Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Legend in His Own Mind-13

July, 1981

Hey Pal?

Screw you and your suggestion. Binky Wendelsohn III? Come on, what do you think I am? Some country club tennis playing geek? Besides I already picked one.

Mami won't talk to me now. The Dragon Lady says I am denying my family roots. I told her it was a professional move not a personal one, but she wasn't having it.

Anyway, my friend Slovak has an audition for "Laverne and Shirley" at Paramount and he wants me to be his scene partner. Isn't that great? I know it's his audition but they might like me too.

We're doing the linguini scene from "The Odd Couple." You know where Felix is not talking to Oscar and Oscar kicks him out? I'm Felix. We're at Slovak's house trying to rehearse while his girlfriend, Samoa, is running around moving linen from one closet to another. This girl is so hyper. Beautiful Hawaiian girl with long black hair but totally whacked.

Later on she's sitting at the dining room table with a bowl and she dumps an entire box of Captain Crunch cereal inside of it. Slovak is getting mad. Looking like he looks, I wouldn't want to see him angry. He once took on an entire busload of Mormons in Utah. He told me that the reason he had to leave Yugoslavia was because he killed a man in a bar fight.

He says to her, "Now, Samoa, why do you do that? You know you're not going to eat all that cereal."

So she answers him, "Don't worry about it, Hon. Whatever I don't eat I'll just blow dry it and put it back in the box."

I can see it too. This woman is fried.

And talking about fried...are you toasted? Why would you want to join the army? I know they pay for your college but you could have gotten a scholarship. I mean you graduated Summa Cum Laude in high school and you were great in baseball.

You were the star pitcher of our team. I don't know why I still refer to it as our team. All I did was shine the bench. The only time in the season that I actually got up from there was to hit a foul ball that beaned the coach's wife from the dugout.

Why would you want to go somewhere where they treat you like that? I mean they're all so nasty and rude.

August, 1981

Dear PFC Vega,

Does that sound officious enough? Wow! I still can't believe it! You look good in your uniform. But don't be doing anything stupid like volunteering for missions to Yassir Arafat's house. I know we're not at war but they are shipping you to Beirut. I mean, come on, those people throw mortar shells like we throw firecrackers.

When Dad saw your picture, he was so proud. He'd love it if I joined him in the Everglades with his revolutionary group. Revolutionary group! Six old men dressed in camouflage planning to overthrow Castro from an airboat. Not me. Green is definitely not my color. And I don't do well in mud.

I'm sending you a picture of my Head and Shoulders ad. You can hang it up in your footlocker. I'll be the Farrah Fawcett of Lebanon. They have this shot blown up on a billboard overlooking the Ventura Freeway. I have to see a twenty four-foot image of me coming out of the shower every day. Could you die?

I sent the picture to Mami and you know what the Dragon Lady said?

"I'm glad jou changed jour name since jou estarted doing porno."

All you see is my chest! What is she talking about? You know, someone has to tell that woman that she's living in the twentieth century. Abuela thought I looked real cute with wet hair.

Even though I'm "young and confused", Gary still took me to Oil Can Harry's. Another gay bar on Ventura Boulevard. It was very strange. He said it wasn't a date or anything but he hovered over me like a chaperone.

Gary should've been hovering whenever Megan got close. Yes I'm still dancing with her but see we keep winning dance contests. It's a great way to supplement my income.

Anyway I was in the backseat of her car. Well? I couldn't offend her by refusing, could I? She managed to get under me and I'm sweating bullets. She pulls me over her and I start to fumble...I mean, I really don't know where IT is. All of a sudden my search is impeded by flashing lights. She yells, startled, thinking it's a cop. It wasn't! But I took the opportunity to tell her it wasn't safe out there.

I didn't know what else to tell her. Stop yelling at me! You're right. I should tell her that I'm gay. But I don't want to hurt her feelings. I mean, I didn't tell her the first night 'cause I really didn't know. But she doesn't know that. She's gonna think I lied. That I lead her on somehow. I'll just keep subtly refusing her 'till she gets the picture.

On to brighter things. Don finally got his office. It overlooks Sunset Boulevard. I helped him move the other day and we spent all night talking about the clients we were going to have. The sun started to set and let me tell you, it was one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen. This orange haze covered all of Hollywood. I guess methane gas will do that.

Don wrapped his arms around me and we both sat huddled together and admired that incredible glow. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. It wasn't sexual at all. I mean he didn't try anything. Not that he would. He's my friend. But it was this incredible union between our souls. We didn't have to say anything. It was like the mere touch of our bodies communicated everything.

I better stop before this sounds like Harlequin romance erotica. You know, the hot breath on the nape of my neck and things like that. I don't want to get you into trouble when they start to censor this letter.

Well don't do anything I wouldn't do. Not that you ever would.

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