There I was with my cousin, sister, brother and his girlfriend on the Santa Monica Pier, looking around at everybody that was there.
So many relatively good-looking people in such high concentrations of a small area.
Being that I forgot my sunglasses, my wandering eyes found others’ gaze and locked often. Yes, I am referring to females. The bleached blondes with tan skin in floral print dresses and strapped shoes with some kind of height under them were not quite getting my attention. The Kylie Jenner-esque types were getting my glances but not holding them. I found my gazes favoring those who weren’t in a group. They were the ones by themselves, walking around without a mission at a slower pace. They were the ones looking at the things they passed in a similar fashion of how one would as they were just walking through a dense, city park flower garden. They were the ones that stood out in the crowd. Their minimal physical expression was what stood out, opposite of a stereotypical tourist or adrenaline junkie eyeing the West Coaster for some fun… or opposite the numerous groups of females being noticeably expressive as they pass a group of guys.
We went down to the actual beach and I continued my people-watching. I took off my shoes and walked into the incoming ocean water. Looking south down the beach, I would continue to catch coincidental glances of those females in action laughing and having fun. I started trying to actually “learn” something. What were the guys looking like who were coupled up with these females? Relatively fit and defined muscles. Hair long on top, short on the sides, and of course the latest beard trend. I’m going to be honest: I was a bit envious of the physical look I wasn’t and jealous of the girls I thought I wouldn’t get being as I look. It only lasted for a second and my better mindset kicked in, understanding all the things I didn’t know about these couples.
Good. I’m getting better at this.
And I thought about that – to not be so focused on that and instead be more focused on where I am as my own individual and how I felt in that environment of the water and the sand. I was thinking about those types of girls I saw earlier. That’s probably what they were doing. They didn’t look at all interested in the fact nor dejected that they were by themselves. I don’t get envious of that but I do want to really get to that point where I can do that. My curiosity in people and my curiosity in wondering why I haven’t gotten into a relationship gets me lost in thoughts of analyzing and self-analyzing instead of doing my own thing. I’m glad that at this point I was better in control this time around. I mean, it’s much easier when I’m on a freaking beach next to the ocean. My element, for sure. It was great!
On our way up the pier ramp, I was listening to the music on the ALT 98.7 ALTimate Summer Camp 2016 stage beyond visual contact and I noted the singer sounded like Bishop Briggs on a song I haven’t heard before. I am a fan of Bishop Briggs based off of the few songs on her Soundcloud so I was in the dark and only later realizing, while checking my Twitter, that… it was Bishop Briggs. Yeah – FML was what I was living when that thought recurred that night.
Anyways, back to when I was ignorant about that and we were heading to the 3rd Street Promenade…
There was a different vibe up there being amongst apparel stores. Much more visual signs of people with a lot more money and probably a lot more narcissism. Overheard a conversation about a PERSON WALKING BY with “a look” that the 2 people conversing didn’t like. Yeah, that’s that sh*t I don’t like.
I started looking around again. Up at the Promenade, there were a bunch more Asian girls with glasses who looked like they are probably going to some So-Cal college.
There were a majority of two types:
1) The open flannel shirts with a midriff shirt underneath and short jean shorts with Converse or similar shoe style.
2) The moderate yet fashionable shirt with tight jeans and flats.
I was throwing glances at both. I knew damn well I wasn’t going to talk to any of them nor ever see them again but throwing looks is a fun game. It’s also fun to think the coincidental hair-fixing and giggles with one of their friends after I glanced is about me. A man can dream! It’s what I’m good at about these situations *shrug emoji*.
I continued to see more couples and the guys with long hair on top, short on the sides with beards. Yeah, it was still kind of getting to me.
See, every time I go to L.A. and am in a location like that, I just do that. It feels like I’m taking a poll on “Why I’m not in a relationship” and the only thing to base it on really is visual. All the visual shows me is that there is a trend… but it’s a trend I’m currently not portraying. It’s just as a difficult for a guy regarding social standards as it is for girls. I could bring up TV shows and TV/movie characters but I’m just going to assume we all know what’s up. It’s not right but it’s the dilemma everyone as a young adult, surrounded by pop culture, feels compelled to make a decision in: to either think “It doesn’t have to be like that.” and find other things for attraction or “Well, it does look good and gets results.” and go with it.
Point of honesty: I am growing my hair out on top again. I’d rather tie my hair than wear a baseball cap, which I have been doing way too much.
Listening to the music on the radio stations down there, being in L.A., they have the jump on new music. They also have way more radio stations with way more genres. I loved the new sounds I was hearing. It always makes me feel disadvantaged being from the San Francisco Bay Area, knowing there’s only so many radio stations that bring fresh singles to the airwaves. But that’s okay since I have learned how to find my way to that freshness using the internet via Soundcloud and YouTube.
Still, it makes you feel like you have an advantage being that close to where the major labels and the recording studios are.
In fact, my sister, my brother and his girlfriend, and I ended up at a recording session at the recording studio on the Jim Henson Company lot on the last night. The producer, Stephen Rezza, is a friend of my brother’s and now a friend of my cousin’s. He was also Christina Grimmie’s boyfriend (Yeah, it got freaking emotional… but I am not going to go into that). He was in a session with an Australian pop artist and The X-Factor (AU) contestant named Sinta. She is an awesome singer and an awesome personality. Involved in that session also was Tommy Acosta who has done work with productions on Eminem and 50 Cent’s earlier albums and many more well-known albums with other well-known artists.
In the conversations in that studio, we heard the dark side of Hollywood living. Drug and alcohol abuse. We heard a ridiculous story about Drake Bell. It’s a childhood-ruining story. I will not repeat it here.
As we were getting ready to leave at around 3 in the morning, my familial group had a more intimate talk with Stephen about coming down and doing music getting paid $$$.
This is the lustful allure and this is my dilemma with L.A.
It would be very easy to get into the industry for us. It would be so easy to live the Hollywood life. The thing I am worried about myself is that if I start to live the Hollywood life, I know I can start drinking and be less moderate about it. It will feel fun and I will lose myself. If I feel any anxiety, I know I can easily start to rely on self-medication in some form to numb it. I don’t drink (almost) at all currently and it has been that way since 2007. Occasional one beer or less and only at family parties. I’m serious. But when it comes to the Hollywood atmosphere, I relax more than usual. By habit. I like how it feels in the moment and that I know can lead to asking “Why not?” for drinks.
As much control as I have had in the past 9 years, I know that I’m my father’s son. I’m pretty sure I have genetic tendencies to indulge in the drink. I just want to make sure I’m not going to be willing to go to a place where it could turn into a problem, exacerbated by the environment.
The lustful allure of opportunities and success… but while in transit to those, possibly losing myself to mainstream trends and recreational indulgences just to mask the pain, whatever that pain may be.
I wish I was as unaffected by the higher volatile energies and I was more appreciative, and able to focus on the environment… as those individual girls on the pier.
It’s the thing I’m always working on. It’s hard to break the patterns, the habits.
There’s always a way to distract from the pain… and that is the lustful allure.