Toward the end of July, I had a bit of a meltdown. I hadn’t really talked to Austin much since I got home from Dallas. So I assumed he would never talk to me again. Everything he was doing I was applying it to my fear and I finally broke down. I thought about what the fuck I would do without Austin. What if we never talked? I really didn’t think I could do that again. He was such a big part of my life—even though we were so far apart. He was my best friend.
So there I was, sitting on my couch, moping, thinking about how miserable I’d be without him. Finally we talked and we just hadn’t talked because he’d been really busy at work. When I’d explained how scared I was, he reassured me that would not happen.
I wanted to move on so bad, but my heart wouldn’t let me. I had so much built up baggage and I thought that was why we fought. I was so terrified of getting close to him, it was like I went through all the motions, but I was scared to put my heart in it. I knew we could be good together if I just shook the fears.
But I didn’t have it all figured out yet.
It was mid-August. I was in Texas, at the airport, on my way to Los Angeles for the first time.
The week before my trip was a roller coaster, as several men from my past contacted me for random reasons. I got a job offer at Duvic’s bartending and Guess offered me a job also—I accepted both, but had yet to work out the details. I also had a shift in the way I felt for Austin and my thoughts on moving to Dallas.
Everything all started when my mom came to Baton Rouge to help me move. Angela sent me some texts saying she was depressed and that her parents felt moving to Los Angeles was a bad decision—that she shouldn’t go because she needs to stop screwing up her life. So I told my mom about it and she started freaking out, saying why does it matter because I shouldn’t be moving anywhere just to be with someone and I need to find a job and do my own thing. So of course then I was pissed because I couldn’t even explain my side to her. So I call the only person left: Austin.
Needless to say, he didn’t make anything better. He said to go with what my mom said because it’s more important what you do from 9-5 then what you do afterward. He said if there were people he knew in Dallas then he would be miserable because he works so much and would never get to go see them. Basically, right then I decided to stop looking for jobs in Dallas.
I thought after we saw each other he would take things more seriously—that if I moved to Dallas it wouldn’t be just for work, it would be for him. I felt like if I moved there, Austin would just be like, “oh cool there’s someone I know here.” It would be different if the opportunities there were the same as elsewhere, but they really aren’t—maybe in Austin, Texas but not in Dallas. I knew there’s PR anywhere, but not for music.
I started to notice Austin wasn’t hesistant to tell me about going out and the girls he met. I knew my next trip to Dallas needed to be my last. If I kept going there it was going to be harder to get away from Austin and his bullshit. I was trying to make him out to be someone he wasn’t. I really wanted to tell him why I stopped looking for Dallas jobs, but I didn’t think I’d ever get the chance, simply because we never had talks like that. But if he didn’t care—then he didn’t care—and I couldn’t make someone care. My only hope was that things in Los Angeles went well so I could at least work toward something.
I’d flown alone many times before, but never to a place where I didn’t know anyone. I’d never been further west than Chicago. I boarded my plane, headed to LAX, and felt pretty relaxed on the large flight. We even got a meal since the flight was so long.
But as we started to descend, when the captain said we would be arriving at LAX in 20 minutes, the truth hit me—I was flying into a city where I knew no one. No one would be there to pick me up, I’d be staying in the hotel alone.
Thankfully, my luggage was waiting for me and I caught a shuttle to my hotel, which was downtown. I remember riding on the shuttle with my mouth hanging open—I was in total awe of the sights, the actual city that I’d seen so much on TV and in movies, riding on the Pacific Coast Highway.
I arrived at my hotel, a beautiful Los Angeles landmark, checked in, and gawked at the view from the room. I could see the entire city. I called Josh, the person I was there to see in the first place, and he told me the plans for the night. I was to meet him in West Hollywood at the Knitting Factory to see a band he did PR for. The facts were settling in for him, too—”do you know where to go?” he asked.
“Umm, no, this is my first time here!”
He told me where to go and to meet him at 11. I left the hotel and went for a walk, grabbed some dinner before coming back to the hotel to get ready. I caught the metro, unsure of where to get off. I spotted a few young girls in a seat near me and told them where I needed to be.
“That’s our stop, too. We’ll show you.”
I wondered where they were going—they couldn’t have been older than 13, riding the Los Angeles metro late at night. I figured they were going to a friends’ house for a slumber party. We left the train, walked up some stairs, right onto Hollywood Blvd. I was stunned.
There were lights! Mann’s Chinese Theatre!
The girls spotted the Knitting Factory and walked me inside—now THIS was cool. I saw evidence of old LA, the punk side of it in the big hair and white denim on the club-goers. Immediately, Josh found me and introduced me to his wife. I ordered myself a drink, and the music started.
Everyone I met was wheeling and dealing, handing out business cards, and finding my situation very unique—girl from Indiana moves to Louisiana, comes to California alone.
By the time the concert was over, I’d missed the last train downtown, so Josh grabbed me a taxi and I had rousing conversation with the taxi driver as he took me back to my hotel. Once I made it inside, I crashed—it was 4am in Baton Rouge.
The next day, I was supposed to meet Josh fairly early at his office, back in West Hollywood. Of course, I got mixed up on the metro and arrived late. His office was on Sunset Blvd, where they were taping an episode of MTV’s “Next.” Josh took me to Playboy radio, where one of his clients was set to do an interview—I remember the tattoo on her arm: Jack Nicholson peering through a broken bathroom door from his famous scene in The Shining.
While the offices at Playboy radio weren’t anything glamorous, I was jealous of their jobs. Hosting shows an hour-long, then leaving for the day, only coming in wearing velour track suits. After the radio show, we hopped into Josh’s BMW, and headed over to eat lunch at a burrito shop, where we talked some.
When I left Josh’s office, I wandered around West Hollywood for a bit. It was my last night in California and I wanted to make the most of the next day. My last day in Los Angeles, I got a call from Duvic’s wanting me to work that night. I told them I was in California, and they made a date for my first night.
I took the metro back to Hollywood and did the Celebrity Homes tour, walked the Academy walk, checked out the Hollywood stars on the sidewalk, and went to Virgin Records. Then, I had to catch my flight back to Louisiana.