Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No vacancy

Last Saturday night, I met my ex-roomie Sherri on Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade for dinner and a catching-up session. Sherri and I only lived together for about 8 months, and were both so busy that we barely got to know each other during that time. Interestingly, we have gotten very close since she moved out. She's a fascinating woman; she grew up in South America as a privileged daughter of a banker, and moved to Los Angeles so she could learn to make it on her own. She once emphasized to me that at home, she'd had bodyguards, drivers, and maids, which sounds wonderful but deprives one of certain survival skills. She's trilingual (Spanish, English, French), which I envy. She was kidnapped and held for ransom as a child, which she talks about so matter-of-factly that it's as though she's telling you a story she heard from someone else. Younger than me by two years, she's already been married and divorced. It's funny that two women who are so diametrically opposed on paper have so much to say to each other, but hey, this is America.

Since it was such a nice night, we strolled around and browsed the stores of the Promenade for a while afterwards.

Walking to our cars, we passed three or four men sitting on the sidewalk, asking for change. "Hey man, got any change? Got a quarter? Can you help me out, lady?" They called out to each passer by in front of us.

Sherri was barely paying attention, looking out into the street. One of the guys made eye contact with me and yelled out, "Hey, I need a place to stay tonight!" Startled, Sherri jumped a little.

"What is it he said?" she asked as we passed. "All I hear is, 'tonight'."

"He told me he needed a place to stay," I chuckled.

She rolled her eyes. "Whatever it is they're wanting from us..."

"...they're not getting," I laughed.

"Strange men," she shook her head. Well, those are everywhere.

Needless to say, I went home alone.



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