Stevie had never been to Anne’s house in the Beachwood Canyon area before. For one thing, we lived near the Pacific Ocean, and Anne lived near 101. In terms of Los Angeles geography, this was not unlike us living in separate states. Also, Stevie had little need to visit Anne. She was my friend, not Stevie’s.
I drove up Beachwood Canyon, as I had many times after getting together with Anne, and autopilot took over, the way it does when you’re doing something for the forty-first hundred time. It took me a while to notice that my sister had launched forward in her seat and was staring rapturously out the windshield.
“What’s wrong?” I said.
She pointed before turning to me, the sweetest smile on her face. “The Hollywood sign,” she said.
I’d already gotten jaded about seeing it. “Yeah, Anne lives right under it.”
She giggled nervously. “There it is.” Her voice was breathy.
At that moment I was slammed with the realization that we’d been living in Los Angeles for two months and I hadn’t yet taken her to see the Hollywood sign. My sister loves television and movies to an unholy degree. Over the past decade watching TV and movies has been her main way of dealing with humanity. And yet here we were, in the center of the galaxy for TV and movies and I’d never taken her to see the archetypal symbol for the entire industry.
I also hadn’t taken her on any studio tours, to any of the theme parks, or to an actual film set.
I had, however, gotten us free room and board with an Oscar-winning film star. That had to score me some points in Stevie’s book.
Well, I could live in hope, I suppose.