Vincent Chase in Hollywood
Vincent Chase was hungry. He had eaten the last steak three days ago, cleaned the freezer of Sea Bass (possibly Chilean), and emptied the cupboard of canned Everything. He checked one more time, grunting with exertion as he stood on his tiptoes to finger the dark reaches of the top cabinet.
Nothing but dust and shadows. Vince slammed the cupboard door shut- hard. What a bunch of bullshit! For the first time in he couldn’t remember how long, he was angry. Really hot. Where the fuck was that girl? Vince didn’t know what day it was, but she should have been here by now. She always showed up just when he needed her.
Fuck it. He’d order in. He knew how to do that.
But where was the goddamn phone? He threw aside piles of ancient, yellowed magazines, throwing up fifteen years of neglect in a Dust Bowl-caliber cloud. Old scripts, some kind of award statue from some forgotten cable show, empty bottles, generations-old console gaming systems. Finally he found it, tucked in a corner behind a four-foot-high venom-green bong.
He blew off the dust, held it gingerly to his ear, and mashed down the “Talk” button with his thumb. It made some kind of noise he didn’t even recognize. What the fuck was this shit??
Before he even knew what he was doing he had thrown the phone to the ground and he was smashing it- first with his foot, then with his fist, with a vigor he hadn’t possessed in fifteen years. He was Vincent Chase. Vincent Chase couldn’t even get a simple fucking dial tone anymore??
When the rage cloud cleared from his mind, Vince became aware that 1) His fist was bloody and it hurt, a lot, and 2) He was still very hungry. Well. He would just have to go out and get something, wouldn’t he?
In his closet, he found a collection of ever-so-carefully-hand-distressed jeans that failed to come within ten sizes of accommodating his current girth. Fuck it, he’d go out in the robe. The tabloids would have a field day, but it would blow over, like always.
Vince undid the locks and stood at the door for a long long time. His knees felt weak, he wanted to puke, but he made it out into the hall. Why the fuck was everything so dusty? And there were holes in the carpet, like animals had been chewing on it. He’d have to have somebody call the manager, but anyway he was making it, supporting himself against the wall, slowly down the long corridor.
When the elevator didn’t come, he took the stairs. In the lobby, a fallen chandelier blocked his way, but nothing was going to stop him now. He slouched up to the big heavy door, gold-handled and glass tinted against the prying eyes of the lesser people who might wander by, hoping for a glimpse of their idols.
Vince pushed hard, and he was outside.
Vince did a double-take, then a triple-take, then did them both again. Hollywood looked like it had been bombed. Great black dead hulks of buildings towered overhead. There were no lights on in any of them; no signs of life anywhere. The street was covered in broken glass. To the North, thick black smoke rose from the devastated but still familiar cylinder of the Capitol Records building. At Vince’s feet, the Walk of Fame had been plundered, every star smashed to gravel, or completely removed, leaving only a series of shallow five-pointed pits full of trash and urine.
A pane of broken glass fell from high on one of the desolate hulks, shattering fifty feet ahead, sending huge shards skating out across the desolate street. The night, if it was night, was lit only by a dull-red sky, as if something very large was burning just over the hill. The overall effect was of a painting of Hell by an artist Vincent Chase had almost certainly never heard of.
Vince shrugged inside his triple-XL bathrobe. So, the neighborhood had gone downhill a bit. Nobody was going to fuck with him. He had street cred. He was Queens Boulevard. Hoping he still looked a little like Billy Walsh’s erstwhile noir demigod, Vincent Chase walked north on Vine Street, alone, looking for someplace that was open late.