Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Some time back, I had a bit of a flashback to a weekend spent in late 1981 or early 1982 with these “Hollywood Punks” that lived above a liquor store in this little one room “apartment” across the street from the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

One day at school these three girls, Steph C. Stef B. and Darcy; told me to be ready one Saturday morning that we’re going to Hollywood to hang out with this guy named Teddy and his roommate. One of the Steph’s/Stef’s knew Teddy from the “scene.” He would be outside of almost every local gig bumming cigarettes.

We got to Hollywood Boulevard at about 11:00 am Saturday morning, and Teddy was on the Blvd waiting for us (I couldn’t tell if he was begging for change). We went upstairs to his apartment; it was four walls, with the toilet next to the kitchen sink. It was like a slightly larger version of a jail cell.

We immediately did a beer run (the girls paid, Teddy was broke). I think I nursed a 22 for the bulk of the day. I wouldn’t say I was straight edge, but I felt a need to be alert at all times. I didn’t know the term straight edge until about twenty years later.

For whatever reason, back in those days, not all “Valley Punks” and “Hollywood Punks” got along. There had always been an attitude with a lot of the Hollywood guys; kind of like they created punk and us young Valley kids were jumping on the bandwagon. Most of the Valley guys got along great with the HB and OC punks, but the old Hollywood crew was sometimes snobby. So, there was automatically a weird vibe between Teddy and me. If I hadn’t arrived with three girls, we wouldn’t have talked at all. But he wanted to hit on them, so he acted cordial.

Teddy’s roommate passed through real quick. Then after hanging out for the bulk of the day Teddy announces that the booze isn’t enough, at this point I’m pretty disgusted by this guy anyway, he looked like a filthy Captain Sensible (with a beret), and right as I’m ready to leave Darcy pulls out this huge bag of pills, several pounds worth in every color you can think of.

Teddy and Darcy start swigging the pills back and they get more and loopier. I get up to drag her out of the joint and they both get real belligerent and act as if I’m breaking up a ten-year marriage. It was like an episode of cops where the police get a domestic violence call at a trailer park, and both parties flip on the cops.

After 15 to 20 minutes of explaining to Darcy that I won’t leave her stoned with some dirtbag vagrant, the two Steph’s convince me to leave her and cut my losses.

The original plan was to return the next day, Sunday, but I didn’t want to hang out with this guy anymore. So, the two Steph’s call me at about 1:00 pm and say they went to Hollywood, but no one was at the apartment. I made some remark about junkies being unpredictable and I would see them on Monday at school.

I didn’t hear from or see Darcy for about four days or so. Then one day she showed up at school with her head hung low. I don’t know if we ever talked again. It turned into a head nod kind of relationship. Darcy was cool, like all of us back then she was fighting some demons, I haven’t seen her in about thirty years. As bad as things got, they were still “the good old days.”

– Last One To Die, 2011

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Misconceptions of Hell

Misconceptions of Hell