| May 4, 2019
So, I came to Los Angeles for a week on business, and the hotel where I normally stay was booked up solid…as were 19 other hotels on the list of 24 that were possibilities. That left 4, obviously. So, I picked the best of the 4, as far as I could tell from their web site…web sites lie, though.
I should know this by now.
The hotel I stayed in was technically in Beverly Hills, but it was nestled comfortably between a Walgreen’s and a body shop…so there’s that. And there’s more…
I arrived around 1 AM and walked into the lobby, which proudly displayed a gold chair shaped like a giant hand and lots and lots of derbys as a tribute to Charlie Chaplin, apparently. Random.
There were two plastic wrapped chocolate chip cookies and a Kit-Kat bar casually displayed, shall we say, on a Venetian looking tiered candy plate as a kind of welcome, I suppose, or a warning against excess sugar intake. Not quite sure.
The night time desk clerk was wearing two nose rings, 7 earrings, a black leather vest, a gold sequined top, jeans ripped to shreds and fluffy pink slippers. I decided her name was Desdemona…with an apostrophe in there somewhere, I’m not sure where. Desdemona, or Des as I liked to call her, was very mellow, remarkably chill, practically comatose. She asked if I was “in the business.” And I thought, “Which business, exactly?” So, I ventured a guess and said,”No. You?” And she told me she was working on a new act, and I thought, A. Clearly wardrobe has been decided, and B. Bless her heart.
She thanked me for asking, which I thought was nice. Then she told me, with a wink, not to miss Happy Hours – “not quite happy, not quite an hour” – gotta love that. I had a new friend for the next few days.
After Des gave me my room card, I ascended a few flights to my new home away from home. I found it, swiped my card, opened the door and was back in the Seventies…not in a good way. This was a set for an Aramis commercial, with a shaggy rug not quite shaggy enough to be cool; a huge kind of Hollywood Regency headboard in tufted leatherette; night table lamps that looked like former homes for Barbara Eden’s Jeannie character (fitting since I’m sure the word “Master” had been said in these quarters more than once); and a marble bar made out of the marble that everyone passes by when they’re shopping for counter tops – the brown and tan mottled one that looks like melted peanut butter cups. You know the one.
I felt a sudden need for a mustache and a gold medallion on a chain. I felt like I should be smoking unfiltered cigarettes and drinking Black Russians. I felt like bad things had happened in this room, probably recently. But it was 1 AM and there was a bed. Maybe it would all look better in daylight.
Not so much. But that was ok, I’d decided. This was an adventure, another unique experience that I could dine out on more than once, a story that many would accuse me of embellishing, and yet there would be no need. All the raw material was there. My fellow hotel occupants made up a cast of a seedy Love Boat episode where the Love Boat had run aground.
I’ll be back in LA, maybe even as soon as next month, and when I do I will definitely not stay at this establishment. But I will wander over to have a look. And I will stop in to see my friend Des and ask how her act is coming. anything is possible in LA. Absolutely anything. I wish her well.
Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.
– Frank Lloyd Wright
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