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Family (Part XXVI)

By Pete Moss

(Click here for Part XXV)

The next morning Lolita has her phone out and is checking Google maps.

She makes sandwiches and packs them in her Prada picnic basket. She puts on a silky sundress, shades and sandals.

We get in the Packard.

"Where to Milady?" I say.

"This place, Topanga Canyon."

Lolita holds up her phone with the map. But I remember Topanga Canyon from the last time I lived in LA. It's kind of hard to forget. It's an easy ride from Venice. Just up PCH and make a right.

But once we're up in the Canyon the phone map comes in handy. There's a bunch of little streets twisting this way and that, barely hanging onto steep hillsides.

Most of the houses are hidden by trees and vines and general vegetation, and what you can see of them they're kind of slapdash.

We find the address we're looking for and the agent is there waiting for us.

"Yes, I'm so pleased to finally meet Mr. Nakamura's niece! My! That is a stylish outfit! And this must be your handsome husband!" fawns the agent.

Lolita is plainly turned off by the toady, who is completely oblivious to the fact that they are blowing the sale. The agent has a list of houses for us to look at but after the second one Lolita cuts the agent off.

We get in the Packard and skedaddle over to Laurel Canyon.

Whereas Topanga is on the outskirts of LA, Laurel is pretty nearly the heart.

And the agent in Laurel is much more relaxed. We check half a dozen little shacks, a couple of them on unnamed dirt roads.

Then we park on Mulholland and eat the lunch Lolita packed.

"So we're moving?" I say.

"Well we can't stay in Venice with that twisted twat Lucretia gunning for us."

"Yeah....but isn't there like a 10 grand deposit on the house there? I mean if we just pull a midnite move you'll lose the deposit."

"20 grand, actually," Lolita waves her hand dismissively. 20 grand? Not even worth a second thought.

"So which do you like? Topanga or Laurel?" says Lolita.

"It's up to me?"

"Of course it is. You're my husband. Your opinion matters."

"Laurel." I say.

"Oh good. Me too." says Lolita.

***

The shack we move into is up a little path barely wide enough for the Packard.

All the way at the top of the ridge. There's no view, except down a steep ravine. No noise.

It's like Los Angeles doesn't even exist.

Like we're living in a wilderness.

From the path you wouldn't think there was even a house.

Just a miners shack under a Madrone. A plain board front maybe 12 feet wide, with a weathered door, not even a window.

You go through the door and there's a little room with 2 more doors. The doors connect to stairs which connect to other rooms, like somebody spilled a bunch of boxes down the steep hillside.

There's tons of wildlife.

Maybe wildlife is not the right word.

The animals are pretty tame.

There's skunks, possums, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, hummingbirds, enormous ravens, 12 kinds of jays, red squirrels, grey squirrels, blue squirrels, tiny orange deer.

Within a week Lolita has all of them eating out of her hand, like they were waiting for her to show up, like a princess in a Disney movie.

When I come out in the morning the animals will be lurking, they back off when they see it's not Lolita.

I walk down to the Canyon Store on Laurel Canyon and get my coffee, by the time I get back up Lolita is out, in her pajamas, feeding her pets.

The local humans are another thing.

They don't mingle. They mind their own business.

I'm wondering how long this can last before terminal boredom sets in.

***

I'm reading an article on Reddit about robots.

There's a knock on the door. We've been up in the Canyon for 10 days and haven't had a human visitor.

It's the Amazon delivery guy.

I sign for a bunch of boxes as Lolita comes up from the kitchen. The kitchen is at the bottom of the house, four flights of stairs down from the front door.

There's a rustic dining room with a split log banquet table and french doors opening onto a terrace over run with what looks to me like poison oak.

Lolita spends allot of time in the kitchen.

"Is that our webcams?" says Lolita.

"Webcams?"

"For my show. I'm gonna post it on Youtube."

"Brain Blinis?"

"As a matter of fact, yes. There's nothing wrong with eating brains. You eat hot dogs and hamburgers, they have all kinds of awful scraps in them. Some nice clean brains..."

"Alright alright..."

"So could you please set up the webcams in the kitchen, honey?"

"I don't know anything about setting up the webcams. I look like some kind of techie?"

"Honey, just take the boxes down to the kitchen and unpack them. I'll read off the instructions and you follow along."

Which actually turns out to be kind of fun, setting up the webcams, gettting them all on and pointed in the right direction.

For the 1st episode of her show Lolita makes a simple pesto pasta. She picks the herbs from out of the ravine outside our front door.

(Click here for Part XXVII)


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