By Marie Lodi.
7:00AM: my bed
My alarm goes off. I get up to pee, take off my pajama top, and go back to bed. I dream that Ashley Judd is my Uber driver. She picks me up from my apartment in Los Feliz in a brown Chevy El Camino, and we are suddenly driving in downtown Oxnard (my hometown). We pass by a used car lot decorated with flags that look like oversized versions of a vintage heart-shaped Valentine patch I have that says, “My heart belongs to ____.” This is when I realize I am lucid dreaming, and do the same thing I did last time this happened—I pull my boyfriend into the dream, because I am: Forever Horny. We’re fooling around in the back of Ashley Judd’s El Camino, but I suddenly feel weird that I’m about to have sex with Ashley Judd two feet away, so the dream collapses. Next, I dream I am walking by a store in downtown Ventura, where I see a black panther in the window and a leopard kitten by the door. I think to myself, Rich people think they can get away with anything.
7:30AM to 8:45AM
I hit snooze a million times and drift in and out of sleep, having more weird dreams. I finally open my eyes and feel like shit, berating myself for not getting up when the first alarm went off. My boyfriend, Jimmy, hasn’t been here since he went back to Canada a few months ago, but I still hate waking up without him. To compensate for him missing from my bed, I will subconsciously clutter his side with various items like pillows, my laptop, and piles of clothing, maybe so the space doesn’t feel empty.
I go into my bathroom to take a shower. My bathroom is one of my favorite parts of my tiny apartment because everything in it is pink, including the walls and the shower curtain. It’s an ode to the Madonna Inn and Jayne Mansfield. I realize I’m out of shaving gel so I shave my pits using conditioner then step out of the shower and dry off. I catch the eye of Cam’ron, who is in a framed photo on the wall wearing his infamous pink fur coat and matching hat.
As I’m blow-drying my hair and doing my makeup, I start to receive a series of texts from different people: a friend with ex-boyfriend drama, a teen I’m mentoring, and my friend Shaun asking what time we’re meeting for lunch when I get into town. I’m also Facebook messaging with Jimmy. We talk to each other about our Friday nights. I tell him my Korean spa date with Emi fell through, so I somehow got into an internet K-hole reading about the keto diet. He makes a joke about me being a regular Keto Kaelin, and I send him a picture of my boobs as a reward for his ’90s joke.
I change into a pink-and-black rose-print sweater set with sheer black polka-dot tights and faux Timbs. I can’t find my eyeliner, so I skip doing my wings which always feels wrong, but I put on red lipstick anyway, throw a banana in my purse, and get ready to head to Oxnard for the weekend. I take one last look around my apartment, which is a fucking pigsty. My luggage from last week’s Vegas trip still has toiletries and tights strewn around it. I remember my old therapist, who I referred to as “Crying Eye” due to her forever-watering ojo, used to tell me that whenever my room was cluttered it was because MY MIND WAS CLUTTERED. Touché, ya gawtdang bitch.
10:20AM, Vermont Ave.
As I’m driving towards the freeway entrance, I realize I haven’t had any coffee and decide to take a risk and get a coffee from McDonald’s. Even though I usually take my coffee black, I order it iced, with hazelnut flavoring. I take one sip and feel the sugar rush through my veins. My pupils are probably dilating. What the fuck did I do? It’s DELISHIS though, UGH.
10:30-11:30AM: 101 Freeway North
I’m listening to Blaque’s “808” on 93.5 KDAY, happy that there’s no traffic. Sometimes when I make this trek, I notice particular exits that are related to a past memory, usually having to do with dudes. There’s the exit that leads to the Guitar Center corporate office where I once boned a dude from Myspace in the early aughts. There’s the exit for the pumpkin patch where some guy kissed me by a giant dinosaur, transferring the cold he had to me. Finally, there’s the freeway wall where an ex-boyfriend and I almost crashed into while coming back from a rave fifteen years ago. We had both fallen asleep on the ride, and I woke up just in time to get him to swerve out of the way.
11:45AM: my parents’ house
I pull into my parents’ driveway. The last time I was here was a couple of weeks ago when my friends all came over to celebrate my parents’ anniversary, which is on Valentine’s Day. We feasted on all the usual Filipino delicacies—chicken adobo, pancit, lumpia, bistek, purple ube rice and puto, a sweet rice cake that is always awkward to mention. I kiss my mom and Mr. Shankly, our family Frenchton who was named in honor of my brother’s and my Morrissey fandom. I clean Shankly’s big ears, then open a package containing some interesting makeup-eraser thing that my sister-in-law ordered for me as a surprise.
I’m driving through downtown Oxnard to meet Shaun for lunch and recognize the used car lot from my Ashley Judd dream. When I get to the restaurant, Shaun calls me and tells me he’s running late due to work stuff, so I use this time to pick up some things from a drugstore.
I throw clear base coat polish, ketone test strips, and candy for some packages I have to mail into a basket. The same random dude keeps appearing in every aisle I’m in and my gut says it’s time to book it. As I pay at the register, I notice my wallet is filled with receipts and in need of a cleanout. It reminds me of this Seinfeld clip Jimmy once showed me where George’s wallet explodes because it was filled with hundreds of receipts. My only memory of watching Seinfeld is of an episode that had to do with someone accidentally falling butt-first onto a figurine made from uncooked pasta but Jimmy always pulls out these references and Youtube clips and I always laugh. Maybe I’ll watch a whole episode one of these days.
I head back to the restaurant and Nicki Minaj’s “Truffle Butter” is playing on the radio, which is now switched to the local hip hop station, Q104.7. When I was a kid it was known as Q105 and I always called in to request songs. One time, I even won tickets to the movie Heart and Souls starring Robert Downey Jr. As I park, Shaun walks up and we greet like we always do: the double-cheek, European kiss. We go into a cafe inside the old Woolworth’s building. I order a bowl of tomato bisque, an iced coffee, and a chicken and cranberry salad. I never order soup, so this is a special day. I go down a hall to use the bathroom and notice a photobooth, vintage toy displays and other old machines scattered throughout. In the bathroom, there is an old perfume dispenser that’s really cute, so I Instagram it before I go back to our table. I’ve known Shaun since I was eighteen, when we met in a college dance choreography class. We catch up on work, life and the usual goss. He laughs and says, “I love when you make that face,” which is a combo of Samantha Jones’ pursed lips and Wanda from In Living Color. I laugh and respond, “What, my look of JUDGMENT??”
Shaun and I decide to head to our favorite psychic store and we pass by a Taco Bell. He says, “Every time I see a Taco Bell, my asshole puckers,” because it gives him the ’rhea. I laugh and say that his asshole has PTSD. We talk about when the Doritos Locos Taco came out a few years ago and we decided to have a wine pairing at his apartment. The next day, I had an early photo shoot with Worn, and regretted that nasty-ass feast. Taco Bell was so good after school when we were teenagers. Now our anuses are too old and traumatized to deal.
2:45PM: psychic shop
We walk in and I remember it’s Aura Photography Day. Shaun decides to get his taken and I do too, even though I had it done last month. My aura was orange (artistic, physical-creative expression, excitement) the first time so I wonder if it will be different. Shaun goes first, and his aura is orange, too. I go next and this time my aura is green (communicative, social, balanced, creative, logical.) We both start looking at stones and I’m suddenly drawn toward getting a ring. We talk to the shop owner about opal, and she tells us the history behind the false superstition that buying one for yourself is bad luck. Opal is my birthstone, so it should bring me good luck anyway, right?? I choose a ring with a milky, baby-blue stone, plus a pendant made of black tourmaline which is good for meditation and protection. I put both of them on immediately, even though I know better—I should cleanse them beforehand. Vanessa texts me asking if I’m up for wine and arcade games at Curtis’ new place, which sounds like exactly what I want to do tonight.
4:30PM: my parents house
I greet my mom and Mr. Shankly as I bring my computer into the patio to do some work. I love watching television at my parents’ house because I don’t have it at home and there’s something ~UBER RELAXING~ about watching TV on an actual TV…and at your parents’ house. The only bad thing is the cable provider is wack and took away E! and Bravo so I don’t get the full pleasure of watching my old reality trash faves, like the Keeping Up With The Kardashians and all of the various Real Housewives. At least there’s still Lifetime, which is the most important channel, TBQH. The Hallmark Channel is playing Operation Cupcake starring Dean Cain and Kristy Swanson, but as tempting as that sounds, I’ve GOT to see what’s on Lifetime. It’s a movie called The Good Sister, about a man who has an affair with his wife’s long lost twin sister. PERFECT. Spoiler alert: It was his wife the whole time!
I tell my mom that I switched to natural deodorant and her response is to make me smell her armpit, which smells like nothing except clean skin. She has never had a stinky armpit, or even armpit hair, for that matter. She also knows how to do that armpit fart noise thing. My mom has me beat 3/3. JEALOUZ. Shankly comes over demanding scratches. I can’t resist his whimper.
A commercial comes on for something called Born In the Wild that shows women giving birth to their babies in a forest. Both my mom and I scream, “Ewww!” I actually gag. That shit is way too Mother Nature/woodland nymph for me.
Another Lifetime movie comes on called Babysitter’s Black Book, which is about a group of teenage babysitters who turn their babysitting club into a prostitution ring to earn money for college. YAY! Shankly jumps on the couch to chill next to me. I realize I have to leave soon, so I refresh my makeup and get ready to head to Curtis’. I’m a teeny bit sad to leave Shankly and Babysitter’s Black Book.
6:30PM: Trader Joe’s
I pick up wine, assorted dips, and some groceries for myself, including zucchini, ground turkey, almond butter, and a shit ton of cheese. I love going to Trader Joe’s when I visit my parents. It’s so much easier than dealing with the Silverlake one. Going to that one on a weekend is some sort of masochistic move that Rie-Rie don’t like to play!
A truck makes a fast U-turn in front of me and I scream, “Mother fucking pussy ass bitch!!!!” (To myself.) I wonder if I’ll ever exchange it for my dad’s more charming road-rage term: “Turkeyneck!”
As I look for parking, I notice that Curtis’ new apartment is really close to our old bar hangout. One of my favorite memories from when I first met Curtis was when we were finishing up a drunken night there and wanted to get mozzarella cheese sticks at Denny’s. We ended up walking all the way to the restaurant singing Morrissey and The Smiths songs. When we ordered food, he automatically asked for a side of ranch dressing for my cheese sticks. That’s how I knew we were going to be great friends. I also was wearing witch boots and later realized my foot was bleeding. I think I got the flu after that night, too.
7:25PM: Curtis’ apartment
I hug Curtis and Vanessa and explore his new pad. He collects arcade games, and has decorated the living room with Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Paperboy, and a couple of others. He pours us glasses of Lambrusco and we start munching on cheese and crackers. I try a red velvet Oreo. This is my dinner!
I am on my second glass of Lambrusco and I tell them about my Ashley Judd dream. I suddenly remember that in the morning before I fell back asleep to that dream, I briefly looked at Facebook on my phone and saw a picture of Curtis’ brown Mercury Cougar. That must have inspired it! Curtis has fancy lotions on the toilet in his bathroom. One of them is called “Sensual.”
Vanessa talks about us doing the Dearly Departed tour next time they visit me in LA. You ride around the city in a bus visiting the sites of tragic Hollywood events. (We are all very goth.) I tell them about the pink vintage Samsonite luggage I picked up last weekend while antique shopping. It had a JM engraved on it so I thought, How cute—Jimmy and Marie! It wasn’t later until I realized—DUH, Jayne Mansfield! She had pink vintage Samsonite luggage. Could it be?!
Two more friends come over and Curtis powers up the arcade. I suck at Ms. Pac-Man, so I take a break and chat, but all I’m able to think about is Ms. Pac-Man going through her maze, chomping on dots. Vanessa and I talk about how when we first played Tetris, all we kept seeing in our heads was those little blocks falling into place over and over. Something similar happened to me when I got my first job at a pizza place as a teenager. I had obsessive thoughts about a pizza going down the assembly line as I added different toppings to it in a variety of combinations. Was that also the Tetris effect?
My birth control alarm goes off on my phone, startling everyone.
I tell Curtis I want to get an old-school NES and relive one of my greatest life achievements—finishing Goonies 2, like I did when I was 10. That was the only video game I ever completed. I like to brag about this victory any chance I get.
Vanessa and I say goodbye to the guys and each other. It has started to rain but Vanessa has a fear of umbrellas, so she won’t go under mine. I drive back to my parents’ house listening to “Candy” by Foxy Brown.
12:00AM: my childhood room
It’s chilly in my room, so I put on a sweater and socks. I remember a time when it was so cold in there I slept with mittens, double socks, and a beanie. Yes, this is Southern California, but that’s filled with old houses with no heat and shitty insulation. In my apartment in LA, I don’t have to pay for gas and there’s a heater so I take advantage of that luxury by turning up the heat and sleeping topless.
Jimmy is asleep, but I message him a link of something ridiculous to read later.
I open up my Mary Quant biography. I am the laziest reader, which is something I wanted to get better at this year. My eyes are heavy after three pages. I take off the opal ring and the tourmaline and remind myself to cleanse them with an amethyst when I get home to LA the next day.
Marie Lodi is a writer living in Los Angeles and the Damn Girl Ya Look Good columnist at Rookie. Read more of her writing at marielodi.com and follow her everywhere @agentlover.