Last night, August 30th, 2014: “Got a minute?”
Three weeks earlier: I’m gonna quit. That night, I had a dream that I had a loose tooth that fell out.
You know how there’s a major life decision you have to make, and once you make it there’s some kind of cosmic shift that happens and all you can do is cry because (again) you’re faced with having to grow up and redefine your place in the world but you know it’s going to be OK? This one’s like that; a little bit After School Special, and a little bit Barfly.
12 years, baby. 12 years I stood behind that bar. I wonder how much black eyeliner I went through.
Earlier this year: I’m giving myself ’til my birthday in November, and that’s it.
Early 2013: I’m giving myself ’til my birthday in November, and that’s it.
Early 2012: I’m giving myself ’til my birthday in November, and that’s it.
Early 2011: I’m giving myself... you get it.
To be clear: it didn’t suck. I got to see the Foo Fighters from 20 feet away. (Dave Grohl, if you’re reading this, I fucking love you.)
“Let’s talk about me quitting.” I didn’t know how else to say it.
I held on to that job so I could be free to do what I love, and teach yoga. Many times I went straight to the bar after teaching (I don’t recommend this—it’s weird). And I wrote behind that bar. I wrote on cocktail napkins, which would sometimes get stuffed in my pocket and forgotten about until I found tufts of white paper in the washer. Oops.
I held on when I was paying $1,600 for my huge apartment up near Lake Hollywood. I held on through some pretty miserable times, when I had to get up early the next morning and sell shit to stay in that apartment, when I had a ruptured disc and when my dog was at home alone chewing everything.
I didn’t have Shamus McDog when I started that job, and I don’t have him now. I wear his name tag around my neck, the one shaped like a dog bone, with his name on one side and my phone number on the other.
One night I was there until 3:00am, and I had to be on set for a wardrobe job at 7:00am all the way across town in Marina del Rey. I pushed myself.
12 years. Weddings. Meltdowns. Fist fights. Divorces. Jail. People drinking/sober/drinking/sober/drinking… Memorials. Old Hollywood soldiers still prowling around would slink in, hold a glass of Jameson in the air and say things like, “Damn, this place will never die!”
And love. Tons of it.
Out back on the patio there’s a rounded patch of ground that’s a little newer looking than the rest, where there used to be a fountain. The water (if you could call it water) was dirty and plastic cups and cigarette butts would be floating in it, and I’m sure there was probably a whole lot of broken glass at the bottom. People fell in all the time.
Last night I stood staring at that patch of ground, and I wondered how many people know there used to be a fountain there.
There was a sound guy working there when I started, a very foxy dude who I never really got to know for the first 6 1/2 years we worked together. From Love, Passion & the Garish Sun, June, 2012:
“Ten years ago I got a job bartending in a Hollywood nightclub. There was a man who worked there, who also grew up by the ocean far away in a land down under, where the seasons are the opposite of ours here in L.A. and where they speak in curious rhyming slang. Back at home, this man would imagine making his way to L.A. one day, playing music and maybe hanging out with a blonde California girl.
We worked together for over six years, never really getting to know each other. And on a particularly warm July night, off in a corner shrouded in a cloak of darkness, I shared a secret kiss with this tall, handsome exotic man. Time stood still. The angels sang out and the Gods high-fived.”
There was one last thing I left ’til the end of the quitting conversation, the most important thing: “Thank you for introducing me to my husband.” And I lost it, just like I knew I would. We were married New Year’s Day, 2013. Anthony performed the ceremony.
Thank you for marrying us.
Thank you for being my friend for 20 years. Three words: Freddy Mercury’s moustache.
Thank you for giving me a job when I needed it.
October, 2002: “Hey Anthony, it’s Annie. Do you have any shifts…?”
“I’m a yogi. I’m a warrior. I’m a flower chooser. I’m a cake lover, especially coconut, and chocolate (but never together). I’m a dressmaker. I’m a daughter-in-law. I’m a bride.”
From January, 2013, read “I Got Married Today” on elephant journal. ‘Cuz it’s about love, baby ♥ ♥ ♥