In Texas we have deer like other states have squirrels. Yes, everything really is bigger in Texas. I had lived in Texas for 9 years or so, and had never once hit one. Most people have at least one deer-collision story, so I considered myself lucky. I left my house in Austin late on December 31, and hit two deer at the same time as I left the city. Was that an omen?
My car was so crammed with stuff that I probably couldn’t have fit a toaster in it, unless I wanted it on my lap. I had a long drive ahead of me, but was so excited that my thoughts over a background of road noise kept me entertained.
When I reached Tucson I visited J-Dog. He was one of the cool community guys I met in Chicago. He offered me a place to sleep, but I couldn’t. Instead I lay there thinking about what adventures were ahead of me. A couple hours after arriving I continued towards LA.
When I finally reached LA I had driven for 24 hours out of the past 27 hours, not actually sleeping once. I was told to exit La Cienega, but I knew we were living on Sunset, so I exited there. What was I getting myself into? Sunset didn’t look as glamorous as it had been described to me. In fact, it looked run down and dirty. I pushed through the traffic, slowly uncovering another few hundred feet of the street at a time.
As I continued West the cheap motels and nondescript storefronts transformed into expensive restaurants and impressive hotels. This was more like it. Finally, I saw our street. It was directly off of Sunset right in the middle of all the action.
As soon as I turned on to our street, I saw our house. It really was right on Sunset. I eagerly parked and run to the front door.
When I rang the doorbell, Style answered the door. He was wearing an orange sweatshirt and was a lot smaller than I expected him to be. This effect was compounded by the fact that he was surrounded by huge piles of boxes – the only furnishings in the cavernous living room.
He welcomed me in, introduced himself, and gave me a tour of the place. It was amazing. The rooms were huge, impressive, and just brimming with potential. But the real jewel was the backyard. It featured an enormous hot tub which wasn’t working at the time, a bean shaped pool, an outdoor kitchen/bar, and steps which led to a landing that overlooked the whole city. Despite being hard to believe that this was my new home, I instantly knew that I had made the right choice.
Style was quiet as he unpacked his boxes. I carried my stuff into my room, even though I had no furniture to put it on. Finally 2am came around and the rest of the pickup artists returned home.
Everyone was there – Mystery, Papa, Tyler, 26, Sickboy, and others. The living room represented the top 8 pickup artists in the world and one guy eager to learn from them all – me. One of the most memorable moments in my life was later that night when the guests had gone to sleep. Mystery, Style, Papa, and myself – the four residents of the mansion – all gathered in our barren living room. We collectively gazed up at the twenty foot ceiling, over to the sunken bar, and at each other.
“Well… we did it,” someone said.
There was the collective feeling that we had beaten the system. Our ages ranged from early twenties to early thirties, and none of us felt like we belonged here. After all, this was the house lived in by Dean Martin and later, Eddie Griffin. We were four punks, none of whom had a 9-5 job, but we were about to live like kings.
The house became the backdrop for some of the craziest experiences in my life. Mystery and I became close friends and competed over everything. Hardly a day passed that we didn’t bet on something (Mystery, you still owe me $2mil – don’t think I forgot!). Style and I became good friends as well, although he was often busy writing. Tyler, the first impressive pickup artist I ever saw, hung out from time to time and became friends too.
There’s so much more I could write about living in Project Hollywood, and I’m sure I’ll get to some of those stories in time. Style, however, is a much better writer than I am. He wrote the New York Times bestseller, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. I’m one of the main characters in the book (“Herbal”), and lot of the second half is about me. It’s my favorite book and definitely worth reading! In it is the story of Mystery and I teaching workshops, me stealing his girlfriend (twice….), Courtney Love moving in, my second attempt at going polyphasic, and a bunch of other great stories.