There is no quick drive to Hollywood. I can take the freeway north through the San Fernando Valley, a twenty mile trip. Or I can take it east through downtown for nineteen miles. A direct route is eight miles, but that’s tedious stop-and-go on city streets. Taking the long way doesn’t mean an easy drive because the freeway is often but unpredictably jammed.
When Loews in Hollywood called at 11 p.m. my heart sank less than usual. It was late enough for most drivers to be in bed.
But not quite late enough. The male fun fair in West Hollywood was in full swing, filling the streets.
Loews in Santa Monica calls me exclusively, but the Hollywood Loews keeps a list of doctors, thus assuring that none of us will lean over backward to accommodate it by, for example, coming during the rush hour (no hotel doctor lives near Hollywood).
My immediate problem in a nonexclusive hotel is that parking valets may not recognize me, so my mantra: “I’m the hotel doctor. They let me park here” might not work, and I would have to pay. But it worked this time.
As usual, delivering medical care was the easiest part. A perk of hotel doctoring is that I go home after seeing a single guest. During my best months, I go home a hundred times.
I like my job, but going home always feels better than going to work. I played my audio tape. I looked benignly on the midnight revelers as I crept through West Hollywood. Beverly Hills and Century City were nearly deserted, but traffic lights ensured that I would not make haste.