Blessings Are Wasted on the Blessed
Michael Jordan is coming back to hoops, Hot Chicks Everywhere, Nice Weather, Still I'm Not Stoked

by Tony Pierce

If life was fair, I'd be the one announcing my triumphant return to the nba, instead i get to make my triumphant return to this web page.

usually what i write in here is sorta true or not true at all, but today it's gonna be all true. ready?

i was on the subway tonight and los angeles is the greatest when it's hot and i dont mean hot like this chick in her knee high leather boots and yellow dress last night, i mean shorts-wearing weather with no shirt hot. i mean a hundred degrees in the valley hot. i love LA hot.

riding home on the subway tonight, i was standing, holding the overhead bar cuz only women and old men should be sitting when theres no seats and most people obey that theory other than the assholes. and after a few stops asshole gets up, exits the car and muslim lady with a veil sits down finally, even though she has been holding up her 1 year old kid with one hand while keeping her other hand on the bar of her 2 yr old's stroller.

she doesnt say a word, even to the kids. and the kids arent saying a word either. the 2 year old is a little girl, but has short hair and she almost looks like a boy, but her eyes are amazing. big like maybe pop is from India. theyre dark, the three of them, and all real quiet. the little girl is clutching a ziplock bag of those mexican onion ring snacks that look like Funyuns but include mysterious spokes in the center.

and i was trying to esp the lady but she doesnt esp english, but what i was saying was, "even on a nice evening in america, it's not really america, it's hollywood. and not tv hollywood, but real hollywood, this really cant be the tom hanks america that i bet you thought it was." and then the train takes the squealy corner too fast and tremendously loud shrieks of metal on metal rattles our delicate senses but the kids dont even flinch. and she doesnt esp me back. not even to say shut the hell up over there.

as i prepare to get off at my transfer spot, this little old philippine lady asks me which way to hollywood and vine and i say, youve got to go downstairs and catch that train and she doesnt seem to understand that concept so i tell her to follow me cuz im going that way and she walks down the stairs with me because the escalator doesnt work - surprise! and we stand and she tells me her name is Ampey - short for something philippine. she tells me her life story which isnt very long and starts off - Ampey feels inclined to repeat things to me - with her saying, "when i was eleven years old i told my friends that when i grew up i wanted to live in america. and they would laugh and say, 'ok, ampey.' and now i have lived here for fifteen years!" it's obvious that she's at least in her sixties but i dont look at her eyes because she has already asked me several times if i would visit her at her apartment which is in an old hotel in hollywood. so i look at her hands. she tells me that her "affordable-housing" hotel is full of old widows from all over the world, china, london, africa...

ampey doesn't paint her nails. or clean them. but they had fewer wrinkles than you'd think. and she seemed so out of it that when i asked her about the world trade center she looked at me blankly - which is nothing new - and then repeated how her husband died seven years ago. he drink too much, she says.

and i know my esp would be no good with ampey so i just plain ask her, i say, so when you were 11 years old you told your friends that you wanted to go to america - are you happy that you made it here? she looks at me like im crazy and says, oh yes. and she was convincing.

and maybe one day i'll tell you the true story of what happened a few hours later after the hot twentysomething girl took me on a moonlight drive and you'd be shocked to know that even that wasnt good enough in retrospect for my insatiable quest for absurd perfection, even though it was ten times better than i had ever expected it. but dont count on many more true stories. cuz if life was fair i wouldnt even fucking be here right now.

Tony Pierce