Bill DeMarco Rates the Top 50 Starbucks in LA: This Week: #7
#7: the Starbucks at Colorado and Eagle Rock, Eagle Rock.
Sleep. Twisted sheets. Cups.
Behind my eyes, beyond my bed, a shape takes shape.
It’s Jim Two Hawks! . . .standing on the head of a giant eagle! . . .and he’s playing the greatest guitar solo in the history of the universe!!! The tones, where to begin, a profusion of the sweetest, most yearning, triumphant, articulate, cacophonous, euphonious, supernal sparks of divinity to emanate from man or dream. He plays ever faster, dizzyingly, searingly, ironically for a bar or two, then back to searingly. My astral self flaps like a banner in the soundstorm as coronas of gold and tea-rose magnify his silhouette. Something is rising behind him. The solo scorches furiously, the melodic strands flowing ineffably toward what is sure to be a sublime coda. . . .
When I wake up. 4:23. Moonlight. I’m sweating harder than Sydney Greenstreet wearing a chinchilla coat blow-drying his hair in a humidor. What was that song? I grab my bass from the closet and gingerly pick out the notes. B flat? Yes. F. No. F#. Yes. What next what next. J? Is that a note? That’s not a note. Yes it is. Question mark? Christ. Don’t fade away don’t fade away. G flat. Now we’re talking. These fireflies scatter into darkness and I chase them with salad tongs. I need a drink. Focus DeMarco. Four notes, c’mon. E? Maybe. Nah. Try it. Yes. I pluck the fat unamplified strings. What is this song? I pluck some more. So achingly close, almost there, what is it what is it???
It’s The Pink Panther. Christ.
For reasons totally arbitrary I seek out the seventh best Starbucks in Los Angeles at Colorado and something in uh. . .I forget. When I get there they’re (their? their’re?) serving this new kind of mocha drink. It looks like a cross between a coffee and a coffee shake, leaning toward a coffee. The white beret of foam has stretch marks. Not unlike Sydney Greenstreet. This means something. Two gentlemen at the next table conduct a business deal in Spanish. One hands the other a sandwich of what look like Chester Arthur $1,500 bills. Did the Treasury get my e-mail?
Somebody sneezes. It’s Jim. I’m no longer surprised.
“Jim. I had a dream about you.”
“You were playing guitar on the head of a giant eagle.”
“Are you sure it wasn’t a saxophone?”
I thought long.
“No, it was an eagle.”
Jim nodded and sipped his coffee.
“The 134. Westbound.”
And just like that he leaves. Westbound. I don’t get it. Does Jim even play guitar? He didn’t answer my question. Didn’t I see one in his apartment? What am I talking about he lives in a condo in Highland Park. Or does he? I’m contemplating mortgage payments when something lacerates my attention. Due north. It’s a rock. . .shaped like an eagle. And? That’s it! This is Jim’s inimitable talent for visual punning! Eagle + Rock=a 1979 bootleg of the Eagles live at Three Rivers Stadium that I borrowed from him a couple months ago. He must want it back. Shit, Jim, why’n’t you say so? This is all kind of I mean forgive me pretty fuckin’ passive-aggressive.
I shake my head and drive on, the beaked boulder in my rearview mirror framed by a twilight of pink and gold.