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How I Spent my New Year’s Eve; or The Shining 2

How does one express in terms not too broad, an overnight visit that went straight to hell on a level that beggars description? I will try; however, don’t accuse me of embellishment. If anything, I’m holding back, dear readers. I hope you enjoy my first post of the year- a year that promises to bring great changes both for me and our country. I just wish it could have gotten off to a better start!


Robin and I drove out to the desert to visit our friends, Brian and Rex, who just bought a house. It promised to be a lovely evening, since they had been our guests last year to celebrate New Year’s eve. Robin worked half a day yesterday, so we got off to a rather late start (3:30 p.m.) Brian is a wonderful cook. Knowing that he had been working all day on a feast for us, our mouth’s were watering even as we got into the car. Seriously, that’s how good a cook Brian is. Also, they have a lovely family of Oriental kitties. Let’s pause for a brief video, before I give you the nitty-gritty.

Have you ever seen more adorable kitties? Anyway, let’s move on with the tale. When we arrived at Brian and Rex’s it was dark and freezing. I was pleased because we made pretty good time and Robin and I got along great the whole drive. (Please remember, gentle readers, due to ill health, this was may first road trip since last April!)

The Dinner from Hell

Brian greeted me at the door, and from the first, I started to pick bad juju. Brian is a big towering figure, heavy jowled, yet quite effeminate, with a thin, nasally voice and delicate hand motions. To be honest, after the preliminary greetings, and showing around of the new house, I wasn’t sure what was amiss. It wasn’t until we sat down to eat that I realized Brian was smashed out of his gourd on this cheap, local wine. (Yuck!!!)

Brian couldn’t even serve the meal that he cooked. It was that bad. He kept dropping everything he touched in the kitchen. When Robin and Rex jumped up to rescue the situation, he sat down at the table with me, grumbling and muttering invectives to himself. That’s when I fully came to understand that this boy was probably on the verge of a meltdown. Well, he didn’t disappoint.

Actually, if I were to go into a complete blow by blow of what happened that evening, you’d probably ask yourself, “Why didn’t you get a hotel room?” Well, I wanted to, but Robin didn’t want to hurt Rex’s feelings, or leave him alone with Brian. Now, let’s pause just a second to talk about Rex. He’s no angel; however, he’s been supporting Brian entirely throughout their nearly decade long relationship. Not only that, Rex is a successful artist who owns and operates one of the coolest, if not the coolest gallery in downtown L.A.

It Only Gets Worse

Have you ever met a couple where you just didn’t get it? Brian and Rex rather encapsulate this phenomenon to me. Here’s Rex, cultured, educated, successful and there’s Brian, dishonest, ignorant, and a loser (30 years old and never got a driver’s licence? C’mon!) Brian is a leech, yet Rex won’t snap out of it. Brian displayed behavior last night that was actually frightening. When my back was turned, he went into my room, tossed my nightbag, and stole some of my medications!


Needless, to say, I was in a hurry to split in the morning. One thing that I learned from this experience is that I’ve come a long way in improving my anger management. Not so long ago, I would have attacked Brian with hammer and tongs, or in my case, hammer and cane. I may be “disabled” but that doesn’t mean I can’t do some damage either. In the least case, just making a situation worse with an annoying mouth. I’m glad that wasn’t me. I just hope that Rex comes to his senses and gets out of this relationship before Brian physically hurts him. After last night, I really believe he is capable of this.

Hooray for Hollywood, and hooray for me! After a quick breakfast with Rex, Robin and I were on top of each other running for the door. We had a really fun ride home. So at least I learned that I can handle a road trip of 3 hours or so; maybe even more next time. I also learned that I’m capable of having a good time again, thanks to my best friend (and wife) Robin. I think next time, we’ll drive north!


About Russell Smith

I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is also an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Natasha, Maxwell, Tigger and Nigel.

3 responses »

  1. Glad u and Robin got along. Seeing a truely psycho relationship will always do the trick. That sucks about the food AND I would be apprehensive about eating ANYTHING he cooks in the future after your post. Tell Maxwell I don’t have any and he’s too young.

  2. You are quite right, but I think I can handle it! Thanks for your input.

  3. I hope Rex or Brian never read this post. You might have some bad words to listen to.


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