Sunday, April 5, 2009



I was like an automaton marching forward through the streets of Hollywood that cold dawn. My singular focus was to climb that tower. I recall dismissing any thought to the contrary. As I had, while marching toward the Continental Hotel, I watched my feet tracking the ground toward my singular goal. With machine-like precision my body responded without question to the orders given it by my mind's decision to take the tower in almost military terms.

As I approached the backside of the Pacific Theater, I surveyed the area, looking for a route upward. I came to a small alleyway that poked it's way into the building's structure with a steel staircase which led to the roof. As I made my way forward I reached the top of the fire escape stairs and was there. The twin towers stood majestically before me reaching upward into the growing daylight of the Hollywood sky.

The towers looked a lot bigger and taller than they had from a distance. As I stood at the steel base of the closest one I found that there was no easy way to get up on it. There was a 1 story utility shack next to the first of the two towers, so I picked that one to scale. I got on the roof of the shack by climbing on a wooden box and then moving as close as I could to the tower. Once there, it was about 8 feet to the cross beam of the tower, which I jumped to grasping with both hands.

As I hung there like a kid on a monkey bar, I began to shimmy my way sideways toward the large outer vertical leg of the tower. Once there, I was able to use the connection between both pieces of steel to leverage my way up to a sitting position on the lower part of the structure, some 12 to 14 feet above the roof. At one point during this procedure I was engaged by a security guard who yelled at me saying, "You're not supposed to be up here," which I ignored. He then turned and disappeared through a door to the building's interior.

I sat there on the cross beam for sometime gazing out at Hollywood's skyline and L.A.'s vast expanse in the distance. I pulled a pint bottle of scotch out of my inside coat pocket and took a long drink. It burned my mouth and throat on the way down and quickly and mercifully warmed my chilled body as it clung to the cold steel of the tower.

It was still early and Hollywood Blvd. was virtually deserted, I noticed, as I looked east and then west from my position. I checked with myself to see if the plan had changed now that I was actually on the tower, rather than viewing it from blocks away. "No!" The plan had not changed and it was full steam ahead. I thought about my life and what a disappointment it had become. I thought about the record business and how many times I'd been fucked by it. My anger was so complete that it had become a propelling force within me that had no alternative but to find a way out.

This tower! This moment! This life was now going to put on a show that no one would ever forget after this day. As I thought about these things my body tightened like a steel cable anticipating my work ahead, the ascent of Mount Tower. The ascent toward the top. To get closer to God himself, in hopes he could better hear me, screaming out through my tears and anger, "Why has everything in my goddamned life gone so wrong?"

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