Tag Archives: cheetahs

The Age of Enlightenment: Ah, Adulthood!

Ah, Sausalit

A guy walks into a bar.

Who am I fucking kidding? I walk into a bar. I walk into a German bar on a Thursday night to meet a man who is about to become a father. It’s a celebratory time, but with his pending fatherhood and my pending adulthood, a quiet pint is where we will start and where it will end.

But this is a reunion and we’re short two, which means that this quiet pint(s) is really just a precursor.

Still, everything has changed and even though I used to drink well into Wednesday morning with these guys, the times have changed. One is almost a father, one is almost a professor, one has been growing his hair and talking about moving to Istanbul. We’ve all matured. All that tequila at the Roosevelt, all those Bloody Marys on Cahuenga minutes before last call; they’re all behind us. We have credit cards now that are mostly paid off. We have life partners and lovers turned tantric masseuses who just want what’s best for us. They tell us so in postcards from Montreal.

Yet, despite all of that. Despite uncorking sophisticated beers in a strip mall in Echo Park, despite a lack of identification we still find ourselves in a car, a hired car, trying our best to find something that might raise our blood pressure and give us something to question in the morning. A young Bruce Lee type in a Toyota Yaris takes us to a fire station that moonlights as a bar. We miss it three times. What ivy and a lack of signage do for credibility, just complicate things when you reach a certain level of maturity.

But it’s closed and our driver finesses us through Silver Lake until we’ve found a place that will have us – we the would-be father, the novelist, a man headed for New Orleans in the morning and myself. One of us grabs a microphone and starts singing a song that I should probably know, but I do not. Then there’s a round of whiskey in front of us. Then there’s another. And another. The lights come on, but we’re not done yet.

The world has expanded for me. Everything is greater than it once was. It’s multiplied. Which is to say I’m seeing double. Luckily, I’m not behind the wheel. No, I’m in front of a stage explaining to a woman in a leather bikini that my lapdance days are behind me – I gesture to my friends as evidence of my maturity – our maturity really, but they’re at the bar getting drinks, probably explaining to the girl who’s too war-torn to dance, the cultural significance of Je Suis Charlie. Or maybe they’re just sussing out the bourbon selection. Either way, my hostess, who has been enjoying Los Angeles greatly since relocating here from Victorville six months ago, has moved onto a Korean guy with a ream of singles. I think he goes to my gym, but I can’t say for certain. I haven’t been since the spring.

I slap the backs of my friends, delighting in all the change that has taken place. Look how far we’ve come, I say. Can you believe it? My god how we’ve grown!

There’s only one place to go from here. I’ve been there before. No, not the speakeasy with the Thai matron, a farmer’s market of coke dealers and the watered-down whiskey near Hollywood and Normandie. No, I don’t think the bouncer with the two eyes that are running away from each is in any rush to see me. Plus, I’m a fully realized mature adult. That means that buck stops at gentleman’s club, and not an inch farther.

My god, I’ve grown. Before leaving I do a lap, looking to see if there’s anyone from my youth still working here. Alas, even the grizzled bartender who is too chubby, old and acned to gyrate for singles isn’t from my era. How the times have changed. I whip out my phone. If it’s 3:26 a.m. now, and I have to be at work at 8:15… I ask the bartender for a pen, a napkin and a calculator. Mature I may be, but a mathematician I am not. We order another round of whiskeys. There’s no sense in solving this equation on an empty stomach, and in my old age, I’ve earned this.

Leave a comment

Filed under Red Cups

Quiet Pints Will Be The Death Of Me

Quiet pints will be the death of me.

Let’s start at the end: a quaint neighborhood where respectable people walk their children to school and drink pH 9.5 Ethos water at $3.50 a pop at Whole Foods. I’m sprawled on the couch, dying. I awake from the dead. I rush to a tap, apply my lips and with the jaws (my own) of life, I suckle the teat of the tap, which is undoubtedly connected to the squalid L.A. River.

Nectar of the gods.

How did I get there? How do we ever find ourselves on couches with a world of hurt between our ears? The story is always the same: a quiet pint.

I met a friend for a quiet pint in a quiet bar on a quiet street at the quiet hour of a quarter to 8:00 p.m. I had a pint, alright. But this particular night, the pint was Irish whiskey. Nary a hop or barley in my glass due in part to it being Thursday.

We clanked glasses. Tried to keep our mangle-faced waitress at bay, Leave the drinks and be on your way, love. That’s girl. And keep ‘em coming. For some reason my friend had adopted an Irish accent. It may have been the whiskey. It was likely the whiskey.

The clock struck an hour that was undoubtedly early as we had arrived early. And having arrived early, and delighted that it was still early, we decided to do what any men, half-sopped in whiskey would do. We decided to go to Cheetahs. For a night cap.

Cheetahs… you’re a cruel mistress.

She taketh, and she taketh, and then she points out that there’s an ATM in the corner so she can continue the take.

But by nature she nurtures. Need a shoulder to cry on? You’ll likely find yourself buried in a set of surgically enhanced tits. Mind you, they serve liquor at Cheetahs so the tits you find yourself nuzzled among will be concealed, or at least obscured by a bit of cotton.

The girls are friendly. The girls are foreign.

The girls like my friend much more than they liked me. Breathe a sigh of relief. The attention of strippers is not only emotionally and physically taxing, it’s also a fiscal burden. Not unlike a war. With no end in sight. Want to keep an eye on things in a country you don’t govern? Want to have a night cap in a room full of naked women you don’t love? It’s going to cost you, pal.

Me? I made new friends. A South Korean and Syrian who were speaking Spanish with an Argentinean accents. They had done time together in a town called Rosario. Now they were doing time together in a strip club in Hollywood. I drank their Blue Label. I laughed at their jokes. I took their picture. I made some new friends who invited me to jump in their car and take a ride to another locale.

THANK FUCKING GOD I DIDN’T GET IN THAT ESCALADE AT 1:59 A.M.

I lost my friend, the one who’s a hit with the girls from Lithuania, Iowa, Russia.

A half dozen girls born after the fall of the Berlin Wall take my hand and promise me the ride of my life. I’m no shape for it. I search my pockets. I find the Korean’s business card. I dial the number a hundred times and berate myself for not jumping in that S.U.V. and undoubtedly missing the 3:00 a.m. of a lifetime. Like I said, I was in no shape…

I scan the room: skin heads, suits, strippers.

I enter the V.I.P. room. You’re familiar with mechanical bulls. They heave and hoe and toss drunk people to the floor… for fun. Well, there was no mechanical bull in the room, but my poor friend sat at attention while Electra from Slovenia rode him like she was bare-backing a malfunctioning mechanical bovine. She hung on for dear life. I was sure she was going to throw her back out. She looked like she was having a fucking seizure on my friend’s thigh. Mind you, Electra’s in the best shape of her life and I’m no position to judge her ability to crush a pelvis. All I’m saying is it didn’t look like a good time.

Of course, the man paid for the ride so I let the rest of the song play. I interjected before she could offer him another round of whiplash.

At this point, the night was no longer young and our pockets were no longer full of the promise of a good time. Spartans we had been or so we thought, but it was time to hang up the blunt object that was our pickled brains. It was time to face the dawn. We made for the exit. We let down a lot of nice young girls who were just looking to take all of our money. We promised to come back soon.

Quiet pints. Quiet pints will be the death of me.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eavesdroppings