By Victoria Looseleaf
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
No such luck.
But the dance critic was, finally...at
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.
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
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