Softly through the Shadow of the Evening Sun
Driving down Sunset Boulevard I can see where it found its name. It felt like it was everywhere, like it was pushing down on the street from above, compressing it, melting into everything.
It was a purple and yellow watercolour sunset defined by the lines the palms make along the ridge line, like they were slowing the descent of it and the sky was pooling in a lip along them. There were clouds (which is unusual for a start) heavy, pregnant, like they should be full of rain, the strip of yellow below them perhaps trying to prove otherwise.
I was watching all of this through the front window of the bus, the big frame for it, the mirror with the driver’s quiet face in it, the poles to hold onto, a man looking outwards all silhouetted against the blank sky. I have been wondering if they have a stopping point the palms, because they are so improbably tall. But they must, because so many streets become oblongs, all the same height, eventually, placed in the suburbs, sometimes turned around or twisted slightly, some pushed and some pulled.
Aquil told me to meet him at the Lotus Lounge in East Hollywood.
My first impressions were not good. He was running late so I sat on this old leather bench seat and tried to sink back and disappear right into it. I sent a snapchat of the place to Ruby and she said it definitely looked like the sort of place you get murdered out the back of.
Here are a few of my unedited thoughts from the Lotus Lounge:
Lotus lounge so grotty, the bathroom reeking of chlorine and with an incessant whine, someone yelling “Omg someone’s gone into the bathroom” as i’m in there and hoping they didn’t yell that for a specific reason…
The jukebox used to put on bad rock anthems
Headboards above the bar with two ceramic dolphins
Hoping no one will come and talk to me
Painted blue floor totally chipped away beneath the bar stools to orange
Three screens for the basketball
Thinking how I should have brought a book
A picture on the wall of a topless girl who looks about sixteen
Image of another city (I think it’s Seattle?) on the wall (what’s wrong with the skyline of this city?)
Metal netted chair and my faux leather skirt sticking to it
Purple lights around mirrors behind the bar
Beer branding everywhere like they signed up for some dodgy deal a long time ago
Darkwood trellis used vertically on the inside
After a few (very full, very cheap) wines though, I came to love the Lotus Lounge, and to understand its charm. A girl from Minnesota kept playing the Cure on the Juke Box and we could order food and get it delivered to the bar so we drank beer and ate a whole chicken and thickset locals played pool on the table that wasn’t functioning quite right and everyone there seemed completely at home.