Saturday, June 30, 2012

Making Bad Decisions I Don’t Regret

You might ask yourself, where was I thinking of Abe in all of this? Probably if you are Abe, reading this.

A few days into Cannes, after his birthday (on which I called international), I waited for him to email me or pop on-line. He never did.

I emailed him: “Am I still in your life?”

There was never a response.

So when you think of how easily I hopped European territories, remember that the love I said goodbye to was completely silent. The saddest part of all was it didn’t change things much.

The morning after “Roberto”, I was lost in him. I realized I had forgotten to leave my card or phone number before fleeing his flat.

I leaned back in the sunshine, while sitting with my peers at the table.

Me, “I think I am in love.”

Someone, “With who now?”

Me, “I never got his name . . .”

I could still feel him and, in my mind, wondered if there was something there. The pavilion where we met could be the landmark to find him again. But it was Saturday, and it was a crazy day. Everything was packed, and just looking at it from behind the security gate was a headache.

That night, all my co-workers and students would be going to a Queer Dance party hosted by Lee Daniels. The word was he may have been too depressed to come out since his film “The Paperboy” polarized critics. No one had picked up the film for distribution, despite Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron and John Cusack headlining . . . not to mention a graphic anal sex scene with Matthew McConaughey.

The women in our group went out to pizza before the dance, and I found myself watching a small French woman, who looked like a Russian doll, eat her pizza with a knife and fork. Eventually, she caught my eye and showed me from two tables away how to eat my cheeseless pizza  . . . then toasted me from across the room.

I love France.

Behind me were two very handsome gentlemen in their late forties. Karisma had asked me to turn it off.

Karisma, “Turn it off. Off.”

Then I would sing, low, “This little light of mine . . . I’m gonna let it shine . . .”

Karisma shook her head, “No. Off.”

Me, “Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it . .  fine.”


We arrived to the Pavilion hosting the event and I was so ready to dance, I was already moving when we arrived. No one was allowed in officially, so off to the side, I danced as the security guard cheered me on.

The manager of the event gave me dirty looks. For every ten people that get a kick out of my energy, my humor and my bizarre public performances, there is at least one person who utterly despises me.

Its hard. I know not everyone will like me, and I really could put a cap on it, but then I would be kind of miserable and they would probably not like me anyway.

When people started filtering in, I knew I couldn’t drink if I was going to dance. Especially after the Hollywood Stones fiasco. A few people already asked me if I was on something. “Where do you find the energy?”

Really, my lame ass dancing just opened the door to more dancing and it became an uninhibited melting pot soon enough.

Darcy had my number and I told him to meet me outside the pavilion at midnight. I didn’t want to introduce him to my peers because his drinking made him unpredictable.

The music was sub-par since one of the students took over the DJ booth during the first half. He was playing a bunch of modern shit I had never heard before, orchestrated on someone’s computer somewhere; no spirit, just beat.

Lee Daniels did eventually show up, happy as can be, with Macy Gray. The kids swarmed around. To them, stars were still like gods.

Earlier in the day, I walked out and saw Brad Pitt walking down the red carpet. People from all ends of the festival ran to the gates, smiling and taking pictures. He was handsome, but really the only thought that occurred was, “His hair really is the exact same color as my dog, Brad. Huh.”

When I walked back to work, I ran into P. Diddy. I thought about telling him he threw a great dance party, but I am not really a fan so . . . why waste both of our time? Because he is a celebrity? Please. You have to pick your moments and make them yours. When you become indiscriminate with your time, your heart, your compliments- you really become absolutely nothing.

Lee Daniels danced and Macy Gray shuffled to the VIP tent to hide from everyone.

I kept dancing, and inevitably sweating. It was a hot, wet night. The clouds were in but it wasn’t raining. My clothes were soaking in humidity and hip hop. And the smell, which I know I have mentioned before, the smell of vegan-ess was rising through my clothes without apology. There was nothing I could do- there were so many of us on the dance floor. Rumor had it, Lee Daniels was high on ecstasy, and now cornered Karisma by the speakers in a two-step.

It was midnight, so I popped out and ran into Darcy, who was, of course, just on his way in. His chest was puffing out, his Scandinavian face blossomed into a big, reluctant smile. I thought about changing before the dance, but ran out of time, and was still in my mother’s capris and a t-shirt.

He took a step back and said, “You smell like a man.”

I smiled, “I know. I have been dancing for 2 hours.”

He said, “I love it. You look . . . adorable.”

Gosh, me? I looked like a poor high school student who was shopping at the Goodwill with someone ELSE’S mom.

He took my hand and looked me up and down- the purple socks, the leopard skin converse, the hair blown through by music, sea storms and sweat.

He said again, “You are too adorable. What can I get you to drink?”

I skipped behind him to the bar. He still liked me. His friend, tall, quiet and hunched over, followed.

Darcy, “This is my friend, Andrew. He is Heath Ledger’s brother.”

The friend nodded. I shook his hand.

Darcy, “You know Heath Ledger, don’t you?”

I said, “Yup. I do.”

I wasn’t going to play into the game. Darcy tried spreading a rumor that he was a rising celebrity’s brother. I can’t remember who it was now, even as I revisit the cast list for movies that week. Half the time, people were impressed and let him get in to parties based on his word. The rest of us knew better.

As for Heath Ledger, he never had a brother.

Darcy, “So, what are you having?”

Me, “Pink champagne.”

He looked me up and down, and smiled with a curl of the lip.

We sipped our plastic cups outside the VIP room. Darcy wanted to try to get us in on the Heath Ledger card, but it didn’t work.

Darcy tried to kiss me, but I backed up. “I can’t here. I have students.”

He said, “I really have to tell you something important, can you come here for a second?”

The corner of his jacket was lifted and I stuck my head in its shadow, just as his lips met mine. He tasted sweet.

Then I said, “I have to go back to dancing.”

He flung his hand up in the air, as if sending me away on his own volition.

I spotted Roche on his way in, and I ran up to greet him.

He smiled down at me and said, “You smell great.”

I lifted my pits and shook the sweat out, “I know, its terrible. There is nothing I can do.”

Roche put his hand on my lower back and said he was just dropping by. I know he had a crush on me, and I knew he didn’t have a chance, but I smiled back anyway.

I returned to the dance floor, and Michael Jackson popped on. THANK GOD!

Dancing, I started my singing thing and kind of joined in with a tall, British woman in a white evening gown and her partner, a tall, skinny boy with a short black hair cut, a red and white striped sailor top and a dinner jacket.

They liked that I was singing, looked at each other and joined me.

The boy was cute, when his mouth opened to smile, I could see two small incisors. I remember thinking, “I wish I was gay so I could have a cute, British gay boy.”

The music would go from Disco to Pop with the occasional winning choice of ABBA or something equally “gay” culture. It was spotty.

The tall boy said, “This has taken a bit of a turn for the weird, hasn’t it?”

Nice . . . accent.

I said, “Well, it is a queer dance, so the DJ probably thinks the only music he can play is Disco.”

He said, “Is this a queer dance?”

I nodded, “Aren’t you gay?”

He shook his head, “No.”


Me, “Oh.”

Before I knew it, he was dancing closer and closer to me.

As the British girl turned to look for someone else, and he came even closer to me, I thought, “I hope she doesn’t hate me for this.”

Then, as he kissed me on the mouth, I thought, “God help me, where is Darcy?”

I pulled back and said, “I can’t kiss you. My students are here.”

British Boy, “Where?”

I pointed to the large group right next to us, “Everywhere.”

He said, “Aw. Shit.”

His hands were on my hips and I knew he could smell me. I really expected stinking that bad would be an aversion- but they all kept rubbing up against me . . . tall, beautiful, Europeans. I wanted this boy. I thought about how I was going to pull off Britain and Darcy in one night. If it could happen in any way, I was going to make it happen.

When Sugar Hill Gang came on, all the whities danced and sang, as a few member of Macy Gray’s entourage coolly slid back and forth behind us.

They laughed at us. That’s right, they LAUGHED in my face.

And you know what I did?

I turned into them and sang my fucking heart out:

♪ ♫ ya start poppin ya fingers and stompin your feet
and movin your body while you're sittin in your seat
and the damn ya start doin the freak
I said damn, right outta your seat
then ya throw your hands high in the air
ya rockin to the rhythm, shake your derriere
ya rockin to the beat without a care ♪ ♫

I wouldn’t waver. I know they thought I should feel embarrassed. They were laughing at me. They were laughing at us for being white, and clunky and for rapping . . . the thing about music is its for all of us.

So I spun, and hopped and rapped, and eventually, I got a closed mouth smile and a little nod. I am sure they just wanted me to go away. I didn’t want to be their friend, I just wanted them to see that Sugarhill Gang was mine too.

Darcy came up and grabbed my hand, stumbling. He was drunk. I liked him sober.

He said, “Come on, time to go.”

I pulled my hand back, “No. I am dancing.”

He put his hand on the air, dismissing me, as he trudged off. I turned back to the British Boy, maybe this night was salvageable.

We had one last song, it was “Heard it through the Grapevine.” Everyone knew it, the blacks, the whites and even the kids. We were all on the dancefloor at the same time, our voices rising through the top of the tent. Our church.

I am playing it now, and remembering putting my arm in the air with twenty others for the refrain:

♪ ♫ Oh I heard it through the grapevine,
Oh and I'm just about to lose my mind.
Honey, honey yeah ♪ ♫

Then I kept going:

♪ ♫ I know that a man ain't supposed to cry,
But these tears I can't hold inside.
Losin' you would end my life you see,
'Cause you mean that much to me.
You could have told me yourself
That you love someone else.
Instead... ♪ ♫

The music makes me take the stage. I draw attention to myself, that’s true. However, the peak for me is when everyone is there standing by me, singing in unison. The hands in the air as we anticipate each note together. Everyone smiling and you can’t turn without bumping into a stranger, sharing the note and the rhythm.

They lifted the lights and the music stopped. Just as a sober moment hits you over the head like Fairy Godmother’s wand, I realized that my supervisors were watching me, drenched in sweat, pink with soul and in the arms of a strange, beautiful British boy.

I said, “I have to do something responsible now, so they don’t think I am just a partier.”

He said, “Alright. Well, shall I wait for you?”

I said, “Please do.”

Checking in with one manager and another, they told me not to worry, that the kids found me relatable . . . but I know I am different, and being LOUD and different makes you less credible. Why couldn’t I just tone it down?

I grabbed a trash bag and started bussing the tables, when Darcy suddenly appeared.

He said, “NOW, can you go?”

I said, “I have to bus these tables first . . .”

Oh God, Oh God . . . where is the British Boy?

Darcy started grabbing cups and throwing them away for me.

My manager said, “Don’t worry about it. Its ok. We got this covered.”

I hurriedly did a sweep before stacking all the chairs. I stacked and stacked and stacked until I really felt utterly useless. Then I grabbed my bag, turned around, and both suitors were gone. This did give me a moment of ease, because having them both there would have been a disaster.

I walked out of the area, and felt the sea breeze blow on my neck and face. That is the only consolation to leaving a dance party- that first breath of cold air. I was alone. Everyone had left, and I was still high on Marvin Gaye.

On a whim, I started walking towards the Palais when my phone rang. It was Darcy.

Darcy, “Where are you?”

He wins.

Me, “I am walking by the Palais now, towards the Croisette.”

Darcy was hard, “Where? I don’t see you.”

I put my hand in the air, “I am standing right here, in one spot.”

Darcy’s voice outside started barking in synch to his voice over the phone, “I am at the Palais facing the street and you are nowhere to be found.”

Me, “Now that is not true, because I can hear your voice.”

Darcy’s voice was behind me, “Bullshit.”

I put down my phone as he walked towards me. He smiled, his hands out.

He is handsome, but he is a terrible drunk. Why did he have to get wasted?

As my hand curled through his arm, we began walking on the inside streets looking for food. It was 2am, and a sandwich stand was still open. I asked for an ice cream cone, and felt my brain swim in sugar and cream for the first time in years.

As Darcy waited for his sandwich, I closed my eyes, “MMMMM, why is that so good?”

Darcy, “Good, eh?”

Me, “Ridiculous.”

We passed by a man in a tuxedo, and he said, “Are you going to the party?”

I said, “Which party? We are looking for a party?”

He said, “At the top of the hill. There is a party.”

I pulled on Darcy’s arm, “We should go.”

Darcy snarled, and in his delicate accent, responded, “You want to go to a fucking party? What for?”

I said, “Um . . . to dance.”

Darcy said, “No, we are going home. (to tuxedo) But thank you.”

I said, “We are going to whose home?”

Darcy, “My home.”

I said, “How do I know you aren’t a serial killer of some kind?”

Darcy, “Bullocks.”

He walked up a step to sit down and fell backwards on his ass.

I said, “You are drunk.”

Darcy, “I am not, I thought there was glass right there. You are rude!”

He stuffed the sandwich in his mouth and I worried he would ruin our Jane Austen affair.

I put out my foot and leaned into my knee, “Are you an alcoholic?”

Darcy, “What makes you think I am an alcoholic?”

Me, “I fall in love with alcoholics.”

Darcy finished his sandwich in no time and said, “Let’s find a taxi.”

Me, “No, I prefer to walk. That way I can find my way back.”

Darcy, “Its a long way up that hill.”

Me, “I prefer to walk it.”

Darcy, “Well, I don’t.”

Me, “Why are we having a domestic dispute on our first date? Is this how intense our love affair is going to be? Are we in a relationship now? Is that what is happening?”

He smiled and took my arm.

Darcy, “If you prefer to walk, let’s walk.”

We walked up the hill. The festival is by the seaside with a few streets walled in with restaurants and retail vendors.

The rest of the city is straight up a very steep hill.

It was a rigorous walk, so I am glad I had on my good converse. It also helped my drunk suitor sweat a bit of the alcohol out.

Me, “Are we there yet?”

Darcy, “No, we are a third of the way there.”

Me, “Are you serious?”

Darcy, “You insisted on walking.”

We climbed, and danced along cobble stones, and old railings, houses with storm shutters closing out my giggling and his banter.

We stopped.

Me, “How much further?”

Darcy, “Halfway there.”

Me, “(breathing heavily) . . . fuck”

Darcy wouldn’t let me stop, “Come on then, we have to keep going.”

We stopped at the base of very tall, outdoor stairs. I looked up the thing and shook my head.

Me, “Seriously?”

He said, “I am just at the top of this staircase. Now, you should know my parents are staying with me.”

Me, “What?”

Darcy, “Yes, well they wanted to see the festival this year. The red carpet and all that shit. Its too much for them, they won’t want to come again.”

Me, “Oh.”

Darcy, “Just be quiet when we go inside, alright?”

I nodded, took in a deep breath and climbed the stairs until we reached an outside gate. He unlocked it, and carefully stepped over grass trying to overthrow what must have been a couple hundred years worth of stone laid out for our step.

The house was old, and I of course, loved it.

We walked in and climbed a spiral staircase to his bedroom. It was barely lived in, with only a few pieces of film flyers, a schedule and a bunch of change dumped out over the dresser.

He froze, so I froze. We listened.

Darcy, “They are up.”

I looked around a little like I didn’t know what that meant.

He said, “Would you like a drink?”

I said, “Please.”

He came back with a glass of wine, and I sat on the bed.

Me, “So, what do you do?”

He said, “I buy comedy and horror movies.”

Me, “For?”

Darcy, “Norway.”

Me, “Oh, you are Norwegian. I wasn’t sure, your accent sounds British.”

Darcy, “Oh?” He took a sip. He was confident.

Me, “Speak to me in Norwegian.”

He did.

I giggled and bounced on his bed.

He crawled up to me and kissed me.

We disrobed and he tried to enter me without protection. I felt dirty . . . in a liberating way.

I pushed him back a little and said, “Do you have genital herpes?”

He said, “No, my doctor says I am immune to genital herpes.”

I laughed, “That’s not possible.”

Darcy said, “Yes it is. He told me so.”

Everything he said rung out with such authority like it was struck from our very own liberty bell, I wasn’t about to argue with him.

He had a wonderful body, smooth and sculpted. He also was just rough enough to play without pushing me to question the tone of our affair. It was friendly.

We were about banter, push and pull, teasing- and without question he entered me without a condom.

Even as I write this, I take in a breath remembering how good it felt. He fit perfectly, and when he moved, it tickled until I climaxed.

He said, “Did you just cum?”

I nodded, holding my hand over my head, “Yeah, I never cum the first time. That’s weird.”

He kept going, and once again, I don’t remember how it ended. Did he cum? Did he not cum?

I only remember him saying, “Why the hell is there sand in my bed?”

I sleepily responded, “Because I took a nap on the beach today.”


When I woke up, the early morning orange broke through his cracked storm shutter. It was early.

Rolling over, I put my arm around his bare body and rested my chin on his shoulder, wondering if it was a turn off for him. He embraced me.

I wondered if he was the one. Was he the one who will fly me out to Norway, show me the world, meet my parents, get me pregnant . . . will he be the one that falls in love with me, the way I fall in love with them?

I said, “I am so tired.”

Darcy, “Me too . . . and I have to go to Monaco today.”

Me, “I haven’t slept in 2 weeks.”

Darcy, “Me either, well I get about 4 hours a day. No one sleeps in Cannes.”

I grabbed the glass at the bed stand and took a swallow.

Darcy, “That’s wine, you know?”

I put down the glass, turned and looked at him, “Oh, I know.”

He turned and kissed me, passionately. I thought about my breath, my hair . . . were my eyes puffy, did I smell better or worse than last night?

His tongue suspended all worry, as it wrapped around mine, and I gave into him again.

We made love and he said, “Do you want me to cum inside of you?”

I said, “You can’t. I’m not on birth control.”

Darcy, “Do you want me to cum? I am about to.”

Good Lord, why does it do it for me?

We simultaneously orgasmed. This is such a rare occasion, that I remember the last time I had a simultaneous orgasm- which was Christmas morning with my husband (at the time) in 2003.

All the lovers I have had since, the ones I felt comfortable enough to orgasm with, withdrew before cumming, leaving my chamber empty to climax alone.

This was the first time somebody surrendered with me in the moment, without a thought to the consequence. It felt like the ultimate release. We both held each other for a moment.

He said, breathlessly, “Why do you orgasm so easily?”

Me, “I don’t usually.” Usually someone is more responsible than me. “You have a nice cock.”

Darcy, “Thank you.”

Me, “Or should I stop outside and thank your mother?”

He laughed. Then listened for her.

Laying back with his cock drained and beached on the top of his thigh, he said, in an American accent, “Surely you can’t be serious. ‘Yes, and don’t call me surely.”

I laughed.

Darcy, “‘Nice beaver! ‘Thanks, I just had it stuffed.’”

I giggled again. I love "Airplane". GESUS, I am a dork.

Darcy, “‘Pull-over!’ ‘No it's a cardigan but thanks for asking!"

I giggled again, too loud to hide from his parents, but he just smiled and lay still.

Darcy, “Why is there sand in my bed?”

Me, “I told you, I slept on the beach yesterday.”

He brushed the sand off his sheets.

I said, “Can I take a shower?”

He said, “Well, you can. But I have to warm up the water first. This is a very old building.”

I said, “Shit.”

Getting dressed, I caught my face in the mirror. My eyes were puffy, my hair outrageous. I stood in my underwear shaking my head.

Me, “Christ. I look tired. What if I get pregnant?”

Darcy, “Well, then you’re fucked.”

Darcy put on his underwear, it had a cartoon airplane printed across the front of it. So, I took a picture of him.

He, then, took a picture of me in my underwear.

After getting dressed, quietly, we tip toed passed the other bedroom, and I slowly descended down the staircase with my sunglasses on. He hung over the banister, smiling at me.

I pushed on the door.

Darcy whispered, loudly, “PUSH THE BUTTON!”

I pushed on the door again.

Darcy, “THE BUTTON!”

I pushed the button. A slight buzz released the lock.

I said, “OH. Push the button.”

Smiling, I saluted him. He waved at me with a flicker of his fingers and a big smile.

Walking home, I stopped by a small cafe, ordered an omelet and an espresso. The man who owned the shop sent someone to buy a baguette, so he could cut it up to serve with my breakfast.

Cannes was just waking up, again.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Swept Away Like Sophia Loren

In Cannes, I averaged about 4 hours of sleep a night.  I pulled it off because I could nap for a few hours in the late morning.

When I got in my bed for a full night’s rest, I just lay there. I thought about all the men, I thought about France, and no matter how many times I closed my eyes, they would open again.

I was in the middle of the final week, and ready to surrender myself over to the men of the festival.

One at a table with a woman caught my eye as I walked by and watched me until his companion followed his gaze.

Another smiled, unabashed, as I took the bus into town with wet hair. His hand held tight around a five year-old’s tiny fingers.

At the festival, crossing security and holding out my pass, the security guard said, “No dress today?”
I laughed, “Tonight.”

He raised his hands in thanks.

I felt like Sophia Loren. A little eyeliner, a little lip gloss and tall men would just appear in front of me to offer that knowing look- they saw me.

At work, Sandals was chatting with a beautiful, French actress. Next to her was a young man, a little taller than me, with curls pressed hard against his head with gel. He had a thin beard, olive complexion and sunglasses on.

We must have been staring at each other, because Sandals stepped in, introduced us, then walked away to watch us from a distance with Ralph.

Every time I would talk to a man, I would see Ralph at a distance, smiling at me like he was keeping count.

The boy’s name was Aldrich. Or at least that is his name in my story.

He spoke some English, but suffered through the sounds with a struggling grace. When the French search for the right pronunciation, they make the most sophisticated music with their mouths- um, ehhh, ahh- as if bookmarking their spot in the sentence until they find the appropriate word.

We sat down next to each other on a couch and he asked to see my business card. I showed him.

I said, “My hair used to be longer, but they cut it all off for a hair model show.”

Aldrich, “I prefer this.” He used his fingers to trace my current hair length in the air.

He tapped my picture on the card and looked up at me, flickered his fingers in the air to ask me to remove my sunglasses.

I did.

When our eyes met, I could see the green around the nucleus of his eye, splattering outward on a canvas of brown. His eyes lifted in a smile that didn’t quite reach his mouth. I smiled back.

He asked me to join them at the Hungarian Pavilion for drinks. I agreed and followed him as he trailed behind his female companion- who led us both with her nose up in the air and her shoulder up.

I said, “Is that your girlfriend?”

He shook his head and smiled, “No . .. uhhh . . . she actress. Actress. We aRR just friends.”

I said, “Oh, because she really doesn’t like me.”

He shrugged and smiled. He was a boy, I could see in that skin his mother still spoiled him.

Aldrich asked me to introduce him to other filmmakers. I found a couple English guys who made movies. I tried to squeeze Aldrich in the conversation but he later told me we spoke too fast and the accents were throwing him off.

Then we went to another Pavilion. I think it was some country in Northern Africa.

It wasn’t crowded, and there was free wine and cheese. Not that I needed another drink, I was warming up fast.

There was a tall man with long silver hair greased back in a pony tail down his back. His lower jaw was pronounced and he reminded me of an older, sun damaged version of Warlock (the 1989 movie). I saw him speaking with Ralph earlier, so I thought he was ok.

Warlock introduced me to an older guy in his late 60s.

Warlock, “This is Dan, he was a producer for Deer Hunter.”

I said, “Yes, I’ve seen it. It was the first movie I ever saw. I think I was 4.”

Dan’s smile faded into a mild smirk of disapproval.

Dan, “That’s very young to see that movie.”

Me, “I know. My father was Vietnam Vet.”

Dan was nice enough, he had a big belly like Santa Claus, was dressed casually in keds and had an easy going nature about him- the kind you get when you expect a heart attack any day.

Warlock’s smile would freeze with his mouth open, and one could almost hear the fillings in his back jaw tap as he got excited to say something.

Warlock, “You are an actress?”

I nodded, lazily blinked and sipped my Northern African wine.

Warlock, “We are going to a Playboy party later tonight. You should go . . . you know, for your career. We will pick you up in a limo.”

I thought about it, “I don’t know what I am doing tonight yet.”

Warlock tapped my shoulder and would hack a little nervous laugh.

Warlock, “Come on. Come on.”

I turned to Dan, he was ok with me.

Dan, “You know what the problem is with child prostitutes? They have to be in bed by eight.”

I turned away from Dan, I was not ok with him.

Warlock hacked a laugh and I leaned backward.

Dan, “Can I get you another glass of wine?”

Warlock, “I’ll get it. I’ll get it!”

I finished my plastic cup and wobbly turned to the counter. Warlock handed me a fresh cup.

Warlock, “What do you say we send the limo by at nine?”

I shrugged my shoulders and looked for Aldrich, who was standing alone in the corner, trying to gain the courage to talk to more people. He was adorable.

Dan, “I went to a brothel in Cannes and asked for the youngest one. She said, ‘You just had her.’”

Me, “Is that a joke or a story?”

Dan laughed.

I walked over to Aldrich, who put down his glass and said, “We aRRR going to go . . . now. Um . . . I call you later?”

I nodded, “Kiss?” Tapping my lips with my finger.

Aldrich leaned in and pecked my lips with a dry kiss. I could feel the edge of his lips brush over me and I opened my eyes. His eyes juggled both of mine seriously as he left, and I realized I liked him.

Warlock came over, “Why are you wasting time with him when Dan can help your career?”

I said, “Because he is attractive. That’s it.”

My eyes rolled over Warlock so he could understand that meant I did not find him attractive at all, and I turned to sit down by the water next to a handsome French man. I asked for a cigarette and he provided one.

His wife was across from us, holding the baby and smiling at both of us. I remember thinking I hope I can be as friendly towards strange women bumming cigarettes of my handsome husband someday.

Warlock hovered over the spot I was seated in, put his hand behind me and pinched my ass.

I pinched his hand back, and he recoiled with almost a hiss.

Warlock, “Owww. That hurt.”

Me, “Good.”

Four days later, I would see him entering the Palais and holding up his hand, “You really hurt me the other day.”

Me, “GOOD!”

Warlock turned to the security guard, “She drew blood.”

Me, “He pinched my ass.”

The security guard lifted both his hands in a shrug as if justice was served and we walked in opposite directions. I never saw him again.

I can’t tell you where I was or what I was doing as the sun set, only that I remember following the music to yet another pavilion on the beach. I tried to enter down the red carpet but was stopped. There was a list I needed to be on for entry. I was now in a white sundress with black embroidered flowers along the hem. The bodice was tight and the white called attention to me.

So I waited outside, tipsy, for someone to let me in.

I leaned against the railing as the street light overhead grew stronger than the sun, and saw a few of my students walking by. We greeted each other and I told them I  was waiting for my in.

A middle-aged man, elegant, slightly overweight, stopped and grabbed my arm.

I said, “May I come in?”

He said, “Of course. You are beautiful.”

I turned to the other students, “And my friends?”

He said, “Of course. Of course. You are all very pretty, but forgive me, (he turned to me) she is beautiful.”

These men had that way of making you feel like God threw down a spotlight just for you. The other two students were gorgeous, younger and blond. Somehow, France had a magic cloak over me that fooled everyone into thinking I was the prettiest girl in the world for one brief moment in my life.

We all filed in and were greeted with a sad excuse for a dance floor, which was empty, and an open bar.

I texted Aldrich where to meet us, and crawled out on the dance floor with the two girls. A middle aged woman joined us, so I incorporated her in the act. I shook against her, and realized she was drunk enough to tip over at any second, so I kept a distance.

More people came out and eventually, Aldrich showed up.

My adrenaline was pumping, and I was popping my head back and forth to the music, wiggling like I do. He led me to an empty table outside and wrote on a piece of paper:
“It was hard to find you.”

Sometimes, it was easier for him to write what he wanted to say instead of actually saying it.

I said, “But you found me. Come dance!”

He shook his head. So I climbed on his lap and wiggled my hips around with my mouth open, it's not too sexual, and its not too funny, but somewhere in the middle is Mick Jagger and me.

He wrote, “I am feeling serious.”

He suddenly got up and stormed out. I was going to let him go, but then something inside me moved like a chess piece over to the back of his heels. I grabbed his arm and begged, “Don’t go.”

He shook his head and left.

I was drunk, so keep that in mind when I tell you the next bit.

Tears poured out of me.

This French boy I only knew for half a day, walked out on me at a public party where I was having a blast, and I cried for it.

I realized that it didn’t matter too much who the boy was, it was the walking away part that ruined me.

The bartender saw the tears dripping down my cheeks and chin, and I asked for some of the mystery punch.

Quiet and concerned, I got a large glass and gulped it down.

I wiped off my face and jumped back in the middle of the dancing. No one was the wiser.

A group of friends gathered in the corner of the dance floor. A girl posed in front of a camera, suspended in air, opposite a boy as if they were having intercourse through their clothes in public.

Their friend, a handsome Mediterranean guy, popped his head in between them with a big smile.   I popped my big white head next to his, mugging the camera. I didn’t know those people, so I thought it would be funny to mysteriously appear in their photo.

The Handsome Guy kissed my cheek as the photo flash spilled over the moment, and the next thing I know he was kissing me.

His lips devoured my mouth and before I could even register what was happening, I was kissing him back. He was a great kisser and I barely even caught a glimpse of him.

I got lost in his hands and his mouth, as we moved across the dance floor and behind a thin curtain keeping the sound equipment safe. I wrapped my legs around him and felt his hot breath on my skin as his hands fumbled through my clothing.

I said, “No, they can see.”

There was a steady stream of pedestrian traffic on the south side of our little hiding spot- and nothing but a transparent, plastic curtain anyone could see through. No one stopped to stare, but still, I wasn’t about to disrobe.

He said, in broken English, “Who cares?”

Me, “I do.”

Then I pulled back.

Me, “Are you a nice guy?”

He laughed, his smile was young. He must have been around my age. Curly hair, eye brows that pointed up in surrender when ever he laughed. He was tall and thin, dressed well.

He said, “Yes. This is very unlike me. I am shy . . . a shy guy. Yes? I think you know this about me and that’s why you came over.”

Good enough of a reason.

I grabbed his scarf and pulled him down to me. Why did it feel so good kissing him? Usually it is hard to find that spark, but here it was waiting around every corner.

Someone popped in, “You guys know everyone can see you, right?”

I pulled out from underneath the French cologne, “See?”

I straightened my hair and clothes, as my new suitor took my hand and led me down to a lower porch area closer to the beach. He pulled down his pants and crawled up the bottom of my dress as I leaned on an empty table.

A security guard interrupted us. I rolled over the table and stumbled back up to the entrance, blushing.

My suitor, who I guess I have to name, was as graceful as could be in the circumstances. I never got his name that night, so who ever he is remains a mystery. Let’s call him Roberto since he reminded me of Roberto Benigni.

Roberto was smiling and approached me, buckling his pants, “He was . . . a very good guy.”

I said, “The security guard?”

Roberto laughed and nodded, wrapping his arms around me. He was full of joy.

He said, “Let’s go.”

I said, “I don’t know you.”

He said, “Come talk to my friends. They will tell you. I am shy guy.”

By hand, he led me to his female friend from the photo. I bent down and said, “Is he a good guy?”

She nodded and said, “The best! He is a very good guy. He never does things like this. He is very shy. We are so happy for him.”

I looked up and saw Roberto smiling down at me.

So, I took his hand and we walked.

He was a movie producer, but younger than me. My mind was foggy. I had already gotten drunk, danced and cried- usually that's when I toss in the hat.

I can tell you who I am and who I was in this moment, following a stranger down to the beach in the middle of the night, but you might not believe me. Maybe I am just trying to find out who I am by explaining it to you.

The kissing made my stomach tighten and my head feel heavy. I thought it was a sacred connection. The justification, “This kind of a chemical connection rarely happens.”

Sure, I had it with Mr. Darcy the day before, and I was still thinking about him.

He had sent me an email that morning:

“That was some kiss.”

Could it be that fate had just offered me two wonderfully attractive men in one window of time?

Roberto led me down the steps of a closed pavilion tent on the beach, and I crawled on the table, stomach down.

He entered me and we had sex in time with the water. Each tidal splash worked hard to blanket the sound of sex. The moonlight was bright enough that I could see his scarf hanging off of him, his child-like smile now faded into a lazy mouth, open, panting.

I felt his hand claw a little at the back of my dress and I moaned.

We stopped just before a security guard walked passed us. He didn’t see us, so we stood still until he was far enough away that we could make our escape.

We climbed up the steps to the boardwalk and fumbled through language.

He said, “We go to your place.”

I said, “No. We can’t.”

He said, “I have people there. My place.”

I said, “Me too. More than you, I think.”

We trudged up cobble stone streets and I worried about finding my way back.

Roberto asked if I wanted fruit from a fruit stand. I said no, and up the hill we continued.

We stumbled into an empty apartment, there were a lot of doors and a bed covered in film festival swag and schedules. I shoved them off so we could make out a little. He stopped and pulled out an air mattress then shoved the nozzle of a hair dryer into the opening and turned it on. The warm air slowly unfurled a crumpled piece of plastic into what would later be our bed.

I asked to take a shower, since I was covered in sweat from dancing and walking, and lovemaking.

Together we climbed in the shower and resumed our union. He was soft, my hand glided smoothly from one end of his body to the other, with only the occasional mole to stop me. My fingers would slowly crawl over its fleshy dome one by one until my hand was whole again, and resumed travel around his body.

The warm water spilled everywhere until we were done. Then we dried each other off.

I don’t remember going to bed.

I don’t remember getting dressed.

I only remember waking up in a room with a couple passed out on the bed, and Roberto next to me snoring.
My dress was on the ground, so I quietly put it on and slipped out the door. It wasn’t dawn yet.

The only ones who knew I was gone were the taxi drivers and songbirds.

I quietly shut the door behind me and thought, "I should really hold on to that morning after pill."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Morning After Pill, Rocky Raccoon and My Mr. Darcy

The day was difficult. After my shift, I went back to our residence to sleep through a rainy afternoon.

By the evening, I felt restored . . . somewhat. My cough was ever present, and people grew so accustomed to it, they didn’t bother to stop talking in the midst of my coughing fits.

Frank wanted to see me again, which I thought was a kind gesture at first. Then, when I met him at 9pm, we sat down on a few steps in front of a closed store buried behind the thick river of paparazzi, and I realized it wasn’t a social call.

Frank, “A few times during sex last night, the condom came off. I didn’t cum but I picked this up because I really think you should take it.”

Out from his bag, he revealed a Morning-After Pill.

He said, “Now, I thought it would be difficult to pick up, since I am not the woman. But I just walked into a pharmacy, explained the situation, and they sold it to me for 6Euroes. They laughed about it, actually.”

I said, “You didn’t come inside of me, so why would I take that?”

Frank, “You are a young woman, how old?”

I flatly responded, “34.” Not so young.

He said, “This is the perfect age for you to get pregnant.”

Me, “And I am ovulating right now . . .” I laughed. It’s true but in no way did I feel like I was in danger of being impregnated by THAT sexual experience.

Frank, in a low, constant voice, worked his argument to no end, “You are 34, you are ovulating, you have got to take this pill.”

I coughed.

He continued, “And you have to dress better at night during the rain, it isn’t helping your cough any.”

When Frank looked at me as we spoke, he smiled and would turn away to finish seriously. I was trying to figure out why he was fighting so hard for this. I mean, when you are sexually involved- condoms come off. It happens. There are holes no one discovers. Small tears. It’s part of the larger consequence of sex in general. And if I got pregnant by an Irish producer who was terrible in the sack, would that be the worst thing in the world?

And why did he keep smiling at me?

Me, “It’s not just taking a pill. Its overdosing your body with hormones. It seriously affects your mood and your body. Men don’t seem to get that. I have had relationships dissolve because the pill is so intense.”

Frank, “I think its better to take the pill and suffer some unpleasantries, than get pregnant. ”

Me, “I don’t feel it’s justified. And its not just some unpleasantries, its a full assault on your body. I don’t need to get intense and moody during the best trip of my life because you are being paranoid.”

Frank, “You are in the south of France, how moody could you get? The weather is lovely.”

He held out the pill.

Me, “It makes me emotional and crazy. Neurotic. I don’t want to turn on the people I am close to because of an overdose of estrogen.”

Frank, “But you have your co-workers around you. It won’t matter.”

Me, “They are not just professional relationships.”

Frank, “It doesn’t matter. The consequence is too large. You don’t need to have an abortion or worse yet, to have a baby.”

I laughed.

Frank smiled a little but said, “No seriously.”

Me, “But I just came out of a 2 year relationship where we only did pull out and I never got pregnant.”  . . . even when I wanted to.

Frank, “But that was with a different man. There are so many factors. You are speaking like a 16-year-old. You can’t do that.  (silence) Do you need some water? Here. (he hands me one bottle of water) Take it now.”

Me, “No.”

Frank, “Do it before you start drinking tonight, please. Once you start drinking, you won’t take it. It’s just escapism.”


Frank, “Please, I don’t want to have a baby, with you or any woman. Seriously.”

Why did that hurt my feelings?

Me, “I don’t want to talk about it anymore. I will take it with me, and think about it. But thats it.”

Frank, “Sure you don’t want to just take it now? You’ve got the water right here.”

Me, “No. Look, I have had an abortion and a miscarriage. I understand the weight of the consequences here, ok? I will think about it.”

Frank said, “So you can get pregnant and were pregnant before. All the more reason to think about it.”

I said, “Do you want to join me for karaoke?”

He chuckled on his exhale, “No, I have to get some sleep. I have been in meetings all day.”

I was meeting some of the kids at a karaoke party at the Station Tavern, closer inland. The woman I was walking up with stopped to get a sandwich at a hole in the wall. There was a small refrigerator display with a handsome, trim but muscular blond boy working the counter over it.

We walked up and I just stood for a moment, in awe of his beauty.

The older guy who was standing there before our arrival, just chatting with him, noticed my reaction and elbowed the boy. Gave a nod.

The boy turned to look at me and gave me that genuine, seductive smile. Do they train them how to do that somewhere? Jesus.

We walked over to the Station Tavern and found a couple of the students next to a table by a group of Scottish filmmakers.

The woman hosting the karaoke was a French woman with a monotone voice, calling out the song and first name of the singer-to-be twice in flat succession.

A text came in from Frank: “Take the pill before you start drinking, please.”

I rolled my eyes.

I heard about this party from a guy I will call Roche. I met him at a mixer in our office a few days before. One of the men he was with was incredibly tall and attractive. Fair. Big blue eyes. Maybe a little older than me. I thought he looked a bit like Matthew Lillard but a little more pleasing on the eyes.

One of my co-workers, a middle-aged woman who was always calm and positive, offered to introduce me.

We approached his table and she said, “Hey, do I know you?”

Tall, Handsome Stranger, “I don’t think so.”

My Co-Worker, “Oh. Do you know her?” She motioned to me.

Tall, Handsome Stranger laughed . . . , “No, I don’t believe so. (offering his hand) Hi, I am Justin.”

One of the men at the table was Roche. He was a large fellow, tall and wide around the waist with vintage glasses. When he spoke, everything had emphasis, like he was constantly dictating into a megaphone.

He stood up, shook my hand from across the table and said, “I just have one question for you.”

I said, “What's that?”

He said, “Why does it look like you just came back from clam digging with Pee-Wee Herman?”

It was rainy and windy out, but through the occasional bursts of sunshine, I was wearing capris and a rock t-shirt. The capris were getting to be too large on me, since I was losing weight from not eating nearly enough and constantly running around from adventure to adventure.

My mouth dropped open.

I said, “These are my mother’s pants.”


So, Roche came into the bar, his large presence, and bellowed my name with a slight bow and a handshake.

I said, “No drink?”

He said, “No. I don’t drink. I lost a kidney a while back.”

Me, “Good thing you came with two.”

He said, “Exactly. A drink or two would ruin me now.”

I smiled and drank a beer someone handed me.

Roche, “OK, well . . . I will make my rounds.”

I patted his back, “Ok. Oops, is that your kidney side, or your no more kidney side?”

He said, “That’s my kidney side. The one on my left was removed.”

So I patted his left side, “Don’t want to damage all you have left.”

He said, “Thanks.”

I sat back down with my good-looking male students. I was wondering if the film industry just attracts beautiful people or if it was by chance everyone around me was so aesthetically pleasing.

The man at the table next to me shouted out to the dance floor, “Bun mean tafolk me Gorn.”

I turned to my 18-year-old British student, “What language is that?”

He stared back and me and lifted only one side of his mouth, “English.”


That night of karaoke was epic.

What makes an epic night of karaoke?

Well, number 1: The selection of music

Whitney Houston, Beatles, Rolling Stones, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s . . . it was an eclectic and, most importantly, HAPPY selection.

Number 2: A group of strangers who all want to sing, ideally from all around the world

When a couple Asian girls came up for a broken English version of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”, every country chimed in to finish the song through to the last, melodramatic note.

Number 3: Dancing . . .

I filled in this part, and got a few people to join me. It was crowded, but everyone was friendly and encouraged me to dance.

I saw Portland come in with his blond student companion . . . he hung out in back and then left.

Number 4: Men who will get drinks for you

I met a Swede who insisted to wait at the bar for my drink and bring it to me, so I could continue to sing and dance.

And sing and dance I did . . . I started with “Like a Virgin” which my British student videotaped on his phone.

Then he and I ended up standing and chiming in to every song.

Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”

Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

Rolling Stones’ “I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction)”

Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”

Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ “Give It Away Now”

Anytime there was just a solo singer, I was handed the second microphone.

Anytime someone didn’t show up for their song, I was handed the microphone.

My voice wasn’t up for singing, but the beer helped soothe the coughing and I kept going until the very last song . . .

The Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon”

I couldn’t believe . . . that.

A bald, middle-aged British Journalist sang it, and all my love for the Beatles and the obscurity rose up in my Stella and my sweat soaked t-shirt.

The bar closed, pushing hoards of people out into the street and I didn’t know what to do with myself, but follow my handsome students, New York and my Czech suitor, who arrived at some point.

The British Journalist was closing in on me, getting close to my face with his hand on my hip. He wanted me to come home with him.

I said, “I can’t. But I really love Rocky Raccoon.”

We all collected outside. Some of the students had their eye on an attractive girl or two, and I tried to mobilize us anywhere else to go dancing.

We all migrated to “Le Petit Majestic”, where it seemed 400 people had gathered to wait for hot dogs and get in line for drinks. We couldn’t all fit in the bar, so most of us were outside with our drinks, obstructing traffic, teetering on cobble stones and swooning at each other in the midnight.

I kept losing one of the men in my party, and finding another.

Filing inside for my beer, finishing the hot dog bun a French boy got per my request, I found myself standing across from a skinny, brown boy who just struck my Trent chord. He was talking to a girl, and bent over like a Mick Jagger broken doll.

He caught my eye and I said, “I am sorry. You just really remind me of a good friend.”

In a thick Italian accent he said, “I do?”

I said, “Yes, but he’s gay. Are you?”

He said, “Of course I am gay.”

I clasped my hands together, “Oh good!”

He would speak in a musical pace, trying to sound out each English word, “So . . . I remind you of your gay friend.”

I said, “My best friend. He has a wild spirit and doesn’t know how good he has it with his boyfriend.”

My New Gay Italian Boyfriend said, “He has a boyfriend? I can’t find anyone to be with me.”

My smile faded, “But why? You are beautiful.”

He said, “I know . . . I know I am beautiful.  I can’t find anyone who deserve me.”

I said, “I love you.”

He said, “I love you, too.”

We exchanged cards.

Outside, I ran into my Czech suitor. He knew a lot of people, and I hung loosely on the outskirts of his conversation. Just then, a blond, 5’9 man with tan Ken Doll skin and big blue eyes approached. I would say he was thick, but he wasn’t fat or necessarily muscular. He was proportionate, with a chest that feathered out in pride and the kind of arms that would knock you over just from their center of gravity, rather than biceps.

He knew Czech.

And then saw me, and stumbled backward.

He said, “Oh my God . . . you are cute. What have you done bringing this girl to me?”

He stopped swaying and covered his mouth.

Then he continued, “I am going to fall in love with this girl. I am going to marry this girl. How am I supposed to go back to my regular life when you have brought me this thing?”

Czech reluctantly introduced me, “This is David.”

I reached out my hand. His accent sounded slurred but British and I didn’t know what nationality he was.

He grabbed my hand and held it, staring into my eyes with a sparkle of humor.

I said, “Are you my Mr. Darcy?”

He dropped my hand, and almost in disgust said, “Am I your Mr. Darcy?”

I said, “Yes.”

He said, “Elizabeth, I have come to rescue you from the class system struck upon your family and take you away to my land in comfort.”

I said, “Oooh.”

He smiled and took a drink, missing his mouth at first. This guy was tanked.

He continued, “You are cute. (silence) But I have done better.”

I turned my nose up, “How rude.”

Czech tried interfering, “Come on, that's such an old tactic. Make the pretty girl feel insecure. Its so lame.”

Czech was right, and he was being a gentleman . . . but it was in the personal charisma where he was losing.

Though Darcy was bawdy, and drunk and rude, I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.

Darcy, “Sorry. We can conquer class and time and be together.”

Me, “I have a very large family to support.”

Darcy, “Of course . . . “

He turned away and turned back, “But I have had better.”

I released a hot sigh of frustration. I turned to go sit down. I was getting tired. It must be 4am now.

There was a high curb on the other side of the street lights. I sat comfortably next to  Czech, as he slipped into another conversation with a Norwegian producer. He was ambitious, I will give him that.

I leaned my head against the street light.

Darcy came back with a couple beers and leaned into a pretty girl 10 feet deep into the crowd. He quickly shot his head back, as if disgusted with her answer to his question. Then he walked straight towards me and handed me a beer.

Darcy, “I brought you back a beer.”

I said, “Thanks, I thought I was going to lose you to that other pretty girl.”

Darcy, “Who? Her? Ha. No . . . I find you quite beautiful, or else I wouldn’t have brought you back a beer.”

He laughed and turned his head, “God, that sounds pathetic. I brought you back a beer because you’re beautiful.”

We both laughed.

The beer stung my tongue with a lime bite.

Darcy, “I know, they’re awful. They combine tequila and beer, but they were out of everything else.”

I said, “I quite like it actually.”

Darcy, “Do you? Wow. Huh. Good talk.”

Whenever he blew out a “Good Talk” it was with a superficial apathy, as if to wrap up a distressingly boring story. I actually found that funny.

Czech noticed Darcy next to me and said, “Why are you falling for this power play bullshit? He is insulting you so it gives him the advantage.”

Darcy stopped drinking and looked at him with his mouth agape, as if outraged. I noticed how plump his lips were.

Czech, “I have read books on this strategy. There is no honor.”

I said, “I am not falling for it.” Was I?

And continued, “I just assume you are a bad drunk.”

Darcy, “Oh . . . right. Ok, good talk.”

Me, “Great talk.”

Darcy stopped to smile, I was playing along with his joke.
Czech checked out of the conversation. Ha.
He delicately let the words turn his tongue, “Oh . . . no. How about we leave and I fuck you?”

Me, “Where?”

Darcy, “In my apartment. I have 3 floors. We can choose.”

Me, “Well, that certainly seems more enticing than humping my pillow.”

Darcy, “Is that what you do?”

Me, “Yes. Of course. But I would prefer having unprotected sex with Mr. Darcy. If you can quote the book, I will let you cum inside of me.”

Darcy stopped, “Are you fucking with me right now?”

Me, “No, actually. Of course we can’t have unprotected sex but, I would love to feel you inside of me.”

Darcy pulled back a little and nervously took a swig, “You are just trying to throw me off my game.”

I coolly leaned back. The nights were warm, even just before dawn.

Me, “Now, Mr. Darcy, why would I do that?”

He leaned back to take in all of me, then he crawled his head in for a kiss. My stomach exploded in rainbows and butterflies. The plump lips roamed over my mouth and a dose of dopamine crawled down my neck and fed directly into my pounding heart.

I leaned back and caught the Norwegian producer watching us. He smiled.

I was sitting next to my Czech suitor and didn’t want to be rude, so I leaned back and licked the chase of lime from around my mouth.

Darcy leaned in and whispered, “I want to be inside of you and cum all over . . . inside of you.”

I smiled, “Do you?”

Darcy breathed a heavy, “Yes.”

Me, “Good talk.”

Darcy, “Great talk” and turned away, but quickly turned back around and leaned in. He kissed me again, once with the flicker of Jane Austen fantasy, then again he consumed me. My head was in the clouds. He smelled good and I could feel his hand on the cusp of my neck.

I wanted him.

I pulled away, again self conscious of audience, high on his taste.

The Norway producer said, “Come on, David. Time to go home.”

I stiffened, “Oh. Gosh. Bummer.”

The Norway producer smiled as he took Darcy by the arm and led him away. Darcy stumbling, smiled back at me.


Czech and I walked towards the beach together.

I said, “The other night, some Americans said I have bad posture. Do you think so?”

Czech, “I was watching you and thought you kind of looked like the raven from those old Looney Toons cartoons when you are trying to hear other people talk.”

I quipped, “Shorter people.”

We sat on a bench across from the ocean and he kissed me. It was nice . . . but it was no, Mr. Darcy.

I said, “Well, I would love to make love to you on the beach but I have got to be heading back.”

Now, I really shouldn’t have said that. After teasing Darcy with all my little dirty little fantasies, no one was here to drag Czech away.

He said, “Why not? We can do it here on the beach.”

I said, “There are security guards.”

He started talking fast, talking fast about what he was doing with his company, the state of the film industry and wanting to fuck me. It was exhausting, especially drunk at 5am.

He led me in a parking garage and suggested we do it behind a small sign.

He laid down the coat and I said, “Everyone could see us.”

He lowered me down and said, “Come on. No one will. Except maybe a security guard, and he will probably just want to join in.”

I stopped him. That was almost hot. But now I could see his American influence. He was definitely an American boy in Europe. He was working too hard for it, almost desperate, and not intuitive in the least.

I stopped him and stood up, “No, I don’t feel right about this.”

Then, a couple walked down the stairs and passed us. I motioned towards them, with my eyes large, “See!”

We walked out and I had to pee badly, so he guarded as I relieved myself in the bushes by the red carpet.

I said, “I really do have to head back. I have the breakfast shift this morning.”

We walked towards the bus stop and he asked to come back with me to the residence.

I said, “No, you can’t come back. I can’t let anyone back.”

He said, “Come on, yes you can. I used to be in the program, no one cares.”

I said, “I care.”

It was almost 6, so the buses would be approaching any minute for their first runs out into the city.

There, waiting for the bus with Czech, I fell in love with a British man named Alex.

Out of place and sudden as it was, I fell in love with a stranger. We had a brief banter about America and his suggestion that it was inferior to the UK.

He played with me a little, as Czech patiently waited for the bus and followed me back to the residence like a puppy dog.

As I got off the bus, I looked at Alex and said, “Bon Jour.” He smiled.

Czech quickly joined a small group of people he knew returning to the gated residence and followed them in, promising to call me after my breakfast shift and take me back to his place, cook me breakfast and make love to me. OK, but how was I going to find Alex again?

Exhausted, I reluctantly agreed though I knew I would spend the rest of the day avoiding his calls. Then, I joined my co-workers for the breakfast shift just as the sun took flight.

A Co-Worker, “How are you?”

I said, “I am in love.”

Co-Worker, “Again?”