Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I Hate Cleveland

Downtown Los Angeles after about 8pm is something right out of a movie. Quiet as a graveyard, not a single living creature stirring, not even a lone car whizzing through its streets - except ours, of course.

Ruth and I had been spending an unhealthy amount of time together, and I'd grown fonder and fonder of the girl over those past several months - although neither one of us had approached the subject of a "relationship" yet, and had simply enjoyed one anothers company. So when she informed me about some sort of super secret rave going on in downtown that Saturday, I happily accepted her invitation.

She'd always had that unique sense of style that I find attractive. From her long, dyed black hair down to her studded wristbands, from her torn skirt and fishnets down to her Doc Martins - she was either getting wardrobe tips from the depths of my psyche, or this was some form of serendipitous bliss. Either way, she had yet to disappoint.

I had just gotten out of the shower and it was nearing 9:00pm. Ruth was scheduled to pick me up at 10:00. I had an hour to get ready.

My brand new boots had shown up in the mail just the day before, so I was definitely wearing those. Aside from my spiffy new New Rock's, my attire would consist of my usual black shirt, black jeans, and black coat.

Five minutes to ten and there was a knock at the door, she was prompt as always. I opened the door to let her in, and there she was: Standing in front of me with a big shit-eating grin on her face, with her Guitar Hero guitar strapped to her back. Before I could even let out a chuckle or ask, she announced, "I'm going as a Gen Y Rock Star!"

She grabbed my hand and tried pulling me out the door.

"Hang on, I gotta get my sunglasses and keys," I said, still laughing.

We picked up my friend Boxcar Billy and his girlfriend Kim on the way, and off we were, to either get mugged and murdered or to party the night away in Downtown Los Angeles - probably both.

Making our way down Grand Avenue, everything was as expected; a warm breeze blew up some loose papers laying on the ground, and except for us and the roaches, the streets of downtown were dead.

"Are you sure you know where you're going?" I asked.
"Pshaw!" she quickly responded, smacking my gut.
"Don't make me cut you, woman!" I snarled back.

As Billy and Kim guffawed at our playful banter, I eyed Billy and made a gesture towards the plastic guitar laying in the back of the SUV.

"That's right, I'm a Gen Y Rock Star tonight!" pre-empted Ruth, her spider senses tingling from my incoming jab.

Kim laughed and patted her on the shoulder, as if to say, "You go, girl!"

Billy grinned with approval. All was well.

Taking a right onto our boulevard of destination, the streets of downtown suddenly came to life. Rows and rows of cars were parked next to what would normally be nothing other than a big giant warehouse. We witnessed several dozen people in groups of roughly six each huddled in conversation over cigarettes outside while we parked.

The place was going to be packed.

As we made our way from the back of the parking area, out of nowhere Ruth leapt on top of a random parked car, swung her guitar around and strummed it once before throwing the goat and shouting, "Are you ready to rock, Cleveland!" Her voice cracked.

We about fell to the ground laughing. Nobody questioned why it was Cleveland she was intruducing herself to.

I picked her up off the hood of the car and carried her the rest of the way, making sure she couldn't get herself into more trouble. She seemed content there with her arms around my neck, making some sort of growling face at me that I can't describe as anything other than adorable even if I tried.

This girl was trouble.

It was nearing five in the morning when we finally walked out of the rave. The hundred or so other hooligans in attendance were loitering outside. We took a moment to light up our cigarettes and catch our breaths. Ruth was annoyed because someone had apparently snatched her Guitar Hero guitar early in the evening, during one of the rare occasions she stopped pretending to be a Gen Y rock star and stepped away from the damned thing.

"Don't worry," I said. "I'll get you a new one."
"But I don't want a new one!" she feigned a sniffle.

I gestured to Boxcar Billy who produced her guitar from under his coat.

"Told you I'd get you a new one," I smirked with a sense of triumph. Boxcar chuckled.

Billy's girlfriend Kim and Ruth just stared at us, their mouth's agape. Leaving them both in stunned silence was oddly satisfying. I continued to smirk contently.

Ruth gave me a fierce look before snatching the guitar out of Billy's hands and climbing to the top of the stairs leading back into the warehouse. As she turned around, perched on top of the stairs, you could see she reflected in thought for a moment before turning to the crowd, her plastic guitar raised ceremoniously. My busty vixen had their attention.

"Thank you, Cleveland!" she screamed at the top of her lungs as she swung her guitar down between her legs onto the concrete, smashing it into pieces.

The crowd erupted. It was Billy and I who were now stunned in silence.

"You said you'd get me a new one," she said to me as she grabbed Kim's hand and they both made a mad dash to the car. The crowd continued to cheer.

"This one's definitely trouble," said Boxcar, putting his arm around my shoulder.

As we made our way to them, I still hadn't decided whether I wanted to kiss her or kill her. When we finished our trek past the sea of cars to our own, the doors were locked and the windows rolled up.

"Let us in!" demanded Billy.
"Not until you guys promise you still love us and won't hurt us!" they said in unison.

"Come here," I motioned with my finger.
The driver's side window went down an inch.
"Closer," I said.
The window went down another inch.

"You win this round pinky, but the war's not over." I said firmly.
She put her lips up to the crack in the window and puckered.
I laughed and gave her a kiss. She was too adorable for words.

"Now get in, I'm buying breakfast!" announced my new arch-nemesis victoriously.

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