Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Legend in His Own Mind-4


Dear Lázaro,

I'm doing a TV show! Okay it's for Public Access cable but it's still TV. And I'm on every week. You'll never guess what I'm playing? A Brooklyn guido disco dancer named Donny who lives in this run down Hollywood apartment with all these other star wannabes.

This show is taped in back of an antique store in Studio City. The producer, Merrick, says it's the best way to break into television. He says since there are no sitcoms on public access so we're breaking new ground. He already has two half-hour slots and is working on a few more.

Everybody in the cast gives a hundred dollars a week to Merrick. For expenses like tape or camera repairs. But we're on half-hour shows on television. Anybody important can see us.

The color on the cameras isn’t balanced properly so when you switch from one to the other the color changes too. Merrick says it makes it look psychedelic. He says that it worked for "Laugh-In."

There's this big guy named Slovak who looks like Herman Munster. He plays our landlord. This is great casting 'cause I'd be scared to skip out on the rent. Wendy is this real funny lady from San Francisco. Johnna is Merrick's girlfriend. She's writing a musical about her experiences with the downtrodden of society. Working title, "Danny Drop the Gun." Gary is this guy who actually says he's gay. Can you believe that? I've never heard anyone say that before. Totally open about it.

I mean out here it's totally cool. I've seen guys walking holding hands down the street. And I mean guys! Not the velour and paisley crowd stepping out of Greenwich Village bistros. These guys look like lumberjacks. Buzz cuts, moustaches, muscles and jeans. That's fascinating to me. And nice. Very nice.

Then there's this woman, Megan, who acts like she just had a Spanish Fly martini with an oyster chaser. She just doesn't stop. She grabs and gropes every guy on the set. And she's always talking about her husband, Dudley.

I thought she was lying about the husband. You know how Maria Porcari used to invent a boyfriend in The Tombs whenever she wanted to scare away any guy who was getting too hot and heavy for her? But she didn't act like she was entered in the Xaviera Hollander marathon either.

Anyway, I met Megan's husband. He came to do the show also. Skinny, wimpy blond guy. And she didn't stop doing anything. She even did things in front of him. I hate to sound provincial but you know back home that kind of behavior would have gotten you a lot of wailing old ladies at Dimitri’s Funeral Parlor.

Well after a night's shoot, Merrick gathered the whole cast and lit up a reefer. I figured that's what it was since everybody sat in a circle and passed it around. It finally came to me and I saw this teeny tiny cigarette with a flattened out tip. I grabbed it and put it to my mouth making sure that my fingertips were covering its tip. Then I passed it over.

I figured they would all be so stoned that they wouldn't notice that the reefer never touched my mouth.

All I kept thinking about was that I couldn't put anything in my mouth that had been in all those other mouths before.

How gross! That's unhealthy too, right?

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