A full transcendental moon dipped into the black-out mountain evening, has cured me of interior turmoil for the time being. This is part of adventures in livingness what locals call the bu. TO BE CONTINUED
I WALKED ALONG THE BLUFF OF DECKER CANYON overlooking the Santa Monica mountains and listened to the breeze stream through palm and eucalyptus trees. Medication from nature loosened the wires in my guarded nervous system. A new current of suspicion, tension and distrust entered the zone between Madam C. As a woman who beholds her best gal pals, and runs into the arms of women who send out invitations for friendship, I’m susceptible and gullible to hidden motivations.
After the rain walk, doused in mist and droplets I scurried up the hill to my shack. The room I rented from Madam C smelled musty after the rain. It is linked to her boudoir by an open patio where we shower. During the day, our paths cross a dozen times in the kitchen, in the hallway, and in my room.
“ LouLou, are you there? LouLou, let me see what you are wearing, I love those earrings, where did you get them? LouLou we are going to Westlake tonight. There are a lot of very rich men there. Is my hair color okay? Yes you look beautiful. Loulou did you lock the door? Did you close the gate? You left your clothes in the dryer. Where is Lily, (the cat) Will you watch Koui, (her furry partner) for me tonight? Yes, yes yes.
As I entered my room, rain water was dripping in bold droplets on the rock floor. Madam stuck her head in to speak.
“Oh my god, what is this? Oh I can’t believe it. Her hands massaged her forehead, and her face twisted into a vaccination of anguish.
“ It’s not that bad, ” I assuredly replied. I meant it too.
“ Oh the money I will have to spend! Juan, (her runaround helper) is called and ordered to come at once.”
“ Look Juan! What are we going to do?”
Juan mumbled something I can’t recall and we all stared at the rain coming down.
“ You will have to move, you can’t stay there. I will put you in the Artists Studio. It’s more money. That’s all I can do”
“ How much more?”
“ Two hundred.”
“Or you can leave?”
I turned away to hide my alarm.
That night I watched over Koui in C’s living room and played with the remote mostly because the screen wasn’t taking effect on my disposition. I felt a bit unwelcome, as if I pulled the rain from the sky.
In the morning, she greeted me courteously, “ Are you ready to move.. Juan and I moved my suitcases, bedding, photos and twelve pairs of shoes to the studio. It was lovely, a high-pitched ceiling, aquamarine walls, and private patio with shower, bathroom and kitchen.
“ Well, you like it?”
“ I love it!”
“ Well then show it. You should be happy all the time. Life is not easy, I know my dear. Adjustments are necessary. You don’t have a mama and papa to look after you. It’s up to you.
“ But C I am happy?”
Later on she sent me a text. She invited her neighbor Andrew to dine with us, “ I am doing this for you. He is a producer, Maybe he can help you.”
I prepared dinner in my new studio, listening to Ray Charles, dancing in a celebratory mood.
“ LouLou, Andrew is here, C breezed into the patio, draped in scarf, and a exotic maxi dress. I waved them in.
Andrew handed me a lemon frosted cake and a bottle of red wine.” We all chatted at once. then C blurted out, “Why didn’t you use my kitchen?”
I am making dinner and cleaning up. You just sit and enjoy.
Dinner rocked along with intensity; C and Andrew discussing water rights, neighbors, and her vacation rentals. After dinner Andrew stood up, 6’3” and whispered , ‘ can we go into your area?’ C must have heard, because she spun away.
We drank wine and Andrew unbuttoned his witty humor, on-set stories, and compliments. I immediately caressed his presence and we ended up at his quarters; an unruly wedge of land so blackened we could not see anything but the stars. Behind us was his lodge; a spit and glue log cabin covered in palm frowns. I found his eccentricity appealing as his smile. He really didn’t give any thought to conventionality.
“ What kind of movies do you make?” I asked.
“ Rotten ones, I mean really bad. The last one I didn’t even see. B sci-fi flicks, reality shows, that I can’t stand to watch, and documentaries.”
“ Documentaries have turned into dramas, I love them.”
“Yea, they’re good. I filmed Sundance and Cannes. Listen, I’m not a devotee of the business, I don’t kiss ass, and I don’t go to star parties, or read about them. I got fired off a film because I addressed Reese Witherspoon without knowing who she was.”
“ Yea, there’s a hierarchy to the business you have to deal with. Are you cold? You’re shivering. Here put my jacket on. “
Andrew walked me down the uneven dirt road with a flashlight and a steady arm. His size in height and bulk denotes power, but it is his effortless mannerisms, laughter and shuffling footsteps that remind me of a comfortable sitting chair.
‘ Do you like museums?”
“You want to go tomorrow? You been to LCMCA?”
I wasn’t even sure which one he meant but I said yes!
We took off the next morning in my Rover, so I would adjust to driving in Los Angeles again. We stopped at Duke’s for breakfast, sat on the patio under a canopy of bougainvillaea.
“ I am having a panic attack.”
“ I’m so happy!” Life was so spectacular at that moment; to lean back and set my heart into the sea, sky, and eat a fish sandwich.
Andrew threw his head back and laughed.
“ Could we make one stop first at Saks. I have some jewelry they have to send out?”
“ Do you know how to get there?” He asked. Andrew moved from Manhattan four years ago. “ “Are you kidding? Saks Beverly Hills is my Tiffany’s.”
To be continued