Los Angeles. City of Angels. The land where dreams are made real, and the real gets reduced to dreams.
I'll be out there this week — shmoozing and visiting and carousing and networking and touching base and socializing and all that jazz.
It's a surreal thing to think about. Right now I'm ass-deep in Suburbia, with a yard needing mowing, kids in the yard, a homeowner's association complaining about some damned fool thing ("please remove your recycling bin from the curb promptly in the afternoon after pickup!"), and I just spent two days at a little league tournament in the company of a whole bunch of very similar folks: perfectly fine anddecent folks with kids and mortgages and relatively normal lives.
Come Wednesday, I'll hop a jet and three hours later I'll be in LA. Staying somewhere between Bel-Air and Beverly Hills. Meeting with folks whose names appear on DVDs in my movie collection, talking about words I strung together and put onto pages.
I'm wondering if at some point in that flight out there — maybe over the Trans-Pecos region — I'll suddenly switch from Suburban Dad Guy to LA Screenwriter Guy, almost like crossing into an adjacent time zone. I think that particular emotional jet lag will be worse on the return flight, as I have to re-calibrate from Fun Unencumbered Guy Tasked With Radiating Charisma Ceaselessly and crawl back into the cocoon so as to more easily fit back into Normal Life back here at home.
I think Batman might have a similar period of disconnect, as he drives home to the Batcave after a hard day of fighting super-criminality and starts to realize that he (as Bruce Wayne) has a breakfast meeting with the donors from the foundation, then a 10 AM meeting at the lawyers, a noon date with the architects designing the new Wayne Plaza building, and don't forget that the Batmobile needs an oil change and a front end alignment.
What seems normal today will seem unbelievably alien and strange a week from now, even though it remains every bit as mundane and unremarkable as it was before.
"What the hell am I doing?" That's a question I feel myself asking myself a lot these days. Nobody I deal with in Real Life has an idea or understanding of the crazy screenwriting thing I am working towards, and even if I tried to explain to them what it's all like and about, they'd still look at me like I was a sea bass bubbling at them in Swahili. They all try to seem supportive and excited, but if I told them that I was working to become a bullfighter or a lion tamer or a secret agent I think their response and reactions would be largely the same, as all of those — screenwriter included — are occupations that real people don't actually claim.
And yet I have my ticket, and my hotel, and my rent car, and the laptop is loaded, and the scripts are printed, and I catch myself quietly running through trial run responses to such questions as "so what are you working on these days?" or "so what's it about?"
I am Batman, ironing his cape as he looks out the window and watches the neighbors mow the yard next door.
Somehow... it's deliciously ridiculous.
ready but not B