Radio Korea

by Bobby Fisher

Shacked up at the Wilshire Hotel soon to be The Line, Korea Town, Los Angeles. Here’s a Yelp review I read that was written six months before my squat.

” Stayed on the 11th floor, got back to my room at 3am and the bed was covered in bed bugs. I killed a few, while waiting for the manager to come up to the room. He said, “Maybe they’re mosquito’s.” I said “REALLY? Pulled back the covers” there were 3 large ones on the sheets.” Absolute dump. Surprised I didn’t see any rats; then again, rats couldn’t stand to stay there either. Rumor has it that the Wilshire will undergo renovations soon. Allow me to make a renovation suggestion: STEP 1: Implode hotel. STEP 2: Build a Chick-Fil-A on the corner of Wilshire and Normandie. I think I would have rather slept at a Chick-Fil-A.”

I was put up for free during a renovation to save some dough while shooting a book …L.A. SON. The entire 388 room hotel was demolished save for 10 rooms on the 3rd floor. These were reserved for contractors and workmen who were starting the renovation. I happened to be the only one there that week. Some say “spooky”, I say “kooky”. As I exited the elevator I was confronted by a floor to ceiling wall of dirty plastic, the type serial killers use to cordon off a room before eviscerating you. (If I were gutted right then, “Dexter” would’ve found a Korean-Dutch-Kentuckian bounty of Bibimbap, Hite beer, Makers Mark, kimchee, and some salty european licorice.) There was a slit in the middle I was birthed through that left ‘demo dust’ on my shoulders every time I passed into the dark, dank hallway. A lightbulb hung from the ceiling via an orange extension cord. It grazed my head every time I walked by, slightly singeing my hair. Had I stumbled across an unused set for a Bauhaus video? No such luck. That orange cord was a bit of sunshine in an otherwise drab monochromatic color schemed ruin.

I enjoyed my hotel, it was an adventure in patience, an exercise in Monkdom. I envisioned Leonard Cohen digging this scene, embracing it with ‘burnt wine”, and buddhism. Pretending I was a younger, taller, way less talented version of he, I took an ice plunge in rust colored water ( because the hot water handle and shower head seemed to be vacationing in another town,) and then relaxed to the static on channel 3, while stealing an occasional glimpse of very ordinary bricks through my only window. The Mexican dude across the way had been yelling at his lady for fifteen minutes, all I could make out was “Puta” (whore) and “Sabrosa” (delicious).

I decided to take a walk into the blue sunshine and find something “sabrosa”, I headed West on Wilshire. I left my 2 ton overpriced Nikon back at the room and pulled out my overhyped new iPhone, which left me underwhelmed. I filmed a homeless person sleeping on a bench, dreaming of memory foam and drumsticks. As a pigeon did a stupid dance, a flash of flannel screeched by in “ollie” form. I recognized his face and thought to follow. He led me to a nondescript corporate building , it was alive with skaters, not a cop in sight, nor a bedbug bite.