I am sitting on a couch in the lounge area outside the bar in the Sunset Tower Hotel. I’m in a midnight blue De La Renta suit, having seen only a few hours prior a production of La Traviata at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, with a royal blue dress shirt and a tie spun from fine Italian silk–a gift from my mother several years prior. To my left, on the same couch, is Peter, a recent but very dear friend of mine who seems to “get” me in a way others do not, who is not scared off by my rituals and antics and persistence; on the adjacent, smaller couch is Ryann, a young screenwriter who is at the same time both interesting and intriguing, whom I had met the night before and would like to get to know further. I am situated comfortably, one leg crossed over the other, my left arm placed in an L on the back of the couch, my head resting in its palm; my right arm draped going the other way. On the table before us sits a Kettle One martini, dry, with three olives (mine), two glasses of red wine for the others, a few napkins, and a steel tray containing kalamata olives, kettle chips, peanuts, and garbanzo beans. A grand piano sits unaccompanied next to the bar. Through the windows around me I see the lights of the L.A. night gleam. The lounge is empty save for us and a small party of three foreign women who are later joined by two males. It is late. I am not tired, though I may seem so.
We talk consistently but I am thinking mostly about the past year. The anticipation of the coming emergence swirling beneath the fatigued, craven exterior of a latent, leashed soul; the unforeseen arms which plunged deep, uninhibited, and pulled that soul to the air; breathing in the air; watching life begin again. As these little periods are emblematic of the larger scale scheme of all things, so can a day be of phases. I can sum up my entire year, so to speak, in one day in late August of the year 2008. But I won’t. Not here.
I think about liberation from all, but it takes almost a year to realize that more than anything what I needed to liberate myself from was myself. I am plagued by two problems: one, my metaphysical mind; two, that I can always see the finished product before the process actually begins. The fusion of these two make for a long, Gordian equation of inevitably disastrous consequence. I take the former and try to force the latter. Maybe you can call this idealistic. Whatever.
Here I am, wondering why nothing can be what I want it to be, the way I picture it, why all stars burn out in my hand, and there I’ve been trying to force things love and learning. The only agency we may possess over growth is awe, confidence, respect. The ability to accept life as it is and as it becomes. Be one with it. Nothing more.