Sometimes, late, we go to this dark little coffeehouse off Hollywood Blvd called The Hotel. There’s a pool table with broken cues and a free jukebox. They sell panini sandwiches, perrier, Italian sodas and all kinds of coffee drinks. You’re allowed to smoke inside. The Hotel is on a street lined with bars so it’s particularly entertaining to sit and smoke and talk at one of the outside tables just before 2am. We watch the drunks stumble out of the trendy bar next door or the gay bar down the street. Connections are being made. I am so out of the loop I don’t understand this black hair beneath blonde wig is becoming hot again. I see men in leather pants and girls with go-go boots and I remember I live in Los Angeles. I hear snippets of conversation about the impending end of the world and do you have any blow and wanna come back with me, baby? It’s great.
One night I went to the Hotel with Dylan and a friend of his named Jimmy. Dylan got involved in a backgammon game so I ended up talking to Jimmy. He was skinny in a plaid shirt and loose levis. He had brown hair and narrow eyes and talked with nasal drawn out vowels. He told me he had two years off heroin and that he was twenty-one and a carpenter. We exchanged e-mail addresses.
The next day Jimmy e-mailed asking for my number and if I’d like to get coffee. “Twenty-one is way too young,” my friends told me. And I kind of agreed. But I still went out with him. We went for coffee once and dinner once. He took me to see the Thai Elvis and then we drove around Silverlake looking at the houses he was working on. He drove a big truck with an NPR bumper sticker. He paid for everything. (“how about this, Allison? Why don’t you leave the tip?”)
He kissed me once in the truck and I was reluctant, told him that I had problems with the age difference. He thanked me for being honest and then said “why don’t we just see what happens?”
We went back to his apartment and I tried to fix his computer. As he walked me to my car a little later he stopped me, pulled me back to him and kissed me hard and for a long time. He pulled my hair. “I love kissing,” he said. I felt it inside, rising up, choking, and I wanted him to take me back in the house so I could press hard against his skinny carpenter’s body under bright lights listening to Nirvana. But I felt it too strongly, and he was twenty-one. So I left.