I’m sick to death of this election cycle.
I’m sick to death of agonizing crises of the “really old person” variety.
I’m sick to death of worldwide insanity and economic mayhem.
So to lighten things up a little bit…
I want to talk about farts.
After all, farts have a huge presence in the lives of absolutely all human beings. No one is immune.
Farts are wildly hilarious, they feel good, and they are devastatingly embarrassing.
My personal experience with farts, as far back as I can recall, started oh-so-long ago when I was a very young child.
The scene is an average middle-class, 1950’s American living room. There is a father sitting in a huge green leather chair, with his long legs stretched out across a matching green leather ottoman. There is a mother sitting on a red couch she hates but tolerates because it was a surprise gift from the father. And there are two kids seated on the floor; a little girl and her older brother. There are watching Walt Disney on a black-and-white Philco, which means it’s a Sunday night.
Somewhere around halfway through the program, the father says, “Whoop! Here it comes!” Whereupon he ceremoniously lifts his right buttock and blasts the room with an extended and enormous explosion. Whereupon the mother crosses her arms and says, “God Damn It Frank!” Whereupon the two children fall into complete hysterics. Whereupon the father wears a relieved and self-satisfied grin.
Throughout one’s life there are many millions of farts. But I bet you’ll agree there are some that really stand out in memory.
I recall one when I was an early teen living in Japan, where I befriended a classmate, we’ll call her Pam, who was the daughter of our Episcopal priest. I also had a crush on her older brother, whom we will call Rocky, who was a tough and exciting bad-boy, as many sons of priests can be, and who also had taught me how to French kiss. Pam invited me over to spend the night one weekend, where we would be having a big family dinner with Father “Remington,” his wife “Mabel,” and of course Rocky. The only detail I recall of that gathering, was when we were all visiting in the living room, and the Japanese maid appeared to announced dinner was ready, at which point we all stood in momentary silence, and to my sudden shock I passed what I call the loud, bubbly kind of fart, and in the immediate aftermath, everyone was so stunned they all just stared at me with astonished bewilderment.
There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Only a formal sit-down dinner awaited me, where nobody had a clue what to say.
Fast forward a couple of years and I’m in the Philippines, a high school student in love with a boy named “Bill.” He asked me to see a movie at the on-base theater (I think it was “The Days of Wine and Roses,” which ended up being depressing as hell, by the way), and said his mother wanted to meet me first. We lived within walking distance of each other, so he came to get me, and we went back to his place. His mother stood waiting on the wide, wraparound porch, waving at us across the lawn, which had a walkway to the porch steps, and on this walkway was a random garden hose zigzagging along the path. We had to lift our feet slightly so as not to step on it, and to my horror, with each step I took came a fart, one right after the other, in rapid succession, the last one emitting just as we reach Bill’s mother, who stood on that top porch step and glared down at me in the silence that followed.
How did Bill and I do after that? Who remembers? But like I said, the movie was depressing as hell, which I guess was a good thing because it made us forget about my earlier, multisyllabic display of flatulence.
My mother, ever the “southern lady of the old school,” has always insisted she just “does not pass gas…ever.” But my daughter, who calls my mother “Doer,” busted her one day, which I learned when she called me expressly to tell me, “Doer farted, Mom! I swear to God, I caught her in the act just now!” I could hear my mother yelling in the background, “I DID NOT DO THAT! SHE’S LYING!”
And speaking of my daughter? Oh my God.
She inherited “the gift” from my father, I’m convinced.
She’s blatant about it, and quite frankly, she’s totally unabashed.
When she was a teenager, I can remember a number of times when I would stomp up the stairs to tell her and her friends to pipe down please, and upon opening her bedroom door, someone would announce with an eye-roll, “Farrah farted again, Jill! GAG!” And there Farrah would sit, with that look of relieved self-satisfaction I used to see on my father’s face every day of my life.
So as you can see, I was heavily indoctrinated into this gassy lifestyle from day one…so much so, I recall telling a boyfriend one time, “Dude, we’ve been together for freaking six months now, and I’ve NEVER heard you fart! Not once! And I’ll not believe you really love me until you do!”
Of course his response was to fart every five minutes for the rest of our seven-year relationship.
I want to tell you about my new dog, which I kind of inadvertently acquired from my daughter, in the midst of a long-term and major uptick in the care and maintenance of my 91-year-old mother.
Talk about whiplash.
From the depths of anxiety and emotional depletion, to the soaring heights of euphoria over a puppy’s unconditional love, I feel forever changed.
Over the past six weeks, following my mother’s broken hip and subsequent surgery and rehab, there have been times when I’ve come home and just freaking sat in a chair, staring at nothing, unable to read, write or even watch television.
Then came little Vincent.
I call him Vinny.
This little eight pound, eight month old Westie-mix rescue dog is a blonde fur-ball of pure affection, who thinks he is the size of a Great Dane, and I swear to God, has the strength of a Great Dane. Walking him is an adventure in being literally pulled through the air, and God forbid there should be other dogs in the vicinity, for my little Vinny is fearless and snarling in his attempts to attack.
I hear myself apologizing to other dog-owners for Vinny’s ferociously anti-social behavior. Some of them reply with a “No problem!” But others look at me with a scowl that says, “You’re a very shitty mom.”
A couple of times his exuberance, combined with his extraordinary strength, has knocked the leash right out of my hand and I’ve found myself running around like a deranged monkey trying to grab hold of him again.
But the best part of Vinny?
He loves people.
He is the most affectionate, loving and demonstrative dog I have ever known. He literally presses himself against me as if to try to get closer than even possible.
And don’t even get me started on his cuteness. It’s awwwww inspiring. Know what I mean?
So now, when I come home and sit in a chair, it’s no longer about staring out into nothing.
It’s all about that little blonde boy who is cradled in my arms, staring up at me with that gorgeous puppy face full of love.
Thank you, my sweet daughter Farrah.
[Author’s Note: Here’s another early Rant for those readers who may have missed it the first time around.]
In spite of the title, this piece is not meant to stir anybody’s loins or anything like that. Quite the opposite, actually. And I feel I am qualified to write objectively on this subject for two reasons: 1) my libido is on extended hiatus; and 2) I am just mentally ill enough to do it in a public forum.
Looking back on my rather lengthy and quite active sexual history, I have concluded the following:
First, ninety percent of the time, sex is not what it’s cracked up to be. (The other ten per cent? Ah, but those memories do live on, soaring through my psyche on blessed, divine occasions.) From where I sit, it seems that the profound, orgasmic explosion we all anticipated as virgin teenagers, touted as routine when having intercourse, is basically a myth.
Second, a woman’s ability to achieve orgiastic release while having sexual intercourse has more to do with her state of being, than with the man’s expertise in the sack. For example, if you are a female who comes from a philandering father and a mother who stayed with him as punishment, such acute dysfunction makes it difficult to trust, which means it’s difficult to relax enough to let down and let go.
Third, both men and woman resort to faking it…some more than others. Men are expected to endure long enough to make it happen, and women are expected, by God, to produce! And vice versa. So since nobody wants to look or feel like a failure in bed, (because Heaven knows if an orgasm doesn’t happen then the whole thing is unfortunately deemed a disappointment), somebody better fake it…and quick! How can anyone feel sexy and romantic with all that shit going on?
Fourth…uh, simultaneous orgasms? Are you kidding me??
Why does sex have to be all about the orgasm? After all, we can have one by ourselves in about ten seconds. Is no one paying attention to how amazing it is to just connect at the deepest physical level? To make one human out of two?
I think we should forget about “The Big O” for a while. If we can eliminate all those ridiculous unrealistic expectations, maybe we can be blown away by surprise when it actually happens on its own!
And that’s my take on the thing.
[Author’s Note: Here’s a piece I posted back in December 2010, before I started sharing my blog on Facebook. I think it’s fun, and definitely worth re-ranting about! Hope you enjoy.]
At the end of 1995 things were going well, and the year had been positive. August had me happily divorced, again; September had my daughter leaving my nest empty; and October had me beginning a new relationship.
This “new” man, we’ll call him Jeffrey, was someone I had known for twenty years. We met when my boyfriend-at-the-time Marcus and I moved to a Southern California beach town in 1974. Through a dear, longtime girlfriend of mine, Marcus and I met and hung out with a fun and boisterous group of fire fighters and their women.
So I became great friends with Jeffrey, who was also in a relationship at the time. He was tall, black-haired, cute and very funny. We all spent countless hours playing Backgammon, drinking shots, smoking pot, going out to dinners, movies, taking quick ski trips, and lazing on the beach.
Fast forward twenty years later, I am living in Gainesville, Florida, and I receive a surprising phone call from Jeffrey. He tells me he’s been divorced twice, has no kids, doesn’t fight fires anymore, is working on his Ph.D. in psychology and has moved to Jacksonville to be near his family.
“Remember all those long, serious talks we used to have?” he asked. “And how much we used to laugh? Will you have dinner with me? I’ll be in Gainesville next week.”
Thus began a couple of really exciting months of dating, getting to know each other again, meeting each other’s families, trips back and forth between Gainesville and Jacksonville. And sex. Really good sex. I honestly thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Except for one nagging little thing: Jeffrey kept telling me he “had a little secret.” But when pressed, he would say, “You’ll know soon enough, my love!” By December this was beginning to gnaw on my last nerve.
On New Year’s Eve we were having this fancy late dinner out with his parents and siblings, when he whispered in my ear about his “secret.” I said, “For the love of God, Jeffrey, will you please tell me what it is?” “Later,” he replied.
We finished a fine meal, toasted in the year 1996, and as we drove home to Jeffrey’s house we talked of being horny for each other and of cracking open another bottle of champagne.
“Lemme slip into something more comfortable while you pick out the music,” he said, breathing heavily between deep kisses as he body-pressed me against the beveled glass of his front door. “Champagne’s in the fridge,” he whispered, nibbling lightly on my right earlobe.
Feeling weak-kneed and dizzy, I lovingly scanned the titles in his tall, teak CD rack next to a set of giant speakers. He had the Allman Brothers’ Live at the Fillmore. He had Steeley Dan, the Temptations, and even Tower of Power. I adored Tower of Power. He had Tyrone Davis! Otis Redding! Gabor Szabo! The Average White Band!
I decided I wanted to hear “Stormy Monday” and after opening a bottle of champagne and pouring two glasses, I sat cross-legged on the floor about two inches from the speakers.
I looked at my watch. One-forty-five a.m. What was taking him so long? I put on some Sergio Mendez. Perfect! Nothing like a little swing and sway in the background for hot, sweet passion on the living room floor! I turned the music down low, lit the vanilla candle on the coffee table, and I waited.
“Jill,” he said suddenly from somewhere behind me. I felt excited by the smooth alto of his voice calling my name. I turned to face him. He stood in the doorway. Light from the bedroom behind him outlined his form, making it difficult to see. He moved toward me, and then stopped under the track-lighting in the hall.
“Oh sweet Jesus,” I whispered.
There he posed, his tall, hairy bulk adorned in matching, sea-foam green camisole and slip, trimmed with delicate antique-white lace. An enormous boner protruded proudly from under the fine silk.
I focused on the stubbly squareness of his jaw for what seemed like forever.
Finally I said, “Your chest hairs are poking out through the lace.”
He opened his arms to me, but I sat riveted to my spot, not daring to move.
“Come to me sweetness,” he said hoarsely. “I need you now.”
“What is this, a joke?” I asked hopefully. “Your version of Milton Berle doing his best drag bit? Because quite frankly, Jeffrey, your timing is lousy.”
Then I started laughing like a maniac, and as a result I watched as his smile slowly vanished, his erection grew limp.
“Aha!” I exclaimed. “So that’s why you have Victoria’s Secret catalogues on the coffee table!”
The smile reappeared. “Wanna see my wardrobe? I have gorgeous nightgowns and sweet Baby Doll see-throughs in all colors!”
I swear to God. He was literally beaming he was so proud.
“So…what are you, gay? Bisexual?”
“No!” he shouted.
“What does your shrink say about this, Jeffrey?”
“She tells me if I want a healthy relationship with a woman, I have to give up my passion!”
“I told my shrink if a woman can’t take it, then I don’t want her!”
I tried. Really I did. But the transvestite act was such a profound turn-off for me; I just couldn’t deal.
So that was it.
I told him I preferred my men in Jockey Life Slim Guys, boxers or briefs, and that was the end of that.
You think you know somebody.
I’ve been absent from my blog, in the throes of a major scary medical thing in my family right now, and it has taken up every minute of my free time since a week ago.
So instead of saying nothing, I’ll just use this occasion to tell you, my readers, how much I adore you and thank you for caring about what I write. What a blessing you all are!
And make no mistake, what I am living right now will definitely be the subject of a blog post in the very near future, and my promise to you is I will try to tell the story in the most vivid and riveting way possible.
Talk to you soon.
Without getting all gooey and syrupy, I want to talk about friends. This subject is inspired by a very recent gathering of a group of women I’ve known, or known of, for decades. We enjoyed lunch with a view of the glorious Lake Panasoffkee. There were six of us on this mini-reunion outing, and we only had three hours together, which was disappointing because we were still laughing and talking like madmen on the way to our cars to leave. We weren’t finished yet! Isn’t that just the best kind of happening? Where you feel so happy and comfortable with people, you hate to part ways with them?
I can tell you there have been many times when after spending a puny five minutes with a person, or a group of people, all I could think about was how much I wanted to leave and how in God’s name was I going to do it gracefully.
And then there are times when you meet up with people who have been your absolute best friends for practically a lifetime, and you discover they’ve turned into some kind of freak-monster. You find yourself smiting your forehead, wondering what the fuck happened to this precious person whom you used to love so much?
Upon landing in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1964, in the middle of my sophomore year in high school, I remember telling my father-the-career-Air-Force-officer that I’d have his balls on a goddamn platter if he even thought about moving me to yet another school again. Well…I didn’t put it to him in those exact words, but you get my point. He saved me by retiring early in 1965. For Joy! No More Transfers!! And as it turned out, those precious 2½ years, in one school if you can even imagine that, provided this road-weary Air Force Brat with the foundation for lasting, lifelong friendships.
I have to hand it to the Internet, email and social media (yes, that includes that dastardly Facebook whose critics include many who assail it as evil, all of whom likely have a secret account so they can go trolling themselves), for making it so easy to make new friends and reconnect with old ones; for making it possible to make friends with people I went to school with, but didn’t know well at the time! Discovering new things in common with old acquaintances using social media, has allowed me a view through a window into who they are, in a way not quite accomplishable among us as high school students.
Proponents of reincarnation will tell you we are all members of small “soul clusters” which include family, prominent friends and others who have affected us in some kind of freaky profound way throughout our lives, incarnate or otherwise, and which can also include some of those people whose guts you hated, and those who hated yours. I can see reincarnation, but I’ll be damned if I want to be stuck with some of these people, body and soul, for the rest of eternity!
So now I’m going to name names. Judy, Linda, Ann, Pam, Patti. You’re amazing women. I thank you for an enormously good time, I look forward with fervor to our next three-hour lunch, and I sincerely hope you will all be in my soul cluster for a very long time.
Whenever people tell me that when it came time for their elderly parent(s) to stop driving, and I hear them say the “Ancient Beings” willingly handed over their keys with a smile, I want to lunge at them and strangle their throats.
Because for me, it was a nightmare that went on for more than fifteen years.
It all started back in 1992, when my mother experienced her first stroke. There were no obvious outward signs, but the doctor claimed her cognitive abilities and her optic nerve were particularly affected, so he temporarily grounded her. Mind you, at that time my mother was an active, highly productive widow-woman who had barely just turned 70 years old. We’re talking golf, Bridge, Poker, University of Florida Lady Gator Golf Boosters, socializing at the Country Club, maintaining her big house, volunteering at the hospital, and being a pretty awesome mother and grandmother.
So during that brief time when she couldn’t drive, her whole world crashed down upon her. I kept her refrigerator full and ran her errands. Luckily, the doctor cleared her a month later, and she could resume all her normal activities. We were so relieved, it seemed she’d completely recovered and would be her old self again.
But one day soon thereafter, when she almost killed the both of us, I suddenly realized she was definitely not her old self again.
What happened was, my car was in the shop, and I needed Mom to drive me from the dealership to the rental car agency, probably about a mile. We were waiting to turn left into the agency, which was on a busy four-lane street. There was no light, so we waited for a gap in the oncoming traffic going the opposite direction. Where it all went wrong was that my mother chose to make the turn when there was not a gap, and she did it at a slow crawl while I, sitting shotgun, gaped in terror as I watched the wall of cars barrel toward me like a tsunami.
I’m sure it was the Hand O’ God that saved our lives that day. And although physically unscathed by the incident, my psyche still rattles around from it on occasion.
So I vowed never to be driven anywhere by her again, and I forbade my almost-sixteen-year-old daughter to ever get into a car with her from that point on.
And then I began my long odyssey through the battle zone, a mine field called “Give Up Your Goddamn Car Keys Mother!”
My mission started out slowly and subtly, with gentle prodding and pleas, but she was just so active and so to stop the argument, I would occasionally retreat into the Land O’ Denial right along with her, and get on about my own concerns, like working and raising a teenager.
But as time went by, she had more mini-strokes, had trouble walking, had poor and worsening eyesight, was falling down quite frequently, and just showed an overall decline that I found scary.
“But by damn I can still drive Jill! I’m very careful, I go slowly, and I never make any left turns, so LEAVE ME ALONE!!!”
My concern only continued to grow, and in a weak moment I asked my older brother, who lives very far away, to help me convince our mother to give up her keys.
“She won’t listen to me,” I told him. “Maybe you can convince her to stop driving? The Toyota looks like the Demolition Derby for God’s sake! She is not only going to kill herself, she’s going to take out a family of children with her. I just know it.”
His answer? “I’m not forcing it. She wants to kill herself and others, then let her.”
I’m not even going to bother commenting on the magnitude of my brother’s helpful advice and support.
I took her to the DMV and asked them to get in the car with her and check her out. Turns out they said she did fine. Well of course she did fine. Maneuvering around a few wide-set bright orange cones in a parking lot can be accomplished by a monkey! Why didn’t they take her out in traffic? Probably because they didn’t have a death wish going on at the time.
I contacted my mother’s ophthalmologist about enlisting his help in getting her off the streets, and although he was extremely sympathetic, he said she was only legally blind in one eye, and that she still had a whopping 30 percent going on in the other!
“Couldn’t you please, maybe fib a little, Doctor? I need help here. Will you please tell her she can’t drive?”
“That is up to the family to do,” he said.
“She will not listen to her family,” I said.
“Sorry I can’t help you,” he said.
She reached her mid-eighties, still hanging onto her car by her fingernails, and I was still forever waking up every morning with my first thought being, “Holy Shit this could be the day it all comes down! SOB!”
So I moved into full-bore assault mode, begging her every day to not make me force her, with her hating my guts more with each attack, no matter how much I tried to reassure her that I would see to her transportation needs.
She continued to ding, bumble and bump her way around town, skipping out on her crash victims, usually unattended parked cars, with weekly regularity.
“Why is your car all banged up, Mom?” I inquired frequently.
“Oh those damn people in the hospital parking lot! They keep banging into me!”
Then there was the time she backed out of her garage and sideswiped the right rear wheel well of my car, before speeding off on an “important” errand and keeping the incident hidden from me until I noticed it a few days later. She lied about it at first, then sheepishly fessed up. She caused enough damage to both our cars to warrant a few days in the shop, and of course I had to make her call her insurance company to file a claim. She preferred not to fix them, since there was “nothing wrong with the engines.”
I have to tell you, I got really mad at her for doing that. It was more about the fact that she kept it from me, then lied, than anything else. Plus, this issue had been casting a dark storm cloud over our relationship for so many years, I think I finally snapped and yelled at her.
And just when I was about to really be the Big Bad Daughter and snatch those fucking keys from her in a flying leap through the air, she miraculously made the best decision ever.
“I’m going to pay these people at the University $250.00 to evaluate my driving so I can prove you wrong, Jill, and then you can get off my Goddamn back! I am going to show you!”
At the end of the day, after her test at the University, I came home to find her waiting for me, and as soon as I opened the front door, there she stood, all sad-eyed, head down, arms limp at her sides.
She looked up at me and wailed, “That awful woman instructor said I was a danger to every person who took to the roads at the same time as me! She even screamed out loud at the light at 43rd and 39th! She took my driver’s license away from me, Jill!”
I felt so sorry for her, I moved close and put my arms around her.
“Well then, Mom,” I said softly and consolingly. “I guess you showed me, didn’t you.”
We stood like that for a few minutes, and then I pulled away, held her by the shoulders, looked her in the eye, and said, “Why in Holy Hell did you have to pay a stranger to take away your keys, when for freaking years I’ve been trying to do the same thing for free?”
I promised my daughter that when I become an “Ancient Being,” which is not too far off in the distant future, I will not argue with her when she tells me I need to stop driving.
I swear to God.
And now she has that in writing.
My parting with Lang and Sarah, by phone, was a teary one, all of us full of promises to stay in touch.
My parting with Chris at Orly International Airport was a teary one, both of us full of promises to be together again, one way or another.
It is interesting what one can recall and what one cannot. How perfectly amazing it is to realize how much my happenings in Paris remained with me. I’m thinking now that it was a good thing I lost the journal, because I can see a glaring lesson here: we remember what is important to remember.
I can still feel the intense but brief connections I had with my new friends who gave me a Paris experience that the average tourist will never have
I can still feel the powerful beauty and force of that ancient and dazzling city.
I can still see Chris so clearly, his one-leggedness seeming to enhance the beauty of the limb that remained. I can still see his right leg, long and lean, perfectly proportioned, with muscle but not too much muscle; with hair but not too much hair; the lines of his narrow ankle flowing into one of the prettiest feet I’ve ever seen…on a man, I mean.
I can still see him without his prosthesis, his surprising ability to hop around on one leg with the finesse of a person with two. He had perfect balance. And it didn’t faze him. Such is the beauty of having been born with something, and knowing nothing else.
And I can still feel the love.
I am talking about devastating humiliation and embarrassment here. I mean, usually in the first blush of love, you’re not going to want to make an impression by shitting and puking for twenty-four hours while your almost-lover is waiting with surely the opposite of a hard-on.
Every so often I cracked the door so he could hand me clean towels and bottles of water.
And every so often I tried to venture out, thinking it might all be over, only to have to run like a madman back into my personal, private hell, where in-between explosions I curled on the floor in the fetal position at the base of the porcelain God, and occasionally was able to escape for a minute or two into the land of fitful sleep.
Finally, it was over.
I took a really long and abundantly hot shower and emerged, where he stood waiting, with a fresh clean t-shirt for me to wear, which was so large on me it hung down to my knees, and I crawled into his bed, where he had turned down the covers and fluffed the pillows, and without uttering a word, I pulled the covers up over me and dove immediately into a deep, solid sleep.
I woke up I don’t know how many hours later. I knew it was nighttime though. I turned over and there he was, on his side, facing me, fast asleep. Although it was dark, there was enough moonlight coming in through the blinds for me to see his face, so beautiful and peaceful and sweet. I couldn’t resist. I put my hand on his cheek ever so softly, and he opened his eyes, reached up and placed his hand over mine.
And as if I’d known him forever, I moved close, pressed myself against his body, and kissed him.
I’m not going to get into all the sexy, hot and sloppy details here. My daughter reads my blog and I promised her I wouldn’t gross her out. But I cannot possibly leave out the part where he was the first man ever to make love to me with his eyes wide open; the part where he was the first man ever to have me keep my eyes wide open too; the part where he was the first man ever to bring me to an exploding climax mainly because our eyes were both wide open, never glancing away, even for a second.
Oh…and the part where I was gleefully shocked and surprised to discover that when a man is missing most of one leg, the potential for deeper penetration is utterly limitless.
The next thing I recall is when we both woke up in the morning and he brought me tea and croissants and I felt so wonderful I wanted to burst.
I was still a bit weak, I’ll admit, so we decided Chris would go to my little hotel and gather my things for me, so I could spend my remaining three days in Paris just with him. Thankfully Lang was working the front desk, and I arranged for him to assist Chris. I had already paid for the stay in advance, so that wasn’t a problem. What was a problem was that I was kind of torn up at the thought of not seeing my friends again. I resolved then to fly back to Paris at my earliest opportunity.
There was just no way I wasn’t going to squeeze all I could out of my time left with Chris.
How lucky for us he had no gigs to pull him away from me.
How lucky for us Adrienne had run off to England to rehearse for a play.
So we spent my last three days in Paris, never leaving his flat.
Just Chris, me, and a new but well-worn album called “Elton John.”
And to this day, I can’t hear “Your Song” without being transported right smack back to Paris, to Chris, to the most enchanting time of my life, in March 1970, when the world was the most exciting playpen one could ever imagine.
Stay Tuned for Part Twelve – The Epilogue
I have alluded to my propensity for getting sick when partaking of foreign travel. I ingested one fucking killer bacteria or another whenever I went anywhere outside the U.S.
Paris was no exception.
But it was about the timing. My God, what lousy timing.
Anyway, moving right along, the next morning’s breakfast with my buddies turned out to be the last breakfast with my buddies, although I didn’t know it at the time, or I likely would have bawled like a baby. We had all grown so close to each other. I took a lot of humorous abuse from them about my new-found “love” with the tall, cute American singer. And when the meal concluded, we all hugged, as was our custom, and then I ran off with Chris, who had arrived at my little hotel precisely at noon.
The first thing we did was hop on a bus for a short ride to the Eiffel Tower. And that’s where we spent the entire afternoon, doing the tower tour, strolling and trolling along the river and around the grassy areas, stopping to kiss in the middle of everywhere, right smack in front of people who paid no attention because apparently it was not unusual to see people making out in public in Paris, especially at the Eiffel Tower.
We topped off the day at a nearby restaurant, where we ate what Chris ordered in his gorgeous and flawless French. There were foods I’d never eaten before, like brains and pancreas, which Chris insisted I try, which I disliked immensely. We also ate Steak Tartare and escargots, which I thought were amazing, and I remember it so well because it was the first time I’d eaten either of them.
“Let’s go back to my place,” said Chris. We were nearly finished with our second bottle of wine, and at that point we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. Under the table our legs stayed intertwined, and above the table it was difficult to eat, really, because we couldn’t stop stroking each other’s faces and arms, and just imagine deep tongue kissing while trying to chew and swallow food. It was ridiculous.
Even though there was a kind of misty-drizzle-like rainfall, we chose to walk to the high-class apartment building where he shared a vast, two-bedroom split design flat with an aspiring young and gorgeous French actress named “Adrienne” who shared an agent with Chris. By the time we arrived, it was pouring down rain and we laughed hysterically at ourselves, completely drenched and still kissing and groping at each other as we walked through his front door. Adrienne brought us a couple of huge plush towels and we both stripped right then and there while she wrapped them around us and chattered along in high-pitched French while I quickly stole a glimpse of Chris’s mechanical left leg.
Adrienne then retreated in one direction while Chris picked me up and carried me in another. He plucked me down in the middle of his bedroom, unwrapped his towel and wrapped it up again around the both of us, whereupon I dropped my towel to the floor, and we stood there, our naked bodies pressed together inside one towel, our arms around each other so tightly, and we just held each other, not wanting to move an inch, not wanting to move ever.
Until I felt my stomach suddenly tilt and roll, then lurch, and I jumped away from that heavenly cocoon and screamed, “BATHROOM! WHERE IS THE BATHROOM?”
Thank God it was just a few feet away, because I barely made it in time.
And there I remained for the next two hours, shitting in the toilet while puking in the sink and sobbing in between, as the new love of my life waited patiently outside the closed, and locked, bathroom door.
Stay Tuned for Part Eleven