It's almost as if the kid had washed ashore in Los Angeles - so quickly he was battered and bruised upon arrival.
The kid? Maybe only in terms of his naivete'. At this point, he was was 30.
But he had some things going for himself. Primarily, a job. Sufficient in both stability and promise, one could accurately describe it as a career. And his health. Always strong from a lifelong dedication to fitness.
Already scarred by war, disappointments, and life, he was allowing L.A. to flush all he had positive away.
But, boy, was he having fun.
Long a devotee of the Jim Morrison cult, he worked fast to establish his own drunken reputation on the Sunset Strip.
Known to the Doors then as The London Fog, the bar now Rock and Reilly's quickly became his go-to hang-out. Opening at 11:30 a.m., he had a beer in hand by 11:31. He had also been the final patron out upon closing. During the same visit.
The "Whiskey", next door, conjured special allure. Steeped in history, he partied there with angry and frenetic energy. An effort, no doubt, to develop a particular legacy of his own. His wallet, lost forever, was a victim of the Whiskey. Ultimately, so was he.
He once stumbled out. The type of stumbling that produces blood, and leaves scars. That particular evening ended, thankfully for him, in his own bed. He arrived there via taxi cab. A taxi cab that he was placed in by gracious police officers. The following morning, the return ride was a 100 dollar fare; exactly as it had been the night before.
Only a handful days past arrival, he took a quick liking to a local strip club. A habitual visitor, he beat a worn path from ATM to the private dance room. Fueled by beer and whiskey shots, his expenditures there could have financed an exotic car.
A preferred Irish bar was just a few short miles from his apartment; an easy right-left-right. Driving home after a long night of libations, he once got lost.
Plenty of money and time was spent in pursuit of the perfect hedonistic L.A. lifestyle. But, none of it, he thought, wasted. Besides, he was being responsible, never drinking on nights prior to workdays.
Unbeknownst to him, it was coming. A wake-up call, though not the first of his life, but the most recent. And, perhaps, the most important.
More to follow during the next entry....
Just something I am working on. Toying with the title, "Burnt Out by the City of Lights"...