A Man Named Brian Who Owns a Porsche

“If I wasn’t able to make a living doing my art, I‘d definitely do something else and just do music as a hobby. I’d have no problem with that,” my divorced friend Brian tells me as he clicks the turn signal left. We’re en route to Melrose Avenue because I’ve been asked to “help.”

I steal a look at my friend as we wait patiently at the light trying to take my mind off the annoying click-click-click the signal makes, which to me is almost worse than the ticking of a much louder clock. Brian’s in his thirties but could pass for slightly older, probably, if someone were to guess. His spiky hair isn’t black nor brown but lies somewhere in the middle of gray and silver. He uses his forefinger to push his trendy rectangular framed eyeglasses from the brim of his nose to rest somewhere a little higher. He wears bright white socks that climb above the ankle, but he’s scrunched them down drawing attention towards the equally, if not more, blinding white gym shoes.

“I’m not like so many artists I’ve met out here in LA; I’d never starve for my art.” And he speeds off into a parking space almost showing off, I think.

We’ve been discussing my choice in going back to college while making my own films happen versus signing up for the million auditions leading me to the only promising place … my therapist’s office.

Brian happens to be an extremely successful music composer with a house in the hills whose view is airplane status, one I could see Thor bragging about over dinner with friends, a roasted pork and mead. I wonder, is it easier for him to say this because he’s reached success in his art, or would he really become, let’s say, a lawyer instead?

I’ve told Brian to sit here while I bring him things, since this man needs some serious fashion help if he’s to find a new lady. This is very Pretty Woman, except Brian’s Julia Roberts and I’m the salesclerk.

“Buy these,” I tell him and hand over a pair of suede shoes. He looks inquisitively at the shoes, studying them as if he’s not-so-sure about my taste.

“Trust me, they’re hot. You wanted my help, right?” He surrenders and hands over the American Express to the chipper lady behind the counter.

“I’d put them on now — who knows? Maybe you’ll meet someone while we’re shopping,” I say with a bright smile, and he does. Then I take the removed stark white gym shoes and throw them in the garbage can of which Brian looks at me like I’ve just made a dent in his Porsche.

“Do you want to meet women?” I ask.

He nods his head “yes.”

“Then these have got to go,” I say, comfortingly trying to be sensitive to this man’s very cute, but very challenged, sense of style.

I think about the conversation we had earlier today about starving for our art as I drive home feeling good about my work today on Melrose Avenue. Maybe I don’t have to starve for my art. Maybe changing things up with school is just what the artist in me needs. Maybe I can do both?

Alice can be reached at AliceActress@yahoo.com.

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