|who are you when you're at home
1. sushi with dom
"Don't you ever get tired of ... this?" Dom says, gesturing with his chopsticks, a piece of maki hanging precariously from them. Dom is unable to eat without talking, and he is unable to talk without using his utensils to make his points. Viggo occasionally fears having to explain to paramedics why he has a chopstick embedded in his eye, or a fork stuck in his hand, because Dominic Monaghan seems like a pathetic excuse, but thus far, Dom has avoided - narrowly but thankfully - stabbing Viggo with an errant spoon.
"Tired of what?" Viggo says, because he knows what Dom means - tired of L.A., tired of people in restaurants staring at you, tired of not being able to go anywhere anonymously - but he doesn't believe Dom is serious, not Dom who craves fame more than any of them, and he doesn't really want to talk about it anyway. Dom wouldn't let the answer, "Yes, now please shut up," lie, and more's the pity for that.
"This," Dom says, and pokes in Viggo's direction with the chopsticks again. Viggo doesn't answer. Dom shrugs and pops the roll in his mouth.
"Orlando says you're inscrutable," Dom says, chewing noisily, showing Viggo his food. "I'm not sure he knows what it means, but he's right."
"I'm not inscrutable," Viggo says. "Orlando simply doesn't possess the brains necessary to understand that not everyone wants what he does."
"Ouch," Dom says.
"You know what I mean."
"I do," Dom says. "But you are inscrutable, nevertheless."
2. thai with orlando
Orlando lets him pick the restaurant, so they go to a Thai place where they sit on cushions on the floor by a low table. Viggo sits cross-legged, drinks tea and watches Orlando. Orlando fidgets a lot, long fingers picking up silverware and putting it down again, unable to contort his long legs into a position he's willing to stay in.
Orlando lets him order for both of them, and then picks food off Viggo's plate. If Viggo had ordered his meal for Orlando, Orlando's for himself, Orli still would have reached across the table and picked at Viggo's food; it's just part of dining with Orlando.
It used to make Viggo crazy, but now that he hardly sees Orlando, it's sort of endearing. But only sort of, and only until Orlando reaches for the choicest bit of chicken and Viggo has to stop himself from smacking Orlando's hand away.
Viggo thinks that Orlando is a little bit in love with him (flattering) and he thinks that Orlando is more than a little bit in awe of him (disconcerting). Orlando misuses multi-syllabic words when he's out with Viggo, and his overgrown puppy nature is out in force, knocking glasses of water onto waiters and losing three forks under the table before he gives up and eats with his fingers.
Viggo wishes he could figure out what it was that Orlando wants from him, but he wouldn't know what to say even if he knew what he was saying it about.
3. pints with billy
When Billy is in town, and that's rarer and rarer these days, he never calls Viggo to catch up over dinner, or lunch, or a late breakfast and too much coffee. He calls because he wants Viggo to take him somewhere dark and dusty and quiet, where they can drink beer until they're stupid, and depending on their moods, they can either tumble out of the bar in a melancholy funk or tumble out amidst fits of giggles that would be more suited to twelve years girls.
Viggo enjoys a good pint or a nice bottle of wine or a good Scotch every once in a while, but he's not a big drinker, per se, except when Billy's in town.
Billy asks a lot of stupid questions - How's Dom doing? Have you seen Orlando? Is Elijah still going off the deep end? - and Viggo doesn't mean to, but he ends up snapping, "I'm not the goddamned gossip expert here, Billy." Billy shuts up about the other hobbits after that.
They're leaning against Viggo's car after, Viggo trying to weigh whether he's sober enough to drive home or not, and Billy says, "Los Angeles makes everyone else go kind of crazy, but you're still the same. It's a gift, Viggo."
Viggo says, "I'd rather be able to paint than not go crazy, Bill. Not going crazy is just what you have to do. Not much of a gift."
"You take what you can get," Billy replies, and Viggo has to agree.
4. pointless conversation (and coffee) with elijah
Elijah does not spill his coffee all over the waitress who brings them their mugs, because he is too busy staring at her breasts to think about doing anything clumsy. He also doesn't try to make hypothetically deep conversation, so Elijah is a rather uninteresting relief. (Dom has gone back to Hawaii but Viggo is still trying to decide if he's actually inscrutable or just too uncomplicated for most people to understand. He leans toward uncomplicated.)
Elijah wants to talk about Prague, and London, and how all the traveling starts to wear you down after a while, not to mention the press tours. Elijah asks him a lot of questions that Elijah doesn't really want answers to, but Viggo isn't sure if Elijah knows what the word rhetorical means, so he doesn't say anything about it.
Elijah is, in a way, the most complicated of all the remnants of the Rings cast still in L.A. - he's sharper than Orlando, most ways, but Viggo thinks that whole child actor thing must have warped him. He's frantic with the insecurity; Viggo can practically see it radiating from him skin. All the talk about where he's been is really just for Elijah himself. It's a way of saying look at me, I am here, I am doing something great with my life.
Elijah dumps too much sugar into his coffee and then doesn't drink it. He's not inscrutable, but he's complicated.
It isn't pointless conversation, really. Aimless, maybe, but not without a point.
5. dinner at home
Viggo is not a bad cook. He's not a good one, either, but he likes to experiment and more often than not, the experiments work out. Cooking is like painting; you don't have to be at it to enjoy doing it, and he enjoys cooking. Almost everything he fixes turns out to be some sort of strange Japanese-Indian-French hybrid, too much butter and too many spices and lots of rice, but it all tastes okay, and there are a couple of haphazard recipes he's even gone to the trouble of recreating (or attempting to recreate and coming close, at least), just so he can write them down.
He isn't much for recipes and he's got a drawer crammed full of take-out menus from every single place that will deliver to his house - and a few that won't - but he prefers to cook, when he has the time.
It's an art, in and of itself, and he understands why people go to school to study it. He's got no interest, but he sees the appeal. A profession measured in tablespoons of salt and sugar and cups of chicken stock but also one that can be just as easily fudged with a pinch of this and a dash of that, carelessly.
Viggo owns cookbooks, like he owns books of prints of photographers he likes but, like with cooking, he would rather take his own photos than look at someone else's.
Not everything has to be complicated and complex. Everyone can boil water.