and heres the crazy thing, i have a terrible memory, which is a main reason why i blog so much
and should probably blog more.
but heres what i remember… through Instagram of all places she noticed that i was taking pics of places near where she lived. this was back when the Academy was where the Academy Museum is now being built. well, she lived a few blocks away.
and either i said or she said, we should hang out after work one day.
i remember we went to Doomies because i had recently eaten a fantastic vegan Big Mac from them at a street fair and i wanted to try it again to see if i was hallucinating.
so i picked Amber up and she had these crazy shorts that rode up high on her hips but were chopped super short.
i was driving a Prius looking car back then, def not the chick magnet muscle car she was accustomed to.
she said she didn’t drink, so i didnt drink either. and i noticed that i hadn’t made a move during a date without liquid courage since… maybe high school?
amber looked so beautiful and knew everything about LA (she’s a native), i hugged her goodnight and putt-putted away in my slowass hybrid.
miracles of miracles she texted me back the next day saying she had a great time.
she may have even included a risqué photograph saying she was impressed that i was a gentleman the whole evening.
after some questioning, she told me she would be interested in seeing Aerosmith play at the Forum with me, Slash was opening. she wore a slinky sparkly dress and i noticed this was the first concert i had gone to without buying a beer since… high school. it was fun, she was cute. i put my hand around her hip for one song and was too scared to kiss her when i dropped her off.
a few days later she texted me, said how much she loved the show and wanted to see another concert with me, did i have anything on the calendar? i said oui, KISS is playing with Def Leppard opening in about two weeks. we went, i was nervous, i was still not drinking, but then the lights spelling K I S S blinked i knew i should and i did
and i must be an incredible kisser because fireworks started exploding
all over the stage, in the audience, pretty much everywhere.
i hear Kiss was so moved by my moves that they now incorporate those pyrotechnics in all of their shows.
two years ago she was working at an easily forgettable hotel off ventura blvd.
she was their front desk agent of the month one month.
one day she texted me and said, i love these people but i gotta get out of here.
and shared with me stories of one valley drama after another.
i told her, the waldorff just opened in beverly hills, im sure theyd love all the skills you’ve learned there and elsewhere.
she was all, LOL, doubt it, they’re really fancy, but ok i’ll try.
and boom she was hired as a personal concierge.
first they put her on the grueling overnight shift. she shined. helped some famous people that are household names, who loved her. and then they placed her in the early morning shift.
some days she stood at the front door for hours opening it and saying hi hi hi hi, other days she was on the phones, sometimes she was the bellperson carrying people’s bags, and some days she was rocking it at the front desk.
she won best on her team a few months ago, in part because she signs people up for their rewards card, effortlessly upgrades people who want bigger and better, and is beloved by everyone from the housekeepers to the valets
if you look on trip advisor the guests leave sweet comments about her.
and when they return to the hotel they’ve been known to hug her
she truly is that nice.
but personal concierge isn’t lobby concierge, and that’s really where she shines because
not long ago she was a lobby concierge at a different fancy hotel by the beach
where she was the best at advising travelers and tourists and honeymooners and everyone
about where to eat and what to do. helicopter tours? trips to catalina? nobu?
she’s a native los angeleno which means she’s not just knowledgeable but more than helpful.
so the other day she noticed that a different fancy hotel was looking for a lobby concierge
and that hotel has a bunch of the top rated concierges in town.
you can tell because when you’re awesome they give you this tough-to-get pin,
The call it is getting your keys.
if you saw the great Wes Anderson film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” they spoke of
a Society of Crossed Keys, a secret, international collection of world class concierges
who can book you a table at the toughest restaurant,
get you tickets to the most sold out show,
or perform impossible feats of service from behind a podium at the highest quality hotels around the world.
in reality there truly is an international group of concierges who actually do attempt to meet every need they are asked
and they too have a crossed key pin
and the next hotel that amber will be working at has about 5-6 members of that club as concierges,
who, i am certain, will take her under their wing and teach them their tricks
and she will share with them all the secrets she knows.
like, for example, where to get the best ramen they’ve ever had the pleasure of known – just 10 minutes from LAX.
oh did i bury the lede? amber applied and was accepted and starts at the new place soon.
it has been amazing to watch her rise up the ladder and literally have her dreams come true.
when we first started dating this is all she talked about
and here it is.
reach for the stars dear friends, they want to hug you!
probably gonna die soon because i cant get a job, but it’s ok
i got to see most of the best bands in the world
ive had the greatest friends and sweetest girlfriends
went to europe a few times, canada, mexico
new york city.
today amber and i went to malibu to see if the wildflowers had covered the scorched earth
and they blanketed it with so much beauty that i was taking pictures of gorges and spillways and ditches
everything just popping with yellows and purples and green green green until it frenched kissed mr blue sky
like me, amber has been in LA for so much of her life that she has stories to tell around every corner
this is where we saw a ghost. this is where i littered. this is where a girl kissed me right on the lips.
first we went to the pch mcdonalds across the street from nobu. i wanted fries. we ended up spending $11 and giving our toy to a little boy who already had the same toy.
he wisely traded it for a different one at the counter.
then we went to neptunes net past county line because i wanted something in my sour stomach other than mcnuggets fries and a coke
but my tummy said nah just kiss the girl and take pics of her in front of the motorcycles
she had on this tight leotard and short shorts and the bikers checked her out from head to toe
said this and that and i’ll tell you one thing about me, very little bothers me in this world when it comes to men appreciating the women im with.
he sure looks happy i heard one say.
i do look happy.
we went up kanan dune to thousand oaks and the hills were all hi hi hi hi hi
loooooooooook at ussssssssssss!
all sorts of greens and just 3d waves of yellow flowers probably dandelions but the tallest proudest ones ever. like jose canseco juiced em. like it was a gay parade and they were dancing on the coolest float.
am i really gonna die? consider the dandy lions of the bu
and if you are on social media as much as i am you can start to think that the good in the world is rare
but its not.
good is all around us. so is love.
the trick is you have to keep turning the dial to tune in to it.
so often im turning the dial and i stop when something is outrageous or shocking or appalling or sad or tragic or evil or maddening. which is ok.
but ive gotta keep turing it until i get different stations, ones about hope and happiness and selflessness and inspiration.
i am a sponge. anything good ive done or any successes ive had are because of the people around me who have influenced me and indirectly trained me to be like them. and i bet im not alone.
i bet lots of people hear or see things on tv or at the park or in the bar or on the bus and adopt those moments into what they consider to be reality.
i am also a victim of ritual. for a while i was a single man. i got used to a certain pattern and a way of life. if i wanted to go on a date i would but for some reason, either by my own doing or because of bad luck it didn’t amount to much. and since i dont believe in luck, im pretty sure either i sabotaged it or picked women who i always knew wouldn’t work out for me.
one day amber showed up and i did my best to ruin things. i kept her at arms length. i kept my feelings in a lock box and then i rowed a boat out to the horizon and tossed that box into the sea.
but then i got a knock on the door and there it was. wet. green. seaweed hanging off it. and amber was holding it saying yo busblog i think this is for you.
this week we had a little getaway. not too long not too short. we drove three hours and stopped. next day four hours. next day back for three hours. then back home for three hours. we talked. listened to the radio, listened to a book on tape. held hands. never fought. ate lots.
it was healing and enlightening and so very nice. we took detours. we talked to strangers. we soaked in hot tubs and swimming pools.
we both know im gonna get a gig soon and we wont be able to both get several days off in a row so this was the perfect time. and im so grateful. so grateful.
be nice to your feelings. dont put it in a box. and know that just cuz you think only this person or that one will know what to do with it, know there are little surprises in life, and go with it.
my girlfriend is the best but you would think by now that she would know me but she doesn’t which is weird.
today is her only day off this week. i said what are we gonna do, this is great, what are we gonna do? its the middle of the week we can do anything: the beach the museums a long drive a short drive the stupid bloom JUST IMAGINE ALL THE FLOWERS WE CAN INSTAGRAM
she looked at me, put on her yoga pants and went on a walk, alone. i sniffed under my arms. my cats yawned. i got a phone call from someone who maybe wants to give me money, who knows.
when she got back i was all, how was yoga, she said i didnt go. i just needed to walk. i said i need to walk too why —
she said i needed to walk alone, and now i need the house for like 3 hours by myself but i didnt want to hurt your feelings.
i said baby im xbi, they tried to rip “feelings” from me on day 1 but they couldn’t find any. she looked at me like i was crazy. i said listen
i was the only black kid in school, pretty much from kindergarten through high school. i was also a cub fan in the middle of the longest losing streak in sports history. i also went bald. i also got a homer simpson dad bod.
i also chose the field of writing to plant my flag. and worse, i focused on poetry in college (a college that at the time had 2% black student enrollment)
if i had feelings, i would have turned into a puddle of tears by now.
but look at me, im fine. i have you. i have a great car. i have the last blog on earth. and the comments are open. if i had a thin skin do you think id have had open comments since 2001?
it’s not the things that you say to me that “hurt,” it’s not trusting me enough to say them that disappoint me.
my blood is enriched by Truth, girl, be honest with me and i am yours forever. not only can i handle it, but in this or in any relationship, if you honestly communicate with me i can make something good from that. there is nothing to fear by saying i need to be alone for a few hours. nothing. i can get my parking permit, i can go to the movies, i can get some soul food. i can solve a crime. the options are endless and maybe i should go out in the world alone for a few hours on a nice day in LA.
but you need to start trusting that your needs are valuable and if i can make them come true i will, happily. so off i will go.
how much of that will she truly take to heart? who knows. but i try.
if you want to get her a gift may i recommend m&ms, peanut flavor.
i bought her this 3 lb tub and gave it to her when we got home from the concert and by lunch the next day it was almost gone.
that is how she is about everything. she goes full throttle on whatever she loves.
she gets to work an hour early. sometimes earlier. when she reads a book, she tries to finish it before the day is over. when she watches a tv series she wants to see all of them.
NEXT EPISODE! she’ll yell. and i say, no, it’s sleepytime. and she’ll say NEXT EPISODE!
she cries at movies, she cries at concerts, she will not only wear anything you give her but she’ll find matching socks. she texts so many friends that today the texts just flowed in. all through lunch. all through game of thrones. all through the day.
why? because her heart is pure. she knows its pure too which is why she wont answer direct questions. she tries to guess where you’re going. im like, have you seen the inside of my brain? you’re not gonna guess where im going. but the fun thing is i dont know where shes going either.
she deserves better. she deserves a mellow prince. she deserves someone who drinks coffee. i’ll never drink coffee.
today i was all what do you wanna do? she said. i said, a movie? she said no. i said, theres this great movie i wanna take you to, cold war. she said im gonna take a walk. when she got home she said, lets order thai and watch like 3-4 hours of game of thrones.
people say things to you every day and after a while it’s just like musical notes to you.
it’s just things people say.
damn you’re handsome, tony.
omg it’s so huge, how do you…?
i love you.
the other day the xbi put something in my drink when i wasn’t looking and ive been painfully sick for the last few days. puking and sneezing and coughing and carrying on. i can’t really think straight.
and even though im not supposed to go to the “regular” doctor because they might find out what’s in me, sometimes you just say fuck the xbi and you go and hope they can find it and take it out and you can go on with your so called life.
amber hung out with some of her coworkers after work today and i texted her that i was going to urgent care and she started freaking out. WHATS WRONG? WHY ARE YOU GOING? WAIT FOR ME I WILL GO WITH YOU!
i told her it was ok, that i was almost there already and because it was late at night it wouldn’t be long. and she called me and you could hear her voice tremble a little.
you are supposed to be my rock, you can’t get this sick.
i was all baby, i told you, i will do what i can, but i am not a rock. i am a sensitive poet who routinely gets fucked with by this terrible underground organization who desperately wants me to come back to them and they do the weirdest things to me. there will be days, weeks even, where i might not even be conscious. but don’t worry, they wont kill me.
and shes all… but but.
and im like, this is why agents dont get married or have kids. our lives are not ours.
and then she said it and it wasn’t musical notes. it was raw and honest and it cut right through the poison racing through my veins.
i love you tony. please come home.
and the doctor found the thing, and looked at me and asked do you know what this is? and i said, it’s none of my business what it is. and i gave him some money and he gave me a prescription for codine cough medicine and i said… but but
and he said, i know, but this will help you sleep tonight.