Access Mundane explores the intertwined lives of people living, working and struggling in West Hollywood. Squeezed literally and figuratively between the gritty, desperate churn of Hollywood and the obscene opulence of Beverly Hills, the universe of Access Mundane represents a city, a culture and a country at the crossroads of the 21st century. This is a community where everyone strives for success, celebrity, and being an icon even if it’s just in one’s own mind. Amidst the gay bars, the art galleries, the million dollar condos and the sports car congestion exists a petri dish of humanity that is forever evolving into a new strain of… something. You be the judge. Clay is just the court reporter.
Author: Karlsen Clay
Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.5 inches
Price: $80 new
Two one-hundred dollar bills emerged from Russo’s pocket and she subtly slipped them into the doorman’s hand. “Just get in,” she told me as I squeezed into the fully loaded elevator with three grips and their gear. I bent my head around a metal pole and straddled a pile of sand bags to make room for her so she could enter. I noticed a grip roll his eyes as I accidentally left a shoe print on some of the equipment.
“I won’t be able to come get you ‘till my shift ends,” the doorman warned as he reached in and hit “R” for Roof. “So you’ll all be up there alone for nine hours.”
“We’ll be fine,” Russo replied and flipped a stick of Trident into her mouth. “I brought lots of water.” She leaned in toward me as the elevator door closed and we rose to the roof of this residential highrise. I’d hired Russo to produce a music video of me drawing an eight-foot tall mural of a woman sipping a martini on a Hollywood rooftop. She’d kept me in the dark as to how she had obtained this guerrilla film set, but promised it would be amazing. I had no reason to doubt her. She was a friend and a professional, but I had my doubts about the crew. They looked way too cool and I felt out of my league.
“These guys are a big deal,” she said to me as if reading my mind as the elevator raddled around us. The guys remained silent. “We’re lucky to get ‘em,” she said. “They’re some of the best.”
Struggling to keep my balance amidst the gear, I noticed the shortest of the three grips staring at me from under his wool cap. He looked about twenty. “Do I know you?” I asked, breaking the awkward silence.
He pulled a pair of dark sunglasses out of his shirt pocket and slid them onto his face. “I’m Jarrod,” he replied. “I see you with your kids at Gelson’s Market everyday,” he said with a smile. He strained to lift a sandbag from the floor with one hand and threw it over his shoulder. He lifted a camera rig with his free hand. The elevator dinged and the doors opened to a beam of Los Angeles sunlight. I stared toward him confused, shielding the light with my hand. “I bag your groceries,” he said and laughed. Then he stepped out into the inferno.