FRESH YARN: The Online Salon for Personal Essays//Current Essays FRESH YARN: The Online Salon for Personal Essays//Contributors FRESH YARN: The Online Salon for Personal Essays//About FRESH YARN FRESH YARN: The Online Salon for Personal Essays//Past Essays FRESH YARN: The Online Salon for Personal Essays//Submit FRESH YARN: The Online Salon for Personal Essays//Links FRESH YARN: The Online Salon for Personal Essays//Email List FRESH YARN: The Online Salon for Personal Essays//Contact


The Dance Critic
By Victoria Looseleaf

Los Angeles: It's immature, like a spoiled child, screaming out for attention, typically putting its famous foot forward as Hollywood, the burg where faux charm, fast cars and faster bucks masquerade as real lives. For me, Los Angeles suffers from a permanent case of PMS -- postmodern schmucks -- abounding.

Thank God, then, for James. A thirty-four year old God with misfiring synapses, perhaps, but my God, nonetheless. At six feet three inches tall and two hundred and twenty pounds of impossibly gorgeous flesh, besides being a helluva lot younger than mine, his is a fucking body that could kill.

A body that could, in any case, bench press a sofa bed.

It was the morning of the Oscars. My landlady had ordered me to move my old couch bed from the garage into the dumpster in the garage.

James promised he'd do it. We'd fucked a long time the night before. Waiting for the pizza to come. The challenge was to start fucking, to order the pizza while you're fucking (mushrooms, pepperoni, onions and anchovies), to continue fucking while you wait for the food (salad on the side with honey mustard dressing or some balsamic vinegar and oil if you prefer, maybe a few hunks of garlic bread), and then to fuck, up until the moment the fucking pizza man arrives at the door with a hot, steaming box (not to be confused with a hot steaming deal, which is some phrase we'd once heard to describe that unseemly
New York African-American weatherperson, Al Roker).

So, the night-before-fucking, instead of sapping James' energy, it gives him more. I mean: I wasn't prepared for him to rip the couch apart with his bare hands, those hands whose knuckles were red and scabby from having been "desensitized" -- bloodied to the point where pain is not felt. Because James is
a two-time world champion kick boxer in the Filipino art form known as Sikaran-Arnis, and had been hitting the heavy bag as part of his daily work-out routine, hence those shredded, scabby knuckles.

Okay, so it's only the arms of the purple paisley print couch I'd custom-ordered from someone named Nelly Kelly lo those many years ago, after I'd gotten out of the posh 22-bed nut house perched high on a hill overlooking a placid bay, where I slept in the bed formerly occupied by Joan Kennedy, that James rips apart.

After which he gets down on his knees (what a sight -- I video him with my new Sony digital mini-disc cam that is now obsolete and was then putting me another three grand in debt, the one I'd gotten because he thought it was "cool" and could be used to video him in action, since he wanted to be an action star...or at least play the Richard Burton role of the defrocked priest, Shannon, in an equity-waiver production of Tennessee William's "Night of the Iguana," as I'd once done the producer a favor and interviewed an Indian playwright, if that makes any sense), and somehow elevates the couch onto his back and above his shoulders -- like fucking Atlas and the world -- and hurls it into the trash.

From that moment on...I knew I would love him until the day I died.

I'd met him at a party. I was a dance critic. He was a dancer. A ballerino, primo assoluto, in my words, as these words are usually reserved for the feminine species...ballerina, prima, assoluta. Whatever he was, I couldn't take my myopic eyes off him.

"I'm dancing "The Nutcracker" next week," he'd said, a half-smile revealing a ravishingly sexy, chipped front tooth that I would later learn had come from his having cracked it on a urinal.

Cracked it on a urinal -- now there's a red flag...

It was Christmas and that's the last thing I wanted to do -- see another damned "Nutcracker." Battling mice, Clara's diaphanous nightie, the Snow Queen...all smarmy sweetness that I'd had to review up and down the coast since the beginning of December.

From Flamenco-style Tchaikovsky with castanets and tight toreador pants, to South Indian suites with ankle-belled children stamping around, not to mention the misguided opus known as "Harlem Nutcracker," (this one put the crack -- as in pipe-smoking -- back in "Nutcracker" and I'd received a lot of hate mail calling me a racist honky for my rather unfavorable review, but what the hell, I was paid for my opinion and rightly so, as I was very good at mouthing off in print, and, in a word, knew my shit), I'd had it up to here with the fucking Waltz of the Flowers and the rest of that lamentable holiday fare.

As I looked up into his cornflower-colored orbs, I felt like he was lapping me up like a thirsty dog after a run in the heat of another oppressingly sunny Los Angeles day.

"It would be nice if you could, uh, come," he sputtered.

"Are you the Prince?" I asked. "Because if you're the Prince..." my voice trailed off into the party abyss, thoughts of rabid sugar plum fairies, oh yes, dancing in my head, while the review I fashioned in my mind was already stellar, because of course, he could be nothing less than the Prince who would carry me off on his charger, his steed...his studliness.

He nodded, a full, thick head of jet black hair framing his face like a B-list Breugel. "Yeah. The Prince. That's me."

This was said devoid of irony, as this Prince operated in an irony-free zone. But that mattered not, as it was the Prince's performance that hooked me. The performance that began after he'd shed his red Nutcracker cavalier costume (it had come from the Bolshoi, no less, the red, an uber-Communist thing, scarlet right down to his flaming ballet slippers), when he was fucking me so hard, so deep, so long, I thought I was going to get...fucked to death.

No such luck.

But the dance critic was, the dance. When we were together he was my Nureyev. I was his Fonteyn. (And when you watch the great Dame dancing with the Ruskie in old film footage, say their "Romeo and Juliet," you see, amazingly, Ms. Margot shedding years as easily as shedding tears, once again becoming that fifteen-year old babe in love with the world's greatest lover: "My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep, the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite.")

Of course, what James wanted -- that action movie career because at 34 his terpsichorean legs were becoming plie-challenged -- wasn't going to be easy. But since he entered my life, which he did, lock, stock and dance belt, moving in to take care of me because I'd gotten sciatica from, well, TOO MUCH
FUCKING -- "If I can walk, James, yes, oh, yes, you can act," to which he would get all sentimental... and fuck me again -- it had definitely been a wild pas de deux.

But even I knew this couldn't last. What I didn't know was that James not only had OCD and suffered from borderline personality disorder, but that he voted for Bush, ferfuckingcrissake. No, this great love would not end up like the Nutcracker, where I could have my Prince and, er, eat him, too, but would prove far worse than sciatica for my health, which was in keeping with my pattern...falling for losers.

-friendly version for easy reading
©All material is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission

home///current essays///contributors///about fresh yarn///archives///
submit///links///email list///site map///contact
© 2004-2005