It was the kind of place where Hollywood dreams died. And sobriety took an indefinite hiatus. The walls were thin. The plumbing was terrible. But the air-conditioning unit worked. Stray cats roamed the grounds. The Van Man hated cats.
He had been living the past few months at a converted motel on Olive Avenue. Swiss Miss had taken ill and needed someone to look over her unit while she recuperated in Switzerland. The rent was paid and Van Man obliged. It was a welcomed suspension from the hard, cold isolation of the van.
Living at the motel introduced Van Man to a whole new world of despair. The inhabitants ranged from functioning alcoholics who drank strange concoctions and sat by the murky pool to ignorant out-of-towners with dreams of stardom for their rambunctious children. The landlord was spotted on occasion, watering plants and searching for "pussy cats", as she referred to them. A half-smile hung on her face and she wore a cheap wig. The latter due to cancer treatments. Van Man avoided her like the plague.
On a wall in the office, dozens of headshots hung for new transplants to see. All shots of children. With smiles and hope. Symbols for the newly arrived, saying that their spawn were destined for greatness, too. The parents were always just lone women. No fathers. Dads did not have time for silly dreams. Little did those single mothers know that their kids were never going to make it. But what did The Van Man know? He was a "never was", living out of vans and motels, dreaming of his big break and getting old. But the place had air-conditioning.