Moss walked into my office and said, “Some of the younger kids in the office are going across the street for happy hour. Two dollar beers …”

This was just a few hours after I walked out into the 2600 Colorado lobby to greet a prospective employee and practically bumped into Harry Shearer and Mike McKean. Spinal Tap! Looking suspiciously like a couple of my father’s more liberal friends! Sadly, as enormous a fan as I am (I’ve been watching “This Is Spinal Tap” on repeat since I was in high school), I skipped the “Huge fan” greeting and the photo op (that’s what really hurts) as a) they were engaged in conversation with some TV executive types and b) I didn’t want to set the wrong example in front of the prospective employee.

So it’s ten o’clock now. I’m back at the Doubletree, two chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk later. Oh, and a few two dollar beers. Nice group of youngsters. Eric asked me, “Does everyone on the east coast dress like you?”

It’s Hump Day here in Los Angeles. Am I beat? Yeah. Disconnected from The Mother Ship MTV? Disconnected from My So-Called Life? Yeah. Still, it’s been a good week here. I gotta’ spend more time in the Santa Monica office. Nice group of youngsters.

I watched American Idol for the first time tonight, primarily because it’s what folks talk about here in The Los Angeles. I didn’t think any of ’em were all that impressive. They all do that Mariah Carey thing, milking every note like it mattered. But of course they’re singing someone else’s song, which in a lot of ways renders meaning moot. Not that these kids would fathom any of that. Is it possible to sing someone else’s song and have it matter?

It occurred to me this morning that this is the first time since I was fifteen-years-old that I’m not missing someone. I remember going to Europe when I was sixteen and carrying a picture of my girlfriend Amy everywhere. There’s a photo of me clutching a photo of her in the Swiss Alps. Ridiculous. I went on to miss Kirsten while I lived at the beach, Erin when she lived in Florence, Jacinta when she moved to St. Louis, and Stephanie when she lived here and I lived in New York. Dumb. And that’s just the geographically undesirables.

Since I’ve been dating someone or another since I was a barely-pubescent, any time I wasn’t with them, I was missing them: sending postcards, making phone calls, and generally canoodling long distance. Which had the unfortunate affect of making the place where I was that much less real for me. How can you be present if you’re looking back over your shoulder towards whomever isn’t there? You’d think it would have occurred to me sometime subsequent to my fifteenth birthday but prior to my thirty-fourth that I ought to be who I am where I am, but it didn’t. Until tonight.

Driving home from the office tonight, Beck’s Brazilian-flavored (and brilliant) “Missing” on repeat in my rented Kia, I thought, ‘Good thing I’m here.’ Not sure why, but … good thing.

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