Thursday, November 16, 2017

Something I Forgot to Confess

Well, now Al Franken has been accused of sexual harassment. It appears as though no man alive won’t be so accused in the current climate (many, of course, rightly), so I’d better come clean about my own transgressions. 

The first was in around 1973, at the infamous Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, where an occasional B-list rock star was occasionally glimpsed, but which was much more the domain of kids from the hinterlands dressed up as rock stars and groupies. I was there with the guy in my first band with whom I used to chase skirts when this teen idol type came in with a pair of twins, one per arm. My personal lust-o-meter shot immediately into the red, as the twins were spectacularly wanton-looking, all excessive liquid eyeliner and white foundation, huge dyed black hair and blood-red lippy, and scandalous  attire. There wasn’t a streetwalker on Sunset Blvd. that night who looked more streetwalkerish. 

They were ultra-Elvira-ish years before Elvira first appeared on TV.  They were Motley Crue before Motley Crue, Siouxsie Sioux when said personage was still a puffy, plain teenager in the southeast Lonoon sticks.They were The Ronettes times ten. Compared to them, Amy Winehouse at her most dissolute would have looked like Karen Carpenter. 

They were everything I’d ever wanted in a woman, at least visually.

I’m not kidding about this, though everyone always thinks I am, just as when I say I adore gloomy weather, and am exultant when it starts getting dark before five in the afternoon. My two best friends, both bass players, seemed to prefer cheerleader types. One of them explained that he enjoyed the idea of debauching such a young woman. I always wanted one pre-debauched. The guy in my band would forever after refer to the twins as The Sisters of Death. 

I was nonetheless able to get him to sign onto the idea of inviting the Sisters to join us in our booth. Teen Idol invited himself too, and began tellling us what a big star he was in the process of becoming, which is what one did at the Rainbow. As he droned on and on, I put my hand on the fishnet stocking-clad leg of the Sister beside me in the booth. She didn’t seem to dislike the idea, and my hand headed higher, and then higher still. I think she viewed me as a better prospect than Teen Idol. But then she said, “Don’t,” and I immediately withdrew my hand. I felt a little spurned, and neglected to get her phone number.

A few weeks later, I was walking down the squalid part of Santa Monica Blvd., with its wall-to-wall adult theaters, when whom should I spot but the victim of my unsolicited touching, or her sister. She seemed to be employed in a massage parlour. I made the mistake of considering What People Might Think, as my friend and I had, in the interim, met another pair of maidens at the Rainbow — one the daughter of the star of a popular sitcom. They’d been gratifyingly gobsmacked to be meeting the John Mendelssohn, and when we exchanged phone numbers, one of them, the one I fancied less, had observed her having mine was like a young man having that of Joey Heatherton, who was quite hot stuff at the time. 

She never phoned, and when I returned to Santa Monica Blvd., the massage parlour said the apple of my eye had been accepted into medical school in Boston, and I am course of just kidding about that last part. 

We might have been so happy together.

Formerly Wanton is a detective story set in the tawdry milieu of late-‘80s Hollywood hair metal. Who Is Keri Fetherwait? is a satire about a no-talent little dweeb from a TV singing competition who attains Taylor Swift-ish success. Every paragraph will make you roar with laughter! The Mona Lisa’s Brother is a heartwarming fable about an amateur guitarist who does a good deed and suddenly finds himself playing like Hendrix, except better!