My first Christmas in L.A. I spent alone and I never left my house. My first Christmas in L.A. I didn’t wear pants and had breakfast for lunch. My first Christmas in L.A. was all about marathon-ing Doctor Who and drinking two parts eggnog to one part Jameson.
My first Christmas in L.A. was a good one, a not particularly social one, but still a good one nonetheless.
My Second Christmas in L.A. I had a friend over for brunch. We watched Agents of Shield and drank mimosas. Because a third friend of ours had to work on Christmas Day we gathered up our gifts and headed out to surprise her. My friend drove down Wilshire and up another street and then across to a third one (I’ve been here a year and I still don’t have more than 30% of the city down in my head) until we parked off of Santa Monica Boulevard. I only know this because he informed me that was where we were, ask me how often I get lost on a weekly basis! The answer is, A Lot!
We met with our friend and gave her gifts along with some Christmas cheer to take back with her once her break was over and having some time to kill we decided to wander around since I was unfamiliar with the area and I liked seeing the weirdness this city always has on offer. Not much was open, an Indian resultant and a Russian coffee house, but there were your typical weird L.A. window displays on the offer. There is an element of tries too hard, what with mannequins with antlers sprouting off of their boobs, which impelled me to inform one particular window that it was working way too hard for my attention, because while I may no longer live in Chicago, there are rules about that sort of thing that as a no nonsense windy city girl are still written in my DNA and I could not let that shit pass.
Then in the distance, illuminated like the star of Bethlehem or a carefully lit T.A.R.D.I.S, I see a Christmas Day miracle! A book store! And it’s open! On Christmas! Can my luck get any better? (Yeah, spoiler alert, this does not end well.)
I inform my friend that we MUST go there. It is required, if there is a book store present? I must enter it! It is in my bylaws, which are very strict about this sort of thing. (I really need to get a new edition of the Nerd Girl Rises Handbook printed up, but who has the time these days?) I am already planning my shopping trip, hoping it is a used book store (which really are my dearest loves) but I am game for anything.
Famous last words there.
As we approach the books store, I note the festive window displays but don’t look too closely as I barrel forward with my quest to commune with the books. I do however notice that while yes, there are the aforementioned festive window displays, there don’t appear to be any windows into the store. That’s odd I think, as I walk through the door of Circus of Books on Christmas Day.
Just FYI, I have since been informed that there is usually on one type of book store that would reliably be open on Christmas Day.
I get about five feet in when I notice the place does not smell like your usual book store. There is a marked lack of the aroma of paper products and ink mixed with coffee and self-importance that seem to be the signature smell of book shops everywhere. I get an additional five feet in when I look up and around, actually taking notice of my surroundings. The wall of cocks and shirtless dudes staring at me from the DVD display rack are my next clue that maybe I have just wandered someplace else entirely than what I was expecting.
Yeah. So turns out Circus of Books is a primarily gay “adult” book store. I say primary, because it also seems to be a head shop as well. And that? Would explain the smell.
Huh, I think, will you look at that. Porn. A lot of it. Definitely not what I was expecting. Happy Christmas?
I look back at the door where my friend had tried to follow me in. I say tried because he is vapor locked at the vestibule, his feet fundamentally unable to take him further into the book store. Given he is avowedly hetero, the fact that he is frozen in shock at the door, a human wall made up of equal parts confusion and I have no response to this, is a not totally unexpected response. I can see him fighting the war in his head. Do I man up and follow the clueless female into the place devoted to the celebration of penis’s touching each other? Will they think I’m gay? Do I care? This entire event is so far outside of his frame of reference I might have well taken him a teen mother daughter book club discussing “Our Bodies, Our Selves”.
So I calmly turn around, utter a matter of fact “And I do not belong here. Sorry about that.”, and exit the building dragging my shell shocked friend with me.
And now I know where West Hollywood is!
So yeah. That was how I spent my second Christmas in L.A..