“What kind of sandwich do you want?” the bitter, nonplussed Subway Restaurant employee keeps asking me, but I’m not listening. You are at the head of the line and all I’m focusing on is getting you to turn around and look at me.
“Ma’am, what do you want on your sandwich?”
I’m standing in a Subway Restaurant somewhere in the middle of Koreatown, Los Angeles and there you are and here am I and I’m not going to let you walk out of this building without noticing me.
“Oh, I’d like a tuna fish sandwich please. Lettuce and tomatoes, but probably no onions. My co-workers have put a strict ban on onions for me. They also told me that I had to order the tuna salad sandwich because they like the way I say, “salad”, I have a tendency to make my “a’s” exaggerated because I’m from Upstate NY.
Lauren, what are you doing? Stop talking!
“They also make fun of the way I say, “pants“. Paaaants.”
The employee is looking at me like I’m a huge asshole.
Oh my God, you are turning around. You are looking at me. You are smiling at me. Your eyes are like pictures of waterfalls I’ve seen in distant countries that I will never visit.
“I was told I couldn’t eat onions anymore too,” you say to me.
“Gwehrjerhtrhgjblah,” I say in return.
Wait, why are you talking to me? You’re too good looking.
“Do you work around here?” you ask.
“No. I mean yes. I mean kind of….?”
“Where do you work?”
“Over there,” and I point to a dilapidated bodega nestled on Wilshire Boulevard. “I mean, down over there. Somewhere over there…” Regain your thoughts. “I mean in Hollywood. I work in Hollywood!” There you go.
“Yeah, I work in production. I’m an assistant.”
“That’s so cool. Yeah, I moved here not too long ago to work in the business.”
You hand me your card. I look down at a miniature version of your beautiful face smiling back at me.
Dear Lord, you’re a fucking actor.
I hand you my card.
“Lauren, huh? I’m *Matt, nice to meet you. Let’s grab coffee sometime.”
“FGhdsfkjdlfjkgjfklgjfg,” is all I can muster as I walk out the door to amble through the wild streets of Koreatown and make my way back to “over there”.
“What are you doing tonight?” a text flashes across my Cingular 8525.
What am I doing tonight? It’s my 24th birthday and I’m doing absolutely nothing. In fact, I have barely reminded a soul that it is my birthday. Every birthday since I’ve turned 16 has paled in comparison to the excitement that came with every birthday before then, so I just gave up on trying to enjoy them.
“Who is this?” I text back.
“It’s Matt. Want to grab a drink downtown?”
Downtown. My favorite place in Los Angeles. The darkened void on the map of LA. A place forgotten by the working class and inhabited by a small village of drifting hearts.
“Can you swing by my place? I don’t have a car. :(“
An actor and has no car. I’m only 23, turning 24 and obviously don’t have the life experiences yet to tell me to turn the other way. No amount of jokes about such a species in Los Angeles from seasoned and jaded lady friends will deter me away from you.
To be continued, cause I need to work…