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Milf Teeth

I Spent a Week Trapped with a Racist at the Top of Meth Mountain

His massive dog really scared my kid.

So I don’t know exactly how this happened, but when I planned a nice holiday for me and my sweet little daughter in California, I didn’t think we’d spend a whole week of it up a dirt track at the very top of a hill in LA, in a secluded house surrounded by desert cacti, locked behind some big black gates, with a man I have never met before, who has guns. I did think we’d be staying with our friends but they’ve nearly all buggered off for the summer, despite America being the country that only gives its employees about three days' leave per decade, even if your head’s on fire and you’ve left the hose in France.

Annoncering

This isn’t even one of LA’s glamorous hills. This isn’t the Hollywood Hills or Beverly Hills. No, we are far east of those, on a hill known locally as Meth Mountain. When we lock the doors at night it isn’t to stop the Bling Ring popping in and trying on a few chihuahua mufflers. It’s to stop the local meth tweakers slumping into the living room and selling the furniture for firewood, as well as to protect us from the coyotes, and the mountain lions. Still, at least there aren’t quite as many gang members operating round here any more – organised crime is on the decline, as I reassured my 22-month-old daughter while bathing her in the kitchen sink last night, and putting her to bed in her new nightie, a day-glo orange T-shirt that says LOS ANGELES COUNTY JAIL. (It’s brilliant what you can buy for kids in this country – such as a delightful book I saw in a local shop called It’s Just A Plant – a children’s story about marijuana.)

Anyway, I used to live in LA and I know lots of people here so I thought something would work out, but something didn’t, so we’re at my friend A’s house, and A isn’t here. A is in Europe, making love to a beautiful woman, and he’s left us with D, his construction guy – oh yeah, the house is also a building site, ideal for toddlers what with all the chainsaws and 20-foot hillside drops – and I didn’t think D was serious about the guns until we were having a funny chat about his NRA membership and I was chuckling away, all in-on-the-joke, me, and then his iPhone pinged with an email and it was an NRA mailout. Then he showed me his membership card. There are worse things! I suppose. Oh god.

Annoncering

We had another builder here the other day, who’s lived on Meth Mountain for 20 years. He told me all about how the gangs used to be very present, coming up the hill with stolen cars and stripping them and ditching them. How he had to make himself known as the self-appointed local neighbourhood watch guy, to make sure they stayed off his patch. How he still patrols at 5AM every day, checking for trouble. I was getting well into this guy’s stories so I asked him what the gangs were called and he said the Crips, and I went oh, oh right I see, so they left this area? And he said, “Yeah, they’re only really active in the southwest of LA now.” I went momentarily blank trying to think which parts of LA were in the southwest. “Niggertown,” he added, helpfully. Oh my god. (There followed a conversation about Trayvon Martin that was so dreadful and normal and real that I suddenly understood fucking everything.)

ANYWAY, apart from all that, we are having a lovely time. Apart from the guard dog that makes my daughter cry (the paddling pool cheers her up enormously). Apart from the late-night conspiracy theories about how Obama is a CIA stooge and Islamic fundamentalists are taking over the world with Sharia law, and how women need to quit complaining about equality because they’ve already got it so shut up. Apart from that, and the bong cupboard, which is a cupboard that contains only bongs, all is great on Meth Mountain. I mean the view is stupendous. The house is actually stunningly beautiful. The TV has got at least three channels and only one is in Vietnamese. It is the news channel, and from what I could make out they didn’t show any of the Bradley Manning trial at all, but you can’t have everything. Or anything at all.

Annoncering

D is driving us down the road in his truck and he shouts “Stupid cocksucking motherfucker” to nobody in particular and then he says, “I’m sorry, I have a road rage issue,” and then he says, “It stems from the fact that I hate everyone.” D is barbecuing beef in a red wine and vodka marinade. D knows how to do everything inside and outside a house. He cooks, he cleans, he builds, he trains the dog, he drives the car, he fixes things, he watches, he reads, he talks, he wants to move to Colorado and live in nature, far from other humans.

D is telling me about a documentary he watched on Netflix about prostitutes and there was a scene where two dogs were shagging each other and then a third dog somehow joined in the shag and then a fourth dog approached the pile of dogs and started licking them all. He insists that this formed part of a documentary on Netflix, not a whole separate genre tab on YouPorn. I believe this man, even if millions wouldn’t – I mean, if you’ve got guns, you don’t have to lie about watching porn. You don’t have to lie about anything.

D is driving us to our friend A’s office, where hipsters are running the place, as A is in Europe making love to a beautiful woman as we have already discussed. The hipsters have summoned D because D is big and strong and manly, and they need him to move a stepladder.

D will sigh about the future of young people in Los Angeles today that with two of them in the office “one of whom is a DUDE, they call me in to move a fucking ladder”.

Annoncering

I tell D that while he toils over construction work in the blazing Californian sun all day, my friend got paid six thousand dollars by a brand to put up three fashion blog posts of herself wearing a certain pair of trousers. “I’m in the wrong fucking game!” he shouts. “There I am building the actual houses that PEOPLE LIVE IN and the money goes on some bullshit fucking – I’m sorry.”

And then D drives me and my daughter to another house, because our week at Meth Mountain is up and we’ve got somewhere else to stay now. Somewhere sweet, and respectable and artistic and a lot more safe, in Echo Park, my favourite place in the world.

And after he is gone and I am pottering about the sweet, respectable and artistic new house, I start to wonder if I have contracted Stockholm Syndrome. Because, between his racism, sexism, general stoner logic and complete horror at the inability of the hipster generation to physically move their limbs, and with my complete hipster inability to build houses or defend myself or even convince my child not to burst into tears every time she so much as catches sight of his stupid fucking dog – well, I realise I am really going to miss that guy.

Follow Sophie on Twitter: @heawood

Previously – People in Los Angeles Say the Strangest Things