FORTY BUCKS AND A DREAM: STORIES OF LOS ANGELES (Prologue)

I am tweeting my manuscript FORTY BUCKS AND A DREAM: STORIES OF LOS ANGELES. The prologue, “Hungry Town,” can be found here. Go follow on Twitter, @nancyromm; I’ll be posting - and videotaping! — a chapter or two a week, and if you want to publish the book, contact my agent, his info here on Contact page. Until then! A clip:

…I’m talking about dreams here, not cash, though that, too. While it’s true every city is built on the backs of people’s dreams, LA is exceptionally resourceful in its circular logic that you will be discovered provided you believe you will be. Los Angeles will never say, hey, you’re past your freshness date; get out. Like an understanding hostess, she will make room for you in reduced circumstances; under the stairs, perhaps, but you are of course welcome to watch the paying guests, and really, she’d prefer if you did. It makes it that much more festive. Plus you are, in a sense, still part of the action.

“There’s this play in the Valley these producers really want me to do,” the actor in need of dental work tells me. He’s been told he’s just right for the role, which he’ll share with another actor, and hesitates only because it means canceling a vacation, plus there’s the $90 per performance he’ll have to pay.

For him, the excitement is worth the uncertainty.

Also, for the dry cleaner in Laurel Canyon with the twenty-year-old headshot of himself over the counter, who confides that Nic Cage just dropped off a jacket so, you never know. Also, the actress who joins the members-only Success Club, wherein she and a bunch of other people march down Wilshire Boulevard singing, “I am going to be SUCCESSFUL! I am going to land that JOB!” Also, maybe, the couple in line ahead of me at the Farmers Market, a fifty-something woman and her slightly younger male companion. She, with so much collagen in her lips she resembled Cesar Romero playing the Joker in the old Batman TV series. He, in a string tank-top that revealed a Schwarzeneggerian chest, a stunning contrast to hair fringed coquettishly above his eyes, eyes that had been surgically stretched between jubilation and terror, the same expression he might have come by naturally had he opened his apartment door at the end of the day and found sixty people yelling, “SURPRISE!” The couple might have appeared to be calmly scanning the overhead menu, but their psyches seemed trapped in some existential web, and I could not look away, despite and because doing so made my stomach hurt.

Read the whole thing here. Prefer video? I got you.