The hotel was full of people bumping into each other and smiling. Angry and warm. The day outside was steaming. Air conditioning made his kisses a bit better. I wanted to call my mother and cry. But my mother thought I was doing fine, and I needed to keep it that way. I didn't want her to make me come home. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't even sold my car, just left it on the street at Venice Beach, keys in, like a goodie bag.
People scuttled by like pigeons, not looking at anything. How many lived in the Hotel Bretton Hall? A dull glaze had settled on their faces. I felt them wringing their hands inside of me. This was where everyone landed, this hotel—all of the failed actors, hoping for coffee and a mild flirtation with another failed actor. Trying to make money cat-sitting. Lining up for auditions, trying not to drink at night or consume MSG so as to avoid puffy-face. I may as well enjoy it, I told myself. Someday, I'll be married and fat. I'll have three kids, two dogs, one cat, and no life. This was being young, poor, pretty, but not pretty ENOUGH to make it. This was about having childish dreams. But more than anything, it was about being out of clean socks and shirts and money.
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