular new kid in Town.
“Oh, I hear you publish books, is that right?”
“Well, I just started a sma–“
“Good, cuz I’ve had the most amazing life, and everyone tells me I should write a book!”
“Yes well, we all have a sto–“
“I was kidnapped by wolves when I was a baby and they raised me in Griffith Park, under the bridge by the stables.”
“We lapped water out of the fountain, every night. Wanna hear me howl?”
“Sorry, I’m late for a—“
“—traffic jam, and—“
“—my head will explode—‘
“—if I don’t leave—“
“The whole pack should be here, in a couple a minutes.”
“Yeah. . . my Mama is always glad to hear from me.”
“It’s been hard on her, ya know? Raising her man-cub for years, only to have him grow up and leave the whole den behind?!”
“Please, just step away—“
“She worries about me.”
“—from the car door—“
“You know how wolf-parents are.”
At this point, I’m desperate. I hold down the alarm button on my remote control, and two seconds later my car ROCKS and BEEPS and WAILS and creates enough of a diversion that I can bolt around to the passenger side, hop in the front seat, leap over the center console, land in the driver’s seat, slam my key into the ignition, and zoom far, far away.
I check my rear view mirror and see a man – a very furry man – loping down the road on all fours, chasing after my car and panting like a dog. (Or perhaps. . . a wolf?)
Which is just one of the reasons why I haven’t written a blog in three months. (Okay, technically, it’s been four. But this is my fantasy, so humor me. Alright?)
It’s these wretched wolves. They’re more numerous than I thought and infinitely more crafty. And it’s been oh-so-very time consuming, figuring out how to avoid the pack.
Because it’s survival of the fittest in this urban jungle.
And that’s made it even more difficult than usual for me to settle down – here in L.A. – and set up a new bank account, a new water account, a new gas account, a new electricity account, a new internet account, a new landline account, a new Mafia account, and a fax line.
And pay for them all.
And hunt for a new dining set, a new patio set, a new grill, a new gazebo, a new fridge, a new desk, a new lamp, a new rug, a new bed set, a new bathroom set, a new water filtration system, a new shelving system, a new mop, dish brush, and a broom.
And pay for them all.
And find a good dentist, a good doctor, a good gardener, a good veterinarian, a good hair dresser, a good mechanic, a good computer geek, a good handyman, and a bit of good will.
Not to mention that new nail salon, new church, new grocery store, new dry cleaner, new Starbucks, new hardware store, new mall, new barbecue place, new Chinese place, Mexican place, and 1,000 other things without a name that pop up unexpectedly whenever you move a mere 80 miles down the road.
And pay for it all.
I cringe, I panic and curl into a fetal position – just thinking about it all!
PTMD. It’s that Post Traumatic Moving Disorder thing. That looks. . . and sounds. . . and acts. . . a whole lot like a pack of wolves.
Here they come!!!
(The horror. The horror.)
Oh, and BTW, I did recently acquire two new book contracts. But they’re both with out-of-towners. (You know, the sane people.)