Coffee

That free coffee at the Silver Lake Trader Joes. The one hipster complains it’s too hot. The other hipster says it’s too strong. I said it’s too wet. Both look at me, then at each other, then back at me. It’s funnier if you’re stoned, I said. Oh wow, the one said. The other nodded, sagely. Truth.

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Real estate values

There was a fatal stabbing on the east side of Hoover street. Domestic squabble. Sad. The east side of the street is Silver Lake now, since the LA Times set the borders hard. West side of Hoover is East Hollywood. It used to be that apartments for rent on the east side of Hoover were Silver Lake adjacent, but stabbings were in East Hollywood. Or Virgil Village, actually. Virgil Village disappeared somewhere on the maps and now East Hollywood goes all the way to Beverly, where there is nothing even vaguely Hollywood. Silver Lake tumbles down from tony breezy heights to come to a hard stop on Hoover Street. If only the tiff could have been taken across the street. It’s narrow enough, two lanes, tight parking, a moving trucker’s nightmare. They could have run over there easily enough. But no, it happened on the Silver Lake side, and now the crime reports scream murder in Silver Lake, a knife flashing through very expensive air, and try explaining that to the lawyer you’re selling that insanely overpriced bungalow to.

Crisco

(2012)

Back when Silver Lake was leather heaven all the corner markets had lots and lots of Crisco on the shelves. I never thought about that until I saw a totally leathered out guy my size at the liquor store getting  ready for a party.  Snacks, beer, booze, cigars, breakfast cereal (coco puffs, I remember that 30 years later), milk, juice, donuts and every can of Crisco on the shelf. Like eight cans worth. The poor kid working the counter looked absolutely horrified. The leather dude was loving it.

There are none of those guys left in the neighborhood. I bet 90% of them died. They sang I Will Survive and then died. Their bars are straight, their houses full of hipsters and irony. Chaps aren’t just for gay boys anymore. The plague came through and destroyed that whole civilization. It laid waste the land, leaving Silver Lake barren with breeders. It’s raining babies now. But those were the days, the survivors sing. Those were the days. What a party. A man was a man and Crisco wasn’t just for frying chicken.

Beautiful young things

Beautiful young things still come to our door by mistake almost daily. Well, two or three times a week. Our street is a beautiful young thing magnet. They come up the steps looking at their iPhones, confused, peer in through the front window and see me. Now there’s a sight. Bravely they knock on the door. Sometimes they ask for so and so in a hip New Yawkese. Sometimes they have tiny little English accents. This one the latter, cute but très hip. As always I was very polite, if unshaven. I smile. Upstairs, I suggest. She thanked me and took delicate, teetering high heeled steps back down, and I watch and wonder how one gets so old. Twenty five years in one pad. How many cats back was that? How many jobs? Bands? We moved in scarcely older than she. I would jump the two flights of stairs two and three at a time. I moved the furniture in myself. The boxes of books and records. Now I hobble up and down, arthritic, from jumping all those stairs, perhaps, or maybe falling down them, and I watch too much TV. Grown men, Canadians mostly, are brawling, and young things come up the steps like poetry.

Unfabulous

Silver Lake is being straightified. It’s unfabulous. Plus you used to be able to get a great burger and get called sister at the Blue Nun.

I wanted to show you a picture of the Blue Nun but apparently it never existed. Nothing undigital ever was. Maybe’s it’s for the better. Like where that steam punk guy is hitting on that breezy little blonde. I saw something unspeakable right there. But that was in analog times, fabulous, and not online. Ain’t that right sister, the guy at the Blue Nun said. I nodded and took a bite out of my burger. The conversation was about writing and liberation. Leather and ear studs and big hairy words. Big men, big smart men. I listened. More coffee, sister? I nodded.

There. Now it’s digital. But memories are never in fabulous three dimensional full color. And all you’re getting here is my digitized memories of the Blue Nun. Pale. Wan. Distant. Unfabulous.