I’m in Hollywood. I love Hollywood. When I was 15, I found myself in this town twice, once by way of my big bold shiny thumb, and another time as the “guest” (groupie) of the awesome late 80’s glitter glam band Celebrity Skin. My traveling companion was my best friend Ria, we were fearless and free, with not a care in the world and not a dollar in our pockets. We were young and alive, and our dollar free pockets were stuffed with invisible angels that kept our bellies full and our tight young bodies out of harms way. We panhandled on Hollywood Blvd, always scraping together enough silver and copper to buy the days McDonald’s french fry ration. When we grew bored with our adventure we would turn ourselves into the cops, claiming to be runaways, our parents would always report us missing, we could count on that ( Hollywood wasn’t our only get-a-way.), and Trailways bus line would foot the bill for a free ride home. “Runaways ride home free”, that was their ad campaign in the early nineties that had us feeling even more free. Free, free, free! I never considered myself a runaway, although I guess technically we were “runaways”, but I never felt like I was running away from anything. I was bored and spirited, I needed adventure to feel alive! I wasn’t running away from a Mother that couldn’t pay the rent, let alone pay any real attention to me, I was running towards adventure, towards fun!
I remember the freedom I felt in those days, and it is similar to the freedom I feel now. Similar in that I don’t know what will happen next, I’m living in the moment, and the future is undetermined; there is before me, a chapter in a book that may or may not have already been written, its pages slowly turning, revealing one sentence at a time, fresh words I’ve never heard drop into my mind, replacing old dusty ones…..control has been replaced by delicious sweet surrender.
I think the most obvious difference between the me now, and the me then, besides my current lack of blood-red locks and line free skin, is peace. I am at peace. Sitting here at my beloved friends table typing these words, as she dances at a club down the street, I am deeply peaceful. Writing and having my ears filled with the laughter of boys partying next door, and cars honking horns, I am still still. When I was 15, I was present because the future was terrifying, a place not worth visiting, a place I determined was better off avoiding. I was wild and reckless. I didn’t care if I died. Maybe I even secretly wanted to die, beneath the waters of my adolescent consciousness, I wouldn’t have minded a break from the constant anxiety and pain of life……and I was PUNK ROCK!!!!! These moves were right in line with my fuck off and die attitude.
Today I am still wild, but much less reckless. My death wish has been replaced by a wish to be lived into my radical potential as a human being! Live me now! My punk rock attitude still survives, but is tempered with compassion, and I only use my punk rock super powers to fight for good, never to hurt myself or others. When I was in Hollywood at 15, I remember feeling a deep longing, wishing I could live in this sparkling, brown skies at nite town. Note: I just learned that the brown sky phenomenon is caused by the “sodium street lights”, the gases they emit, mix with the “marine layer”, creating a brown tinged sky. When I was 15, I didn’t know people who knew groovy stuff like that, I knew people who could make a bong out of a coke can, but no one who could explain the strange brown sky. Thanks Adam. Back then, I thought California existed only for the golden people; the shiny, happy, beautiful people who lived just like they lived on TV and in the movies, not for the unhappy and unshiny people like me.
Tonite I walked through Hollywood, just blocks from Las Palmas and Hollywood Blvd, where I stayed when I was a badass punkrock girl, helping Yvonne hang up signs for a yard sale she is having in the morning. As she ductaped her bright green sign to the pole on Sunset Blvd, a young girl walked by us looking grey and holding her stomach. I watched her as she ducked behind a tree and proceeded to throw up. No one seemed to be bothered by her chunk blowing on the side of Sunset Blvd, Yvonne didn’t even comment. Hollywood is full of everything. There is space here for EVERYTHING, even fifteen year old girls with bright red hair, and a whole lotta hell to work out.
I have been here several times since I was a child, but this visit is different. I come here in a similar yet different spirit than I came here with before. A spirit of adventure, a spirit of freedom. I am here to reclaim my inner fifteen year old, to take care of her, to let her have her fun, and also to give her a safe space inside of me to be. To just BE. I am one of the golden, shiny, happy people. I always have been…well, golden and shiny that is, happy is newer.
I am living in California. As of today. I don’t have an official “address”, my address is currently, CALIFORNIA.
Welcome Home 🙂