Way up Mulholland Drive, an old Porsche thundered by our friend’s 1990 Suburban. Having left the Echo at 1am a pit stop was necessary to fuel our hour drive back to our hometown. We steamed up Mulholland and assumed our perches on the roof of the SUV as to see as much as possible; stoned teenage gargoyles looking out at the lovely wasteland. We saw the headlights winding up the road first, and then the engine. Convinced it was police we hid our paraphernalia, but let out sigh when it was just a tweaker joyriding a sports car.
The Porsche drove up another 100 yards then made a screeching u-turn, and gunned the engine back toward us. It was warm, 3:00am in June is a good time to be awake in California.
The car pulled into our turn out and the driver gave us a friendly whoop. He hopped out, kicking the door closed with a dusty cowboy boot and sprung up the back of the Suburban, seating himself comfortably next to the three of us. He stuck out a friendly hand and introduced himself as Mulholland Friend Joe. He pulled out a small briefcase and opened it with a snap. “I smelled what you guys had going on up here and I knew I had to come say hello.” How a man smelled our spliff from the inside of a Porsche at 50 mph I’ll never know, but he opened the case to reveal some real high quality gear.
We all had some laughs and partook in pleasantries then went our separate ways, Mulholland Friend Joe speeding off back into the night in his Porsche. He told us he worked on race cars in a garage somewhere in The Valley. While it isn’t always the best idea to commune with strangers in the middle of the night up a sparsely populated road, the beauty of the city at night and the confidence in which Joe joined us lulled me into a sense of security. All this to say it’s not just the view that makes Mulholland magic, it’s not the drive or the fact that Jack Nicholson lives up there. It’s the Mulholland friends you make along the way. Never waste a hot night on trying to sleep, take a drive and make a Mulholland friend.