God is my Director

Youth ministry, movies, no drugs and a variable amount of Rock ‘n Roll

Archive for June 22nd, 2007

Notes from America – Pt 1: LA

Posted by Martin on June 22, 2007

Sorry to be doing this all in retrospect… It would have been a lot more fun if you could have joined me on the journey in a proper blogging stylee. As it is, this is the best I can do. Here begins my diary of the visit I made with my good friend Jim to that rather large and world-dominating country just south of Canada.

The first stop on our journey was Los Angeles. I had planned, rock-and-roll style, to rock in to see my agent in a flying visit before we headed to our first destination proper, San Diego. However, he was busy with another client, and so my attempts to look cool in front of Jim rather fell flat. ‘I’ve got an agent, but he’s a bit too busy to see me’, doesn’t really cut it somehow. His busyness and my increasing writers block problems are worrying me a little. Perhaps things will seem clearer soon.

Undeterred, we checked into the Hotel Beverly Terrace, just off Sunset Strip and literally ON Santa Monica Boulevard. And unfortunately, as nice as the room was, it’s hard to sleep when your window is next to a busy road. Jet lagged as we were though, we had no desire to sleep. We wanted to explore the city, and so headed down Sunset in search of some famous people. Well, we didn’t see any of those, but we did meet Kang.

Kang, a small asian guy in a bright yellow t-shirt, was sitting outside a coffee shop, eating a salad in an almost indescribably messy way. I think we should have spotted that something was up far earlier than we did. In fact, it didn’t strike us until we were deeply embedded in conversation:

Kang: Hey, you guys are British (we got that a lot)!

Jim: Yes! How do you do?

Kang: I love what you guys are doing. I’ve been writing about you guys actually. You know, with how you just go out there and take it, get what you need. You know?

Me: Er. Yes.

At this point, I’m just imagining that Kang knows something about the British go-getting spirit that I don’t. But no…

Jim: So, you’re a writer?

Kang: Yeah!

Jim: Who do you write for?

Kang: Oh no. I’ve been writing for years.

Me: What do you write?

Kang: Whatever the voices tell me to.

Seriously. I’m not kidding. I’m not making fun of the mentally ill – this genuinely happened, and it just took us by surprise. Kang ran off to get his book, which was literally a hundred pages of scrawl – just words. He read some to us:

‘Process. Weird. NATO. School. Hey. Feelings.’

Jim and I bottled it, truth be told. We’d set out that evening, saying that if we saw an opportunity, we’d offer to pray for someone. And Kang needed prayer as much as anyone. But because he was just a little TOO weird, we didn’t make the offer. I’m sure that didn’t make Jesus smile.

There were plenty of other ‘characters’ in that place. There was a guy with a huge afro making chicken noises, and he chased us out of there. We didn’t talk to him either. There was a Paris Hilton-lookalike who was stoned out of her mind and almost certainly about to be taken advantage of by a bunch of guys playing backgammon. We didn’t step in there either. But despite my failings, I couldn’t help thinking – if Jesus was around today, I reckon he’d hang out on the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Sunset Strip.

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