It’s a story about me for a while, but then, suddenly, it’s a story about Pamie. I swear it.
Saturday night. The Cyclones game at godforsaken Coney Island. Me, talking to my friend Paul’s girlfriend — my new favorite person on the planet — over our fourth plastic bottle of Bud and a meal made arguably entirely of meat, and arguably not of meat at all. Her name is Amy, but her nickname for the sake of this mini-dialogue is far more appropriate.
Paul’s Excellent Girlfriend: Paul tells me you lived in LA.
Djb: Arguably, yes.
Paul’s Excellent Girlfriend: Wasn’t it weird living there when you’d lived in New York all your life?
Djb: Not so much. The secret is, I can pretend I grew up in NYC all I want by telling people I’m from “The New York City area,” but really I’m totally from the burbs.
PEG: And that’s why the sprawl didn’t bother you.
Djb: And that’s why the sprawl didn’t bother me. When you’re in traffic in LA, even when you’re not moving there’s always the possibility that another highway will manifest destiny itself right in front of you and you’ll be able to move again. When you’re in traffic in New York City, it’s because the roads have literally just run out of room to accommodate all of the cars on them. You have to wait for an old Impala to rust into oblivion before there’s room for your car to move one car forward.
PEG: I know sprawl too, having grown up in…
Djb (completely ignoring her): Once I was at work and had a cold and I was on the phone with my mom — who has never been to LA — and I told her I was going to get some cold medicine on my way home. She asked me if there was a place I thought I could stop between my office in Beverly Hills and my apartment in Venice and I said, “I’ll probably just stop at the one strip mall called ‘All Of Southern California.'”
PEG: Sounds like where I’m from, but hotter.
Djb: You’re not from New Jersey?
PEG: Should I be insulted by that question?
Djb: That depends how big of a Christie Todd Whitman fan you are.
PEG: I’m from Texas.
Djb: Really? Where in Texas?
PEG: You’ve never heard of it. It’s reeeeally small.
Djb: I have a surprising amount of experience with small towns in Texas. Try me.
PEG: It’s called Poth. It’s near San Antonio.
Djb: Wow. “Poth.”
Djb: You grew up there?
PEG: I did. But I moved for high school. About three hours away. Near Houston. Kind of near Houston.
Djb: My friend spent quite some time in a place “kind of near Houston.” A town which…I don’t know what actually happens there. Motels, for one thing. And definitely a bookstore.
PEG: That does make it a novelty in Texas.
PEG: Shut up.
Djb: I think you’ve already discovered that I cannot.
PEG: I lived in Katy!
Djb: Are you Renée Zellweger?
PEG: I graduated from Katy High School! In 1998! Did she? Did your friend?
Djb: I, um…
Paul: Can you believe that for once we’ve gone to see a team that’s actually winning something?
Djb and PEG: I’m sorry, is there a game of some kind going on?
Then the big-ass refrigerator from Requiem for a Dream came busting out of Ellen Burstyn’s nearby dilapidated apartment complex, and we were forced to take cover by leaving that hellish backwater forever. I hate Coney Island.
Then we kicked it hella karaoke-style at the Twin-Peaks-meets-Grand-Hotel-meets-Rocky-Horror creepy-ass bar that Mapquest lists as being located 0.00 miles from my apartment. I love Brooklyn. Except for the Coney Island part. It’s the Poth of Brooklyn, I’ll tell you that much.