25 December 2010

he was so much older then

[click image]


This song has been playing in my head for over a week. I'm sure you haven't even forgotten it since I posted it a few days ago, but I'm trippin' on this song completely supplanting anything as seasonal as, say, well, Jingle Bells. I think I was in Junior High when I first heard him singing something, and it thrilled me... made my cheeks pink... and it felt very strange, a scandalous secret—something—I didn't know what—probably, no, definitely not something I should mention to my mother. His voice was booming all through the clubhouse by the public pool. Scantily-clad people, mostly young, but mostly older than I was, were all around and Eric was getting to me, all in this secret cosmos nobody else touches—well, nobody knows how to enter—but I was afraid it was going to show anyway. I was afraid people could see, that there would be some blinking neon tag to alert them to this sort of feral urge filling up my air. So when the song was over I was relieved... and grieving. Luckily, the songs they were playing were on a short rotation so I got to not miss him again for a few minutes a couple more times that day.

I was already an old hand at having crushes on men, starting right with Harry Belefonte and Liberace and Korla Pandit when I was three, but very chastely and prudishly—having not mentioned my crush on John to anyone because I thought it wasn't okay to be in love with a married man—opting for George for public purposes—not being remotely inclined to adore Paul—my sister being ALL over the Ringo thing—but Eric was definitely an entirely other kettle of fish. Kept my yap immovably shut about it, I did... and I know you don't find that remotely credible, but the great thing about never keeping yer yap shut about anything is that nobody can ever tell what you aren't mentioning. I'm a veritable Everest of secrets that will never pass from me to any inhabitant of this world. But I figgered the coast was finally clear to admit at least this. I think my first bona fide case of the hots for anyone was Eric Burdon, an older man... and it was still some years before I ever stayed in proximity to any case of the hots for anyone at all.

I was crazy for Robin Williams. I mean I was beside myself crazy for Robin Williams. He was at College of Marin while I was still in high school, but also going to College of Marin. A mutual friend tried to get us firmly introduced at least three times and each of them lasted about a heartbeat longer than it took Robin to say, "Hello 99," and I bolted. Yes. Literally. I ran. Finally, he did an entire performance—alone on the stage—for me—alone in the audience—while the rest of the cast and crew were striking the set from a soon-to-be-famous play they'd just wrapped at the seminary theater in San Anselmo, and the director/teacher was screaming for him to quit dicking around and help backstage, and Robin just completely ignored him, despite the mounting threats of failing grades and invisible career future. By that time, I'd been having a great deal of trouble with the avalanches of male attention from every direction, and most of it not remotely pleasant, so it was just right at that remove. I could stay, not run, just the two of us... with audio from the irked director backstage. I can tell you that he was every bit as good then as he has been since you've gotten to know him. All during my private audience, I was dazzled that he was as riveting and funny and sad and convincing as Red Skelton, mourning that Robin Williams should be famous as though the world had already passed him over when he was only, what? Nineteen? Twenty? I can't remember the exact year. I think I suffered this for at least two full years... maybe longer.

I saw him at the industry screening for Beverly Hills Cop years later, but I grinned and ducked when he recognized me, instead of finally getting to talk with him, because I was in the middle of being freaked out by Hollywood and men, again, big time. I was down there, staying with my newly extremely important type friend and her husband. Always an ordeal. It was fun going to movie screenings at the studios or the big nights at the big theaters. It was fun seeing so many movie stars. But the society was always outright appalling. And I was having to watch what that pit full of vipers was doing to someone I'd loved for a long time... not pretty... and I was catching all kinds of peripheral action from people in various positions in the industry... and most of it was SO shallow and SO venal and SO much vanity and falsity was dripping from every encounter that I usually stopped having any fun after two days or so. Except it's really stupid to go all that way to see your friends and stay only two days.

Earlier that evening I'd been at UCLA with my friend who was doing one of their classes by professionals for film students and there was THE MOST HANDSOME MAN IN HUMAN HISTORY in the elevator with us after class. OMG, it surpasses my powers of description, for sure, to give you that picture. OMG, OMG, OMG. I'm NOT exaggerating. He was with an older professorial type man... a professor and his assistant, thought I... and he was giving me the tractor beam treatment with those incredible eyes the whole absurdly-slow way down. I mentioned to my friend as we neared her car in the parking lot that I thought that fellow had to be the best-looking man of all time. She mentioned she'd noticed he thought pretty highly of me in there too... and shame he's that old queen's gigolo.

Sheesh. How to pop my bubble in a big ass hurry. I resolved not to believe her, but just a little later, there he was with the same old queen at the big to-do at some huge old theater, I think just the night before Beverly Hills Cop would be opening to the public, and still staring at me with the same longing as in the elevator earlier. Then, and while this one was still locked-on, Sean Penn's head popped up like a periscope breaching the sea of people making their way in for the screening, and he was giving me that look—truly unmistakably—too. I'm trying to think if I ever in my life saw any man bursting with that much testosterone. I don't think so, and, well, that's saying something, okay?

I didn't like this much. I was having a very bad time. I was EXTREMELY upset from just breaking up with my lover of five years, what you might call "wrecked" in fact. My friend's oldest daughter, also a dear friend, was right in the middle of making it abundantly clear to everyone in her life, everyone in LA, that she was a drunk of transcendental aspect, humiliating me at least half as much as she was humiliating herself. I'd been having a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful few moments with Edward James Olmos out by the pool in the back of a house where a very large party was in full swing, when someone at whose zipper she would not stop tugging came staggering out to beg me to get her out of there. End of the first truly enjoyable moments of my visit so far. I had NO idea where we were and now had to drive someone too drunk to even point the way home. Her mother had just the day before been a RAVING bitch about my innocently mentioning what I'd thought of a movie to someone who knew I was staying with her, shocking me down to my toes. I mean, she'd gone postal... over nothing at all... over something I still can't quite fathom would impinge upon her life or reputation in even the most minute way. Then went postal again when I brought her daughter to her house in that condition, even though I'd had no choice because I'd only been lucky enough to recognize a road I knew led to her house, not having the first part of a clue where her daughter lived. I'd've done better to just drop her at an all night diner and find the nearest freeway home. So, having already been there for a week of this action by the the night of the screening, I was a bloody wreck, all things considered, and completely unhappy about now going to sit in the specially-roped-off-for-bigshots section whilst there were these two fellows with their radar locked on me, and my hostess in such a freakishly irascible state of mind.

That's when I spotted Robin. Eddie Murphy was all slumped down in a seat behind me and to my right, trying not to be noticed or something, and Robin and Christopher Reeve had just come up to him to give him shit about being such a big chicken. Robin's eyes got wide with recognition and started pointing at me. I couldn't face the famous person thing with him by that point. I just couldn't. Who the hell could even tell how my big shot friend would have taken that. Maybe yet another breach of important person's friend's protocol that it seemed to me she was just making up as she went along. Much as I've always wanted to finally be able to sit down and talk with him, not be so frightened by love to even speak, I just grinned at him and slunk down in my seat as though still too shy to say anything. There's only so much of this noise I can take and, even though I could take much more then than I can now, I've NEVER been able to take much of that. I was a wreck.

And that turned out to be the end of my friendship with Ms. Big Shot's eldest daughter. The end of my wholeheartedness with Ms. Big Shot. The end of any willing existence within the boundaries of the LA Basin... hell... of Southern California... at all. I could not parse the notion of the most gorgeous man of all time being so clearly heterosexual and yet a gigolo for an old queen. I still try to think of other excuses for him staying glued to the old guy and yet ravishing me with his eyes and psychic energies. Maybe the old queen was his wealthy uncle and wouldn't have stood for his nephew squandering a visit by going off with some babe...? There are other explanations. Whatever. That creepy notion put a soaking wet rag over the inclination to find out one way or another. And, yep, if I'd've so much as twitched an eyebrow, Sean Penn and I would have missed the movie. No question. Luckily for everyone, he took no for an answer, despite the force of his interest. Heh. That was then. NOW, for sure, I wouldn't turn him down... well, I don't think... possibly... conditions permitting.... I didn't know there was a BRAIN and a HEART behind all those hormones. I do now.

Heh. Too laaaaaaate.... :o]

I bet you I'm never going to run into Robin Williams again. I bet I'm never going to get the chance to describe to him the size and shape and nuance of my girlish spiritual obliteration over him. How the chemistry or the cosmic wind or whatever the hell does that to someone had me zapping with the tao over him.

I'm sure I've told you a lot of this before... and I can't remember if I told you about all the rock stars and the drug dealers before either... but whatever I told you before, you didn't know about my thing for Eric Burdon... how it intersected with everything that came after... what it did to me when I was young.


Oh, oh, and I went off so far down the garden path that I forgot to mention the whole reason I reposted this song. It's been playing in my head for a week. The reason I broke down and posted it to begin with. Right. Well last night I found it on the website of someone I really admire like crazy. Do you suppose he got it from me? Was it psychic? Or cosmic? Just another completely accidental synchronicity?

Maybe something splendid is nearing.

love, 99

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.