I could get far, far away from that time when I drove through the L.A. night, down abandoned streets, another night in bartending hell finished, and I wondered what had become of my life and where it would go, and I did not know, just tried to convince myself to keep doing it even though I hated it, and loved it, but not just for the money…but why?
Professor Shapiro asked me what I’d write about if I didn’t write about the night life. I thought for a moment, then said, “Avocados.”
Working as a bartender is a life of contradictions, dichotomies, of contrasts, a clash between whiskey, electronic dance music and aching joints from long shifts, and avocados, yoga and meditation during the day.
The avocado was my lifeline into the daylight, my antidote for the ills of being a cog in a vicious nightlife machine, one that brings out the worst in humanity and profits from it.
Already, I feel the obsession taking over my body, an empty stomach, stretching on the wooden floor, the thought of learning about avocados, that clean day life I clung to as devoutly as I studied the art and science of tending bar.
I’d stroll across the Fred Segal lot to the café on Melrose and ask for bread. I offered to pay but they gave me a free loaf, still warm.
Avocado smashed on French bread, drizzled with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a grind of coarse sea salt, the poetic simplicity of daytime fodder for an aspiring writer trying to escape the throes of bartending, the cycle, the repetition, getting money, darkness setting in, getting ready for work as others get home from work, realities flipped, reversed, finally, I got out, and now, struggle, again, with how to write about it, but how to get out, again, and report, and cut open something fresh, ripe, rich.