Preface: Ellen, this blog is truly epic, you don't have to read the whole thing before hanging out with me . . .
I haven't done much acting in the last week. I went to a couple auditions, I think around two.
My anger for Abe, who has now earned the name "Flip Flop " because he flipped and then he flopped, has withered. My anger transformed during the heat wave a few days ago. I wanted to hate fuck him, but every time I fantasized about it, the hate fucking ended in soft kisses on a bed of roses. Hm, so frustrating being a girl.
The heat in my apartment was intoxicating. All I could think about for 2 days was sex, Sex, SEX!!! I just can't fantasize about other men, really. I mean- my fantasy arsenal is pretty much Tudors, Dexter but he hasn't brought me to orgasm yet, Napoleon (the historical figure not a movie), Flip and the Prophet. If I think about someone else, I usually can't climax.
And now, I am just profoundly sad. It feels healthy, actually. My neighbor said, "Are you mourning the loss? That's healthy." I haven't heard from Flip since that last email. I think he is traveling. fuck. it.
Jaq is moving to Los Angeles in a fast but sound decision to rebuild her life where there are jobs. She and I had some good talks this week. She has known me for a few years and said, "You fall hard and fast. Is it because you want to have babies?" I am in no great rush to have babies, but I do want a family. I also read recently that fertile females are serial monogamists. They are not promiscuous but rather highly selective when it comes to their mates, and will only leave a partner if there is a better genetic match or a greater alpha male available to her. Sounds like my behavior in the last ten years.
I spent a good portion of my weekend with my guy friend K. He and I performed in a scene for a film class yesterday, and I couldn't stop breaking out in that song, "It's a Heartache" by Bonnie Tyler. Where I was playful before about Flip flopping, I am growing serious about it. I told K while we ran lines, "How am I supposed to fall in love again? "
K said, "You made him go out with you. Then he had lots of great sex with a good looking woman and said, 'Hey, this isn't so bad.' And then . . . he did what douche bags do. They don't care." and "He didn't love you, he doesn't know what love is."
When the scene wrapped, my head was pressed against the banister and I started again, "It's a heart ache . . . nothing but a heart ache. Love him til your arms break . . . then he lets you doooowwwn." My singing voice is terrible. K said, "Forget him, he's a douche bag. And your friends who get back together with their boyfriends you tell me about . . . they're douche bags, too."
The sound guy chimed in, "You know that's a website? Hot girls with douche bags. Look it up."
Awww, the sound guy thought I was hot.
I want to just go out with someone else and make out. Maybe get a back massage. But my heart is back there checking my phone for text messages. I need this part to be over. I need to stop wondering and look forward. Even the ganja can't help me now.
For most of the week, I ended up rewriting a feature screenplay I wrote when I was 22 yrs old.
It was kind of a strange experience. Reviewing the script and its take on relationships from 10 yrs ago . . . half of it was precious. The dialogue was taken out of my life in that period, those relationships, the optimism, the cut throat romantic I was in my early 20s. What needed rewriting was everything to do with the secondary relationships in the script- the married couple and the domestic partners. So I poured my 32 yr-old heart and soul in those rough patches and ended up with a weird, abstract summary of some of the best loves of my life.
I would pace myself, write, lay down, think, and clean my kitchen then reflect and dig down for those symbolic moments of domestic bliss.
Now, the most placid relationship I ever had was with my ex-husband. For those of you that don't know . . . I married the guest professor of a special class I took in Grad school, "How to Produce an Independent Feature Film." The Professor, I call him, wasn't much of a professor or a producer. He "produced" an independent dramatic feature film with no recognizable names, charged it on his credit cards and then declared bankruptcy after the film didn't sell.
What The Professor was, though, was a kind, good person who took care of me when I was completely lost. After I was assaulted on Newport Beach by a complete stranger (who kicked the shit out of me, high on drugs while 7 of my friends stood and watched), I became depressed and nervous. Then 9/11 happened.
I continued with my second year of the Graduate Film Program and felt like everything was darker. Eventually, my short film cost more than what I could afford with rent. I shared the apartment with two irresponsible boys in my program, one of which was a seemingly docile homosexual from Kentucky with a terrible temper. Twice he accused me of stealing his German heavy metal CDs and threw shit at my door.
I had to choose between rent and developing the 16mm print of my short film. So I chose the film development and spent half my nights living with my Uncle, who I am not particularly close to, and the other half sleeping in The Professor's film office which was in a dumpy building in El Segundo.
It was around this time, The Professor showed a specific interest in my education and found new unique and quaint field trips for me to go on with him; seminars, meetings, or a lunch. Around Christmas, we were friendly with each other and he invited me to a Christmas party in Marina del Rey under the guise that it was a networking event. I was wishy-washy. He called me back after 15 minutes and said he just wanted to see me.
So I went. I spilled wine on the floor, and Prof. covered for me. I know we kissed that night but I can't for the life of me remember it. I remember the first time we made love, because I had to ask him to either penetrate me or stop rubbing up against my groin. Cotton burn.
Eventually, we found a place together, then another place, then I brought home a kitten, then we married and then . . . we had one of the best years of my life.
He was a really good guy. He always tried to make me laugh and was genuinely interested in taking care of me. We had the most successful relationship, but I do not consider him one of the best loves of my life. And I am not sure why.
When he wanted to get serious with me, he took me to a sail boat in the middle of the night, held my hand and told me this was everything he was. He loved the ocean and the boats. His favorite story was when the sail ripped on his raft as a child. He was restless and miserable grounded on land. For Christmas, he opened up a box with a big red sail in it. He remembers unwrapping it, holding it up with an open mouth and looking at his father. Now they could watch him sail up and down the river from the house.
He had the soul of a sailor, so he was very easy going, laid back and happy. He was also 13 1/2 years older than me.
After our wedding, which was a nightmare with both my mother and my sister giving me the silent treatment ALL DAY, Prof. and I crossed Catalina Island and sailed back with champagne and Louis & Ella singing over the speakers on the boat. Usually, I get very sea sick, but we were so content. The ocean was gentle with me that day.
The next 10 days of our honeymoon were spent hiking through Sequoia, King's Canyon and Yosemite. Maybe the best 2 weeks of my life.
In the mornings, I followed him to work when he moved sailboats from marina to marina (he worked at a marina), I would lay flat on the bough with my face pressed against the boat, watching the steel cut the ocean. I loved it.
There are two explanations I use when I talk about why I left him, for obvious reasons:
1) We never grew out of the professor/student dynamic. He wasn't terribly interested in my career and at times exhibited mild jealousy over my creative discipline. He stopped reading my screenplays, he didn't help me on the documentary when I begged him to and he eventually, stopped giving me orgasms. I was developing a resentment towards him.
2) While working part-time at the Pet Food store, one day a new manager was brought in and shook my hand. He took my breath away, it never came back. He was the most beautiful boy I have ever seen in my entire life. Tall, dark hair, freckles, almond eyes and the most genuine smile I have seen in Los Angeles. The Prophet. The longest love affair of my half lifetime.
He got in my head. I grew obsessed with him. And eventually, one night we were out, he read my entire screenplay in one sitting and we kissed. My head was turned upside down, I was confused, frustrated, depressed . . . just fucked up. I came clean with the Prof. right away and he decided to live in a world of denial until I moved out.
Just before moving out, the Prophet stopped calling me. Which is the mature thing to do. I spun out into a depression and remember one rainy afternoon crying with my cell phone in hand and saying to my husband, "Why won't he call me back?" Are you shuddering as I am? Yeah, I was a heartless brat.
He said, "I am sure he has a good reason."
I broke into the Prophet's apartment complex to drop off some things. When I knocked, his roommate opened the door and I saw him sitting in front of the television, eating cereal. He saw me and his mouth fell open at first and then he smiled. We talked. He said Prof. had found him at another branch of the Pet Food Store and asked him not to contact me. He wanted a chance to make it work with his wife. The Prophet said, "Only if you promise to take care of her." He agreed. So they shook hands and parted ways.
I went back to confront Prof. about not discussing this with me, or why not just tell me what happened. I never really got a satisfying answer. We were never partners.
We went to couples counseling which was a fucking disaster. We got some bitter divorcee who was convinced I was some conniving Lolita who manipulated my husband into being my stooge. I fucking HATED him. We did a one-on-one where he just asked me to come clean about all the men I had cheated on Prof. with. I said there was no one. DICK.
Things downward spiraled. The Prophet and I had plans to go out one night and he was being distant with me so I got angry, under the stress of the separation. I was just losing my shit all over the place. Why was I out with another man when I was working on repairing the relationship with my husband? No good answer for that folks. I was a screwed up kid. 25 years old and chasing my tail in Venice, CA.
That night I wrote suicide letters to my family, the Prophet and my husband . . . drove out to some anonymous neighborhood and proceeded to swallow around 11-12 sleeping pills with a bottle of wine. I was out of my head, and called Prof. I told him what I did, that I felt like no matter what I did, I was hurting someone.
The Prof responded with, "You have to pull this shit the night I am out with my friends."
Then, I called the Prophet. He drove around Venice until he found me, stuck my finger down my throat and made me vomit up those pills.
The next day I had a therapist appointment for my (low cost) solo therapy. This place was all lame grad students who didn't know how to handle their own personal lives, much less a stranger's. The Prophet made me promise to tell her what I had done. My therapist proceeded to call the police and have me institutionalized. Oh yeah. That was great.
The pills I swallowed had limited my mobility skills, so it was difficult walking and bending my knees. An ambulance came and escorted me to a hospital. Next thing I knew I was next to a homeless whack job who thought he was the Marlboro Man. He wasn't, I know because he was Asian.
We were both locked up and I spent 24 hours in Culver City's mental health facility with all the homeless crazies that were seeking shelter from the rain. I had to share a room with another suicide risk girl who snored SO LOUD, I couldn't sleep. I asked for another room, they gave me sleeping pills. I told them I was in for trying to kill myself with sleeping pills. They said, "Sorry, that's all we have."
Finally, they agreed to let me sleep in an empty room with the door open and the lights on so they could make sure I didn't kill myself (oh, it was tempting in that place). I seriously thought about breaking out. It was disturbing. My snoring roommate had a boyfriend she snapped her teeth at. We had to get our vitals checked every few hours and there was always a physical altercation between two violent patients. Oh, and they didn't give me vegan food and constantly bothered me about getting on psycho-tropic medication, which I outright refused to do.
They had a ping pong table with no paddles. Like . . .seriously . . . trying to make us go bonkers!
I called everyone I could with a stack of quarters at the pay phones in the hall. My mother said, "Oh don't worry, remember that movie Girl Interrupted? They played guitars when they were institutionalized." I said, "There are no guitars here, mother! This is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, not Girl Interrupted." My mother would grow cold, "Well, I don't know what you want ME to do about it."
It took me about 20 hours to get an appointment with the Psychiatrist who would determine if I was an at-risk patient. I told him I swallowed the pills for attention and my husband and I were going to work it out. He discharged me to Prof's care.
I was released, saw Prof. and we had a very long, cold embrace. He was angry with me and wouldn't look at me. Of course all I could do was jump up and down. I was free. Totally free to walk where I wanted to, eat what I wanted to and live! GOD, it was an amazing moment. I can't imagine how prisoners feel after years of incarceration.
After that, while I was up visiting my parents in Washington, Prof. threatened to destroy or abandon my personal property (including our two cats). This wonderfully mellow guy who always had a knack for calming me down and being my rock while finding my footing in LA, said he was compelled to break a beer bottle and cut me with it.
I filed divorce papers. Or he did. I think he wanted the satisfaction. I didn't care . . . I just wanted the pain to stop.
A year and a half later, after he threatened to sue my parents for the truck they loaned him while we were having car problems, sue me for half my rights on all existing films and screenplays (he didn't read) . . . we came to a settlement.
We had no assets, and his threats were ridiculous. I found a lawyer in Beverly Hills who offered to represent me on the condition that I act as legal secretary with the paperwork and pay him in scones. He loved scones. :-)
He called on my behalf and was strong with them about those conditions. We settled the next week. A fair break.
I remember going to Beverly Hills to sign the papers, I was dating an Irish guy at the time. Prof's hair was really short and I started growing mine out because the Prophet liked long hair. We were in an off period because I was dating the Irish dude, who I really liked at the time. He was a fizzler. We sizzled then fizzled.
So Prof came in and I said, "Your hair is short." He said, "Your hair is long."
We went in and I had trouble finding where to sign, and he pointed it out. We giggled a little. There was a very sweet chemistry between us. Afterward, we met at a Starbuck's. We had to exchange some papers or something. I broke down crying, apologizing to him for hurting him. He said he came to peace with the knowledge that I needed to carve out my own life, and he knew that. I left him for me, not for the Prophet. Which is true, actually, under all the drama and tears and insanity . . . I needed to be an adult on my own before latching on to someone, for my own sanity.
So, I spent the next couple years getting a better job, finishing my documentary and spending sporadic time with the Prophet. The first year with him was difficult. He would disappear for days at a time. His voicemail would be full. He would be incredibly flaky. Sometimes we would meet for nookie or I bought and returned my pet food and toys at his store branch and basically continued to pine for him until the next night he agreed to sleep with me. Usually it was only a couple times a month.
Eventually, the Prophet started spending the nights. We always had amazing phone conversations about God, the Bible, spirits, dreams, demons, the future . . . I do believe he is the one person who truly respected me for being vegan. Interestingly, he was only one of two boyfriends who never pretended to change their diet for me. (I would say Flip would be the other boyfriend who truly respected the discipline associated with my diet and never pretended to reject meat or dairy)
I stopped trying to push the Prophet into taking me out on dates. The Prophet showed his love through other ways. He stayed up with me all night long and slept on the floor of my office while I edited my film.
While with the Irish dude, my cats had a flea outbreak. Irish wouldn't come near my apartment while there was the infestation. The Prophet came and bathed the cats with me, vacuumed the apartment, sterilized everything.
When I was on a date with someone else, I got a flat tire. Instead of calling my date, I called the Prophet. We threw a football in the breaking dawn while waiting for a tow truck.
He lost his job. I lost my job. He quit. I quit. We helped each other.
He would loan me money if I needed it. And I would give him my credit card if he was in a stitch (it was rare). He always paid me back more than the sum he owed me. He came over if I called him at 3am from a nightmare.
He wasn't constantly around, but I could depend on him. And God, I loved him so much. I loved his body. I have it memorized . . . every scar, every stray hair, everything. He got my jokes and remembered everything I ever told him.
The Prophet grew up in Michigan but never graduated college. Instead he joined the Marines for 7 years, where he was court marshaled for smoking a joint. He was ostracized by his peers and given shit duty for the last couple years. No one would talk to him.
He lost his high school sweet heart of several years to his best friend, who are now married.
He decided he would finish his term with the Marine Corps and loves to tell the story when his Sargent made a speech during the honorable discharge ceremony. "I have two heroes I look up to. One is a buddy that threw his life on a grenade to save a group of people. The other is [Prophet], where is he?"
In his happiest moments, he would recount that story and his face lit up in a way I never saw with anything else.
There are so many stories about the Prophet that my brain kind of overloads when I think about him. Five years of information, memories, feelings. So many little moments where he surprised me, loved me, hurt me . . . hurt himself.
He never spoke an ill word about anyone. He was always kind and boyishly optimistic with everyone, even the people that hurt him.
He would watch TOP GUN and recite all the words through the entire movie, and when TBS restarted the movie, he would chime in with the opening voice-over right away. Ha ha. He loved my animals like no one else ever has. He taught himself how to make vegan curry for me.
The other side of the Prophet is the hard liquor, drinking and driving, picking fights with strangers . . . cocaine. He would spin out of control. He would quit drinking sometimes and then go back to it. Same with cocaine. His own drug dealer asked him to stop snorting one night when his nose wouldn't stop bleeding. He was best when all he did was smoke ganja. He was calm, more coherent and able to relax. Otherwise, he was hypo-manic.
I liked the mystery of him. Why did he think he was a Prophet; his explanation of the prophecy and his role in Revelations never changed in those five years. Maybe he did have a divine future. Why did he start dating with me? Why was he so uncomfortable with affection and physical contact? He would talk so fast and jump subjects so quickly, it was always difficult following him. I tried and worked with him through all those thoughts, trying to understand. He loved that.
The day before I miscarried, he told me that when he was 14 and his father was dying of lung cancer, he was asked to go to his death bed. When he walked in, his dad tried to say something. The Prophet was so uncomfortable, he turned and walked out on his father. He died before he ever had a chance to talk to him again.
That was the one time he ever got emotional about his past with me. Never again.
Eventually our fights got more intense. I had a kidney infection and was in the emergency room all night with a co-worker. He said he didn't have enough gas to visit me and didn't call me before my phone died (hours later). I came home high on morphine to a house that was ripped apart because he couldn't find his keys, and him on MY computer playing video games. He didn't even greet me at the door. Around that time, we fought. He covered my mouth.
When he drank, he would cover my nose and my mouth. Maybe he pushed me.
One New Years Eve night, he drank himself into a mind of darkness and I had to lock him out. He ripped my Christmas teddy off my wreath and spiked his cotton stuffed head through my metal apartment number.
He would quit drinking, and we would make up. It was a tedious cycle.
Sometimes I would try dating other people and we wouldn't speak. And sometimes, we would spend days up all night on drugs, talking about our lives and ideas. The intense talks. I told him everything, I mean he knows everything about me. I don't think I know everything about him, but I definitely know more than anyone else in his life. Or I did a year ago.
I was evicted for having cats, three years after the landlord gave me a wink and advised I lie on the lease about it. I freaked out, of course, and the Prophet calmed me down, called my landlord for me begging them to renegotiate their position. I love my cats!
Eventually, he suggested we move in together. He held me and said, "You and the cats are my life." And we did. We moved into a place in Hollywood. So much hope . . . a new place, a new approach to our relationship. Being calm about it. HA! We were both so passionate, it was easy not to take each other too seriously most of the time. When we DID take each other seriously it was . . . explosive.
It was a happy month or two before I started going to film festivals with my now finished documentary. He grew suspicious . . . he had no reason to be. I never wanted another man while with him. I was head over heels in love with him. I brought home one pit bull then another. He said we would try to make it work.
There was a fight about dishes that we never recovered from. The fights grew more violent. He pushed me. I think he even put his hands around my throat. Now, this is around the time I did whatever I could to get out of the relationship. We were stuck in a year long lease and I did everything I could to communicate to him that I was not a victim. I was loud and bitchy. Indignant. It escalated the tension.
The Prophet was a big guy, 6'4 and 185 lbs, ridiculously strong. I would never try to fight him. I would die. However, that last year we were together, I said the most evil things I could muster to take him down.
He started seeing demons in my face. He broke every plate in the kitchen. He locked himself in the bathroom begging for a demon to come down and fight him. I didn't know what to do with him. What do you do with someone who is having a psychotic break!? Does anyone know? I didn't want him in jail.
The first time he was put in jail when I called the police, I was up all night worried about him. He came back a few days later and said it was one of the best experiences of his life. He, of course, made friends with his cell mates and had meaningful conversations about God and life. I smile as I write this.
Then one day, he bit my head. Why did he bite my head? I don't know. I was drunk and woke up to him biting my head. We had been fighting that night, but I don't remember what about or anything said before the blood came down my forehead.
That was an ugly night, the cops were unsympathetic at that point. One said, "I thought you were going to move in with your parents." I stammered, "They won't have me." It was true, my mother said that she wouldn't let me move back home because I would just be depressed on their couch. This was tough love and I would have to find a way out.
So I filed a restraining order. I renegotiated my rent by a few hundred dollars. And I got the hell out of there.
I remember around this time, he came back promising to never drink again. He cooked for me, bathed with me, did everything I ever wanted him to. I was so in shock. He then asked me to admit all the lovers I had been with. He was never satisfied with my answer. He always thought I was holding out, and that paranoia followed him to the end.
We broke apart again. We hated each other. Still . . . STILL . . . he stayed up all night with me cleaning the Hollywood apartment when we moved out. (My ex-husband left our last place a disaster for me to clean up alone) The Prophet helped me move my bulky furniture to Pasadena. He even installed a chain latch to keep the dogs from running out of the yard through the door.
You see why its so confusing . . . ?
There was more misery. When my cat died, he came back to help and freaked out instead. Slamming his face into my bathroom mirror. He pushed me down on the ground by my throat and mimicked my choking when the wind was knocked out of me. I called the cops on him for a third time.
He doesn't remember any of these awful moments. Or he says he doesn't.
Even after all of that, one of his friends said, "She can't even take care of her cats. Look one died." The Prophet said, "She takes better care of her animals than most people do of their kids."
After one last, weak attempt . . . we made love a few more times, he hung out in my living room and supported me after I was laid off and started acting. Then he found nude photos taken by a casual partner from the past, and he left. It was a cold goodbye. I never heard from him again.
Its for the best.
But it makes me sad. He was my best friend.
While rewriting those scenes about the couple who had been together for 8 years in my script, I tried to think of domestic bliss. I thought of my ex-husband and the sailing, the morning lattes, the quiet nights at home. It just didn't move the dust into the wind, you know?
Then I thought of home with the Prophet. As Lana once described, "the homey smell of ramen and pot." I turned his ringtone on his iPhone for my number into a big picture of my nipple with firetruck sirens. He always laughed when he picked up. Kissing to Christmas music on a summer night.
The way he helped with my migraines, he knew how long to heat the pad for my head and muted the TV. The way he was so proud of me after the few stand-up comedy performances I did. It was during our final year, The Cancer Year . . . but he would sit on the floor and look up at me with the brightest eyes and smile. He did believe in me.
Through all of this, the Prophet was the tragic love of my life. He was my instrument in finding moments of true love for my script. How fucking sad. And now, from this point forward . . . I am calling him Not for Profit (copyright A. Breckenridge)
My neck hurts and my eyes are burning.