The Revenant: Los Angeles

 

Hugh Glass stands with a group of friends outside of his new startup office in Venice, California. It’s a cool morning, overcast. Glass thinks he might go surfing later. “Big southern swell today,” he says. Glass doesn’t really know what that means, but he feels it’s important to speak the local language. Someday, he’d even like to have sex with a local girl. As Glass and his friends unload a few computer monitors from the back of his Subaru, Glass sees a homeless man urinating on the window of his office. Sometimes life is hard on the frontier.  

Suddenly, Hugh and his colleagues are AMBUSHED by a crowd of angry Venice residents mad about how tech has ruined Venice!  “This is our land!” the angry residents say. “We are a community of designers and musicians! We have been here since the mid 1990s!”  It is TENSE. Glass tries to point out that tech has really helped the neighborhood.  “Have you guys been to the new Blue Bottle coffee?  It’s pretty great.” This gets the crowd even more mad! “That coffee SUCKS!”  A furious landscape architect LUNGES at Glass. Glass narrowly escapes with his friends, but they get separated a few blocks away. Glass knows it’s dangerous to walk in this neighborhood because of all the strollers, so he gets in his car and drives 45 feet to a new artisanal donut shop. Glass is hungry.            

Glass waits in line for an hour and a half outside the new artisanal donut shop but when he reaches the counter he is told that they are out of dough for the week. “It’s Monday!” Glass wails. “You’ve only been open for nine minutes!” Suddenly, Glass is ATTACKED by the head baker! “Our dough takes 186 hours to make,” she says. “We cook our donuts in organic rice oil in Japan! We use Austro-Hungarian butter! Sustainable bread flour! Hormone-free milk!” The baker leans across the counter and breathes heavily into Glass’s face. “You might be better off at Krispy Kreme,” she says. Glass, fearing he might never get to try a vegan blueberry bourbon basil donut, tries to explain himself, but the baker has turned cold and standoffish. She’s barely looking at him now! She’s talking to him like he sells life insurance and eats at Red Lobster every Friday night. It is VICIOUS!

Glass stumbles out of the bakery, fatally humiliated. He turns the corner and runs into the actor Tom Hardy. “Help me,” pleads Glass. “No autographs,” says the actor Tom Hardy. “I’m hurt,” says Glass. “It’s a rule. Applies to everyone,” says the actor Tom Hardy. “I think I might need to talk to someone,” Glass says. “A therapist.  Maybe I just need some coconut water and a new pair of Vans. I don’t know. Can you drive me to Cedars?” The actor Tom Hardy winces. “Cedars? That’s on the other side of the 405. No way.” “Mad Max can’t drive to the other side of the 405?” Glass realizes it was a dick thing to say. He starts to apologize when he notices the actor Tom Hardy is carrying a box of donuts. “Wait! Where did you get those?” The actor Tom Hardy gestures to the new artisanal donut shop. “They’re out of dough,” Glass says desperately. “They set aside a dozen for me,” says the actor Tom Hardy. “I’m an actor.” The actor Tom Hardy takes a bite of a vegan blueberry bourbon basil donut and walks away as Hugh Glass crumples to the ground.     

A few minutes later a grieving Glass gets in his car and drives across the street to another new artisanal donut shop, where he finds his friends from the startup. They are surprised to see him. Glass RAGES about the actor Tom Hardy. “These celebrities get everything! Two weeks ago, the guys at that car wash on Pico stopped working on my car to finish Sharon Stone’s car. SHARON STONE?” “How’d she look?” his friends ask. “Not the point,” says Glass. “I will have my revenge, though.  My friend at CAA says the actor Tom Hardy is going to be eating downtown tonight and I’m going to be there.” “To do what exactly?” asks one of his friends, now swiping through some recent pics of Sharon Stone on his phone. “Downtown?” asks another. “You’ll never make it downtown.” “You have a friend at CAA?” asks a third, removing a script from his backpack.  

Glass charges his car, sends a few final goodbye emails and sets off for the 16-mile trip into downtown LA. He checks Waze, which directs him to immediately get out of his car and walk north to Sacramento, then bike to Manitoba. Glass drives on, undeterred. Two hours later, he crosses Lincoln Boulevard. 15.9 miles to go. It starts to slow. He listens to Jimmy Carter’s autobiography on tape, twice, in one block. As Glass approaches Sepulveda Boulevard he realizes he is literally going backwards. By the four-mile mark he has grown a long beard and finds himself thinking obsessively about his 401(k).   

Glass is hungry now. Starving. Dying, possibly. He swears he’ll eat absolutely anything, anywhere, as long as it's on Jonathan Gold’s list of the 101 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles, but there is nothing to be found. Then, just at the moment he has all but given up hope, he remembers what a local girl once told him on the Venice Boardwalk:  “As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight. You breathe. Keep breathing.” She was talking about trying to buy marijuana in Peru, but it’s enough to get Glass to Animal, a nose-to-tail restaurant in the Fairfax district where Glass devours a platter of bison heart and veal brain for lunch.  

After lunch, Glass steps outside and notices a new poke place across the street. “Jesus, these poke places are everywhere,” he says to himself. Glass runs in for a small bowl of sushi-grade yellowtail and crunchy seaweed, then hurries back to his car. Glass misses his car. “I miss my car,” he yells, to no one in particular. “Me, too!” yells a man across the street, also walking quickly to his car. The temperature has dropped to the mid 60s now. Glass is freezing. Dying, possibly. He looks up and sees a single cloud in the distance. EL NINO!!! Glass dives into the front seat of his car, rips off his jacket and blasts the heat. Glass is safe now.     

Glass reaches the restaurant downtown seven hours later, just before the actor Tom Hardy’s reservation. Glass approaches the hostess. “I have a reservation at 9,” he says. “Tom Hardy.” The hostess looks at him disapprovingly. “You’re not the actor Tom Hardy.” Although Glass looks absolutely nothing like the actor Tom Hardy, he doesn’t flinch. “Yes, I am,” he says. “No offense,” says the hostess, “But you’re like a foot shorter and really unattractive.” Glass leans in now, conspiratorially, actor-to-actor. “I’m preparing for a guest arc on Silicon Valley. Look close.” The hostess squints. “See?” The hostess puts her hands to her mouth. “Oh, my God. Is that really you? It is! That’s amazing! I’m such a huge fan. Your method. Your dedication. You see, I’m also an actress...” The hostess takes Glass to the actor Tom Hardy’s table, where Glass orders raw pig intestines and a beer.  

A few minutes, the actor Tom Hardy arrives at the table. “You’re at my table,” he says. Glass holds firm:  “It’s my table.” The hostess, unable to tell who the real Tom Hardy is, walks away crying. “I respect you both so much,” she says. The actor Tom Hardy sits down across from Glass. “Do I know you from somewhere?” Glass stares across the table, his moment finally here:  “You left me for dead outside that new artisanal donut shop in Venice today. The one on the east side of Abbott Kinney.  Not...I know there are two right there. Actually, there’s a third, on the next block up, next to the poke place. Do you know which one I’m talking about?” It wasn’t exactly like Glass had rehearsed it in the car for the last 13 hours, but he thinks he still made a pretty strong point. The actor Tom Hardy stares back at Glass intensely. “You came all this way for revenge, huh?” he says, “Did you enjoy it? Because nothin’ is gonna get your son back.” Glass looks confused. “My son? No, donuts. You stole my donuts. What’s with the southern accent?" The actor Tom Hardy waves him off, in a zone:  “I’m running lines for a new Inarritu movie. Can we go from the top? You say:  ‘Revenge is in God’s hands, not mine,’ after I say ‘get your son back.’ Do you mind?” Glass agrees and he and the actor Tom Hardy run lines from the new Inarritu movie, The Revenant. The actor Tom Hardy orders a beer. “Do you want to stay for dinner?” he asks. “I don’t think Leo is gonna show.” Glass shrugs. He did like “Inception,” and they have a pretty nice table here by the window. “Sure,” he says. “The whole thing’s comped,” says the actor Tom Hardy. “I’m an actor.” Glass smiles, turns and looks out the window, where he sees that the paparazzi have surrounded Sharon Stone leaving the restaurant. Then the paparazzi spot the actor Tom Hardy, sitting with Glass. The cameras turn to him. Glass stares into the cameras. He looks dead, but really he is just thinking about the drive home.  

Copyright © 2015-17 Paul William Davies. All Rights Reserved.