|AFI Poster Featuring Sophia Loren|
This just in from my good friend Barbara Tira who experienced--as many of us do from time to time--A Day from Hell in L.A.--yesterday. I've wondered a long time why pain is so funny after the fact. It just is.
Barbara and I went to a matinee in Hollywood (the REAL Hollywood, folks--Hollywood Blvd. at Highland which resembles now more than ever that opening scene in "Children of Paradise" on the Boulevard of Thieves in Paris, circa 18th Century). After the film, on our way out of the maze that is the indoor mall that houses Grauman's Chinese Theater, I stopped to ask a guard why there was a red carpet in front. Who were they expecting? He just shrugged and said, "Celebrities."
Two days later--yesterday--Barbara returned to experience her own little corner of Hades. If you've read "Day of the Locusts," you're already halfway there. Barbara, take it away:
Last night I found out (the hard way, of course) what the red carpet was for at AFI. Against my better judgment, I agreed to meet Carolin there, ticketless, with highest hopes of somehow getting in to "Marriage Italian Style." As she was already on the west side, I thought it best to take the bus and meet her there and drive home together. So much for good thoughts.
I raced to Echo Park and Sunset and waited for the long overdue #2 bus. Arriving at Sunset and Vermont, already being late, and hearing the announcement for the Red Line, I thought to debus and hop the train to speed up the commute. At the bottom of the stairs I realized I needed the lost-in-the paper-chaos-at-home TAP card to board. Scurrying to the rants of a crazy young girl drinking a Red Bull, I headed upstairs to get back on the #2 bus that I just got off and paying once again to be even later. After spinning around on the corner a few times, I caught sight of a #2 Bus and made it aboard. I plunked in my 55 cents and was called back by a voice saying, "It's 75 cents."
After a confusing interchange and learning that on Sept. 15 the senior fare was raised, I dug deep, encountered and entered a dime, when I realized I needed more. Meanwhile, the foreign lady who boarded with me was also called back and called upon to cough up more coins. The poor woman had no comprehension of what was going on. I scrounged up the last remaining coin on my person, a quarter, and added it to the kitty, now over paying, but happy to have that last cent to not be thrown off the bus. I noticed that eye exchange between the clueless foreigner and the determined driver and added,” Maybe she could get some credit from the extra I put in," while envisioning the poor woman being ejected from the bus.
Arriving at AFI and the all shenanigans going on there, I shouldered my way through the horde gathered. Finally finding someone who could bother to talk to me, I was forcefully shooed away and forbade entrance.
Carolin called, frantic. "I'm at the parking garage and there's fire trucks all around and cops are yelling at me to leave, saying there's a fire. I'm trying to get out but all the streets are blocked. I don't know where I am. I'll call you back when I can safely stop and see and use the phone."
As I walked the labyrinth through the Chinese Theater Complex searching for Hollywood Boulevard, there next to me, walking down the red carpet was the black beaded gowned, 4-man bodyguarded Sophia Loren, smiling, waving, signing autographs with each tentative step, probably wishing more than me to be outta there.
I thought only you, Marlan, could appreciate this Hollywood fiasco.
Barbara Tira is longtime resident of Echo Park in L.A., Body Harmony and Family Constellation Practitioner/Healer, and the Author of the upcoming memoir (working title):
DETOUR: MY JOURNEY FROM CATHOLIC SCHOOL TO IMPRISONMENT TO FREEDOM.