© 2011 Josh lamb

Fuck this fence.

Table four was ready for another round of drinks.  Two in the afternoon and they were already two hundred dollars into the cocktail menu.  For parties of six or more, the gratuity was included.  The Black Rabbit was one of those favorite secrets LA was famous for, the kind of place that someone told you about if they wanted to impress you, which you would then keep in your back pocket until you needed to impress someone else.

Places like this had a nine-month lifespan, before they became swarmed with wanna-bes that would invariably drive away the customers who could actually afford the exorbitant prices.  Pretty soon, it would be flooded with industry hopefuls who would split entrees and drink water for hours in hopes of catching a glimpse of someone they could pitch.  Eliza was a wanna-be, she admitted it, she had to, the Black Rabbit only hired wanna-be actresses, it was in the business plan.

Another round of ’79 Bowies (gin and tonic, splash of lime, mudded blood orange, stirred with a cinnamon stick and garnished with almond flakes), and one David Werner (Single Malt Bourbon, apple cider, splash of club),  just added at least ten bucks to her tip.  Must be reality people, movie execs always order off-menu items, and never order anything that anyone else is having.

The nightmares were getting more intense.   Eliza was missing steps, she’d dropped a plate in the kitchen, and nearly spilled a tray of drinks on her reality table.  Pretty soon she wouldn’t be able to resist any more, she would have to sleep.   She could feel him, waiting behind her eyelids.  It had been so long since she’d had a decent night’s sleep that she was sure the next one would be one of those deep ones, the kind you can’t just snap out of.  There was an eighties movie marathon at the Nuart, she always slept well there.  Never underestimate the curative power of John Hughes.

By the end of her shift, Eliza was between giddy exhaustion and hopeless resignation.  Her ten year old Jetta, the sweet sixteen present from her father, grumbled to life and crawled into the early evening westwood traffic.   The hallucinations started a few minutes later.

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