I didn’t think so with the Abe chaos, but eventually gave in to the Saturn Awards with the understanding that I was seeing someone else. So Thursday, I drove over to meet Austin, who lives in a guesthouse in Burbank.
I was nervous because though I am not sure, I think I may have said mean things to him. Not because I was angry, just to get him off my back. The guy was fairly relentless for reasons I don’t understand. I assume unless a guy penetrates me, he pursues until his seed dries up in the desert.
Austin is in his early thirties, about my height, thick but not overweight and a redhead. He seemed to have a false confidence going on which I actually needed since I was just turned away from a model casting call I had the exact look and hair coloring for.
He said, "You know, there are a lot of girls I could take to this thing. But I thought you were the one girl who would really appreciate it."
I was early (which is laughable), so we decided to grab some food and beer at a bar nearby. Before we left, he played the Siouxsie and the Banshees version of Dear Prudence. It was tender.
♫ ♪ Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play? Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day . . . ♫ ♪
I was being talky and nervous for a few reasons. I don’t know this guy well. We were going to a B-List Celebrity event. And, I just started things with Alan and didn’t want to create a mess for myself.
So we were talking about life as the Beatles version of Dear Prudence came on the jukebox.
♫ ♪ The sun is up, the sky is blue, It’s beautiful and so are you ♫ ♪
I said, “My parents are really on me about giving up and moving back home. My mother isn’t even talking to me right now. I don’t know, maybe I am wrong. But I am happy. They weren’t happy. Now they are, only after 40 years of working their asses off in jobs they hated. My sister hates her job. Now they can all go to Italy a few times a year. I don’t want to wait 40 years. I don’t get to go to Italy, but that’s the price I pay for being happy now.”
Austin said, “You are right. They just don’t see it. They have small minds and don’t understand. We understand.”
I said, “I mean, I don’t go around telling people they are living life the wrong way. I don’t tell people how to live. The thought never occurs to me.”
He said, “I know. I know.”
I said, “If John Lennon says I am doing the right thing, then I have to be right? John Lennon knows more than all of us.”
Austin said, “That’s right. They can’t see the truth, we can see it. Don’t worry.”
I said, “Do you know the song The Cave by Mumford & Sons?”
Me, “It’s popular right now, but it’s really good. Its based on the Allegory of the Cave by Socrates.”
I sipped my Stella over onion rings.
Me, “The Allegory of the Cave is about people living in a cave, who only know life from what is projected on the wall in front of them. A false reality, or simplified reality. When they look to the light outside, they are blinded and can’t understand it, so they return to the Cave and the shadows, and resume a life with less knowledge and experience, less light and are no longer confused or overwhelmed.
Only a few venture out into the light to discover life no matter how abstract.”
It’s a pedestrian summary but what I gathered from one early morning using the internet and reading a healthy portion of the Socrates’ dialogue.
Austin said, “You are right. They are living in the cave.”
He kept ending each sentence with my name. I don’t know if he read that in a book or something, but it really makes you feel fuzzy. I don’t know. Maybe I just like hearing boys repeat my name aloud, over and over again.
We went back to his guesthouse tipsy, or I was.
The Saturn Awards specialize in awards for Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy films. So when he asked if he should wear his Freddy Krueger belt buckle, I said, ABSOLUTELY!
The damn thing was hard to fit on a dressy belt, so I had to get on my knees and try to push the metal casing over the front of the buckle and thread it through the existing holes on the belt.
I said, “Here, I need to get down on my knees, that’s what she said. Let me take a look, yeah, we have to pull a little harder to fit it in the hole, that’s what she said. Almost there, it’s barely poking in, that’s what she said. Here stretch it out so its longer, that’s what she said. Just another inch, that’s what she said.”
Austin, “It might stretch out the hole, that’s what she said.”
I said, “I think it will make it in, that’s what she said, we just need to yank it a little harder, that’s what she said.”
We gave up and put another belt on. It fit fine.
I got dressed in the only formal gown I own, put on my minimal make-up and off we went.
The Awards were at a very nice resort type place in Burbank; resort type place meaning there was a restaurant and a golf course. A car from Star Wars was parked in front with a man holding Yoda. I passed by Michael Beihn, who I lusted after in the 80s. Not so much now.
Also Kurtwood Smith, best known for Red on That 70s show, but also Total Recall and other Sci-Fi awesomeness.
I don’t really bother celebrities because I just don’t know what to say. I usually come in with a plan, a question or something. If I have nothing, then I keep sipping my drink.
Me, “I am glad this drink comes with two straws because it increases the likelihood that my mouth will land in the right place. Wait . . . what happened to my second straw?”
A stranger next to me said, “Is that it? On the ground?”
Me, “Oh . . . yeah. A fallen soldier. So sad.”
We found our seat at a table near the back with several older strangers. We drained the complimentary bottle of peach vodka before the entrees arrived.
The man sitting at the table behind us hit my chair as he left.
His Wife, "Sorry! He does that."
Me, "That’s ok. I just spilled my drink on my table and asked for another."
His Wife, "Good! I piss on anyone who doesn't ask for another drink." Hollywood, dude. They are all high.
I was sitting next to a much older woman in her 80s.
Old Lady Next to Me, "I had a stroke so this is the first real meal I have had in 5 months."
Me, "How is it?"
Old Lady, "Bland."
Me, “So what’s having a stroke like?”
Old Lady, “Like being trapped.”
Me, “Trapped inside a dead body?”
Her, “That’s a really good way of putting it. I think I should be dead.”
Me, “Do you regret being alive right now?”
Old Lady (shrug) “I am thankful I got to see my grandkids again.” (to the waiter) “Bring another bottle, this time to this side of the table.”
It turned out she worked on the original The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Em’s Hubby was there by chance, part of his new job. He saw me and crossed over.
Em’s Hubby, “Hey, take it easy. I am worried about a John Belusi situation happening.”
Me, “What do you mean, with me?”
Em’s Hubby (pat on my back) (laugh), “Yeah.”
Me, “Oh God no, all things in moderation.” Really, I am just in an experimentation stage. Four days out of the week I am sober and playing Scrabble, but I am pretty sure no one wants to read detailed blogs about that.
Em’s Hubby invited me outside for a smoke with one of his new co-workers, so I chased them out in my peach vodka fog.
I said, “I heard Oliver Stone is bi-sexual, which ruins the fantasy of ever having unprotected sex with him.”
Em’s Hubby’s Co-Worker, “I am sure he wouldn’t want to have unprotected sex with you.”
Me, “Why not? A 71-yr-old director tried to have unprotected sex with me last week.”
Co-Worker, “Yeah, but he’s not Oliver Stone.”
Me, “Are you kidding me? He would have unprotected sex with me just BECAUSE he is Oliver Stone.”
The awards show went on and on and on. The alcohol drained out of us and I struggled for a signal on my phone a) to update my Facebook status and b) to get Em into the after-party . . . which I did.
She was outside with two men at a table. I joined her and we were already both amped up on alcohol. I stroked her hair and announced that I loved her and she informed Austin how perfect of an event this was for me since I love old horror movies.
We chased down a boy and convinced him to let Em pose in his cowboy hat for pictures. He spoke slowly with large eyes so I think he believed we were blasted. I didn’t feel off my game anymore than usual. I kicked off my heels and spoke to Em’s Hubby quite a bit as Austin circled around the party.
I was explaining how I sent Alan an email prior to visiting him the coming weekend. I started spotting, common for going on the pill, but I was worried it would be awkward when we had sex so I sent him an email:
ME: June 23 at 1:42pm
“I started taking the pill 2 weeks ago and now there is blood dripping out of my vagina.”
Alan: June 23 at 2:40pm
"Wow.. that is probably the exact opposite of anything I wanted to read about when I logged into facebook. I don't even know what that means. I hope you are ok."
ME: June 23 at 2:44pm
“Hahhaha!!!!! No, it's normal. Don't girls talk to you about this? :-) “
Alan: June 23 at 3:21pm “When you are going to spend a rare weekend in bed with someone, there's just some things you'd rather not know about in such detail.”
Ok, now I was having doubts. Maybe this guy wouldn’t get me.
ME: June 23 at 3:31pm
“I say what I think and thought it better to tell you instead of hide it from you. That's me. So if you want to be with me, it's something you will have to respect.”
Alan: June 23 at 3:33pm
“I didn't say for you not to talk about it. I said I didn't want to know. You can do whatever you want with that but they are different. :P “
Me Drunk: June 23 at 5:46pm
“Be sensitive with me. I am honest which gives me power but also makes me vulnerable to criticism.”
I spoke openly about it all at the after-party to Em’s Hubby as men slowed down to study Em and me, trying to piece together if we were single or not.
Em’s Hubby, “You don’t have to talk about everything all the time, especially at a place like this and to this poor guy in San Diego. No one wants to know that.”
A handsome gentleman, a little older than me caught my sideways glance and stepped forward as if it was an invitation. I think it was since I was getting the feeling that Em’s Husband was upset with me.
Producer, “What are we talking about?”
Em’s Hubby, “She is about to go down and spend a weekend with a guy she likes and she sent him a Facebook message telling him she is spotting blood.”
Me, "I wanted to tell him I was spotting in case he didn't want me to come down and have intercourse with him."
Producer, "If you were rolling in feces on his bed, he would still want you to go down and have sex with him."
I laughed. The producer tilted his glass, nodded and took a drink.
Producer, “Who are you here with?”
I said, “A guy I went on a date with a year and change ago.”
Producer, “Why is he taking you to this?”
Me, “Well he has been trying to get me to go out with him since.”
Producer, “For over a year?”
Em’s Husband turned away, sipping his drink and manically smoking his Spirits.
I said, “That’s right.”
Producer, “And this is what it took to get another date with you.”
Me, “That’s right.”
Producer, “Does he know you are driving down to see someone else in San Diego tomorrow?”
Producer, “Huh. Why are you dating someone all the way in San Diego?”
Me, “Because he is smart and funny. That’s hard to find.”
Producer, “Well . . . good luck.”
Em’s Husband turned back around, “So where did we leave this?”
Producer, “I wish the best for San Diego. I hope it all works out.”
After some polite questions about his business, and my documentary, he gracefully stepped away, leaving me with Em’s Husband.
Em’s Husband, “Why can’t you just tone it down?”
Me, “I am not hurting you. It doesn’t affect you.”
Em’s Husband, “Am I being hurt by your general insanity? Yes.”
Me, “No one cares. I am here independently.”
Em’s Husband, “Can you think about me and my career first?”
Me, “No, I am too busy thinking about me and my career.”
Em’s Husband, “I think its in bad taste. I think you make people uncomfortable and just do that thing you do. Oliver Stone and unprotected sex . . .”
Me, “No one cares, it’s a Hollywood party.”
Em’s Husband, “These are my co-workers. I just can’t have you two running around being crazy.”
Me, “Please, my stories were probably the highlight of their evening.”
Em’s Husband, “Do you even know who that was?”
Me, “That guy? Some producer . . .”
Em’s Husband, “We don’t know. I might want to work with him.”
Me, “That doesn’t have anything to do with me.”
Em’s Husband, “Yes it does. He might be someone I will work with. Now he knows me only as the guy with the girl talking about her bloody vagina.”
Me, “He won’t even remember you. He will always remember me and our conversation, and not because I am one of the many actresses at this party.”
Em’s Husband, “And your date looks miserable.”
Me, “No he doesn’t.”
Em’s Husband, “Yes he does, you keep talking to everyone else but him.”
Me, “He excused himself to go talk to some people.”
Em’s Husband, “You know, one of these days, a couple years from now, I am going to make you cry.”
Me, “You are going to make me cry? Do you have any idea what type of people I’ve worked for?”
Em’s Husband, “Oh, doesn’t matter. I’ve been holding back. One of these days I won’t.” His eyes narrowed as he sucked out the remainder of his cigarette.
Me, “I accept the challenge.”
Listen, I love Em and her husband. They are the closest thing to a family I have out here. The idea that my general zaniness and off-the-cuff behavior bothers either of them or Alan leaves me with doubt. When do I grow up?
After going into the exclusive after-party area behind a curtain with a life sized version of ROUS (Rodents of Unusual Size from The Princess Bride) and a few of the award winners, I felt my feet get cold and my body winding down. I was looking for Jeffery Ross, who hosted but was no longer there. But that’s alright. My feet were killing me and I felt bad.
I ran into the Producer again and said, “My friend thinks I made him look bad. Did I?”
The Producer cupped my face, kissed me on the cheek and said, “No, you’re perfect.” Well then.
I went home with Austin to let the vodka thin out. We sat on his couch and watched a really awesome movie called The Room as he massaged my feet. I heard about it, championed as the worst movie ever made . . . its bad. Oh so bad. And you should rent it with some friends immediately.
Austin offered me a vicadin, which I took half of until I really got into the movie, then I took the other half. I slipped into a dream world, and Austin retired to the bedroom. Why am I popping prescription pills boys hand to me in the middle of the night? I really don't have any kind of a good answer for that.
He woke me up at 5am so I could get a jump start on traffic and get home to feed my dogs.
I was slow moving, so he played some B-sides of the Doors . . . Hyacinth House, their version of Gloria, Moonlight Drive alternate versions, Who Scared You . . . stuff I haven’t been able to listen to over the last few moves since living alone doesn’t motivate me to organize my things. Also, since my last two computers suicided themselves with all my music on it, I have been using the radio, YouTube and Pandora for musical gratification.
We chatted as the sun came up. We examined our gift bags like it was Christmas morning; a DVD collection of the Exorcist and several other DVDs, nail polish, a ball that lights up when you bounce it. Score.
Dear Prudence circulated back to the speakers . . . ♫ ♪ The wind is low . . . the birds will sing . . . That you are part of everything . . . ♫ ♪
It was a fairly respectable seduction. I liked Austin. I could see why he thought we would get along. And after the email exchange with Alan, I found new doubt with the San Diego trip. That said, I wanted to give Alan a chance with a clear mind.
So I went home and listened to music instead of sleeping more. Then I went to work, came home and gave the tour to my dogsitter/co-worker before driving down to San Diego.
TO BE CONTINUED