Everybody Has a Dream

Erica, me, Emily

I wake up in the fetal position. My muscles feel tight. I was freezing all night. Downstairs, Sonny comments about how cold it is. I know. I can’t do anything. “Why don’t we put the oven on high and leave the door open?” I laugh. No, that’s silly. Then I do it. OMG it helps so much. We leave it on all day. Some people are supposed to come today to fix it. Some time between 8am and 8pm. What a ridiculous time slot. Luckily, we don’t have jobs. Troy, Sonny and I are home all day. Mike’s at his internship.

Just before 7 the doorbell rings. Didn’t even know we had a doorbell. The doorbell ringing is always exciting. I jump to answer. There’s a man at the door. “Hi.” Hi! “How are you?” I’m freezing. “Do you have a dog?” No, it’s next door. “OK, I’ll be right back.” Yesssssss. I’m so excited. The heater is going to be fixed! He comes back in. The gas is on. The heater is broken. There is nothing he can do. What do you mean? “You need to call your landlord or whoever and tell him to have the heater fixed. The gas is working fine.” Thank you. I’m so mad. I have to email Ines right away. Ines (pronounced Eee-niss) is the owner of the apartment. She’s living in London while we stay here. I told her about the roaches and she acted completely shocked and surprised. I need to email her now while it’s fresh in my mind and I’m mad. “Ines, the guy just left and said that the gas is on – but the heater is broken. There’s nothing he can do about that. He said the manager of the building has to bring someone in to fix it. I don’t know the last time you were here, but whoever lived here before you had roaches and didn’t tell you because they were here the night we moved in. Sonny saw another one today. Maybe you want to bring an exterminator in.” God, I’m mad. I leave. Now I’m going to be late.

It’s six miles away to the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd, and it takes me a half hour. I walk into the lobby and take in this beautiful place. The ceilings are massively high and the entire room is brown with huge, oversized brown leather couches and big glass tables. It’s been decorated for the holidays with tasteful red and white lights everywhere and an enormous wreath hanging on one side of the room. Sort of reminiscent of the Oak Room in New York – Aunt Jackie and Uncle Bob took me there for dinner once.

Erica spots me and calls me over. Her friend, Emily, joins us. I’m full of apologies but they don’t seem offended. They’ve just been sitting here chatting, sipping on their wine. I head to the bar and order a glass. The bartender asks to see my ID. Gotta love that.

I finally sit down with the girls and get comfortable. I don’t know Erica and Emily – we’ve been set up on a sort of blind date. My cousin’s wife, Gina, was Erica’s camp counselor back in the day. She reached out to both of us because we live so close and suggested we meet up. Erica and I conversed on fb and decided to meet tonight. Erica tells me about when Gina was her camp counselor. “I think she was only a few years older than me. I adored her. And she had the best hair. She would flip it to either side and it would look so good. All the guys were in love with her.” Yea, that sounds about right. But my cousin, Brian, got her! And now they have three freakin’ adorable kids.

Erica and Emily are both writers and actors – they used to live in New York and were on teams in the UCB (Upright Citizen’s Brigade). Major props to them both. Improv is the hardest thing. I took classes at the PIT (People’s Improv Theater), right near UCB. You really have to not be afraid to look like a complete idiot in front of a bunch of strangers. They also drove out here together – in separate cars. Been here since May.

We move to the bar and order a meat and cheese plate to share. Might as well have another glass of wine. I learn that Erica has written a novel and Emily has written a screenplay for a feature. I would love to read them both. I’ve only written a monologue and short film with Mike. I find that it’s really hard to write a guy. Erica has struggled with that, too. “I’ve had the same criticism of my writing. It’s easy to write the girl because you can put yourself in her. You don’t feel like you can do that with a guy. So I started putting myself into the guy’s role, too. I made him damaged with the same kind of feelings that a girl has.” That makes total sense. I need to write something.

Erica and Emily are both going home for the holidays. I’m jealous. Erica is from Bayonne, NJ. She loves visiting, but she loves California. “If you want to do this kind of work, this is the place to be.” I totally agree. I hope I can survive out here. They both live within walking distance, so they stick around for another glass of wine. My limit is two when I’m driving, so I get ready to leave. We should definitely hang out again soon. I’ll be disappointed when we go somewhere else because I LOVE it here. Emily doesn’t let me worry about that. “This is the only place we go. This is our spot.” Great. Next week, same time, same place? We say goodbye and I head out.

*Billy Joel

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