When I decided to take a break from Los Angeles, things were on the rough side. I couldn’t seem to hold onto enough students to make the ends meet, I was still healing from my surgery, and it felt as if the book would never be finished. Of course once I committed to Hopkins, the book came to life, my studio filled to wait-list capacity, I started getting calls to do amazing recordings and live gigs, and my social life turned into a source of constant amusement and compelling company.
Part of this was the Bad Girls of Cello Supper Club. Anyone who knows me knows that I like food maybe a little bit. Wendy, one of my stellar students came up with the idea of having a Sunday supper club after our lessons. We’d have an early evening session, get dressed up, and go eat adventurous food and usually end up at the Library Bar at the Roosevelt for late nite (after a certain hour, it goes from night to nite) concoctions. It evolved into an ever more frequent near-compulsion that would entail multiple stops and never enough Fosselman’s or LAMill Coffee.
It was this, and many other wonderful things that made leaving feel like an unanswered question, rather than the exclamation point it had seemed in January. I was sure Hopkins would punt me out after a week, anyway. Still, I had to go. Might as well work that whole due diligence thing before they realized their mistake.
Now I’m used to it out here, or getting there. I still have to stay away from the E! Channel, because it seems like every paparazzi shot is of the Trader Joe’s in my old hood with people I actually know in the background. Even the sight of the Hollywood sign gives me a pang. So when Wendy’s parcel arrived with a percussive knock on my door a few days ago, I wondered what glorious goodies might be waiting for me inside. I sat, sniffing it for a while, the smell of very strong coffee clawing its way through the poor, defenseless box.
There was Chinese chili oil, real rice cakes from China, a huge box of the rocket-fuelesque proprietary LAMill blend coffee, a sampler of their tea, and maybe other things that I inhaled too quickly to catalogue. I scanned the tea because, as Wendy said, “The copy on the tea bags is awesome.” And she’s right.
Not nearly as awesome as she is for sending some home-feeling here, but pretty good.