|Dressing Room Walls
I might have wound up in L.A. panning for gold
Saying Los Angeles could be worse is a bit like saying, well, Hell could be worse. Hell certainly could be worse, of course, but would you really want it to be?
Which is all a round about way of thinking that L.A. is bloody bad enough, in Dom's opinion, and he'll skip Hell if it's all the same to the people in charge of this messy world, thanks.
He's tried to like it, he really has. He appreciates that he can get cheap sushi that doesn't leave him with food poisoning on every corner. He loves the ocean and the boardwalk at Venice Beach is a great place to be anonymous for a while. Even the smog colored sunsets and the inscrutable tangle of concrete and asphalt freeways are pretty, in their own screwed-up L.A. way.
Elijah once said that Los Angeles suits him, and Dom is inclined to agree with Elijah on that matter - he enjoys disagreeing with Lij on general principle because it's fun to wind Lij up and watch him go, all flailing limbs and shouting and big blue eyes, but on this, he has to agree. When Elijah says that Los Angeles suits him and Dom agrees, Elijah falls off the couch in honest surprise, and Dom thinks that's almost as good as winding Elijah up.
But there's something about it that doesn't quite fit him about L.A., either - like a shirt that mostly looks good, but it bunches around the collar. Or a band that you should like, you like everyone they're stealing from and the lead singer's got a killer voice, but you can't quite ever get into their studio stuff.
Los Angeles is like that. It should fit, but it doesn't. He should love it, but he can't quite manage to do it.
Or rather, he likes L.A., but he doesn't like. That can happen, too, mostly with people. You like them well enough, but then they turn out to be awful drunks or they're always late or they've never got cash on them to pay for anything. You keep liking them, but they irritate you, too, and at the back of your mind, you don't like at all.
At the back of his mind, Dom hates Los Angeles. At the back of his mind, he can't quite remember why he decided to move here. At the back of his mind, he can't quite remember actually moving here. Which could be a problem, if you stopped to think about it. What if he'd meant to move to Montana and ended up in California instead?
There are a lot of what ifs about living in L.A., and the biggest one is what if he wasn't really meant to be here? He could get his entire life wrong, just because he followed the lights of Hollywood.
Then again, it's easier to like L.A. from Hawaii, which is only one of three dozen reasons why Lost is an amazing gig, why it's the best thing that could have happened to him post-Rings.
Another reason why Lost is great is that it almost feels like Rings, somewhere deep down - big cast, strange place, and filming that goes on seemingly forever, or at least until they get cancelled. He doesn't stay in Hawaii all that time, of course, not like New Zealand, and he wouldn't want to move there (again, not like New Zealand), but it's got the same feel to it, and that's comforting.
That's something L.A. couldn't give him, that we're all in this together feeling. In Los Angeles, everybody's for themselves and in it alone, and that's the end of that discussion.
They're sitting around a bar in Honolulu one night, after filming, no early morning the next day, and the bottles and the glasses are piling up on the table. Various cast mates have drifted in, drifted back out, but mostly it's Dom and Evangeline and Ian, holding court, drinking ‘til they're stupid.
Late, past midnight, Ian sighs mournfully and says, "I would kill for sushi from that place at Hollywood and Vine."
"There's this place," Evangeline says. "In West Hollywood, almost where it's not fashionable anymore, you know? There's this place that makes the best enchiladas in the whole world, and I would have no idea that it existed if we hadn't ended up there drunk one night at 4 AM. It's tiny and grungy and no one who works there speaks a single word of English, and I love it."
"We should go when we get back," Ian replies.
"I miss L.A.," she says. "I miss living somewhere that has a million places to eat in that're open after 2 in the morning."
"I know," Ian sighs again, this time less mournful and more melodramatic. Dom just sits and listens to them, swishes the dregs of his now-warm pint around the bottom of the glass. He thinks about what he misses: having sushi with Viggo in Venice, making Orlando go to crap American bars with crap American beer when Orlando actually happens to be around. He even misses Elijah, who was being a right twat the last time Dom was home, he misses Elijah precisely because he's a twat sometimes.
So he misses things about L.A., but they're things that don't have to stay in L.A. - if he lived in New York or Chicago or London, he'd miss Viggo and Orlando and Elijah and Billy just the same. And Los Angeles is home, he supposes, more than Manchester is home now or wherever Billy is is home, but that doesn't mean he has to like it.
Ian punches him in the arm and Dom starts, slopping beer onto the table. "What," he says, sounding crankier than he means to. He's not supposed to be thinking about L.A., he's in Hawaii.
"What'd you miss? About home," Ian asks.
"Nothing," Dom says, and mops the spilt beer up with his sleeve. "I don't miss L.A. at all."