We’d been drinking since Happy Hour at that Korean Pirates of the Caribbean on Wilshire. We guzzled 5000cc’s of Amber Ale, and dined on authentic cuisine: “tteokbokki” and “potato skins.” Post-Happy Hour pricing pushed us on to the streets. We decided to regroup at a home-base off Franklin.
We drank whiskey shots and warm beer on the breezy patio. Our friends were at that bar-that-offers-free-tacos-with-every-drink. The house descended on to the watering hole recently annexed by the hip-seeking Manifest Destiny of gentrification. Friends from varied areas of my life crowded into a corner of the cantina.
Claustrophobia and the appeal of the dance-floor inspired our crew to leave immediately. A dozen of us
marched towards the next bar. We could not organize the group into camping chants or drinking songs. Mutual best friends responded positively to each other.
The line to the bar was so long. It almost went as far back as the bacon-wrapped hot dog vendor.
We wanted to get drunk, but we did not want to wait to enter the bar. So we sought a better solution. Make our own party.
We crossed the street without the support of the people. Our revolutionary spirit pushed us onward towards the strip mall.
“They will follow us once we hit the liquor store.”
Now backed by a small constituency, we entered the store and purchased one 12-pack of Tecate and a small package of Sour Skittles.
We had the beer, now we needed a location. One faction suggested the park, another pointed to the stairs.
We were very drunk, and the park was very far away, so we reunified under the banner of the stairs.
We were loud. We yelled at everyone we passed.
In this moment we were creating a world that was not concerned about open-container policies or public drunkenness. A planet where absolute strangers have everything in common.
Students from the state college joined us on the steps. They could not believe this action was taking place
We handed a beer to anybody that passed.
We met people from every part of segregated Los Angeles. Latino Skateboarders from South Central joined us. It was such a peaceful moment of unity between people who would never regularly interact.
A beautiful moment on the grimy steps above Sunset.
“What the fuck?!”
An 18-inch television avalanched down the staircase. We were attacked with completely unexpected TV violence.
This instantaneous disaster caused panic. Our crowd escaped down the steps or dove out the way. The TV stopped toppling a few feet above us. Everyone was okay, minus glass in our newly sock-less summer shoes.
Nobody could believe any of this happened. This impromptu gathering was halted by spontaneous violence. This was an apt way for this utopian moment to end.
We struggle towards an ideal that can only last a moment, before it is replaced by something less ideal… a tumbling television.