Sunday, July 01, 2007

Arthur: I (something) L.A.

I'm starting to get the impression that the Dragons aren't exactly a great team. Part of the job of announcing is to be with the audience, and though I had no idea that San Francisco even had a Major League Lacrosse team a scant two months ago, that are still my home team, and having them fall to Los Angeles is a little more galling than the other losses. It's not like the cities really hate each other; it's just a different culture, although I imagine it looks much the same to east-coasters. The biggest sports rivalry out here is in fact a transplanted east-coast one, between the Giants and the Dodgers; as an A's fan, I don't have the same sort of visceral distaste for the Angels; they're just another team in the division.

We have been playing the "Beat L.A." thing up over the past couple weeks and in promos, though, so I kind of got into it. But the game was only part of the L.A. experience this weekend.

About a week ago, I got a call from one Cassie Lane, saying that she saw the MLL schedule would have me in L.A. over the weekend, and she wondered if R.J. and I would like to meet her and Jim for dinner after the game. I stumble a little, but she gets into "oh please, please please please, it's been almost a year", so I eventually relent. I've always had a weakness for that tone of voice from a girl. Besides, I figured, if it's been a year since she's seen Nell, I probably wouldn't be too badly at a loss at any point.

It did mean calling Drew, but that wasn't too big a deal. As I mentioned last time, he asked me to meet him for lunch when I visited him in R.J.'s office, and I was happy to. I've been missing hanging out with 'Lyn, and it's very nice to have someone you can talk with about everything. I asked how the arrangements for getting back were going, and he said that New Drew was willing to switch back whenever Drew said the word, but Drew was trying to hold off until he knew the whereabouts of the real R.J. I wondered if he was maybe with the real Nell, who I hadn't heard from either. I asked about New Drew, saying he must be anxious to get back to his old life, and Drew said that wasn't the case - that his old life wasn't bad, but the guy just had no desire to go back; he was enjoying the feeling of having a new start.

"Speaking of original lives..."

I sighed. I still haven't talked to Jeremy Boyd, living the life of Arthur Milligan, even though we've been in the same city for a month. I say that I don't want to look at my own face and not like the person behind it, and, besides... Well, you've been a woman.

"I'm not sure what you mean."

"It's... uncomfortable to go to a man and ask for something, even if it's just an explanation. It's like admitting that you're less than them, that you're weaker. You know what I mean?"

"Not really. I just always made sure that I didn't ask for something where I didn't know the answer, just like in court. And, besides, a lot of the time the guy only thinks he's in the position of strength."

Mm. I never managed to feel like I was the one in charge where sexuality was involved, so I changed the subject to business. I gave him a rough outline of the mystery story I was thinking about, and he put it in his briefcase to read later. He mentioned a groups people who had contacted him looking to book Nell for speaking engagements - a girls' volleyball camp and some sort of women's group - and it sounds worth doing; the money's almost as good as adding another game to the schedule.

He asks me if I want to have dinner a few days later, and I say that sounds suspiciously like a date. "I admit it," he says, "I find you very attractive. And it's nice to be with someone who is in the same boat as I am. I know the physical aspect might be weird, but we don't have to push that."

"Let's... just have dinner."

We do, and he's good enough not to push for more. Then Cassie calls me, and I call him, and we arrange to meat last night, after the game.

I hadn't actually seen Cassie before, so I was a bit taken aback upon getting to the restaurant to see that she was Japanese-American, "Cassie" being short for Kasumi. She's nearly as tall as I am; she and Nell played volleyball together in college, but instead of turning pro like Nell did, Cassie took an I.T. job, met James Lane, and got married seven months later; Nell was a bridesmaid.

They're nice folks, and though there were a couple times I had to fake knowing something from five or ten years ago, Cassie and Jim mostly talked about the present. She's a riot; I found myself falling in with her much faster than I ever did with Zoe.

Afterwards, Drew and I went to a club - he had made contact with a few people in L.A. and wanted to introduce me to them. I can't remember half of them; there was someone from ESPN, I know, and some guys in publishing. I actually recognized a couple of those - I'd sold an article to the guy from Maxim, for instance. There were just a ton of them, though, and there were drinks being served constantly. I had to give Drew credit; he was taking R.J.'s job pretty seriously.

But, oh, the hobnobbing was exhausting. I was very happy to get back to the hotel and then fly back here today. I'm a little worried, though - this studio is starting to feel like home.



Anonymous said...

"I still haven't talked to Jeremy Boyd, living the life of Arthur Milligan, even though we've been in the same city for a month."

So does this mean you are giving up on getting your body back?

A.M. said...

I doubt it means that... Nell seems just to have left Art with a lot on her plate.

Anonymous said...

I haven't given up, but I don't know that a frontal attack is the best approach to this. He obviously holds the biggest negotiating chip, and just going in there with nothing to back it up will only put me in an even weaker position than the one I'm in.