To Make Sport for Our Neighbors

Jane Austen on the secret of life:

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?

A couple years back I was in L.A. to profile an artist. The magazine put me up in hotel on Sunset. I'm a low-key dude who generally does La Quinta when out on business. But they booked me at this spot on Sunset, right under the lights.  The joint turned into a club on Friday and Saturday night, and there was a model whose sole job was to lounge in an elevated alcove, behind the check-in desk, and looking tempting. I was way out of my league. But I live out of my league, have acquired much out of my league--intelligence, happiness, freedom, you.

They threw a pool party late Saturday morning--11 AM or so--and I sat there, an overweight New Yorker, who lives his work, unable to comprehend the notion of a pool-party in the middle of a city, in the middle of any day. So I did what I always do when flummoxed--I armed myself with spirits, a bloody mary on this occasion, and looked on. There was a hipster spinning MP3s off his Mac Air. There were men in polos and shorts. There were women who all looked the same. Time moved slower out there. And there was sport in the whole scene, and I wished that my only home-girl was there with me, so that she could laugh with me, so that we might have our turn.