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Singled Out: Chronicles of a Nobody Out and About in Los Angeles!

Singled Out: Chronicles of a Nobody Out and About in Los Angeles!

Entertainment Publicist Mona Elyafi regales us with tales of lesbian single life in LA. This week, Mona continues her failed attempt to quit smoking while on a business trip to Palm Springs.

Last week on "Singled Out," Mona Elyafi decided to challenge herself by committing -- out of superstition -- to quitting smoking promptly upon receipt of a certain letter. But when the missive finally arrived on the eve of a business trip to Palm Springs, she quickly changed her mind and decided, for spite, to prove that nothing terribly bad would happen because she broke her promise.

In chronicle style we followed her adventures to the sunny oasis as things went from good to comically bad, ending with a tragedy in her hotel bathroom, namely a flood.  

8:35pm: I got my flip-flops on and pragmatically traded my fashionably expensive Jeans and V-neck American Apparel white t-shirt for my trendy black halter top bikini swimsuit and the matching boy-shorts bottoms -- Halle Berry style as James Bond babe “Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson” in “Die Another Day.”

Yes, I will sink another day because today and right now I am definitely swimming.

I mean for God’s sake, I surely didn’t spend my childhood years as a competitive swimmer, tyrannizing my school swim-team to not make me (us) lose first place, for nothing -- and I have a legion of Gold medals sitting at home to prove it!

8:40pm: Deciding that no outside help is needed - a wise decision mainly motivated by the fact that my American Express card held hostage at the front desk might be charged for whatever damage management will unfairly estimate I have caused -- I grab the tweezers out of my beauty case, plunge my arm into the bath tub and go after the metal drain. Mind you I had attempted, prior to resorting to this half-ass method, to unplug the damn drain with my hands but it’s damned difficult to open anything when -- in true Lesbian fashion -- you have short nails. I’m just saying!

8:41pm: I effortlessly insert one end of the tweezers inside the drain running it all the way in for leverage. I jerk it around for a few seconds to loosen it up and am finally able to create a crevice rotating the tweezers in a semi-horizontal position. Now the tweezers are stuck in the drain but at least the water is starting to evacuate.

8:50pm: I pause for a moment to brainstorm over what my next strategic move should be.

Suddenly, all the math classes I took in high school are now making sense to me. Especially those headache-induced mental arithmetic story problems where the same faceless kids -- Paul, Peter and Sarah -- are always conducting some weird fictional business transactions either sharing, giving or taking away whatever produce is in season.

Here’s my present arithmetic problem: if the bath tub has been flooding for the past 30 minutes or so, the one-knob shower is broken but the metal drain that was temporarily stuck is now slightly open allowing for the water to drain out, what should be Mona’s next logical maneuver? The answer: to figure out how to stop the water from running. BINGO!

8:55pm: I retrieve the dislocated handle knob and meticulously try to affix it back in its original spot. I hear a click and simultaneously feel a little resistance. I proceed to twist the neck off clockwise to see if it will grab on to the metal apparatus poking out -- don’t ask me the exact name for it because I don’t know nor do I care to know -- and lock itself up organically. Honestly, I am just acting on instinct at this point as my home plumbing projects portfolio has famously remained barren.

9:10pm: After unglamorously struggling like a maniac to muscle in that mother (fucking) knob back in its <beep> (fucking) place, I manage to efficaciously restore the rotating handle back on the freaking wall or whatever that thing is called?

9:13pm: At last the water is shut off and the quasi-Tsunami is contained. While the water in the tub keeps draining out at a slow yet consistent pace, I now tackle the last and final chapter of my Poseidon Adventure, namely salvaging the soaking wet carpet.

At this stage of my rescue mission, I decide to get the hotel involved.

9:15pm: I call the front desk and as casually as possible request for extra towels to be dropped off in my suite. Bear in mind that I couldn’t afford to raise any suspicions as to the fiasco unfolding behind my walls.

9:38pm: My munitions are delivered and I am now on my hands and knees methodically spreading the myriad towels over the floor to absorb the water.

Truly this is one instance where some ingenious invention like the magic button in public restrooms that causes the seat to rotate providing a new hygienic surface, would come handy. Imagine that! Brand new carpet only a click away!

More on next page...



10:22pm: I’ve soaked up all the water I could and now I am soaking wet.

Hummm, a shower would be nice! I kid you not; I am slightly considering it.

Nu nu nu nah, I choose BO over BS because one time of that bullshit is quite enough drama for my mama…and for Mona!

10:43pm: I am in my PJs -- after performing a partial body and face wash in the bathroom sink -- better known as a whore’s bath -- and finally tucking myself into bed. I just want to sleep to make this day end faster.

I light up one last cigarette to relieve some of the tension and wish myself a good night sleep.

10:46pm: I stub my cigarette out in the ashtray and turn off the light. Almost immediately my brain starts talking incessantly, bombarding me with crazy loud thoughts that won’t shut up and keeping my ass tossing and turning in bed for the next 10 minutes.

10:56pm: I surrender and decree that my 10:43pm nicotine break is my last cigarette EVER.

4:30am on Wednesday, October 15, 2008: I am up at the crack of dawn as usual, and ritualistically head toward the mini kitchen to prepare my morning caffeine potion.

4:33am: I refuse to wait for the coffee machine to brew the whole pot and anxiously pour myself a cup.

4:34am: I resume my spot on the bed, turn on the TV to CNN and instinctively reach for the nicotine pack left on the bedside table.

Oh shit, it’s all coming back to me now -- I broke up with Marlboro last night.

4:35am to approximately 5:15am: the following monologue takes place inside my head:

Come on Mona you can do this. You’re not gonna let a cigarette take over your life.

But there are only eight left! Why don’t you just smoke them and then quit forever? You can’t waste eight cigarettes -- at five dollars a pack you would be throwing $2 out the window, and with the recession and all, every penny counts. Ok, calm down. Think of something else. Have another sip of coffee that’ll distract your mind. You can’t have caffeine without nicotine. They go together, not to mention facilitate the “holding court from the throne” morning ritual. How am I going to do that now? Oh no, you’re not gonna look cool at a bar anymore! Even worse, what about the weight curse? Smoking cessation stimulates your appetite and makes you double in size. Hell no! You can’t damage you fabulous thirty-something athletic figure -- it took years of insane workouts to cultivate.

That’s it. You're smoking. Hold on a second Mona, you don’t need that cigarette right now. Why don’t you go workout for an hour and then you can decide.

Yes, working out is a good idea. But you like that one cigarette after an intense cardio session --- it’s the same exalting feeling as the one you get smoking after sex. And while we’re on that subject, what about sex? Grrrrrrr!

This is too stressful, let me light up a cigarette to regroup and by the time I’m done I will have it all figured out.

Obviously, Marlboro and I didn’t breakup. Kudos to me for even saving myself from the cliché “let’s take a break” speech -- that, truly would have killed me!

Nothing can stand between my ciggies and me -- not even that foolish coyote that chased me down Runyon Canyon one random deserted Sunday morning and challenged me in a sprint race -- road runner style. And yes, I did feel like my lungs were absolutely going to pop out of my chest, yet instead the only thing that definitely popped out was a sound coming out of my mouth: BEEP BEEP!

That’s all, folks!

Mona Elyafi is the author of DisCOKEnnected - a memoir, available at She is also the founder & CEO of ILDK Media, a Los Angeles-based entertainment PR company – 

Miss the last "Singled Out"?Read it here.  

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