Friday, August 13, 2010

Alone Time.

Alone Time.

The world is alone.
I wonder if they know they are alone.
Even driving through the night feels alone.

The reds make me come and go.
The people come and go.
A new one every night.
The air tonight is very warm.
Even with the convertible down the heat is considerable.

I wonder if he knows that this is my only trick.
My only piece de resistance.
Magic is nothing more than a slight of hand.
Behind the ear. In the hand.
In my mouth. Actually I’m in his.

There’s nothing like night driving down the highway with the top down and…

What happens after tomorrow,” this is what she asks while playing with her hair.
“I don’t know. Adrian will probably be here.”
“Adrian? Why the fuck is he coming here?”
“Because I left him in New York yesterday, at 4am in front of Tiffany’s for breakfast.”
“You didn’t!” she giggles and rolls over in the bed.
“I did. Do me a favor?” I play the coy smile game with her.
“Don’t tell him you saw me.”
“What makes you think he’ll stop by? He left a gram six months ago and hasn’t been back since.”
She gets up, walks across the room naked and dances her way into the bathroom. She emerges and produces a tiny object. I smile and tell her that he’s ridiculous. She agrees and gets back in bed. It’s just like old times and I’m with Adrian’s girl.

Sometimes when there’s trouble I wonder what Adrian’s doing. I can’t imagine him not being in trouble. But this isn’t about him. It’s only about trouble even though I can’t stop thinking about him.

Carlos has a handbag full of MAC cosmetics in the backseat. The wind from the drive keeps whipping the bag around. It seems to be alive in the backseat. The radio has a quiet somber song on it that reminds me of Pink Orange Red by the Cocteau Twins. There’s not really any other noise in the car. I’m completely alone. It’s only when he moves more than slightly that I’m reminded differently. A feeling I don’t want to stop and can only encourage it by a sound or touch.

Jemma James. This is her stage name. I tell her I hate it and how it reminds me of that porn star and… “HONEY!” It’s the first thing I said when she met me at LAX. When she was standing there with her long dark hair. Before taking off her sunglasses. Before running and screaming at me. I miss Jemma. It’s been too long.

The drive back to her place is longer than I thought it would be. I can’t get over the way she looks. I tuck her dark hair behind her ear and she turns her smiling face to look at me. But I can’t see it because her sunglasses eat up her little face. Jackie O and Audrey should’ve been shot for wearing those things.
“You look good.” I tell her and touch her cheek.
“So do you… how’s living alone?”
“I’m adjusting. It’s not the same without you and our midnight manicures.”
“Oh honey, I miss you too. But you know… and this is what I want. Tonight we’ll have some fun together.”
“Speaking of what you want, how’s the J-O-B thing going?”
“I’m working, because I’m fabulous of course. There’s a couple of TV things and then there’s…”
“TV! Really, I’m sorry I don’t watch.”
“Alex, listen there’s a thing I have to do in two days, so you can’t… I can only put you up tonight.”
“Not a problem.”
She keeps driving like a maniac. There’s so much traffic that I forget how I’m still touching her face until she touches my hand and moves it away with a smile.

Relax we’re almost there…”

The light is red when we approach the intersection. I move him away and start to negotiate the final direction to the house. Wayne has made the arrangements for tonight. Tonight feels like home. Even pulling into the gates of this house that isn’t mine feels right at home.

Wayne makes things happen. I let them happen. Adrian happens.

But this is me getting ahead of myself. Before the facts, the fiction and whatever in between. Before you can go back home you have to have been somewhere else.

The night started with a drive and destination. It started with a phone call for nothing that I made after the one I made to Wayne because he makes things happen. Calling for nothing but trouble is when I met up with Carlos which is what happened before I ended up with a place that feels like home. It’s a place where your best friend isn’t an actress with a porn star name, a script to read and “alone time” for character building.

Alone time. I swear she says this is what it’s called. And she swears “I’m not making this up” then smiles with her teeth showing.  Jemma tells me as we are going 75 miles down the freeway that she needs “alone time” to get into her character. This is why I can’t stay for more than one night. I remember when “alone time” meant you needed to masturbate.
“Does it work that way for women?” She turns red when I posture the question.
“I suppose getting into character is like self pleasure.”
“Explain. I have to know how rubbing one out compares to getting into character.”
“You have to be able to feel good about playing with this person’s head before you get into it.”

Interrupting our discussion about masturbation for the mind…There it is. Waving blue and red colors. Sounds like an anthem, blaring like an alarm. A public alarm that makes sure everyone around knows you’re getting publicly flogged. It happens as my mind drifts to visualize one of my oldest friends spending “alone time” with herself and I’m shockingly enjoying it. Maybe it was the porn star name that has my mind in the gutter or it’s the thought of what I might be doing when I am alone that triggers it? Anyway it just happens and then the sound interrupts my thought although it doesn’t interrupt her driving. I feel as though I’ve been caught with my pants down and my hand in the goods. But she keeps going until I tell her to stop.

“Do you know how fast you were going?” This is what the officer says. 70 miles is what Jemma says instead of 75. He has a face like a man from a porno about cops I once watched. I wonder if it’s him. They say: “Everybody is somebody in L.A.” Maybe he will look the other way like the man in the movie did after a few minutes in the backseat. But the officer isn’t very friendly about it. Even though he doesn’t sound or look like a real officer he is. This isn’t a porno and he won’t let you tell him about it in the backseat. He tells her 65 is what is posted and that anything else above that is breaking the law. Jemma says she’s never been stopped as he walks away with her license. She looks like she wants to cry. I smile and tell her about the porno cop so it’s ok. But it isn’t. Even though the thought of it is ridiculous he will give her a ticket for speeding that she will have to pay. And seventy doesn’t sound like or look like a real word even when you say it out loud or think about it.

Carlos is a friend of a friend whose name escapes me but we met at a party in Beverly Hills last year. He said he was 21 and I’m pretty sure his fake ID agreed but he was 18 with a bad lisp and amazing teeth. At the party he managed to go home with my nameless friend but not before telling me to “Call when you come back to town.” So I did and it’s instantly trouble but at least I have a car to drive. A tacky Lebaron convertible. He says he will blow me if I drive with him to Venice to pick up some Weed. I don’t care for Venice, Weed or Carlos but Jemma says that I should stay but not with her and I have time to waste.

When we get back to Jemma’s I’m convinced that she’s not living here. There’s hardly any furniture in her Spanish bungalow. It seems a bit ostentatious as she heads into the bedroom. She tells me about random celebrity sightings and that the Chateau is down the street. I don’t know what it means when people talk about celebrities but I do know about that place and it isn’t where I want to be tonight. This place isn’t her. I wish she’d take it off. Maybe later she’ll will.
“Jem, darling how can you afford this?”
“Alex. My agent. Don’t worry about it.”
“Is this where you lived with…?”
“Yes, it is. How is he?”
“A mess.”
“Lovely. Just lovely. Do you want dinner in or out?”
“Out. Then in for the night, please.”
“Oh honey! You’ve missed me.”
“Yes, and I want you all to myself.”
By the time I’ve finished saying it she’s already stark naked and wandering the place. I’m making the face of shock when it should not be.
“Oh honey, you forgot about naked Tuesdays.”
“So I did. Should I participate?”
“Jump in.”

Venice is trouble the way you find out the person you’re with is shoplifting. It’s too late to stop it, but you don’t want anyone to find out what just happened. Venice involves a tiny little house and a thirty minute wait. It’s already dark when Carlos runs out screaming, “DRIVE!” so I do. After we’ve cleared the corner, the street and thirteen more blocks he tells me he just stole this guy’s stash. Then there’s so much more I don’t want to know or be involved with on the news. Selling buying trading where he’s a commodity and it doesn’t matter who. He didn’t know that man in Venice. That man with a gun in Venice. That man with a gun whose stash he just stole in Venice after deciding not to uphold his end of the arrangement. I pull over because I need a hit then I tell him we need a new car now.

Its perfect timing when we pull up to this Enterprise rental slash dealership because Wayne calls me. Tells me to call up his housekeeper in the hills. She has the code to his place and will give me directions. I nod and smile even though he can’t see it. I tell him I need a car, he says go to the house. I tell him thank you like he’s granted me salvation. I want to cry. Maybe he can hear it in my voice because he tells me “I’ll see you in a few days” before hanging up. This is going home. I’m almost home. Carlos feels bad when we get back in the car. I take out some reds. I need to check out. I don’t care if he feels bad. I tell him this is my “alone time” and he can figure out how to make it up.

It is late afternoon. In the middle of the room I’m lying awake by my sleeping soundly best friend when Spandau Ballet comes out of the clock. It’s same old Jemma and her lovely sad music. I can’t help wanting a line before she rolls over. But I don’t. This is nice and I really shouldn’t. She smiles when rolling over into my arms and I kiss her forehead.
“Good morning honey.” She moons like I’m her lover instead of her faggot friend.
“Hey stranger it’s afternoon.”
“Still bothered?”
“Remember I know you silly.”
“I’m ok. Would you get mad if… Nevermind.” I really want a line but I won’t.
“Tell me why you would leave Adrian in New York.”
“He’s fine. It’s not like that. He’s not alone. He’s with my… my…”
“Honey. Who?”
“Andy. He’s… someone to me. It’s new? He’s watching Adrian. Look, I don’t know what it all means yet.”
She smiles, plays with her hair and leaves things alone before getting up and into the shower.

Somewhere before I turn onto the highway I tell Carlos he’s coming with me to the house. I’m not stopping again tonight. It’s the only thing I said before he decides he’s going to make it up to me. At first I was mad and ignored his efforts by turning up the radio. Then the reds kick in and nothing matters anymore. The night is warm. The world is alone. And I’m almost home.

Lunch in L.A. is how you get seen.” This is according to Jemma according back to someone famous who once said it. I can’t say I agree with her, but she’s a lot of fun to listen to sometimes. Even when she isn’t being herself and saying things like this. At this point we are dining in the midst of it all. I really don’t know what or why but apparently the waiter is sleeping with some director who just made 10 million opening day at the box office which isn’t very good or is it in the end. I can’t keep up with the jargon or words of this scene when she orders a chopped salad and a bottle of white wine. When I say “for lunch?” she makes a sad face and says “seen” with finger quotes. Then I realize my god that’s what Adrian does. It’s then I head to the bathroom for some “alone time” and do the line because lunch at a place named after a plant can’t possibly get you a part in a film. Can it? It’s only 45 minutes after we say our goodbyes that I wonder if we’re really going to see each other again before Friday.

At JFK there’s a man in the terminal taking numbers. I can’t imagine why he keeps taking numbers. I should ask someone but I don’t. It’s sometime between lunch and dinner that I finally get a flight to L.A. Andy’s friend has a connection, but I still can’t reach Alex. I need a hit. There’s a man in a uniform watching me try to take a hit and miss. I don’t care and stare at the man taking numbers again. He doesn’t look like a cop. But he could be. Wayne is back in town and I’m thinking of calling Alex again, but Andy’s friend comes back and she has my ticket. I can’t remember her name but she’s beautiful. I love talking to her about art and Van Gogh. She works at the Met and has a place in Brooklyn. I never met a girl that looked this and talked like this. She tells me I don’t need the candy or Alex. Smiles and tells me to stay in New York. I want to stay but my flight leaves in 45 minutes. She touches my hand and says we have time for other things and that there’s always a later flight. I don’t care about Alex anymore and I forgot about wherever you went two days ago.

Being alone isn’t always a bad thing. Solitude. Loneliness? Learn to Love and Appreciate yourself for all the little quirks and wonderful things and you’ll have company forever. In order to give this immense treasure of love and compassion to others you have to appreciate where it comes from. We are not meant to hold it all in and or keep it out. It's only when the cards are all down that we truly fear the absence of affection. And that is something infinite and you can only go without by choice. Kindness and generosity do go far. 

Leaning in a little more. This is another bit of forward progression… only it isn’t exactly forward. Been doing something different on these and I don’t know what it is yet… only that I have to do this. These are excerpts and there is so much more than that. I don’t know if I’ll be giving away more than a handful of these. Will keep you posted on that. Day 4 has brought the joy of another large typing goal. Lots of laughs, loves and keep living. kisses for everyone. enjoy. m. 

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