Friday, May 28, 2010

A Legend in His Own Mind-12

May, 1981

Dear Lázaro,

Now I know I really am in Hollywood. I just lived a scene from a movie.

I'm driving home last night after taping the show. It's like two or three in the morning. You know how I've told you that to get to my neighborhood you gotta pass all these factories? So you know at three in the morning no one's there. So I'm zooming through the streets. I do this a lot to avoid the low riders. There are these Mexican guys out here with these crazy cars. They have teeny tiny steering wheels made out of chains and fuzzy huge dice hanging from the rear view mirrors. The cars have these tiny tires too, but when you stop next to them at a red light somehow the cars bounce up and down. I don't know how they do it but it really scares me.

Anyway a cop stops me. Right away I thought...My God the door! My picture must be in every precinct in California and they finally nabbed me.

Out comes this twenty-five year old version of Christopher Atkins in "The Blue Lagoon." I mean sparkling blue eyes and this tight curly, blond hair. Lean and trim and a killer of a smile. Of course let me tell you, there are no ugly people in Los Angeles. I guess they ship them all to San Diego or wherever. Everybody here is gorgeous. It's the movie thing, I guess. Most cops look like GQ models. This one was spectacular.

He says to me, "You were goin' maghty fast theah, son."

I said, "Sorry! It's just that there's nobody on these streets at this time and..."

He interrupts me, "But theah are a lot of train tracks. That could prove maghty dangerous."

He said all of this with a slight Southern drawl that was so endearing. He snapped me back into reality when he asked to see my license.

And then he says, "Ah see you live around heah."

I said, "Yep. Three more blocks and I'm home."

He then asks, "Hurry to get theah, are ya?"

So I said, "Yeah! I guess that's why I was a little fast."

So then he asks, "Someone waitin' for you at home that you are in such a hurry to get to?"

I said, "No."

"No wahfe?"

"Not married."

"Live with yoah parents?"

"No...all by myself."

"Ah see."

He goes to his car to do that thing that cops do with their pads and their radios. I'm wondering what weird questions he was asking. But this was cheery California; maybe he was just making conversation before giving me a ticket.

He comes back and says, "Look, son, you seem lak a nice kid so Ahm going to give you a break. Ahm not giving you a ticket. Just be careful with those tracks."

I am so relieved. "Thank you officer. I promise it won't happen again."

So then he says, "Ba the way. Ah get off duty in an houah. If you are not too tired Ahd lak to speak to you a bit about safe driving techniques. Just because the street is empty is no reason to speed."

I gulped, "Tonight?"

He beams at me, "If you are not too tired."

I said, "No. I'm not."

So he says, "Okay then, Ah'll see you in about an houah."

I was feeling a bit strange about all of this, you know what I mean, Lázaro? This has never happened to me before but I kinda got the feeling that he was flirting with me. Now I was nervous. If he was and he came over, I didn't know what to do.

He showed up an hour and a half later, looking gorgeous without his uniform. He had on a white linen shirt; open three buttons down to reveal his well defined hairless torso and form fitting black jeans. If this is going to be my Mrs. Robinson scene, I don't think I'm going to put up much of a fight.

The feel of his muscular arms around me felt so natural. I just folded myself into them. His beard stubble scratched a little but it kind of excited me too.

Anyway, all that's left to say is that I am no longer confused.

June, 1981

Hey Buddy Boy,

My head has been swirling since that incident with the cop. By the way, I've never seen him again. I kind of thought I wouldn't but I kept hoping I would. I didn't want my first time to be a one-night stand. But at least he was wonderful and very gentle. I really can't complain.

I'm also glad I haven't bought clothes for the dolls yet. Can you imagine want he would've thought of me if he saw them in my car? Especially since I can’t get their mouths to close. Maybe he wouldn't have shown up at all. Or maybe shown up with some strange ideas.

I've been hanging around a lot with Tostita. She's the daughter of a friend of Dad’s. Remember him? It seems that he took some time off from running around with his paramilitary friends in the Florida Everglades and made some acquaintances in Washington D. C. Unfortunately not those kinds of acquaintances.

Tostita is this friend's daughter. She lives in Downey. Yeah I know, just like the fabric softener. That's where the Carpenters are from, remember them?

She knows a lot of bigwigs. She's a secretary for Tom Hayden's political organization. You know he's the guy who's married to Jane Fonda.

We've been taking aerobics classes in Beverly Hills. Let me tell you, that's a trip and a half. To be taught aerobics by Barbarella. But we don't mention that 'cause she hates that movie.

She also took me to see Donna Summer at the Hollywood Bowl. Of course we were a hour late due to this incredible L.A. traffic. We had to wait outside until intermission. It was so frustrating to hear my woman singing inside and not be able to see her.

We also went to the Pantages to see "A Chorus Line." I loved the play. I mean it was so full of the love of dance that I've always had. But I was a bit freaked out to fully enjoy it. We were sitting on a balcony and all I kept thinking about was the fact that if there was an earthquake that balcony may fall off. That's not how I want to make my debut on stage.

I got myself an agent. He's out in Century City. This is a place built on what used to be the backlot of 20th Century Fox. It looks like Avenue of the Americas. All gleaming towers and stores.

He called me in the other day. I thought he had a job lined up for me. I was so excited I forgot to take the parking ticket at the underground garage.

He says to me, "Well, son, we have a problem fitting you in. You see, when casting directors see your Spanish surname, they automatically put you in the Latino know, Mexican migrant worker, Puerto Rican drug dealer, that sort of thing. Then they look at your picture and they see white skin and green eyes and you don't fit the bill. If you considered changing your name to a non-ethnic sounding one, I know I can get you work."

Isn't that a whopper? You always told me that I had it easier because I looked so white.

Now I look too white.

I'm gonna have to change my name, you know. I mean, movie stars do it all the time. Look at Raquel Welch. Her real name is Raquel Tejada. And Rita Hayworth was Margarita Cansino.

I told the Dragon Lady and of course she freaked. Mom said that if I changed my name how could she tell her friends that I was her son. It's not like I've had plastic surgery or something, right? Any suggestions?

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