My return trip to Los Angeles was much easier than my flight going to San Francisco since there were no faulty switches or other reasons for the plane to turn around mid-flight. I found that landing at Burbank is easier than landing at my local airport in Greensboro. I picked up my bag quickly and was into an Uber pronto.
Wendy, my Uber driver was a great change of pace. First, she was the first female driver that I have encountered. Second, she talked nonstop….but in an effortless way that didn’t make me feel uncomfortable or intruded upon. Wendy drove with her left leg tucked up under her hip. It looked casual and carefree. She was the epitome of Southern California fun….except that she was from Indiana. She fled when Mike Pence was their atrocious governor. (the good old days when terrible politicians were relegated to states & local positions). Fun fact from Wendy. The Burbank Ikea is the largest in the nation! As we passed it, I saw that it was indeed big. I briefly thought about stopping. They have great GF desserts, and there’s always room for another pillow.
I resisted temptation and arrived at Kenneth’s before he left for work. I was able to arrive that early because of the ungodly departure time. Wendy had shuttled me ahead of rush hour! Score one for the good guys!
Since it was so early (and I was tired) I was able to lie down with his kitty, Big Momma. She sat on me like Helen does. When she sits on top of me, I call it “dog sitting”. It’s literally when she sits on top of me. She’s so warm and comfortable that it makes me fall asleep every time. I ended up buying a weighted blanket trying to replicate a dog sitting session when Helen wouldn’t cooperate. Spoiler alert, it worked. Not only is that blanket a dream, but it also allows me to sleep, and in turn to dream.
It was only a quick nap before I was coordinating the afternoon with my black twin brother, Beaux. Obviously, we aren’t actually brothers but we have always been the yin to the others yang. He still refers to me as his white twin brothers. Needless to say, Beaux is one of my oldest friends. We met in Greensboro in the early 2000s, shortly after I moved there from Los Angeles. We hit it off immediately and were known to laugh about nothing in particular. Some people found us obnoxious, but that was part of our charm. If they thought that we were talking about them, they were usually wrong. We never talked about people until they asked: “are you talking about us”? Then all bets were off. We weren’t mean spirited but our goal was to make each other laugh.
Through the laughter, Beaux and I became truly great friends. In the mid-2000s, Beaux moved to LA and has become a star. We kept contact like twin brothers should. He became my sounding board. When I faced an obstacle, I would run it by Beaux. He’s learned how to face life and win and I strive to be as authentic as he is.
We had plans for dinner and I agreed to pick Beaux up after his workout at the Gold’s Gym in Hollywood. You can imagine all the hotness that walked out of that establishment as I waited on my twin. Once a big hug was exchanged, we hopped in the car to drive the 2 miles to Bossa Nova, a Brazilian restaurant on Sunset Blvd. It only took 30 minutes! Have I mentioned that LA traffic is nothing like it was 20 years ago? I cannot imagine living here.
Dinner was good and we caught up in exactly the same style as expected. It was a full-on kiki. We laughed, talked about inappropriate things, and talked about nothing at the same time. This is the kind of friendship that everyone needs.
Next up, I had found a dessert place that specializes in pies. More specifically, they offer gluten-free pies! The name of the place was Winston Pies, no connection to my Winston (or so I thought). We drove from Sunset Blvd. to Brentwood and trolled around for another 30 minutes to find a parking spot. Much to our surprise, we were greeted with a graphic on the wall showing a map with a dotted line from California to Winston-Salem, NC! It turns out that the owner started baking in WS, before moving to Cali and falling in love with the constant supply of fresh fruit. I chose a GF banana caramel pie and Beaux got a chocolate variety. Both were delicious, but the best part was sitting on their version of a porch swing reminiscing and laughing it up.
While we were sitting over coffee & pie, Beaux got a text from our friend Julia Ann, She asked for us to stop by her gallery inside the W Hotel in Hollywood. Julia Ann and I are Facebook friends. We know all the same people and we were at the same parties the in Greensboro, circa the early 2000s. Despite that, we are unsure if we ever officially met. There’s no doubt that we met in Hollywood. She is a delight! We traded stories about Greensboro and got to know each other a little more than just social media friends.
I took Beaux home so that he could go back to work. Ironically enough, he lives on one side of Raleigh Studios and my old apartment is on the opposite side of the same studio.
I returned to have my last evening with Kenneth & Andrew. I was surprised with a blast from my own past! Somewhere around 2003, Andrew started filming a project starring our friend Darin as Rikki Rivers. Rikki is obsessed with 1980’s hair metal. I made a cameo in the film which was really just me playing my 6th-grade self. I was obsessed with metal music of that time. Shout out to Nikki Sixx for being my first crush! Follow the Rikki Rivers’ FB fan page for updates. Andrew’s got really cool plans for the project.