Monday, March 14, 2011

You Can't Do Anthing To Me That The City of Los Angeles Hasn't Already Tried

Cover of "Hollywoodland (Combo HD DVD and...Cover via Amazon
by James Jarvis

     Driving call girls around Los Angeles every night is not as vulgar or as glamorous as I would have expected. And being holed up in my mid-Wilshire apartment waiting for a 400-pound Samoan hit man from New York to come kick down my door and kill me is not as scary as I thought it would be, either.

     I can't quite make up my mind if I should be scared or not. My friends are nervous. They're a little uneasy about dropping by my apartment like they used to before I told them about the 4 a.m. phone calls and the big "Walk Away" meeting at the Nikko Hotel in Beverly Hills.

     One friend I was giving a ride to recently (the woman in white, who will be mentioned throughout my book, Bring Me Your Love) had to grin and bear it when we were being chased at high speeds through an otherwise quiet valley neighborhood by one of the Dragon Lady's taxi mafia thugs. If you're into high speed chases, just ask me for a lift somewhere.

     My friends have suggested I move somewhere safer, like Arizona maybe or Beirut . But I have lived in Los Angeles over nine years now. I have been mugged. My children have been mugged. We were here for the riots and earthquakes and mudslides and droughts. We were here for the fires and floods, medfly and frog plagues.

      Some idiot amateur carjacker tried to separate me from my 20 year-old Buick in a McDonald's parking lot once and a gang of junior high school thugs tried to jack me up in front of the McDonald's on Hollywood Boulevard a few years ago. The only things that scare me these days are my landlord and the L.A.P.D. And maybe fast food parking lots.

      I was fired from my job as an escort driver after 18 months of good and faithful, sometimes terror-ridden service. The asian Dragon Lady madam who ran the escort service called me at home one March evening and told me she couldn't work with me anymore because she heard rumors I had unsuccessfully tried to break one of her rules.

     That decision would cost her more than she could have imagined. A dog will take a lot of beatings from it's master, but if she tries to starve it, it'll turn on her with a vengeance. Jerry, the 400-pound Samoan, has been retained by my ex-employer to convince me to stay fired, to keep my mouth shut and to just walk away from a lifestyle that both fascinated and repelled me. Come and get some, Jerry.

     I feel like a deer caught in the headlights of a speeding Mercedes Benz. How did I, a middle-aged, overweight grandfather computer nerd, end up in a $250 a day Manhattan hotel room with two stoned 20 year-old valley girls pouring over 37 pages of New York yellow page escort ads looking for a clue to the whereabouts of a 400 pound Samoan enforcer? I'm coming for you, Jerry.

     How did I, a $75 an hour computer prepress service bureau consultant, disabled veteran and college educated marketing manager come to be driving around L.A. in a car full of prophylactics, women's underwear, hotel stationery and a dent on the hood of my car where a disgruntled, naked john landed in the middle of December?

     How did I end up in your next door neighbor's driveway at 3 in the morning chain-smoking generic mystery menthols while listening to Stephen King books on tape, trying to drown out the sounds of sex and other debaucheries coming from your neighbor's open bedroom window?

     You don't just run down to the nearest employment office to get a job as a call girl delivery boy. There IS a place down in Orange County that will refer your name to those LA XPRESS sex workers, but most of the drivers I met were recruited by friends, the taxicab mafia or the call girls themselves.

     I blame my involvement in the sex worker industry on one seemingly harmless association I made at my apartment complex. Little did I know then that organized crime, like everything else in L.A., is networking, networking, networking. 

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