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true story, i swear
by Michele Christopher
Well, we got a lot done on the site today, as you can tell from the sidebar. Go ahead, click around. Things are moving pretty fast around here. And Kali made her sex goddess debut!
Sometimes you can tell what kind of day we had just by looking around here. Sometimes you have no idea. Turtle had a pretty rough day today and needed to step away from the computer for a while. Definitely not up to writing tonight. So I'm flying solo. But I've got a pretty decent story for you.
celebrity true stories: she who shall not be named
I was, through my first marriage, related to the person who directed A in several of her movies. This person came from California to visit his family on Long Island and brought the "A" along with him.
There are several stories I could tell you about the week or so the diva was here. The whole surreal day I spent with her when her husband died. The trip to the supermarket. Bu I won't tell those. Not now. You might not believe me anyhow. Because they are that bizarre. But I will tell you about when she returned for a visit in the fall. You should just keep in mind that during the August week she was here, nearly everyone who was kind of star-struck when she arrived loathed her by the time she left.
It was September, maybe two weeks after school started. My then husband's grandfather had gone missing and the next week his body turned up in a dumpster in the Bronx. It was, obviously, a difficult time for the family. A funeral service was planned. The relative in California was called. He was told to come for the funeral of his father. But. Don’t bring her. Do not bring "A". Please. Nobody needs her melodrama.
He arrives the next day. With "A" in tow. She wouldn't miss this for the world, she says. What? This isn’t a movie premiere, you twit. It’s a funeral. Well, she says, he was like a father to me. Yes, right. Because she knew him all of one month. And spent about 20 hours total in person with him during that time. Like a father to her. Whatever.
The day of the wake comes. Italian wakes are dramatic and overwrought enough without half-witted celebrities in attendance. Especially half-witted celebrities who seem to have taken a little too much of their medication. “A” struts into the funeral home, dressed up like she’s going to the Oscars. She's carrying on about something or other. Tears, drama, histrionics. My ex's parents ask her to please wait in the sitting area while the wake is going on. They don’t want her inside the room where the service is being held. You can’t blame them. You gotta question the sanity of a person who plays attention whore at a wake. So she walks out of the room all petulant like and plops herself in a chair out in the hallway. She pouts and whines and waits for people to recognize her.
A little while later, I come out of the bathroom and see “A” still sitting there in the chair, pouting. And she’s....hmmm. What is she doing? I think she’s talking to herself? Yea, she is. Like she’s trying to calm herself down. And she's stroking her coat. What. The. Hell. I stare at her. You know how a cat looks at you when he thinks you are crazy? That tilt of the head? That’s how I look at her. She doesn’t seem to notice. I go back into the room and mention A's odd behavior to some family members. Everyone agrees that at least she's staying out there so we shouldn’t bother her. Let her alone.
As we agree on that, the doors to the room swing open. “A” walks in like she’s making a grand entrance at a ball. She does some weird gesture and stands there. Waits to be noticed and admired. When no one stands up to applaud her, or whatever the hell she’s waiting for, she works her way towards the coffin. She actually flips her hair as she walks. Holy hell. What class. Then she gets to the coffin and looks down at the man she barely knew yet whom was apparently a father figure to her. She turns her head. Makes sure she has the attention of everyone in the room. Oh, she knows how to play a room, even at a funeral. Everyone is staring at her. It’s dead quiet. We’re all waiting to see what she is gonna do.
She starts to wail. She's incoherent, crying, sobbing, and there is not a person in the room who doesn't know that it is all an act. We've seen her movies. We know bad acting when we see it. Suddenly she puts the back of her hand up to her forehead 1950's movie star style, and falls to the floor in a faint. I swear to you, I started to giggle. This was better than the Chuckles the Clown wake on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. We don’t know whether to laugh or go pick her up off the floor. No one moves to help her. She lays there, hand still on forehead, skirt hiked up, a spectacle on display. Finally, the California relative comes over, picks her up and walks her out to the chair in the hallway.
The service continues. We sit there quietly, talking in hushed tones to people who are offering their condolences. But every once in a while, when it becomes very, very quiet, we hear this squeaking sound. At first, I think it's a kid crying. Someone else thinks it's a person with new, squeaky shoes. Maybe a mouse? We can't figure it out, but it stops and starts and stops and starts until it gets irritating enough for us to go investigate. We follow the sound of the squeak out of the wake room, into the hallway, right to the .....chair. The chair where “A” is sitting. She's talking to herself again and ummm.....petting herself? What is with this chick? Then it hits me. The sound. It's not a squeak we’ve been hearing. It’s a yip. A fucking yip. And then we see it. Rising out of “A”'s coat like a beast coming forth from her breasts is the head of......a poodle. A tiny, toy poodle yipping away at us.
Jesus christ on a pogo stick. It’s a dog. She brought her fucking dog to a funeral. No one says anything. No one bothers to explain to her why we are mad. Just the fact that she doesn't understand our or bewilderment speaks volumes about her capacity to figure out why this is wrong on so many levels. We turn and go back into the service, leaving her there with her stupid little dog. That was the last I saw of “A”.
By the end of that year I was separated from my husband, and his family, and I never had to deal with her again.
Once in a while, a movie of hers will show up on cable at 3am and I'll get a good laugh out of her acting. I've seen her best piece of work and it’s not on film. -M