Part-A

We are having a party this Saturday night. Officially, it’s to welcome Scott to the neighborhood but unofficially it’s to invite Michelle.

Plus, I have met a lot of people in the past few months and I thought it would be fun to invite every stranger I’ve met. Well, the ones where I got their name and contact info.

Gunther is a given. I’m going to invite Monica as well because I think she’s cool and I don’t care if Gunther gets pissed off. Who knows, maybe the party will make them realize they should get back together.

I’m going to track down Polly, the girl with the three-legged dog. Plus Mario, I’ll text him. I will leave a note today for Hung (wonder what he looks like).

At work, I need to invite Kyle even though he’s a dick. If I don’t invite him and he finds out about it I’ll get a lot of shit. Neil obviously. Also have to remember to invite Janet, the receptionist. And Daphne. And Maria, the cleaning lady? She’s a bit out of the age range for this party, but it’d be nice to drop an invite anyway.

There’s a few others that might be weird to invite like Hector the newspaper guy and Ramon the dry cleaner but if I see them I’ll mention it.

Of course, Scott is inviting people, too, otherwise this party might be pretty pathetic. Maybe his director friend will bring a new girl for me to date after I break up with Marny and before I marry Michelle.

Speaking of Marny and Michelle, assuming Michelle comes, I wonder if Marny will sense that something is up. On the other hand, Michelle will probably bring her boyfriend Kal-El, so maybe I won’t even have a chance to talk to her.

Anyone else out there in L.A. who feels like dropping by a little shindig in Brentwood, drop me an email.

I Have Plans

For the first time in years, I have plans for Labor Day weekend.

Tomorrow, I’m going to Venice Beach with Gunther and Monica. Saturday night, I’m going out with Marny. Sunday, we’re going to hang out, maybe go to see a movie. And Monday, there’s a cookout at the director guy’s apartment. All things considered, this Talk to Strangers Project has been pretty damn successful.

Mailbox Guy’s Girlfriend

I met Monica last night. Gunther invited me over for dinner and I hung out with the two of them all night. Monica is really cool. She’s in her late-thirties

and divorced and she immediately bonded with me in a big-sister sort of way.

Monica sells jewelry in Venice. She and Gunther have this totally zen approach to life. To them, it’s not about making money or acquiring stuff. They just try to have as much free time as possible so they can go hiking and shit.

I told Monica about the Project and she thought it was really cool. I told her about Marny and how I’m actually starting to like her. Monica just laughed. I’m not sure what was so funny about that but she seemed to think it was a “typical male” way of approaching a relationship.

Anyway, Monica invited me to join them on Saturday in Venice. We’re going to hang out at the beach. It’s weird. I’ve lived in L.A. for four years now and I’ve never actually gone to the beach before.

Mailbox Guy Has a Name

It’s Gunther. Seriously. Here’s how the conversation went down:

“Hey, you’re in 302, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen you around. What’s your name?”

“Gunther.”

“Fletcher.” [ed. note: I have decided it’s okay to reveal my first name. Hi. I’m Fletcher.]

We shook hands. It was cool. But I needed more.

“You know, we should hang out some time. I mean, as friends. You know, ’cause we’re neighbors.”

I started losing my nerve. Maybe because I couldn’t read him I just kind of assumed this wasn’t going well and I got nervous. I literally blurted out: “I’m not gay. This is not a homosexual thing. I just meant two dudes drinking beers or whatever.”

I was turning red. I added, “It could be wine.”

But as you probably guessed, my fears were unfounded. Just me being neurotic. He was totally cool. He said, “Yeah, cool. We should totally hang out.”

Now I don’t know if that’s just someone being polite–like, what’s he going to say? “Sorry, not interested.”–or he was being sincere. I’ll only know for sure when we actually hang out.

Mailbox Guy

Near miss tonight meeting the guy whose mailbox is next to mine at my apartment complex. I’ve seen him dozens of times and yet it never occurred to me till now to talk to him.

He’s a little older, maybe mid-thirties, kind of a surfer dude with long hair, and I think he lives with a woman because I always see them together.  Anyway, he must live in my building because that’s how the mailboxes are arranged.

Didn’t happen tonight because just as I was going in with a comment about that World Cup octopus, he got his mail and took off. So it would have been awkward to be like, “Wait, dude. Hold up. I want to pretend to like sports with you!”

It’s weird when I think about it. I live in this huge apartment complex in Brentwood–there must be a few hundred apartments here–and I’ve lived here for two years, yet the number of neighbors I know is exactly zero.

Makes me excited to start changing that.