Saturday, January 15 2000
What with the residual ill-will from last night's fighting, Kim and I weren't on speaking terms until well into the day. This was throwing something of a monkey wrench into our plans for the weekend, which called for us to drive up to Los Angeles and participate in some sort of photo shoot for a tantric therapy [REDACTED] web site known as the Goddess Temple. Kim, you see, has become a goddess. Not many guys can say their girlfriends are genuine goddesses.
The whole drive up to Los Angeles consisted of a series of little fights growing out of the latent unresolved issues from last night. Things mellowed out briefly when we stopped for gas in the affluent suburbs north of San Diego in the vicinity of Rancho Santa Fe (the land of Heaven's Gate). Kim suddenly decided to have a crew of Mexicans wash her car, so while that was going on, we walked over to a nearby Burger King for perhaps the cheapest dinner out we'd eaten in a year. As we walked, I had my devil sticks a'twirling.
All the cars in line waiting to be washed over at the gas station were Lexi, Mercedeses and BMWs, driven by picture perfect white people with white teeth and sun tans. By contrast, the people over in the Burger King were mostly Hispanic or white working class, the sort, as Kim pointed out, who work for the people living in this affluent suburbs. Nobody from Rancho Santa Fe ate in this Burger King; that much was obvious.
We passed through a series of traffic jams, but they weren't especially bad. Our destination lay in the somewhat Hispanic webbing between Santa Monica and Los Angeles, the residence of Dr. Corynna Clarke, the young woman who runs Goddesstemple.com.
Corynna and her companion Evan live in a third floor apartment of a stately brick building. For the past days they've been hard at work putting together the latest update to Goddesstemple and Unveiled.com, getting very little sleep and looking like it too. Evan (who is also a technical manager at Launch.com in Santa Monica) is the technical genius behind the operation, and he'd had a total of two hours of sleep in the past 48 hours. Moments after we arrived, Corynna and Evan resumed work on their computers as before, and Kim and I went off to take a nap in the massage room, the place where we'd be staying.
In the evening we drove into the heart of downtown Los Angeles to attend a show called "Erotic Art of the Apocalypse," featuring a webcasted interview with Dr. Susan Block, another of "erotic web personality" of a kind.
First, though, Kim and I had to scare up some dinner. Since we found ourselves in the heart of downtown Los Angeles without any sense of the lay of the land, we ended up dining in the internal restaurant of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. It was much better than we expected. We sat in a romantic little curved mobster-style booth, eating filet mignon and linguine until we could eat no more and mostly talking about how well Kim got along with my mother and brother when we were back in Virginia. Our waiter, who was (as Kim said) "trying a bit too hard," saw Kim's tattoo and launched into a long monologue about his various "tribals" and all the additional tattoos he hopes to get. The meal went so well that it largely cleared our relationship of the ill-will remaining from last night.
Dr. Susan Block's show was in a second floor place called the Speakeasy Gallery down on Hope Street in a shady neighborhood immediately south of the city center. The space really was an old speakeasy from the 20s, complete with a functioning (though not especially renovated bar). Unlike a real bar, people could actually smoke cigarettes while they drank.
Throughout the Speakeasy, on the walls and shelves, were various examples of erotic art including wonderful psychedelic orgasmic woman reliefs, an assemblage of larger-than-life labias cast in pewter, photographs, S&M sculpture, etc.
In the back room was a pink canopy bed groaning under the weight of sex toys and pillows, and this was the set for Dr. Susan Block's interviews. Dr. Block's husband, a wryly funny 50-something, was running the camera and serving as master of ceremonies. Like almost everyone else there, he was super friendly and chatted for a long time with Kim and me at the bar, never once mentioning that he was Susan's husband. Instead he told about living the wild & crazy life in a big Italian mansion with the likes of Annie Sprinkle and an assortment of other outspoken ambisextrous sextroverts.
The first Dr. Susan Block interview was of a rather schteveish former-Chippendale and wasn't all that interesting, but things picked up a lot with the next guest, a dark & busty Penthouse centerfold/porn actress. She and the Doctor had a real rapport as they talked about the porn industry, her aspirations for a medical degree, etc. Then a hapless schmo called in on the studio hotline and, in a dull monotone, proceeded to express his concerns about what he thought to be his diminutive six inch member as well his lack of a second testicle (positively Einsteinian!). Sadly, by this point Kim and I had to leave. We were motivated to do so by a combination of sheer exhaustion and the knowledge that we'd have to be getting up at 4am tomorrow for our photo shoot with Dr. Corynna Clarke. Unfortunately, though, we'd be missing out on the nudity & drunken debauchery with which most Speakeasy shows are said to conclude. "It doesn't really get going until about 3am" a guy told us as we were heading out the door. As much fun as we'd had in so little time, we vowed to come back next week.
Los Angeles gridlock, a certainty in any road trip to the city.
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