Okay, so Justin McGuire. Tall. Strong. Square-jawed. Handsome.
He was quiet, drove fast and had ice in his veins. He was the human manifestation of Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine.”
He was a criminal, and I was in love with him for 12 hours.
Here's a small bit of back story. The long and the short of it is that it took me about two years to get to the story I’m about to tell. He and I worked together. I was running TV shows and on set a lot, and he was an electrician on the show. I saw him on the first day of the job, and I thought to myself, as Mick Jagger sings in “Emotional Rescue” - You will be mine you will be mine all mine. It took some time, but like rain does to a stone, I wore him down over time and we started “hanging out” sporadically, as one does with a strong, handsome, silent criminal type. I was okay with that. I had all the time in the world. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was not some loser waiting at home for Justin McGuire to call me. Because I can tell you this: He’s a guy. He was never gonna call me, and I knew it. Here’s why: Frankly, I just wasn’t hot enough. I’m okay, but I’m not hot. So being practical, let's just say – I turned it over to the universe.
And the universe responded.
I ran into Justin McGuire outside of a White Stripes concert at the Greek in LA. He didn’t have a ticket. I had an extra, and as they say - the rest was history, sort of. But, I was now on Justin McGuire, the square-jawed handsome criminal’s radar. I had done him a solid. And criminals, in my experience love “a solid.” I had gotten him into the White Stripes - front row.
Hey B – what you up to? “Nothing, Justin.”
Hey B – I’m going to a party wanna come? “Yeah, sounds fun, Justin”
Hey B – I just broke up with my girl wanna get dinner? “Sure, Justin”
Hey B – wanna go for a drive? “Yeah, sure, Justin”
So, that’s a brief back story (Can you believe there’s more?) - here’s what happened.
Somewhere, in the endless hallway of waiting for Justin McGuire to realize that I was a gift, I had bought a brand new TV. This is before flat screens were common; people still bought giant heavy TVs. This was a giant at 200 pounds (a SONY TV.) While I was at work, my darling Yorkie, Charlie, a criminal in his own right, (RIP CHARLIE; killed fighting a coyote) decided that while I was out he would chew through the power cord, rendering the thing useless. When I got home and saw this, I decided to call Justin McGuire.
“Sure B, No problem. I can rewire that.”
I heard the slam of the metal doors in my mind. He’s coming over. I’M IN.
It turned out Charlie had done some damage that was not fixable, even by Justin McGuire's skills. So once that was settled, we smoked some cigs and listened to my cassettes, until Justin said,
“So what do you want to do B?”
“Throw that fucking TV off a bridge.” I said.
“Yeah” he said in his oddly charming nasally whine.
Justin McGuire picked up the TV and I followed like a zombie, opening the door for him, he carried it outside, down the stairs and out to his car, but instead of dumping it on the sidewalk, he put it in the trunk.
“What are you doing, Justin McGuire?"
“We’re going to throw it off a bridge, B. That’s what you want.”
I didn’t fully believe him, naturally, because I don’t do things like that. Or do I?
I guess I do because Justin McGuire drove us to the Silver Lake Bridge pulled over, flipped on his hazards, hopped out, opened the trunk, grabbed that beast, and tossed that thing over the side of the bridge, 100 feet down to its fiery explosive death. SMASH. 200 pounds silently hurtling through the air, smashing into a thousand little pieces. Now, if that is not a metaphor for love, I don’t know what is.
I have to tell you - I never believed that was what we were going to do until it was done, and to be totally honest, I was rendered mute. It all happened so fast, I was like a pathetic little leaf swept up in the moment of a person who had something that I did not have - a type of fearlessness that I did not possess. I will say, as a full disclaimer: we are lucky that no one was hurt. Very lucky. We got away with a reckless act and I understand that. But at the time, it was exhilarating and honestly, for two young lost souls in LA, a bonding like I had never felt before. It was love. We understood each other perfectly at that moment and we were in it together. All the way.
After that we drove around for a few hours, listening to music in silence.
When he pulled up in front of my apartment to drop me off we sat there in silence.
Neither one of us said anything. Finally, after about 5 minutes, I got out of the car.
And we never spoke again. There was nothing else to say. It was never going to get better than that and oddly we both knew it.
I bet you’re wondering, “What does this have to do with Hedgehouse Throwbeds and Home Furnishings?" Absolutely nothing. It’s just what was on my mind.
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