Late last week, I rescued two terriers from Downey animal shelter. In case you did not know, Canada is short on small dogs. So a few rescues found me through Facebook and compensate me to rescue, transport and sometimes foster small dogs until they are transported to Canada.
This time, I picked up a very small 11 lbs cairn terrier you would see in any movie with a 25 lb mix terrier who looks like a cartoon character. The boy was small and pretty, so I named him Brad. The girl was large and dominating, so I named her Angelina; Angie for short.
While waiting in line, the rescue was deciding which dogs to put down and which dogs to bury at the bottom of the pile to buy time. They brought out a small dog, gray mucus caked to her nose and mouth.
The rescue worker looked her over and said, “Yeah, I think we should just let her go.”
One tear, then three came down my right cheek. I turned to wipe them away before the rescue could see. I am an amateur at this kind of work. When the rescue worker turned to ask me a question, she saw I was misty and told me to wait outside. Then she said, “Stay away from the door. All the owner surrenders will break your heart.”
So I tried to stay away from the door and waited for Angie and Brad. When Brad was handed to me in a blue towel, just out of neutering- the poison slipped away and my churning stomach was flooded with warmth.
When you liberate a dog from a shelter, even if you just pull them, they are stuck to you like water on dirt. Utterly devoted. They sleep by you. They smile at you. They cry when you leave the room or car.
Friday night, Alan showed up around 5am after his new car had trouble on the way. This time when he walked in, we embraced, fast and hard.
As he lay down, exhausted, Angie (who is in a crate in the living room) started crying. Alan’s eyes opened wide. He was exhausted and grouchy.
Alan, “I have never hated a dog I never met before.”
The next morning we took all of them; my two, Angie, Brad and Mr. Wilson on a walk. I led the way. Alan was falling back and not talking. I walk fast and long, most people aren’t used to it.
Me, “Do you still like me?”
Alan, “I told you that that pulled muscle in my chest would hurt for 2 more weeks and I couldn’t go very far.”
I got quiet. I know. With me comes lots of baggage; a big suitcase full of animals.
When we got back to the apartment, I heard him say, “Isn’t there a clean spot in this apartment? I just leaned up against the wall and now there is brown goo on my shirt.”
I quietly fed everyone. Gave Brad his meds to rid him of weezing and coughing.
When we drove to set, he said, “I just wrote this down, ‘Bad mornings give insight. Some people care more about others than themselves. They will give to complete strangers until they have little to nothing left. Its endearing until you enter into a relationship with one like this... once you are in a relationship you become one person essentially and then they stop knowing how to care about you.’ It does not refer to you specifically but its just me thinking about things in general. Especially the last part.”
I said, “That’s very true. Maybe that’s why none of my relationships work out.”
I also thought of Jaq and a book called “Why Men Love Bitches.” Maybe the idea is that men want a woman who wants the best for herself, so when they are one unit, he will also deserve the best. She is worth it, and therefore he is worth it.
With me, you get no furniture, food or free time.
Saturday was the first shoot date for the short film about the Gonzo writer experimenting on hallucinogens.
Alan would be there, which was a relief since during the wardrobe fitting, half of which was lingerie, the director kept hugging me and saying asinine things like, “Those are . . . great panties.”
I was really nervous. The strap for my black bra was missing, so Alan and I went to Target for a robe, a black bra and some black heels. The bottom of my stomach dropped out.
Me, “I feel fat. What if I don’t look skinny? What am I doing?”
Alan, “Why don’t we get you something to eat?”
Me, “No, I am never eating again.”
Alan, “Its funny that you care more about how you will look than your acting.”
Me, “Well, I know I can act. I don’t know I can look skinny.”
We got to set and Alan hugged me.
Alan, “Aww, you’re shaking.”
Me, “I am scared.”
I haven’t ever done anything like this before. Lingerie. A real love scene. I don’t know . . .
The lead of the film was a Greek TV actor who was blocky, plucked, shaved in the wrong spots and totally arrogant not to mention named something stupid, so his alias will be equally lame, “Ballad.” Yeah, it really is that stupid.
After rehearsal, Ballad was complaining that he tore a ligament in his arm from a fight over a basketball game the week before. In a thick accent he said, “I said, ‘You don’t want to fuck with me. Then I punched him in the face, ripped his shirt, took off his pants . . . everything.”
I said, “Took off his pants? Sounds complicated. Was that one leg at a time or . . .” No answer.
So when Saturday came, I didn’t ask anyone if it was ok that Alan come. Since everyone was going to be douchey on a set where I had to wear lingerie and perform a sex scene, I thought it my right to bring an ally.
We showed up and I introduced him to the director, whose face was frozen in a smile. Ballad made small talk, “I hurt my arm in a fight, and I play everything man, golf, basketball, football . . . my arm really hurts though so I won’t be able to bench press your girlfriend today.”
At the head of our first scene, I was forced to wait outside on a fucking hot day. My entrance was through the front door. Alan was waiting outside with me, but out of sight to everyone on set since he was in the shade, a couple steps down from where I was standing.
Ballad made small talk while the lighting and camera got ready.
Ballad, “Is your boyfriend strong?”
Me, “Yes, he can restrain me in bed.”
Ballad, “Really? That’s amazing.”
Me, “Yeah, it is amazing.”
Look, Alan is skinny and looks like a computer geek (a cute one at that). This meathead couldn’t wrap his mind around the idea that a woman would champion any other quality in a man other than his razor burned, short, tan physique.
When Ballad was “playing” a rolling drug user, he was actually kind of interesting. He had a weird Johnny Depp thing going on. Of course, his lack of intellect, insight or height made him totally undesirable in every way.
Make-Up was set up in the one bedroom of this three-room apartment where we were shooting all scenes. There was one chair in the entire room. After make-up was done, it was just Alan, the make-up girl, who was, of course, magnificent and my confidant on set, and me.
Me, “I am a socialist. You stand. I stand.” I pushed the chair out and stood with them.
Makeup, “You are such a fascist.”
Me, “If I was a fascist, I would sit back down in the one chair. Socialism or Communism we would all get a chair or all sit on the ground.”
Alan, “If this was communism, some one would be assigned a chair.”
Me, “If this was capitalism you would be sitting down in the chair.” He is a white male.
Makeup, “No I would be sitting down.” She was the only one paid to be there.
Alan, “No, if this was capitalism, I would sell you a chair.”
We all sat on the floor.
After my first scene was done, I was prepped for a fantasy sequence wearing a corset, ruffled white panties and big angel wings with real feathers.
Alan leaned up against the bedroom door and said, “Wow.”
The scene was just me in front of a screen, with my wings pinned up against both white screens and a fan in my face. I was supposed to move seductively. Footnote* I walk into my bedroom doorknob everyday.
A moron in Victoria’s Secret PJ Jersey said, “Are those your wings?”
I stopped and looked at her.
Pink Jersey, “Oh, well . . . I don’t know.”
Me, “Actually, I just hide them underneath my t-shirt everyday.”
The crew chuckled.
She played a song for me and I tried to put my hips in the music while staring at the DP’s hand held up for my eye line, Make-Up crouching behind my ass holding up my wings and Alan to my right holding a small, dirty fan a foot from my face.
I dragged my hands up my upper torso, cupped my breasts, threw my hair, heavy eyes, lazy smile, whatever.
Thank God, that was awkward.
I dropped the top of my head into Alan’s stomach and said, “How was it?”
He said, “Unbelievable.” I made my dorky nasal snore.
Next, the director asked to talk to Ballad and me in the bedroom alone.
Director, “Ok, next is the love scene.”
Ballad picked up some loose weights in the room and started working out right there in front of the mirrored closet. (I do not exaggerate these people. I swear to God. This asshole was watching himself pump iron while discussing our love scene.)
Now, the script only has one small line of action for the love scene. My character, Renee, mounts the lead actor topless wearing angel wings. In my mind, this sounded artistic.
Director, “So the love scene will be shot in 4 set-ups, I mean 5. First one, you mount Ballad and rip his top off. Then he takes off your dress.”
Me, “This is a bra top dress, so I am not wearing a bra underneath this. It will just be my breasts.”
Uhhhh . . .
Director, “Shot two will be your ankles wrapped around the back of his neck, with him on top of you like this . . . may I demonstrate.”
He did. My legs were straight up, I mean, straight up.
Me, “Really? Are you serious?”
Director nods abruptly and says, “Yes. The camera will be over his shoulder right on you.”
Me, “Um. Alright.” Did I just say that?
Director, “Shot three will be you laying on your back topless, faking orgasm. Just like in that video you sent me.”
I did a short film, a comedy, where I orgasm in a slip while on the phone with my intern. It was silly.
Me, “You want me to orgasm!? Topless?!”
Director, abrupt nod and, “Yes!”
Me, “Are you SERIOUS?”
Director nodded again, while looking straight down to the floor.
Me, “Alright, then what?” Now, I was just curious.
Director, “Shot four is his head going down your chest to your crotch.”
Ballad was very confused about this shot . . . hmmmmm, I wonder why.
Director, “There will be one of him thrusting from behind, like um . . . doggie style?” He tried to play this off like he didn’t know English very well.
Me, “Um, really?”
Director, “The last shot is you in angel wings, sitting on his lap kissing him.”
Oh yeah, the only SHOT IN THE FUCKING SCRIPT! And that’s SIX set-ups!
I said, “Ok.”
I was already shaking my head. Still, when I think about this shoot, my head just starts shaking. I mean . . . what the fuck? This was being sprung on me just before we shoot. It was such an obvious bullshit move. And I was falling for it, totally aware of the manipulation . . . and STILL agreeing to it.
Now, I had already told Alan I would be uncomfortable kissing another man in front of him. He said, “Whatever you want. Whatever makes you comfortable.”
The Director pulled me aside and said, “Can your boyfriend wait off set? Just to make everyone more comfortable, especially Ballad.”
I said, “Yes, we already spoke about it. He will be off set.”
The Director put his Indian hands together and nodded, “Thank you.”
Me, “This better be shot tastefully. I am trusting you with everything here.”
Director, “I know.”
Me, “And if it isn’t shot tastefully, I will kill you.”
Me, “I am serious. I will KILL you.”
He bowed his head and said, “Thank you for trusting me.”
I really liked his last short film. It is probably one of the best I have seen, professionally or otherwise. I liked the script and concept. That is the only reason I went forward. That and the whole thing scared me. Feeling scared makes me feel powerless, so I would rather just confront it.
So on set was Make-Up, The Director of Photography, The Director and the moron in the pink jersey (just because they thought having ALL the women on set would make me more comfortable).
Ballad, the Director and I stepped out once more so I could show them how complicated it was pulling a sundress with a control bra top off. The band gets caught and it looks funny when part of a dress is tugged upward, while the other half remains.
When we went through a working trial, Pink Jersey said, “Are you guys finally ready, after your millionth rehearsal?”
She is a kid with cheap make-up. Its fine. I might have said the same thing sitting fully clothed on a couch, waiting to start an education just out of high school.
I was once friends with a director who did amazing movies in the 80s and 90s, and he said, during one particular movie half of you have seen, his A-list actors asked to review the story boards just before their love scene. He said, “It was ridiculous. I said, fine, you wait here on set in Serbia while we send off to Los Angeles for the exact story boards.”
I went into the kitchen and took two shots of whiskey. I get why they asked for the story boards now.
The apartment was fucking hot. We had to shut the air conditioning off so it wouldn’t muffle audio. I don’t know if you have ever been in a sealed off apartment with a bunch of sweaty boys, half of which are Indian, but it smells like the back lot of Hurry Curry (a cheap, weird restaurant in Venice).
The girl who lived in the apartment kept walking through the set, spraying a can of Febreze in the air saying, “Every room smells like him.” The Director was sweating buckets of Indian curry.
Hiding in my room with the Make-Up Girl and Alan, I said, “I am sweating like a . . . like an . . . Indonesian Barbie shop.”
Make up, “Like a fisherman on the back porch of his swamp house in Pensicola?”
Alan, “Like a Tijuana hooker on payday?”
We both laughed.
Me, “I keep putting on deodorant but I can’t tell if its my BO I am smelling or not.”
Alan, “You need something like what I have.”
Me, “I don’t want to use deodorant with aluminum in it. It causes breast cancer.”
Alan, “You have to choose cancer or smell bad. I choose to cancer.”
I ascended from the back room and sat down on the set bed. I don’t know if anyone can really identify with a moment where you are on a bed in front of an audience, holding a thin robe over your breasts trying to get in the mood to make love to someone you despise . . . but it makes you very grouchy.
Before getting down there with Euro trash, I sniffed both my pits.
Me, “Yeah, I’m good.”
Ballad, “I’ve never seen a woman do that in my entire life.”
Me, “Welcome to America.”
Everyone was trying to lighten the mood by selecting music to play during the shoot. The DP said, “I have the perfect thing.” He held up his phone when the cover art of a Michael Bolton album popped up.
Me, “Michael Bolton. No fucking way. NEXT!”
DP, “Ok . . ok . . ."
Then Bon Jovi came on.
I put my hand on his shoulder and I said, “Listen to me, what I am going to say is going to help you for the rest of your life: Never play Michael Bolton or Bon Jovi for a girl. You will never get laid.”
Pink Jersey pulled up some stupid pop bullshit. Ballad said, “NOOOOO!”
Pink Jersey said, “Wait, what about this?”
On came “She Loves Everybody” by Chester French. Listen to it here
The slow electric guitar accompanied sluggish drums. It was a sexy song.
Pink Jersey, “It’s the song Alan suggested.”
She Loves Everybody. Great. What’s THAT supposed to mean?
We did the rip off the clothes scene. We kissed and fell to the bed.
Ballad, “Can you keep to my right so you don’t block my profile?”
Me, “Of course.”
Take the profile, asshole.
He kissed too rough. Heavy and deliberate. He was performing. I was trying to be tender, I don’t know how else to make love. His beard was growing in and scratched my face. His arms were bulky and unwelcoming. And he tasted like a Slim Jim.
We cut the ankles around his neck scene, since the camera couldn’t find the angle. And the doggie style, thank God! THANK GOD!
The next scene was me orgasming, topless on a bed as the dolly moves up my torso, over my face and on to candles. Ugh.
Did it in one take.
Pink Jersey said, “Wow, that sounded really believable.”
I said, flatly, “I know. Lots of practice.”
The crew laughed.
Then the comments:
The Director, “I am putting this on my reel.”
The DP, “I am putting this on MY reel.”
Me, naked, “That’s right, everyone put it all over the internet. That’s just great.”
The DP, “We could send this to Vivid.”
Me, “Not funny.” In fact, I was getting angry.
The dolly is a platform on wheels, dragged with a camera on it to create fluid movement. Someone needs to push the dolly, so the DP said, “I am gonna need my whole crew in here to watch this.” He laughed.
I looked him square in the eyes, with a frown.
He said, “Just kidding.”
In between takes, they kicked on the A/C. I had no idea where Ballad went, but he disappeared, probably because he was not the star of these particular scenes. Sadly, I was.
The next scene was Ballad going down on me. Unfortunately, I was wearing my nice lace panties that can easily fall over one vaginal lip or the other if I angle my body. The fact that Ballad was face to face with my cooch makes me want to douche with a can of diesel.
I could feel his breath on my stomach and pelvis. I grabbed the back of his greasy hair to make it more erotic. All I thought about was Alan on the other side of that door.
The final shot was me mounting him topless in angel wings. I was waiting until camera was ready with a flannel robe around my chest.
Pink Jersey, “Should we find another song to keep things going?”
A few failed attempts on Alan’s phone pumped a nasty, “No, leave it!” from Ballad. I guess he was feeling vulnerable and grouchy too, even towards the one girl who seemed welcoming of his sexual advances.
The camera was ready. I disrobed. Then there was more negotiation over the shot. I said, “CAN WE PLEASE SHOOT THIS? I AM NAKED HERE!!”
The Director, “Ok, ok here we go.”
We shot it. Ballad kissed me hard, but there was a tender moment where he laid his head on my breasts, with feathered wings on either side of me. I hope they choose that one. It was the only genuine moment I remember.
After three takes, we wrapped those scenes.
We opened the door so we could breath through the Indian perspiration. Before running to Alan and oxygen, I had to shower off Ballad’s sweat. It soaked through my panties and was all over every part of my body.
When I emerged, Alan was right there. I just walked up to him and hugged him. He held me. Everyone flooded out on the small porch to feel fresh air.
Ballad came out, facing us, “Aww, that right there is real love.”
I turned around and laughed, “We just started dating.” I didn’t want to challenge what it is, but the truth was we were just beginning. Is love even possible?
The DP said, “When we picked a song, she immediately liked the one you picked. That means you share the same soul.”
I looked up at the DP, he was in his 30s, also foreign but from Eastern Europe somewhere. I smiled. That was a nice thing to say.
Then he said, “So are you telling me I have trouble getting laid because of Michael Bolton?”
Me, “Yes. Yes. That is exactly what I am telling you. It’s the 21st century, dude. Embrace it."
Alan and I slipped off to hide in a staircase attached to a building adjacent of the set. I sat there, with my chin resting on my knees and said, “I feel like they just stole a piece of me. I don’t know, I feel really vulnerable and used. I hate men.”
Alan said, “Men deserve to be hated sometimes.”
Me, “Men act like you should be flattered everyone wants to see you topless, moaning while they stand around with hard-ons. Like it makes you feel sexy. It’s not just the scene, its men in general. Always after you. It’s exhausting. I don’t feel sexy. I feel like prey.”
Alan, “Well, sometimes I am going to let you make mistakes. It’s hard to watch, but I know you wanted to experience this, so you could write about it.”
Me, “Yeah. I did.”
I wrapped my arms around his knees and he collapsed over me, hugging my back.
Me, “Thank you for being here.”
I could feel some hot tears stain his jeans.
Alan rubbed my back, “Aww.”
Me, “Its fine. Its just a weird feeling, that’s all.”
Alan, “Well, now you know what it feels like. And next time you will say no.”
I don’t want to take back the experience. I want to understand it more. The greatest part about it all is that Alan understood why I did do it, without judgement and then he articulated it for me.
We returned to set, and everyone was studying my face. They were curious, too.
The Director said, “Very well done. Do you want to see it? Its very tasteful.”
Me, “I saw myself orgasm on screen once with a sex tape I made when I was 16. I never want to see that again.”
The Director, “It was a great performance. Perfect.”
Me, “Yeah, well if I gave you a real version, it would sound something like this: (Cue me doing a foghorn impression) And then you would ask for something different, so I just jumped ahead and gave you what I thought you wanted.”
He clasped his hands together in Buddhist prayer and said, “Thank you.”
I changed in the room with Alan. The next scene involved wearing black lingerie; waking up next to Ballad and dumping out the experimental hallucinogen he was tripping on. I stood there in black panties and a black bra. Gawd. What was I doing on this project?
Alan, “You look amazing.” Oh yeah, that’s what I was doing on this project. Seeing if I could pull off sexy.
Ballad’s action was to throw me back on the bed and stab me to death, thinking I am a demon.
I was actually looking forward to this scene the most, as I have always wanted to die on screen. Sadly, my direction was to just fall limp and stay still while being stabbed to death. Snore.
There was about 2 liters of fake blood poured all over my stomach, a gash was glued to my side and a fake knife was given to Ballad who really got into the role and stabbed the life out of the pillow less than an inch from me.
My eyes were closed, but I could feel spit and fake blood splatter all over me as he screamed, “Die! DIE! Die you fucking demon!!!”
The first few times, my arms came up just in a defensive reflex. Then I heard a voice in my mind say, “This can’t hurt you. This can’t hurt you at all.”
And I let go. It made me feel safe to let go.
Until I heard things like, “The fake knife is broken. Can we use a real one?”
I opened my eyes, “No fucking way. No!”
And . . . Ballad, “How about I stab her once and then punch her in the face a few times?”
Director, “No, lets just stick with the stabbing.”
At this point, the whiskey numbed out whatever was left of my sensibilities. Alan was in the corner watching me. The make-up girl was over me with blood looking annoyed. And the boom operator lowered the mic to my mouth and said, “Do you want to say anything for the record?”
I said, “I would like to know if my vagina is hanging out?”
The Boom Operator moved the mic to the sound guy then back to me. No reactions.
Me, “Nothing? Ok. Whatever.”
Take me. Take all of me.
After that scene, they couldn’t tell us if we were wrapping or not, so Alan and I pretty much just left. It was 12 hours. I was worried about the dogs. I hadn’t really eaten and I needed to process whatever the fuck I just went through.
On the drive home, I just kept shaking my head.
Me, “Every time I think about this project, I just shake my head.”
Alan, “No one is going to see this movie. It’s going to be a piece of shit.”
Me, “If those bits of me topless orgasming leak out on to the internet, my career is screwed.”
Alan, “No its not. You just have to learn to say no, that’s all. Cameron Diaz has a very bad movie from her early career called BONDAGE, where she didn’t know not to say no.”
Me, “Was she topless in it?”
Alan, “Oh yeah. She has spent millions trying to destroy that movie, but with the internet its impossible. Terrible movie. She still had a career.”
Me, “That makes me feel better. I am just feeling so angry.”
Alan, “I understand. If you want to take it out on me, that’s perfectly ok. Let it all out.”
Me, “I don’t want to take it out on you. I want to kick the shit out of that director. Now I know why actors are so bitchy.”
Alan, “Yeah. You’ve got to be.”
We came home and walked the dogs. Then we got beer. Then we made love.
I got my soul back.
When we were done, I said, “I am gonna fix my life for you.”
Alan, “I want to fix your life for you.”
Me, “No, I just need to organize. I feel really close to something great.”
I bent down to kiss him.
Alan, “I know you are.”
I was texted my 8:30am call time at 5:30am. That made the morning rough. I didn’t want to go back to set.
Alan said, “You should just blow it off. Show them how much power you do have and ruin the movie.”
Me, “No, I made a commitment. The good thing about all my problems is some couples have to pay for retreats and trust exercises. We just have my life. And it’s free.”
We discussed what to do with the dogs, and decided he would stay, feed and walk everyone while I went ahead to set. He would meet me there.
When I left, I chased after him with his sunglasses and said, “Love you.” I kissed him and then saw the biggest smile I have ever seen on Alan. Better than Jackass 3.
Now, I know the pheromones in my brain are clouding judgment and we are just getting to know each other, but if you feel it . . . does that make it real?
90 minutes later, he showed up to set.
I greeted him at his car, still in my street clothes.
Me, “This is what you missed, nothing has been shot yet, the AD slept in and the director left to go find him . . . the neighbors called the cops, I was forced to review my professional resume with Ballad since he was so God damn condescending, and you know he insisted on lifting weights again while we talked and tore the tendon in his arm even more and . . . yeah, that’s about it. Thank God you got me stoned before I came to set.”
A man in his early 60s called to me from his balcony, parallel to the street where we parked.
Man, “Hey, sweetheart, what’s your name?”
I told him.
Man, “I have a housewarming present for you.”
I climbed the stairs to his balcony and he dropped a broccoli sized marijuana bud in my hand.
I said, “Thank you. God, I love California.”
Alan took his volcano with him to set, plugged it in and proceeded to get stoned throughout the day. It doesn’t noticeably alter his behavior. I wonder how dangerously sharp he would be if he didn’t smoke.
My first scene took off at 12:30pm. The AD was on set, I pulled him aside and said, “I want you to know that I couldn’t make love to my boyfriend this morning because of you. And I only get to see him once every few weeks.”
He said, “Seriously?”
I kind of laughed a “yeah.” Yeah.
The scene involved my character blowing passed Ballad’s publishing agent and confronting him about his drug use.
So I was forced to wait outside the front door, in dry heat, with some other punk actor.
There was a hole in the side of the apartment building wall.
He said, “I dare you to stick your finger in that hole.”
I said, “You stick your finger in that hole, then stick it up your nose.”
Him, “Do you dare me?”
Him, “Gross, GROSS. There is like cigarette butts in there. I don’t want to go out with a girl like you. I don’t want to go have drinks with you, at all.”
Me, “Did you read about this kind of tactic for picking up women from a book or something?”
Him, “I don’t read.”
Me, “Audio tape?”
A voice from inside, “Action!”
We did the scene, blah fucking blah.
Next scene was Ballad hearing pounding on the wall, and then walking out to see a hallucination of himself making out with me against the wall.
Alan was taking production stills with his phone. When we got the blocking down (where we physically stand in the scene from beginning to end), I saw Alan slip off set.
Later, I found out Ballad asked Alan if he wanted to watch him kiss his girlfriend. Alan then left.
After that, I had a scene where I was put in demonic make-up for the hallucination, right before Ballad stabs me. That took a good 30-40 minutes.
While we waited, I said to Alan, “If I ever die, you have permission to date the Make-Up girl. I really like her.”
Alan, “You think we are breaking up after you die? No way.”
Me, “You will finally have a chance to enjoy anal sex with me."
Me, “Yeah, we need someone else to stop us before going down conversations like this.”
After laying in corn syrup in my underwear, I asked them to hold shooting in the bathroom so I could clean off the half gallon of blood in my hair and skin.
The AD’s first words were, “Clean up?”
I showered in my lingerie and Alan said, “Wow, showering with lingerie on is really hot.”
Even with demonic make-up on?
Before we left set, we said our goodbyes.
The director hugged me and I said, “Thanks for dealing with my feelings, of which I had many.”
Alan saluted Ballad and said, “Bye, I will probably never see you in anything ever again.”
We went home after that- with the intention of showering and going over to Em’s for Fourth of July veggie burgers and beer.
Instead, we made love. Somehow time just got away from us.
In the middle, I heard Angie growling at one of my pit bulls in the next room.
With my legs in the air, I said loudly, “NUH UH!!!”
The growling stopped. Silence.
Me, “Ok. Sorry.”
Alan laughed and collapsed on me.
My mind was in a fog from the sex scene, being stabbed, falling in love, having no time between rescuing these dogs and jumping on set, throw in an audition for a California Milk commercial (which is great for being a vegan) . . . I was just in a permanent state of confusion, but bi-polar confusion.
We showed up to Em’s about an hour late. I could tell that annoyed them a bit.
Then I asked Em’s Hubby why he said he wanted to make me cry at the after-party from last week.
I don’t even really remember the conversation, but it went badly. I can’t recount it very well since I had a couple glasses of champagne with minimal food. I felt myself just dim shut.
I was despondent, not just to Em and her company but to Alan too.
Alan was working to keep me talking, to keep my mind moving in different directions.
He said, “You haven’t had time to process the filming, the rescue, all these things that happened and you have this guy staying at your house keeping you from reflecting on it all.”
I said, “I am glad you are with me, I would have gotten lost otherwise.”
I chain-smoked. Then on the drive back, we ran over an opossum.
We left shortly after, came home and walked the dogs again.
Wilson was the happiest I have ever seen him, I think he loves being around the other dogs.
Alan, “Wilson is really happy here. I don’t think he is a city dog. I would leave him here if I knew for sure I could be back next weekend. I just don’t want to leave him for more than a week.”
I said, “I understand. The invitation is always open if you want to leave him here.”
Alan, “Yeah, I need him. (pause) We have a nice little pack here.”
Me, “I know.”
Brad, Angie, Maggie, Esther and Wilson were all walking in harmony with each other. It’s quite the sight to see a small purse sized dog lead two pit bulls and a weird terrier mix with a perma-smile on her face trail behind.
Alan said, “The kissing scene really bothered me more than I thought it would. I was surprised. The sex scene I didn’t care about, but the kissing really got to me.”
Me, “I’m sorry.”
Alan, “No its ok. Its something that will have to come up again in your career.”
I grabbed his arm and kissed his neck.
Alan, “There are all these things that make you perfect, but I don’t want to tell you what they are because it will change.”
I said, “I like that. Don’t tell me.”
The next day, my mind still wasn’t functioning. I went to Doggie Daycare to pick up my paycheck and Ocean said, “Hi!! HI! Are you ignoring me? Are you not interested unless it’s a lesbian with black glasses and a hat.”
I said, “No, no . .. my head is just way above me. I think I am in love. I haven’t had a chance to catch up to this weekend.”
I called in sick to work. We went to pawn shops, a cannabis club, a petco . . . drove around Pasadena. We were talking about nothing in particular when he said, “We both made a choice not to be normal.”
Me, “Did I make a choice? Actually, yes, I remember making the decision in 1st grade.”
Alan, “I remember making the choice, too.”
Me, “I don’t know if it’s really a choice. I couldn’t be what they were.”
Alan, “Me either, but its something we own now.”
We got Chinese food.
My fortune cookie read: “Rough Times are Behind You.”
We both laughed at that one.
His read: “A man's greatness is measured only by his dreams.”
He had to leave around 3am at the latest to make his 7:30am class in San Diego, leaving us only a few hours together.
We walked the dogs and then went to bed.
I spoke briefly about what happened with Em and her husband. I felt like I was just saying what I thought, and I didn’t mean to evoke conflict or emotions . . . that seems recklessly naïve now, looking back.
He said, “Sometimes, people don’t know how to understand someone, so you put on a costume to make it easier for them.”
I said, “A costume? Shouldn’t we force them to accept us for who we are?”
Alan, “No, it’s just a costume. You wear it when you go out with other people. Make it easy for them and yourself. Then when you come home, you take it off.”
I thought about that. I always feel like people should accept things for what they are, but I have been living life the hard way for a long time.
In his arms, I heard him say, “How could I know someone so perfect all these years?”
I said, “I was thinking the same thing.”
We fell asleep; I woke up at 2am to the sound of packing. He leaned over me in bed and said, “I have to remind myself that I am going to see you in 3 days.”
I put my head in his lap.
One last walk and I let him go.
I fell asleep and had a dream I ran into the Prophet on the street. He was a little heavier now and wearing headphones. He took them off an smiled at me.
Then I dreamt about Alan, a social reject constantly underestimated by strangers. Devilishly brilliant.
He might not be the one I end up with (though my heart and vagina think so), but he is something.
I wish I could tie this together with a big lesson learned, but I am still standing a little outside of myself, looking both directions, trying to figure it all out.