April 24, 2016

This Is What Would Happen If You Were Accidentally Locked in a Parking Lot in Hollywood.

You have a lovely night seeing a play and hanging with your friends at a local bar. You walk with your friends back to the nearby theater parking lot you all parked in. You say good night and all go to your respective cars. 

Your car is a little father off than everyone else's. Your friends watch you get in your car and then they drive away. You put on your seatbelt. You look up. Everyone has vanished. You are the last car in the parking lot. You think nothing of this. You pull out of your spot. 

You drive to the exit. The exit is blocked by a chain link gate. You see one of your friends' cars at a stoplight in the distance. 

You get out of your car to move the gate  out of your way.

The gate has two locks on it. The gate will not move. You wonder how the gate was closed and doubled locked between the time all of your friends exited and now. You can see your friend's car turn out of sight. 

You think maybe you went to the wrong exit.

You get back in your car and drive to every corner of the parking lot. Which looks ridiculous because it's a very a small parking lot. So you're really just driving in circles.

There is no other exit. 

You call all of your friends who were just there with you in the same parking lot and somehow managed to escape seconds before. No one is answering because they are all too busy driving away to freedom.

You panic. You are going to die here.

You think of options. Your fuel light comes on. You turn off your car and get out again. 

The chain link fence is a good ten feet tall and you are too short to scale it. It surrounds the entire parking lot. There are no footholds. 

You find a long stick and briefly wonder if you can ditch your car and pole vault out of here.

You really think about the idea of leaving your car and get major separation anxiety. You apologize to your car repeatedly for even considering this as an option.

Some youths on skateboards roll by and you ask them to use their delinquent powers to unlock the gate. They call you sir. They think you are a tiny man. They take a photo of you for their Snap story and skate away. 

Finally you get a hold of a friend who informs you that they have the number to the Keeper of the Keys for the theater parking lot. You call the number and leave a message. You ramble unnecessarily in the message and tell some jokes. You also weep softly. The Keeper of the Keys is never going to call you back now. 

You wonder how no one saw you were still there when everyone was leaving at the same time. Your fear of being forgotten intensifies. Maybe you are a ghost. Maybe you are in the Matrix. Maybe you really are a tiny man. This is just like the beginning of a super hero movie right before your powers are discovered. No. It's more like the beginning of an indie movie where this is just the first bad thing that happens and then everything gets worse. You shuffle around the parking lot staring at the ground like Charlie Brown. 

You text people who you know are up and none of your friends are surprised that this has happened to you. No one seems concerned that you are locked in a prison and could die at any moment.

You receive a text from the Keeper of the Keys, who says a man across the street from the parking lot may be able to help you out. You ask for clarification but the Keeper of Keys has spoken and does not respond. 

You peer across the street and see the building in question. Lots of silhouettes are in the windows. There are either a lot of people in this building having a party, or the kid from Home Alone lives there and has set up animatronic cardboard people to make it look uninviting to burglars. You wait for 23 minutes. No one exits the building. Your Home Alone theory intensifies.

A homeless man wanders by and asks you if you want him to break the gate lock with his laser eye vision and you agree. You find out that he does not have laser eye vision. He does offer you a part of his sandwich. Which you decline. He leaves and your stomach rumbles and you wish you had taken a bite of that sandwich.

You turn on music. Your phone battery is at 20% but if you're going to go, by God you will be listening to slow jams when you do. You sing Unchained Melody to no one in particular.

You think of your celebrity crush, Elijah Wood, and lament that if you die here, you will never be able to meet him. 

A man exits the building from across the street. You think it is the mercenary of the Keeper of the Keys, but it's just a guy smoking a cigarette. You think maybe he needs a signal to know that you are legit before he helps you. You make a bird sound. He is disturbed by your behavior and goes back inside. Solitude envelops you once again.

You briefly consider downloading Tinder.

You weep.

You watch some cat videos.

The Keeper of the Keys texts and says that the mercenary from across the street is not coming to help after all. You see that everyone across the street, cardboard cut outs or not, is having a great time at their party.

The Keeper of the Keys informs you that they will free you themselves but they are coming from the Valley. This is like telling Frodo you're coming to rescue him in Mordor, but you're currently in the Shire.

You make your sweater into a hat. You don't know why. 

You grab that long stick you found and yell, "You shall not pass!" at the chain link fence. You are not Gandalf and this makes you deeply sad.

Your phone is at 10%. You open up the notes section and type furiously. Tonight you will write your swan song. 

A tree branch falls out of a tree and hits you in the face. You black out for five to ten seconds from the impact.

You continue typing your swan song into your phone for an hour. You finish and read it back and it is completely incomprehensible. Your phone is now at 2%.

You decide to lock your phone to save battery. You immediately open it back up again and watch cat videos. 

Two bright lights hit your face. You think of Ryan Gosling for no reason in particular.

You realize the two lights are headlights coming from the other side of the fence. You hear the screeching sound of tires. A car door opens. A godlike figure gets out of the car and stands with the light illuminating them from behind. You say, "Liam Neeson?"

The figure says, "I have the keys." The figure pulls the keys from their pocket. You still can't see their face so you assume that it is, in fact, Liam Neeson.

Liam Neeson unlocks the gate and slides it open.

You stand there for a moment. Not sure if it's real. You start to say something but you know you'll never say anything that is good enough for Liam Neeson's ears. 

You get in your car and start it up. You drive through the gate. You are free.

You take one last look back at Liam Neeson. But he is gone. And the gate is locked.

February 14, 2016

A Valentine's Day Love Story: This Actually Happened To Me On An Airplane

I am on an airplane flying back to Los Angeles. It is a packed flight and every seat is filled. I luckily have a window seat. A very nice and adorable couple sits next to me. They look like they are straight out of an Urban Outfitters ad. A mix of cool and hipster and sexy and lumberjack chic. Everything I want to be. We'll call them Jill and Jack. Pretty sure they are models because they are both approximately seven thousand feet tall. However, my height estimations are often skewed since I am, in fact, a hobbit.

Jill is seated next to me in the middle seat and Jack is on the aisle. I keep glancing over at them because they just look so perfect together. Jack says hi to me and I smile but I can't think of anything to say. So I keep smiling, alternating looking at each of them. Pretty sure they are entirely creeped out by me. I finally tear my eyes away in shame.

I settle into my Game of Thrones book and day dream about the day I marry Jon Snow. Or Pod. I'll take what I can get. Once the flight takes off and gets to altitude, Jack gets out of his seat, presumably to go to the bathroom. I say a silent prayer for Jack, as airplane bathrooms are my worst nightmare.

While Jack is in the bathroom, I notice Jill is also reading Game of Thrones. I quickly try to think of some interesting thing to say about the book or the show so that Jill will think I'm cool because my new goal in life is to get her approval. I blurt out, "What is dead may never die." She smiles warmly at me and laughs, then goes back to her book. Jill thinks I'm funny. I am her new best friend.

Jack returns looking extremely agitated, and I give him a curt nod, knowing what he has just been through. He returns a confused smile. We are all becoming BFFs.

A flight attendant makes an announcement about beverage service. Jack is squirming and trying to get something out of his pocket. I assume it is hand sanitizer because of the airplane bathroom.

When the flight attendant finishes her announcement she then says, "Ladies and gentlemen, I also want to tell you that somewhere on this plane there is a boy who is very much in love with his girl and wants to spend the rest of his life by her side."

Jack suddenly gets out of his seat and is kneeling in the goddamn aisle of the plane like a fucking dreamboat holding out the most beautiful rock I have ever seen, looking at Jill with tears in his eyes. And I DIED.

Jill drops her Game of Thrones book like it was yesterday's news. Her hands fly up to her face. She bursts into tears, I burst into tears. It's weird because I'm sitting next to her so I'm in Jack's eye line and I almost wonder if he's proposing to me.

Jill rips off her seat belt and flies at Jack, yelling "Yes! Yes! Yes!" She tackles him and they lay on the floor of the airplane aisle, making out and holding each other's sexy lumberjack bodies like they'll never let go.

The entire airplane is up and out of their seats and cheering as Jack and Jill kiss. I am crying and clapping like an insane person, clutching my book. Jack and Jill look happier than I've ever seen two people up close. They get back into their seats, still clutching each other, and the flight attendant brings over champagne for them.

The plane settles down a little but there is still lively chatter. Everyone is uplifted. Love conquers all!

Jack and Jill  make out and drink champagne for the better part of a half hour while I stare at them, unapologetically. Jill looks over at me at one point and I give her the thumbs up. I immediately regret this because it made me look uncool and I want to be cool enough to be invited to their wedding.

Jack and Jill have downed their champagne and get really into their making out. Jill accidentally kicks me with her lumberjack foot. A plastic cup, emptied of champagne, flies at my head. I plaster myself up against the plane window. There is no way out. I try to look out the window but it is nighttime and I can see them in the reflection of the window. I close my eyes but can still hear the sounds of their passionate embrace.

Then everything gets quiet in our aisle. I peak open an eye to see what is going on. Jack and Jill have stopped making out. Their faces are together and Jack whispers in Jill's ear, " I love you."

And I whisper back, "I love you, too." I immediately clap my hand over my face in horror. Jack and Jill are too happy to care. Then they ask me to take some photos of them.

I spend the duration of the flight snapping pictures of Jack and Jill. I'm certain they used one of those photos as their engagement photo. If anyone needs a wedding photographer who only shoots on iPhone, I am now in business.

The flight lands and Jack and Jill thank me for the photos and exit, in all their amazonian glory. The whole plane lets them exit first. As they walk down the aisle, people give Jack pats on the back and throw airplane peanuts at them. I watch happily as they walk away, the most adorable couple in the world.

We didn't exchange numbers so I will probably never see Jack and Jill again. But I will never forget them. Love can cause so much pain and heartbreak, but I really think it's all worth it for those moments when you're plastered up against a sticky plane wall, watching two people experience the best moment of their lives, come what may. And yes I meant for that to be a Moulin Rouge reference. Love conquers all. Happy Valentine's Day!