Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Anal Sex And Death In Los Angeles

So I’m sitting at a table in a famous LA restaurant jammed with a lunchtime crowd of famous LA people. Everyone at my table for some reason—maybe just because it’s Los Angeles—is talking about prostitution.

A beautiful young woman across from me says it sometimes seems to her that she could make a lot more money working as a prostitute than as an actress.

I say, “Robin, you know, right, that it’s not like the movies. There’s a lot more to being a hooker than just wearing skimpy clothes and collecting a paycheck.”

“I know that,” Robin says. “But I’m not a child. I’ve had sex, you know. More than once, even.”

Everyone at the table kind of chuckles.

I say, “Yes, well, you know, there is a test you can take, right now, a kind of test we can give you, right here at the table, to see if you have what it takes to be a hooker.”

Everyone at the table kind of grins.

“What kind of test?” Robin asks.

I say, “Okay. Everyone here is going to watch your face. We’re all going to look at you very carefully. And while we watch you, you just have to say two words with a straight face. You just have to say two words without laughing or smiling or showing any kind of emotion at all. Hookers have to be good at blank face.”

“I’m an actress,” Robin says. “Of course I can do that.”

“Okay, are you ready to take the test?” I ask.

Everyone at the table stops eating and leans forward a bit, to get a good look at Robin’s face.

“I’m ready,” Robin says.

“Okay,” I say. “We’re going to watch you. You just have to say the two words. While we watch you, you just have to say the two words, ‘anal sex.’”

It seems as if everyone at the table holds their breath.

Robin purses her lips to start speaking, but then she giggles and exhales and blushes a deep, deep red.

Everyone laughs and a couple of people point at Robin.

“No, no, no” Robin says. “I can do it. I just got distracted. No. This is so easy. Watch. I’m going to do it right now.”

Robin clears her expression and looks at everyone with a blank face. She starts to speak, then cracks up laughing and puts both her palms against her forehead.

“Don’t worry, Robin,” someone says. “You’re still a great actress. Other girls can work the sidewalk.”

Everyone laughs and turns their attention back to their food.

Robin takes a deep breath and clenches both fists. She says, loudly, “Anal sex! Anal sex! Anal sex!”

But when she forces out the words, she forces them out just a tad more loudly than she’d anticipated and—as often happens at such moments—a natural lull in the room’s conversations amplifies her words even more. The entire restaurant full of people turns to look at Robin as she finishes almost shouting the words ‘anal sex.’

Everyone at the table stops eating, again, and gives a round of applause to Robin.

Robin puts her hands up, again, completely covering her face.

I stand up and address the restaurant. “No, it’s not what you think,” I say. “She’s just pitching a new reality show idea to some Discovery Channel executives.”

A famous comedian at the next table says, “That’s exactly what I thought it was.”

And everyone in the restaurant laughs.

“And let me say,” he adds, “that’s a reality show I’m going to watch.”

And everyone in the restaurant laughs.

A famous leading man one table over says, “I’m going to watch that show, too. For about three minutes. Then I’ll have to take a nap.”

And everyone in the restaurant laughs.

I sit back down and Robin spreads her fingers just enough to peek out at me. Her eyes—even in the shadow of her fingers—are so bright and so angry that she looks like a special effects shot in a movie where a woman is about to turn into a werewolf. A really angry werewolf.

Through her fingers Robin glares out at me and growls, “I am going to kill you. I am going to kill you.”

But, you know, it seems a fair trade. Everyone dies. At least I got some laughs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This is for Karen Kilimnik

Karen Kilimnik

The Abandonment Of Meaning

“Kari Loses An Underwire From Her Bra...”

Los Angeles, Nonetheless, Is