Saturday, I was working audience for a reality show. I was ushered into the pretty girl row behind the main stage between morons and Russians. I tried to read my book, but between the ditz next to me chipping off her nail polish and the other Russian conversation that would never stop for even a cough- all I could do was hang over my bare legs to keep warm from the studio AC.
I noticed Brian (a fellow actor/audience worker) across the way and we made eye contact. I waved at him. He forced a smile and looked away. WTF? Snubbed.
We got an hour lunch, where I jogged over to Starbuck’s to get a soy mocha instead of food. I have been averaging 4 hours of sleep per night, between this newly manic social life and writing and work, there is no time. Even now, as I write this, my body is almost limp. I can’t get on top of my fatigue.
The barista said “Soy Latte.” I waited. I waited more. Then approached.
I said, “I ordered a soy mocha but this is a soy latte?”
A very handsome, Indian boy in his late 20s turned around and said, “I will make you one, if that’s what you want. You can take this one too, give it to a friend.”
He had that sparkle in his eye. The kind that pushes you back on your heels. Damn. Handsome.
I just got blaZed in my car, so I said, “Um … let me think. I can take it. I should take it.”
He said, “Was that a mocha?”
I said, “Yes, please.”
He said, “Sorry, I can’t hear very much over the espresso machine.”
I giggled like an idiot, then said, “I am losing my hearing at my job, too.”
He reached down for something, then stood back up.
He said, “What do you do?”
I said, “Doggie Daycare.”
He smiled. Everyone smiles when I mention what I do for a living.
He said, “I can get you a cup holder, so you can take both lattes.”
Being aware of the question didn’t help me answer it any better.
I was lost in his espresso roast skin. Brown. Delicious. We could make love and get free Starbuck's . . . forever. I said, “Um, I will just take it. I should take it.”
I took both lattes to a spot of concrete covered in the sun. It was a hot afternoon in Hollywood. In 2008, I moved into an apartment 2 blocks down from that very spot with Eric, The Prophet.
When we first got the apartment together, we spent a day on our porch eating Taco Bell and both feeling really good. I was on a phone call about a possible TV idea, and Eric waited contently on dirty porch furniture, smiling.
That night we drank absinthe and made love without lights and under open windows. There wasn’t any clutter since we just moved in and I really believed this was the stability we needed to become a real couple.
Of course, the inevitable happened. He was a lot crazier than even I realized, and our friendship broke under the pressure of his alcoholism and my ruthlessness to do anything but feel like a victim.
But that first week, it was nice between us. We would walk to this Rite Aid to get Flavor-Ice Pops in the dead of summer. We walked everywhere, like you would with friends before high school. Before driver's licenses. Before privacy.
I wondered what would I do if I randomly saw him walking down the sidewalk after 1 1/2 years of not hearing anything from him. I would hug him. I hope I never see him again.
I walked to my car for one last toke. My Weezer song came on. From the beginning, I heard the one full second of dead air before the single guitar strums. I thought, “Oh yeah.”
“Somebody's Heine' is crowdin' my icebox,
Somebody's cold one is givin' me chills,
Guess I'll just close my eyes.”
Somebody's cold one is givin' me chills,
Guess I'll just close my eyes.”
I thought, “How can you fall in love with a song?” HOW!? Jesus, this song had fish hooks in me. I know Weezer was playing somewhere in LA recently, but when you fall for a song, every single time it plays, it plays for you.
I went back to the studio. Back to the intense AC, the Russian jibber jabber and the clicking of fingernails against paint. I was still sitting across from Brian. Waving. Nothing.
That row of audience was brought over to hang out by our end of the studio while shooting another segment. Brian sat right in front of me. I hit him and said, “Are you mad at me or something?
He said, “Hey . . . no! Why would I be mad at you?”
I said, “You were ignoring me this whole time.”
He said, “I didn’t recognize you. I really didn't know who you were. You look different.”
Me: “I had sex?”
Brian: "Did you?"
Brian: “You look much more relaxed.”
Me: “I just got stoned.”
Brian: “Damn. At lunch break?”
Brian “Damn. So how was the sex?”
Me: “As you well know the first time is awkward.”
Brian: “Not for me.”
Me: “Well he had a huge cock.”
Brian: “White boy?”
Me: “Yeah.” Showing girth with my hand and my fingers don’t touch.
Brian: “Wow. So good?”
Me: “Yeah. He was a little rough on my clitoris to be honest. Just a little.”
Brian: (he turned to sneeze a laugh over his shoulder) “You’re so honest. With me I do the pimp thang. Lay down my anaconda. Take out the woolly mammoth. Ride that railroad. Um . . . I’m running out of examples.”
Me: “Come on.”
Brian, “No, I read this book, ‘The Multi-Orgasmic Man.’ It teaches you different techniques, variation . . . breathing.”
Brian, “Most men don’t take the time.”
Brian, “It’s a really good book.”
He complained about his back, so I gave him a massage. It’s a nervous tick with me, not at all flirtatious. Sometimes I gotta do something, anything with my hands. I like working on someone's knots while waiting and thinking. Not just waiting. Not just thinking. But waiting and thinking.
Brian, “Come on now, don’t be scurred.”
Brian: “Yeah, scurred.”
Brian (through his nose) "Sorry, that is Negro vernacular for DIG IN!”
After audience work wrapped, I headed over to Silver Lake for Ocean’s birthday party.
How do I describe these amazing women I work with? . . . Ocean is in her mid-twenties, gorgeous, curvy and brown. Her sense of humor is overtly sexual, like mine. So we started with a little flirting, which escalated to a stripper pose off in the hallways of work which escalated to how dirty we can talk to each other, flash each other, simulate sex together and/or make everyone around us uncomfortable.
If Ocean appears in the doorway, I lift one leg up against the frame and fan the scent of my crotch towards her using a dirty rag. I say, “Smell it!”
Once, I said, “And I am not wearing panties . . . cause its laundry day.”
A guy we work with said, “Ok, I am straight and that is not sexy at all.”
She is the one person I have ever met who can beat me at dirty improv.
Ocean lives with Camille in a small studio apartment (she also works at Doggie Daycare). My little brown lesbian with the dark-rimmed glasses, sneakers and a sock hat. She has some kind of brown mix in her, more of a prude than Ocean but she caves. She makes you work for that laugh. And when she does eventually laugh, you work a little harder for the next one.
They are moving out of their apartment together in a few weeks and going separate ways. I don’t know much about their friendship, other than it seems strong and true.
Camille claims, ha, that I am not her type. She prefers short, Filipino women and I am "too tall and too white." Well, being Catholic and unloved by my mother does have its perks- I will work her until I AM her type.
At Pub Bingo, she wanted the Cheetos behind the bar, only set aside for the winners of the game. We were not winning, so I approached the large fellow holding the prizes hostage and said, “What do I have to do for a box of those Flaming Hot Cheetos?”
He said, “Win a game.”
I said, “That’s not happening. Is there anything else a girl could do for those Cheetos?”
He said, ”Yeah. You can wear this fake mustache for the rest of the night.”
I said, “I’ll do that. Really?”
He nodded and gave me a selection of fake mustaches- then I was able to deliver to the Milk Chocolate Queen her Flamin' Hot Cheetos. From then on, she screams my name in modulated ecstasy when ever she sees me . . . or she will call my voicemail and leave one.
If Ocean is feeling competitive, she will call me at the exact same time to scream my name on my voicemail. It makes a girl feel pretty!
Camille wasn’t there yet. In fact no one from Doggie Daycare was there yet, it was just Ocean’s brother, cousin and her friends from another life.
Ocean introduced me, “[hands around my shoulders] She is my lesbian soul mate. [moving her arms around her other girl friend on the right] And she is my lesbian lover from college. I worked that shit.”
Her friend slowly blinked as she lazily nodded and sipped her drink.
On the other side of the table were three young men, leaning in to hear everything she was about to tell them.
Ocean said, “Have you ever had crème brulee? (stirring her finger over my lap) That’s what her vag tastes like.”
I said, “Have you ever sucked whip cream out of the center of a strawberry? (motioning to Ocean) That’s what going down on her is like.”
Ocean (turned to her other girl friend), “And she is a little spicy a little like . . . a martini. Have you ever licked that little red center in the middle of the olive.”
Ocean, “That’s her.”
Ocean (motioned to me) ”Her vagina is like rose petals, soft rose petals all over my face. (she starts caressing her face) And hers (her other friend) is like fresh cotton. White. Soft. All over my face.”
One of the young men said, “I can’t keep up with you.”
Ocean, “Don’t even try.”
Young Man, “But I support you in what ever you are doing."
Beer and dirty pictures ensued. At our first cigarette out front of the bar, Ocean spoke to me about her brother. He is only a year older than Abe; tall, great body and very sweet.
Ocean, “My brother, he’s a really good guy. He will be there when it’s important. He’s the guy that texts you at the end of the night. He will treat you like a princess. I don’t usually like my friends with him, but you are mature, smart and I thought I would just put it out there.”
I said, “What is this about?”
Ocean said, “I will stop now, but I just wanted to put it out there.”
Inside the venue, hanging out on the back patio, I noticed that her brother was looking over at me. He insisted on buying my drinks and would let his eyes linger on me long enough for his friends to punch him and laugh.
After that cigarette, folks from the Doggie Daycare started showing up. Ocean kept checking the time and saying, “Camille better get here. She better. I will be so pissed if she doesn’t make my birthday.
One of my managers showed up with her fiancé, who also used to work Doggie Daycare as the overnight guy. I call him Mr. Sunshine because he would always show up for his shift at 9pm and yell at the dogs, “SHUT UPPPPP!”
I said to him, “Have you met the new overnight? A chubby, happy Eskimo?”
Mr. Sunshine, “Why do you gotta call him chubby? DAVID!? Yes, I have met David.”
I said, “I was just being descriptive. I said he was happy, too.”
Mr. Sunshine, “Do you think all chubby people are happy? Is that what you are trying to say?”
I said, “Santa was.”
Mr. Sunshine, “And me, I suppose I am chubby. Or would you just call me fat?”
I said, “Well, you are not happy and no . . . not chubby. I would say boxy.”
Mr. Sunshine, “BOXY!? What the fuck does that mean? Boxy. Jesus Christ.”
I said, “You fill your frame, kind of like a juice box.”
Mr. Sunshine, “So what? My head is supposed to be the straw?”
I said, “That’s what I was thinking.”
Camille showed up with our other manager, a boy named Jude. He is tall, nice looking, a Biology major and in a relationship with another man for longer than I have ever been in any relationship. Everyone also thinks he is straight. He passes under all Gaydar, including my own.
Ocean approached Camille and said, “Oh my God, you came. God . . . I feel tears in my eyes. I can’t believe I am having this reaction. I am so glad you came.”
3 Beers Later:
It was 1am and bouncers pushed everyone inside from the patio. We crunched together around the bar. I was molesting Camille any chance I could get. She would be coy, then dirty dance, then retreat and repeat. Chicks and their head games!
I told her once, “I go through all your games and tests but all I'll end up with at the end of the night is a sore jaw and no dinner.”
Ocean’s brother’s hand was falling on my hip and he was getting very close to my face, “What did Ocean tell you about me?”
Me, “That you are a very receptive sexual partner.”
He laughed and turned to Ocean. I gave them the few minutes over loud music to figure out if Ocean did indeed tell me that . . . which of course she didn’t.”
Jude turned to me, “Do you ever get the Julia Roberts thing?”
I nod. It’s a high compliment. She is far more beautiful though.
Camille: “Julia Roberts?”
Me, “That’s right. Julia fucking Roberts!!!”
It was good, we kind of danced then squeezed each other’s breasts. In my cider-induced charm, I started making car horn noises when grabbing Camille’s breast.
An older guy approached me. I would say he was in his 50s.
50, “Where do you live?”
I told him, “Pasadena.”
On to my fourth drink. That exceeds my limit but then again, do I get drunk anymore?
50, “Nice area, I have lived here for some time.”
I said, “Excuse me, I have to go outside.”
I rushed out to interrupt Jude and Camille’s conversation. They handed me a cigarette without even asking and I said, “That lesbian thing really gets them going. Jesus.”
(I have not bought myself a pack of cigarettes in over two weeks. Smoking socially, I can handle.)
The bar closed somewhere around that time. I remember 50 coming back for another appearance. He probably disappeared around the time Ocean’s brother got closer to my mouth. He was holding me now and just short of my lips, teasing me with a kiss that wasn’t happening.
He was so close, I could feel his breath in the night air. My hand fell on his arm. He was strong, that’s usually not my type. I can make an exception.
Jude kept saying, “Oh my God. I gotta watch. You are one lucky woman.”
Ocean feigned barfing. Shortly after, Ocean’s brother kiss landed. It was nice. Perfect amount of tongue.
Ocean suddenly disappeared. We called after her but I couldn’t pull my mind out of this boy’s cologne. What was that?
Camille wanted me to smoke her out in my car but I was stuck and getting carried away against my better judgement.
Ocean’s Brother, “So where does this go?”
Me, “Where do you want it to go? Do you want to come back to my place?”
Brother, “I love Ocean, she’s my sister. But you don’t want to upset her. She gets (here he made a face that looked kind of like a serial killer).”
I said, “She was selling me on you earlier so I think she is ok with it.”
Brother, “I don’t know. I thought so too, but she left angry. (pause) You really don’t want to get her angry. She never forgets it.”
I said, “It could be our little secret. Can you keep a secret?”
He nodded. Those lazy brown eyes stayed on me.
I said, “Me too.”
He picked up his phone and said, “Yeah we are going to the party now. I will be there in like 5 minutes. Ok. See you soon.”
Confused, I said, “You just said you were going to a party!”
Brother, “Yeah, I don’t think I should come over. I would love to but I don’t think so. I want to do this right and take you out, really get to know you.”
He was cradling me like we were at a high school dance. This is what I loved about the young ones. I know people think it has to do with youth obsessed culture, me getting older (maybe it does a little) or wanting to dominate, this and that. I have heard it all. The young ones still have an iota of romance. I can look in their eyes and see they still believe in dreams.
What draws me to them is exactly why I have to avoid them right now. I don’t want to become a marker of where their cynicism takes root because, at the moment, I don’t trust myself with anyone’s feelings.
I got serious with him, “My heart is really raw right now.”
He said, “Mine too.” He laughed a little and repeated in a softer voice, “Mine too."
I pulled back and said, “Ok, I am gonna go home. You got my number.”
I got on the freeway and texted Joel: “You up?”
He texted back, "Yeah."
After going home, feeding the girls, and showering, I drove to Joel’s.
He opened the door as I was pulling my pants up and trying to tie the draw string.
I said, “My pants are falling down.”
Freely, I walked in and said, “I had too much to drink. They kept handing me beer.”
Joel, “Men were buying you beer all night.”
I said, “Well, a man.”
Joel, “Great. A man was buying you beer all night.”
I took off my shoes and laid down on his bed. “Yeah. That’s right.”
He crawled in next to me and leaned in to kiss me.
Me, “Did you read the blog?” http://soibecameanactress.blogspot.com/2011/04/cowboy-whore.html
Him, “Of course.”
Me: “Are you ok with it?”
He said, “I sent it to my sister.”
Me, “Are you serious?”
I said, “I am wearing my pretty bra. It doesn’t match my underwear, but that’s cute too.”
Him, “I know. I saw it when your pants were falling off at the door.”
I stayed the night, and woke up early. We mutually masturbated, which left me only 14 minutes to get to my audio session for my pilot. I rushed up and got dressed, asking the most important question, "Is there a Starbuck's nearby?"
He gave me directions and I crawled on top of him, kissed him and said, "We should do this again sometime."
Joel feels good for me at the moment. I am not worried about hurting his feelings. Even with Rummy, I was worried. I want to be free for a while, to come in and out of lives.
Let me fuck up outside my life for a little while, and let everything that matters heal.
I got in my car and realized I only had 11 minutes to get to the studio, no time for coffee. BUT WAIT! There was the extra soy latte from the beautiful Indian barista, waiting for me in the morning heat. I was all set.
The place was close, so I made it on time. My audio editor is a young guy from South Carolina and new to these parts of the world. He seems to be doing fine with LA.
We finished the audio and he said, “Do you want to smoke a bowl?”
I thought about it. Its 10am. I had to be at Doggie Daycare in three hours. I should be fine. “Yeah.”
He packed a bowl and hit his keyboard. The large monitor on the wall closed out the audio-mixing screen and filled with Bob Marley’s “Stir it up.”
Me, “What type of pot is this?”
He said, “I call it ‘blow da' dust off that pussy.”
He spoke and I listened. The morning was hot already and I was exhausted from running around town the last week. Over the next 20 minutes, he said, “We made some money at a yard sale . . . we restored this guitar, could get $100 for it. I would ask for $160 so there is room to bargain down . . . "
I wondered, "Am I over indulging here? Alcohol, weed, no sleep, no food, lots of work. Like . . . pull it together, woman! What are you doing? I feel like I am going to pass out."
He continued, "I have had those earthquakes where I wake up floating. That scares the shit out of me . . . somebody comes in here to rob me and- BAM! . . . make sure they aren’t leaving. You know what I mean?”
I said, “Do you have guns here?”
Pause. Exhale over the pipe. Smile. “ . . . yeahhhhh.”
I went home to walk the girls, spend some time with them.
After opening my kitchen door, I walked in to my living room to the pitter patter of Maggie's tail against the wood floor. I said, "Where's Esther?" and looked around the room until I heard deep snoring. Esther was completely buried underneath the couch cover. Home.
The porch opens to a tree where several wild parrots live. A nice breeze swept in.