Police and TV trucks are hanging around our place all day. Sonny carries some stuff out to his car in the morning and a reporter stops to ask him if he’s moving out. We’re all in pretty good spirits about the whole situation – it could have been a lot worse.
Mike and Troy head to the Lakers’ game in the afternoon and I finally get my butt out the door for a 5-miler. They walk in right after I do, and after a quick shower while I’m getting ready for work, they both head to their beds before the big ‘New Years’ celebration’. Such hype for a holiday that isn’t really a holiday. The fb posts are nauseating. Everyone talks about how amazing 2011 was and how 2012 will be even better. I don’t think about my life in years like that. In fact, a new year just makes me feel one year older: I’m losing time for all I want to do. I need to get my shit together. Believe me, I have resolutions and all that, but not really that excited for the ball to drop.
Mark rings the bell right as I’m getting ready to leave. I really wish Mike and/or Troy was down here to talk to him, but they’re upstairs sleeping. He’s here to check on the place and make sure everything is fine – which it is, but we talk about the arsonist and the whole Hollywood situation and I feel rude telling him I need to get ready. He finally leaves and I sprint around the house getting myself together.
Tropez asked me to come an hour earlier at 7. I come at 6:15. I’m afraid it’s going to be complete madness so I want to be here to get everything situated. It’s busy, I guess, but nothing compared to First Friday. And when the ball is dropping, no one is asking for drinks. As a bartender who has worked the past few New Years Eve’s, I know it’s usually crazy around midnight and everyone is harassing me for shots around that time. I’m so surprised at the mellowness here. I pour myself a shot of Jam-o and cheers with Esme. Give a hug to the girls – Magali, Tatiana, and Corrinne. Then Francis and Tropez come behind the bar and I don’t let them by me without a hug. It’s very chill.
Esme goes home soon after so I’m left to close with Corinne and Elmer. There are some stragglers but nothing crazy. I’m supposed to drive to Tara’s tonight – that’s where Mike and Troy are. I text Mike and Tara to see if they’re still awake. Finally remember that there is no service up in Topanga. Don’t realize it until I have a missed call from an unknown number – it’s Tara’s house line. Call it around 2:30am. She sounds fine; informs me that Troy and Mike are completely passed out. No surprise there. I’m ready to drive there right away. I had two shots tonight and a glass of champagne over about three hours. Basically sober. Corinne and Elmer convince me it’s not safe to drive, no matter how much I’ve drank. They have check points everywhere. LA cops are relentless and they’ll stop everyone tonight. This sucks. I really feel completely fine but I don’t know if the cops will think so.
Call Tara back and she agrees that it might be safer to stay in Venice. OK. I’ll be there in the morning. Crash at Elmer’s place. He pours me some Kraken in a white ceramic mug with a couple of ice cubes. I don’t drink whiskey usually, but this stuff is delicious. “Are you hungry?” YES. “Well you know I’m a gourmet chef, right?” Um, I don’t know, are you? Cool. “What don’t you like?” I try to think. I’m not really very picky. I love food. I don’t like steak that much…but I’d still eat it. “OK…I can work with that.” Elmer works in the kitchen for about a half hour while I sit on his couch. What he puts before me I think I would have in some fancy pants restaurant. It’s this spicy sausage crumble on top of a baguette with a poached egg and some amazing chipotle sauce drizzled on top. I don’t want to cut into it – it’s too pretty. But I do. It’s mad good. We stay up chatting till about 5am and I tell him I need to pass out. He sets me up on his couch and I fall asleep fast.