I’ve never really wanted to be a tour guide until I moved to Hollywood. The other day I was walking around the Hollywood Hills when I heard “O Holy Night” playing somewhere nearby. As the song got louder and louder, I felt something approaching me from behind. When I turned around, I discovered a TMZ tour bus filled with people who would not look out of place at a water park in Ohio staring back at me, cameras posed and ready. Through all the chubby white faces I saw the tour guide, a kind of good looking guy who looked like he was in his twenties, wearing a name tag that said Sam, and who I think was inebriated. I couldn’t tell if he was slurring his words due to an over consumption of alcohol, or because loss of communication is what happens when your job is to drive a bus full of middle America residents around and entertain them. The bus had slowed down to almost a complete stop next to me and Sam held a microphone up to his mouth and looked at me, “Merry Christmas” he said, and everyone echoed him, “Marry Chrastmas!” One of the bus goers took my picture, and Sam continued,”BehindherisOrlandoBloom’shouseeveryone” he slurred, and as cameras started flashing all around me, Sam waved and they drove off, “O Holy Night” growing fainter and fainter in the distance.
I turned around to look at the house I was standing in front of. You couldn’t really see it because of the huge stone wall surrounding it, but my thoughts immediately went to “Ohmigod Orlando Bloom lives here? He could be in there right now!” If I had had a piece of paper and pen I would have left him a note:
I am your neighbor Jennifer, I live down the hill, in between the strip club and that house that sells cow hides on the weekend. You were great in Elizabethtown. I have a friend who looks a lot like you, she’s gorgeous, you are too. If you ever want to stop by or hang out, you know where I live. And I know where you live.
I looked around and started wondering who else lives in this neighborhood. Cities are interesting to me because while I can reside in a crack den of an apartment next to a strip club, literally less than a mile away Orlando Bloom is floating around in his infinity pool while on the phone with his mom. As I walked back home, I realized that to get to Orlando Bloom’s house you almost have to pass by my house. I tired to see into the windows of cars passing by, searching for Orlando. As I made my way through the parking lot to my apartment, I said hello to the nameless man who sleeps nestled between a parked car and the wall of my neighbor’s apartment, just underneath her window. I paused before going inside, tempted to tell him about Orlando’s house, “Hey, do you want to know where Orlando Bloom lives?”
I realize that if I want to be a Hollywood tour guide I have to start learning about celebrities and be able to distinguish and point out where important events have taken place around the city. “This is the corner where Lindsey Lohan got arrested for the first time.” “This is where Britney Spears attacked a car with only a rain accessory and her unbridled rage.” “This is the El Pollo Loco that Brad Pitt used to work at before he got to be weird in Chanel No. 5 ads.” I would probably also choose “O Holy Night” as the background music, I thought that was a nice touch on Sam’s part, as was wishing Christmas tidings to random passerbyers during the month of June. I can’t imagine a better association than the birth of Jesus Christ with the city that represents the motion picture industry of the United States.