I finally understand what my uncle meant by “Amer-I-cans”. They’re all so confident and full of themselves. Nobody ever says I’m hoping to be an actor or I’d like to be one. It’s always “Hi my name is x and I’m an actor”. I guess a bit of their brashness rubbed off on us during the tiger years, only to disappear with the bailout money. I bet if you were to ask Cillian Murphy if he was an actor he’d probably blush and say that he starred in a few films, nothing serious or make a quip about how it pays the bills. Everyone here thinks they’re a star. Nobodies just a waiter or bar staff-they’re undiscovered talent. Although judging by their wages you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. The only tips I ever received back home working in bars or restaurants came in the form of thinly veiled threats. I don’t think a day ever went by without having to endure the clever dry wit of new money mouth, “You trying to catch the bloody thing back there?” Over 150 years and we’re still blighted by the fuckin’ potato and its simplicity. Good food takes time. Not that I’ve had any in a while. I gave up on eating out over here long ago because of the service. Every meal is like a fuckin’ date. You can’t just place an order, eat, and leave. You’ve got to court your waitress, validate her existence, and tell her a thousand times that “everything is okay”. I got sick of having to whore myself out every lunchtime and all while paying her handsomely for the experience. I don’t want to know about your hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Please just let me eat my fuckin’ sandwich-you’re getting a tip regardless.
Even having a quiet pint in a pub is an ordeal because I don’t have the cash to be tipping after every single drink so have to bulk up and stockpile. “You Irish sure love your drink” they always say. Well I’d love it a lot more if I didn’t have to resort to drinking pitchers all the time.
The only one I see with any star quality in the house so far is Tori although I don’t think it’s the type of star she’s aspiring to. It’s actually quite hard to see any of the house as people and not characters from a TV show. From what I’ve gathered so far Kelly’s the party girl, Jordan’s the serious actor, Jorge is the muscle, and Leanne the country bumpkin. Cassidy (apart from being a spoilt daddy’s girl) and Rick seem to come as a package and must be the Ken and Barbie of the show. I try to figure out where I fit in and come to the conclusion I’m either the token foreigner or drunk.
All the housemates are so ridiculously good looking that it’s hard not to feel Irish. We must be the only race in the world that the sun actually makes more unattractive. Either I burst out in freckles or turn an angry red. Everyone here looks like a golden movie star; while I look like something a car ran over and left for dead. Come to think of it the only ugly people I’ve ever met in LA are usually tourists or ex-pats.
Looking around the house-my new home-I can’t help but think about the lads back in Dublin going through their tired, grey, work-a-day existence. That is of course assuming they’re “lucky” enough to have a job. A tired few propping up the hopeless many. Natural light bounces off the marble kitchen countertops creating a very spiritual, almost cleansing vibe. Who’d have known a whole palate of colors existed? Bright colors, colors not associated with death or winter. Everything about the place is so extravagant that I feel dwarfed to the point of insignificance. Even the fridge looks like it’s only here to gather fuel before take off.
“So Mike you ready to tear up the clubs later?” Kelly says in such a way that it’s more of a command.
Great I’m already “Mike” even though I went out of my way to introduce myself as Mick. I debate correcting her but am afraid of having my name further bastardized to Mickey.
“Sure. Any suggestions?”
“Have you been to Mood yet?”
No but all these pretentious nouns are all the same. I went to Element last week and was hopelessly out of mine.
“I don’t mind as long as we don’t waste half the night queuing.”
“Don’t sweat it Mike tonight is A-list casual so no door drama if you’re on the list, and I happen to know the bouncer.”
I’m about to respond but she’s already gone. Does she even want to go clubbing or was she just letting me know she’s got connections? I sincerely hope it’s the latter as clubbing LA style is a very sober experience. All the guys do is high five and hand slap each other while the girls prowl around tables looking for the one with the most magnums. Most the time people only dance to catch a better glimpse of themselves in one of the many never-ending mirrors. Last week in Element I actually ran into a guy who had his table set out like a market stall with bottles of wine, Crystal, vodka, Jäger and JD even though he didn’t drink. On the plus side though I didn’t feel an ounce of the usual post drink regret for swiping his bottle of JD as it really was a victimless crime. If anything I did him a favor by giving him an interesting conversation starter piece. I smile to myself as I think about the irony of the girls, mouths aghast, denouncing my actions as they get further acquainted over another free drink. God bless America.

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From the beginning.

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