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June 14, 2011

And finally here at 7:46 p.m. the jackhammer rests for the evening, the cement saw sits in its darkened truck, awaiting another day.

I explained to my brother Guy last week that I have a new appreciation for the torture techniques used at Guantanamo Bay -- particularly the use of loud, continuous noises. Today by 11 a.m. I was ready to convert to the church of Reggaeton and sell my first born and tell all my family secrets and even reveal the covert and well-protected hiding location of my one most valuable and prized skein of Tilli Thomas (with Austrian crystals, mind you) if only they would please please PLEASE make the noises stop.

In order to avoid selling my soul to the church of Marley, I took a 22-minute shower and listened to I GOT A POCKET GOT A POCKET FULL OF SUNSHINE on a loop. Loud enough to drown on the cement saw but not the jackhammer. Boy they are not messing around building their tunnel to China in the apartment complex. When actual magma starts spouting out and the dude wielding the jackhammer yells out for human assistance before he becomes trapped in the oozing fiery magma, I will bring my boombox to the scene and I will play:

I GOT A POCKET GOT A POCKET FULL OF SUNSHINE!I GOT A LOVE AN I KNOW THAT IT'S ALL MINE!

Tomorrow I am again waking at 4 a.m. to write for a few hours before the jackhammering starts, and the sawing. Oh the constant high-pitched whine of the tile saw has nothing on today's high-pitched scream of the metal tubing saw.

Sometimes I have to leave because it is making. me. crazy. The real crazy, not the funny, charming crazy which we'll one day start calling "eccentric" when I finally make some serious money.I'm talking Unabomber crazy over here. But when I try to leave my apartment the entire work crew of men -- about ten or twelve men --who seem plucked right out of a novel set at the day laborers section of the Reseda Home Depot -- all stop whatever they were doing loudly, and then simultaneously every man turns to stare at me as I walk by on the sidewalk.

It has this mysterious effect on me: I want to tear out their eyeballs with their jackhammers and then throw them down in a pit of frothing, molten hot magma. Is that so wrong?

Last week I tried writing at a coffee shop. I tried five coffee shops and one weird bakery/ice cream parlor that has a bathtub in the hallway. The point here is that these are not quiet places in Hollywood. These are places for homeless smells, panhandling, and lots of men and women talking about their screenplays, their craft, their headshots, who is booking a national right now, their agents, their dog's agents.

Truly it makes for wonderful anthropological outings but isn't productive writing time. Finally I resorted to writing in my car. I parked at a large, leafy quiet park and the weather was nice and cool last week so as long as my laptop battery lasted it was the next best thing to home. This week is too hot, though.

I will not be defeated. I will wake up early, write in the wee and quiet hours, go out for a long walk the moment they start their symphony of ear-splitting noises. When I walk past them I will be on my "phone" discussing "a terrible flare-up of Mucho Bad Y Mucho Contagioso Fiebre! So Sad!"

And maybe later if we're lucky they'll hit an underground volcano -- a scientific fact, duh! Just watch any movie called "Volcano" set in Los Angeles! -- and the magma will begin to ooze and Tommy Lee Jones will have to instruct everyone to abandon the construction site and let the magma seal it in for good. And after a few days of reporters and news helicopters and well, magma, the neighborhood will go back to whatever passes as "quiet" in this crazymaking, loud-ass, constantly pulsating city. AND I WILL GET SOME WRITING DONE. I got a pocket got a pocket full of sunshine!

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This next portion is brought to you by Apple Computers which are so easy even a cat can use the webcam!

ONE: SOBA APPROACHES THE WEBCAM
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"Is this thing ON?"

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TWO: SOBA HAS AN IDEA

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"I'm having a thought. A wonderful thought...."

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THREE: SOBA CAMERA FRONT, CLOSE-UP, SPEAKS:

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"Do we have a time machine? With GPS? I NEED A TIME MACHINE."

Posted by laurie at June 14, 2011 7:42 PM