I woke up the morning after my conference with the other pimps to discover that Temp’Este had sent me a text message. She’d discovered that you needed a driver’s license to be a driving instructor, and hers had been revoked for driving while wanton. She’d looked briefly into aromatherapy, but found that it required a sense of smell superior to that of one who’d been abusing cocaine for seven years. I assured her I’d be pleased as punch to have her back in the fold, and that the rest of the gang were sure to share my elation, although, to be honest, the thought of her being left standing there all night while motorists invited prettier colleagues on “dates” filled me with apprehensive sadness.
I took her for a series of beauty treatments, thinking that if she felt pretty, she might at least exude the sort of self-confidence that most people find sexy. It isn’t as though Barbra Streisand was ever Angelina Jolie in the looks department, after all, but you’ll remember her having been romantically entangled with Don Johnson, at the time the guy after whom most English-speaking women lusted most unabashedly because of the great popularity of Miami Vice. Comparably, it is common in Los Angeles to see a rotund little balding guy — who, if compelled to remove his shirt, would almost certainly reveal himself to have male boobs — looking all smirky and smug because some gorgeous young woman has gone out with him, mistakenly imagining that he will be able to get her a role in a movie.
There was botulism at the time, but no botox yet, or I’d have taken her in for an injection. There was certainly chiropractic, though, and I made an appointment for her to consult someone about her self-effacingly droopy posture, which I believed sent a message very different from Streisand's.
She was appropriately grateful for my exertions and expenditures on her behalf, and for my telling her after her electrolysis session — falsely, as I’d found her to that point to be nothing but sullen and obstreperous — that I could perceive a lot of beauty within her, and that inner beauty was much more enduring than outer.
I sensed there might be a problem when she emerged from her dermabrasion noticeably less sullen and obstreperous than when she’d gone in, and put her head on my shoulder when she got back in the car. It dawned on me that I might have been the only person in the world treating her kindly, and that I might inadvertently have made her fall in love with me. Both thoughts alarmed and saddened me.
That evening, she showed up on our usual corner with her shoulders thrown back, and in platform shoes whose altitude rivaled those of even Sha’quaw’naa. She must have been 6-4 in them, and towered over all the others. She strutted and pouted and posed more energetically than ever before, regularly winking at me fondly. It was mortifying. But yet again it was the other girls the lonely, sexually frustrated motorists of West Hollywood beckoned nervously to their open passengers windows to negotiate. Two hours went by, and still Temp’Este was dateless.
I had an idea — to have one of my other two, Jeanette or Babs, offer her next “john” an irresistibly low price for a threesome, with Temp’Este being the third party. I motioned Babs over and said I had something I wanted to tell her. She said she had something she wanted to discuss with me too, and that it couldn’t wait a second longer. She said she was in love with me. She’d been trying not to admit it to herself, but had failed. There was nothing she wouldn’t do to make me happy. Bursting into tears, she reached for me. How was I to rebuff her at such a moment?
Temp’Este lacked comparably tender feelings. She kicked off her shoes and ran over. “Keep your hands off my man, bitch,” she said, grabbing a fistful of Babs’s brittle bottle-blondeness. Babs got her hands around Temp’Este’s neck and squeezed hard. The other girls hooted their encouragement at one or the other of them. I managed to get Babs’s hands off Temp’Este’s neck before her eyes could pop right out of her face, which the dermabrasian, electrolysis, and facial had made no less plain. Temp’Este gasped. Babs, a smoker, wheezed from her exertion. They both glared imploringly at me.
Thank God that at that exact moment a middleaged lady driver pulled up in a late-70s Cadillac lacking vanity plates, rolled down her window, and beckoned not to any of the whores, but to me.
[Many of my books are now available for download from Amazon. They include The Total Babe & Other Wine Country Yarns, Lentils on the Moon (aka A Message From Jesus in Braille, aka A History of the Jews in the Hudson Valley), Self-Loathing: An Owner's Manual, Third World USA, The Mona Lisa's Brother, and, for baseball nuts, Foul Balls and Alpha Males. You need neither a Kindle nor an iPad to enjoy 'em; simply download (free) Kindle software for either Mac or Windows, and enjoy them on your laptop or other computer!]