The Hills, 5

Song "I Feel Like Something's Changed" plays over a shot of a sidewalk full of people. The street sign says Sierra Bonita Ave. Shot of a black and white Guess by Marciano billboard. The woman on the billboard is reclining on a dock in a black bikini with black high heels and a zebra print cotton shirt that is being blown open by the wind. She has long blonde curly hair. Behind her is the sea. Behind the billboard are the Hollywood Hills and one lone palm tree. Shot of an intersection with a black Mazda zipping past. The building set against the blue sky is white with curliques and has red umbrella'd tables in front. The sign says "Milk" and each letter appears inside a different red milk bottle. The caption says "Milk Los Angeles, CA." As cars whiz through the intersection, Lauren's voice can be heard saying: "Oh my god I have to tell you something." Shot of Lauren's face. She is outdoors, wearing brown sunglasses and her hair is tied back with a blue Pucci headband. The caption says: "Lauren." The back of a blond woman's head can be seen sitting across from Lauren. The blond woman is out of focus and there is a red straw going from the barely visible tip of her sunglasses to the corner of the screen. "Audrina was at work today," continues Lauren. Her tongue flashes against her white teeth. "And Heidi walked into her work," says Lauren. She picks up her white Styrofoam cup. Shot of woman across from Lauren. The caption says: "Whitney." She is wearing large brown sunglasses with a lizard print frame. Her hair is tied back in little braids. Behind her cars are driving past. "Really?" she says, scrunching up her mouth. She puts something in her mouth. It's not viewable. She has a gold large ring on her middle finger. Shot of Lauren lifting her Styrofoam cup. Her fingernails are burgundy and short. "She came to give us invitations to her housewarming party," says Lauren. Shot of Whitney chewing with her mouth open. Whitney lifts up another piece of yellow looking food as she continues to chew. She says with her mouth full: "That's strange, does she really think you're gonna go?" She puts the yellow food in her mouth. Her fingernails are short and black. Shot of Lauren. Lauren makes a sound like "no" or "oh." She shakes her head slightly. "She can't think I'm gonna go," Lauren says. Shot of Whitney. "I feel bad not going," Whitney says slowly. She pulls a strand of hair out of her mouth. "But at the same time I just think I'd feel really uncomfortable being there." She picks up her drink and sips from the red straw. Shot of Lauren pursing her mouth. "She's in a different world," says Whitney. Lauren nods, barely. "Yeah," Lauren says in a low voice. Shot of Whitney chewing on her straw. "Oh well," Whitney says. "Hope she has fun." She slurps. Shot of Lauren. She is drinking. "So what are we doing tonight?" asks Whitney. Shot of Whitney. She tugs on her right ear. "We're going to Les Deux," says Lauren. "You should come." Shot of Lauren. Her chin is resting on her fingers. "Almost every time I go there I meet a cute guy," says Lauren. "Really?" asks Whitney. Shot of Whitney smiling. She looks over her shoulder at something out of the camera frame. "That sounds fun." She laughs. Shot of Lauren nodding. She smiles and laughs. Picks up her drink. A rap song begins.

More by Kate Durbin

The Hills, 11

“Left this city for a day,” sings The Feeling. Shot of two men from the waist down on a sunny sidewalk. One in surf shorts holds a blue Powerade; one in white dress pants walks a Lhasa Apso. Shot of a crowd of people on the sidewalk from the waist up. Shot of two blonde girls in pink tank tops and short white shorts, walking toward the camera. They are slightly out of focus. Their bodies are fit and tan and they are wearing clogs. Close-up of a black stretch limo with a white Playboy bunny emblem on the side. The limo passes the camera. A tan BMW passes the camera. “You took me southwards on a plane and showed me Spain,” continues the song. A drilling sound joins the song. Shot of the outside of a beige apartment complex. The sign says: “Heidi and Spencer’s Apartment, Hollywood, CA.” Shot of a blender whirring with purple liquid inside. A man’s tan hand presses the top of the blender down. The machine is industrial. Next to the blender are a blue plastic cup, a white container of protein Milk mix, and a bottle of Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids. Behind the blender are two bottles of champagne. Wider angle shot of the blender and the man with the hand. His hair is curly blonde and he is wearing a black t-shirt with unreadable white letters. White letters appear in the right hand bottom corner of the screen. They say: “Spencer, Heidi’s Boyfriend.”  “I liked,” begins a girl’s voice. Shot of Heidi’s face. She is not wearing makeup. The screen says “Heidi.” “All your friends last night,” Heidi continues in a sing-song voice. She bats her eyelashes and shrugs. Shot of Spencer in the kitchen. He is looking down at the counter and doing something below the camera’s view. “You know, they love you,” he says, smiling at the counter. Shot of Heidi. She has on a grey hoodie with a navy rose print. “They seem very nice, all of them,” she says. She waves some papers mostly out of the camera’s view. Behind her is a large flat screen TV, turned off. Shot of Spencer. “Oh, Frankie invited us to his birthday party at Les Deux tonight,” he says. There is a sound of papers shuffling. Shot of Heidi on a cream couch. The couch appears to have a raised floral print. Heidi holds letters in her hand. “Oh yeah?” she says. Heidi shuffles the letters around. Several of them appear to be opened. Shot of Spencer. He stares at the bottle of Liquid Aminos he is holding in front of his face. “Is um Lauren going?” Heidi asks. Spencer puts the bottle down. Shot of Heidi. She looks at her French-manicured fingernails, then makes a fist and twirls it. Shot of Spencer. It is now possible to read the letters on his shirt. They say “Innovation Management.” “Uh she actually just called me, I just missed her call uh uh I’ll call her back and ask her and see what she says,” he says, smiling. His teeth are white. He looks down at something he is doing on the counter. “I wish that Audrina,” Heidi interrupts. Shot of Heidi on the couch. “—and Lauren would have come last night,” Heidi finishes. She twirls her hand, mostly out of the frame.  Shot of Spencer in the kitchen. He is moving around a lot. “I mean I totally accept that she doesn’t like me,” Spencer says. Shot of Heidi. “Yeah,” says Heidi, grimacing. “But she shouldn’t take that out on you,” continues Spencer. “I know,” says Heidi, furrowing her brow. “Our friendship shouldn’t suffer from it,” she mumbles, looking down. Punky guitar music begins. “There’s something wrong here,” sings Cori Yarckin. Shot of Spencer in the kitchen, hands pressed to the counter. He looks to the side then to the front again. He opens and shuts his mouth. Shot of Heidi. She shakes her head. Her eyes shift back and forth. 

Hoarders: Tara

Orlando, Florida

My name is Tara and I’m 55 years old Precious Moments angel statue
I would not classify myself as a hoarder, more of a rescuer of Target receipts
When I first moved in it was just mostly boxes because I was moving in then I tried to unpack but everything just got put wherever Martha Stewart magazines
I just started asking God that I would like to know what it would be like to have an organized sea of stuffed frogs
A bed looks like a bed with picnic baskets
And your table doesn’t have stuff on it it’s a painting of a cornucopia
And the couch you can sit on it people can sit on it like American girl dolls
Well I’ve finally come to the realization I have too much Praise Hymn compact discs
I told God that I just have this one wish and this one dream that Lord you just send someone to help Jesus Christ Hearts Me Florida license plate holder
My mother, she had a one-bedroom Nativity set
We all ended up sleeping in the same crumbling Family Circus comic strip
I didn’t know how a house was supposed to be tangle of mismatched electronic cords
I haven’t been in the closet in five years because Victorian dolls
I realized I have to let some things go because how am I ever going to get out of this mayhem and foolishness if I don’t Walking in Wisdom Embracing Love 2005 calendar
You have to be willing to do the work McDonald’s minions Happy Meal toys
You have to be able to let it go uncashed paycheck from 2008
If you don’t, it will swallow you flattened American flag balloon
My brain is not wired for this 18-year old pile of unopened mail
I’m trying to recover from a migraine marching penguin with Santa hat
I’ll do that tomorrow but then tomorrow something else happens candy cane stuck to the floor
Whoa, that’s my vertigo lint roller covered in lint
I don’t want to deal with cordless phones coated in dust
I need to breathe nearly natural poinsettias
I’m hoping and praying for a miracle unused Trisha Yearwood tickets from 1999
I always felt like if Jesus came to the door and opened the door       
I would have felt so shamed because I wasn’t showing
gratefulness and pink Jesus Christ “Enjoy” baseball cap in Coca Cola font
Those are mine, I keep those Bed Bath and Beyond crystal Kleenex holders
I didn’t realize there was so much dust Easter bunny
I have done the Lord’s work humbly Thomas Kinkaide puzzle of Cinderella castle
Yes and with tears

Related Poems

Buddhist Barbie

In the 5th century B.C.
an Indian philosopher
Gautama teaches "All is emptiness" 
and "There is no self." 
In the 20th century A.D.
Barbie agrees, but wonders how a man 
with such a belly could pose, 
smiling, and without a shirt.