The Gypsy Den and Memphis closed hours ago. Now it's the bars' turn: Broadway Billiards, Festival Hall, the Inn Step, and other downtown Santa Ana dance halls and cantinas that cater to an almost-exclusively immigrant-Latino-male clientele. Most wear straw tejanas; most are drunk. Someone pops some quarters into the jukebox. Soon, the long accordion wails of Ramón Ayala's classic tale of angry, alcoholic, lonely nights, "Tragos Amargos" ("Bitter Gulps"), fills the brightly lit Tacos Guadalajara. There are no women there tonight, so those who don't sing along sway alone.
PRIVATE HOME, LONG BEACH.
After setting his alarm for 6:30 a.m., Fielding's Poush lays out his black slacks and crawls under his sheets, still wearing his jeans. Nothing will have changed by then, he knows—coffee will still be his crutch, he'll still have to wear a tie to work—but he sleeps easily anyway.
PRIVATE HOME, SEAL BEACH.
Johnny's singing them Folsom Prison blues. You know it. Time to get maudlin. Fucking booze, man: stolen youth, sense and accountability. Is this what parents envision when they bring home those little bundles? The warm fuzzy Sunday cheek-kiss haze of a solid drunk passes like ocean waves—rushing, receding. Time for weed and Can records.
PRIVATE RESIDENCE, SANTA ANA.
"Damn," he says, looking at his watch, "I missed Conan." It's been a long night for the DJ, even if it really only started at midnight—when his friends arrived—and even if he really only missed a rerun of Conan. Now, even though he's just flipped on the TV, he flips it off. He doesn't want to think it, and he'll never admit it out loud, but anyone who DJs long enough will tell you: sometimes, it's just damn boring. And sometimes, all you want to do at 10 p.m. is sit back, pour a scotch-and-soda, and play that Alex Chilton record. In your living room.
PRIVATE HOME, FOUNTAIN VALLEY.
Fuck all-girl Muslim punk rock wedding-band practice. We're never going to get a gig. There's a special on TLC: 14 Kids and Pregnant Again. They sit down to watch and wonder about Arkansas.