The 6am flight from Singapore came with first class upgrades! Aaron and I found shower stalls in the Tokyo airport and parted ways at the gate for his flight to New York. Flying east is tougher than west, so I skipped Seattle and headed straight home to Los Angeles.
My roommate Priest had been organizing people to sublet the master bedroom on AirBnB.com. In less than two weeks Priest was able to get the apartment’s entire rent covered. What seemed like a perfect situation was shattered when I came home to find this creature packing his belongings in my living room.
With an enthusiastic handshake and a slight lisp, he introduced himself as “The Creature, but you can call me Markus”
He was shooting a reality show for AMC called “Freak Show” that follows several of Venice Beach’s most interesting residents who perform in the local freakshow on the boardwalk. The way this guy acted seemed like he was performing for a camera that stopped recording hours ago.
The apartment looked as if the entire ‘Freakshow’ cast had been squatting in the apartment. The living room looked as if a Chinese knock-off fashion market had exploded inside. Dozens of pairs of studded shoes, Angry Birds long underpants, costume jewelry and tattoo/piercing equipment covered the floor all the way to the kitchen. The wood on almost every surface had been stained with spilled liquids. The walls and entire bathroom were covered in mysterious black smudge marks.
Our friend Joel “KFM” Brown had been visiting us for about a week so far as well, but The Creature had obviously bonded with Priest. He kept singing Priest’s name has he shuffled his endless piles of stuff to and from different parts of the living room (but never into the actual suitcases).
KFM was giggling nonstop. My roommate looked embarrassed. “I’m so sorry dude. It’s been a long week. I cleaned up this morning, and even asked him to keep it ‘gay clean’, but obviously… Um, the producer’s coming to pick him up at nine.” Priest was already cooking lasagna and had invited over the flight attendant girls whose apartment has a direct view of our living room window (they call us the “Boyquarium”).
When time came to eat, The Creature took a bong into the bathroom and then went to the store to replenish his stash of Lime-a-Ritas.
As the lasagna was disappearing, The Creature repeatedly sang for us to “Hook a nigga up with that corner piece”. He refused to wit with us, and later forced priest to go to the neighbors to reheat the especially reserved serving.
By 8:40, The Creature was singing an original song about how much he loves cocaine. Only one of hiss six bags was packed. I maneuvered around his treasures to find the bathroom smelling like crack. Priest responded, “Don’t worry, he’s just smoking Spice”
…Spice, the semi-legal drugs whose closest neighbor is bath salts.
There was one of my baking pans on the living room floor, containing some of The Creature’s tattoo supplies. Upon moving the pan, I discovered two thick black stains that could only be from The Creature’s ink collection.
“Just get him out of here” I snapped at Priest.
The Creature popped over defensively with a wet towel and manically swiped at the stains, causing them to grow into a two-foot-wide blob of blackness. It looked like he was creating a gate to Hell in our living room. Within minutes, the Creatures’ trip went south as he gave up on the stain and went back to packing. When asking him not to step in the pile of ink and then track it around the brand new carpet, The Creature snapped into attack mode and puffed himself up in my face, “What, gay boy? Why you scared of me?!”
It should probably be explained that I’m one of those people that crazies always try to instigate fights with. It’s like how otherwise-normal dogs go nuts and bark savagely at certain people… Crazy humans are like that with me.
I wasn’t scared of this guy, but I was pissed off. More than anything I wanted to punch this drug addicted bigot freak in the face… but that would probably mean touching his blood.
Luckily the producer showed up a little before ten and helped pack the creatures’ things. While taking out a suitcase, The Creature stopped me in the doorway with a pair of scissors in his hand. He tried his usual line, “Why you scared of me gay boy?!” I looked at the ground and pushed passed. Not getting the reality-show reaction he wanted, The Creature went on to yell about how Priest was his only friend in the world.
After speaking with the tired-looking producer outside, I re-entered my apartment to find a houseplant smashed on the floor. On the upside, all the bags were finally packed and outside the front door. I slammed the door as the creature was on the stairway trying to pick a new fight with Priest.
It’s been days since The Creature left the house, but his face continues to pop into mind the second I start to drift off. Priest swears that The Creature was given a “Do-not-duplicate” key and returned it the night he left… but somehow I still spring awake when is feels like someone’s touching my leg when half conscious at 2AM.
A man who works at the Venice Beach Freak Show is haunting me.
The gift keeps on giving, however: When the executive producers heard what happened, they kicked the issue up to their attorneys and have since refused to communicate about the fact that I will no longer be getting my security deposit back from the landlord.
I’m chalking all of this up to Karmic repayment for a time when I was fourteen in San Fransisco and bet on some bum fights in Haight Ashbury.