AUTHOR’S NOTE: Three years ago, I received an email from an old college classmate. He wanted me to write a memoir about the time he spent in Hollywood from 1988–1992 trying to become a screenwriter. He felt his experiences might help anyone who migrates to Los Angeles chasing dreams. I was skeptical at first, but as we talked, I became fascinated by his sordid adventures. What you’re reading is a serialization of his story.
That night, I slammed tequila and 7-Up until the bottle was empty. Then I searched the back pages of the LA Weekly. An ad for a “Nubian princess” who accepted credit cards caught my eye.
One hour later, I stood naked in Dharma’s apartment next to her massage table. Candles flickered. Incense burned. Indian music droned. Dharma rubbed aromatic oils on my temples and pressed her firm nipples against my bare chest. Her breasts were simply huge.
She scoured my naked body with a silk cloth soaked in rose water. “Is there any place you don’t like to be touched?”
“I can’t think of any,” I said.
“I like clients who are open-minded.” She fondled my testicles then started to wash my cock. “What an interesting penis.”
“My rabbi botched my circumcision,” I said as my schlong hardened in her hands.
“He made it more beautiful.”
“You’re being polite.”
“I’d never lie to you. As your tantric practitioner, it’s my job to elevate your life force into a state of ecstatic bliss.”
“How does that work?” I asked.
“By moving energy through your seven chakras.”
“Sounds cool.” I had no idea what she was talking about.
“Tonight, you’ll experience the divine on earth and the sexual healing your soul needs,” Dharma said in a soothing voice. “Are you ready?”
“I’ve had a bad month. I hope this helps.”
“Gimme your hand.”
I raised my left hand. Dharma took it and traced her finger over a crease in my palm. “This is your love line. It’s long and unbroken.”
“Is that good?”
“It indicates you’re stubborn but willing to sacrifice money for love. And these deep creases tell me you’re a very passionate person.” Dharma looked up and met my eyes “You’ll meet a special woman someday.”
“I never had a palm reading before.”
“A first for you.” Then Dharma added, “Another first might be activating your male sacred spot.”
“Where’s that?” I studied my palm dumbly.
“It’s your G-spot, near your prostate. A deep center of energy that opens when stimulated properly. That session runs four hundred dollars. Would you like to try it?”
I thought it over. “Four hundred bucks is a lot of money for a finger up my ass.”
“My finger has blessed energy.”
“Your ad said you take credit cards.”
Dharma smiled a gold-toothed grin. “Sugar, I’ll take anything from someone with a love line as powerful as yours.”
The last time I saw Matt Steele was in the hallway outside a Santa Monica courtroom. Matt was going into his preliminary hearing when he pulled me aside.
“I don’t have much time,” he said, “so I’ll make this quick. I’m pleading guilty.”
“Pleading guilty,” Matt repeated.
“You said your lawyer plea-bargained a great deal for you.”
“He did. Five years in the state pen. I’ll probably serve it at San Quentin or Pelican Bay.”
I staggered back a couple steps. “How is five years in prison a great deal?”
“It beats the fifteen years I’d be facing if I went to trial. I’m not getting off, Sam, nor should I. I’ll take my punishment like a man.”
“I need to sit down,” I said, the thought of five years in prison scaring me. I lowered myself onto a wooden bench. “Why didn’t you tell me all this earlier?”
“I just decided now. When I walk through those courtroom doors, I’m not coming out, and you’re not going in.”
“You’re my best friend,” I protested. “I’m here to support you.”
“I don’t want you to see me led away in handcuffs like an animal. Far too humiliating.” Matt put on a brave face, but I could sense fear lurking behind his twitching left eyelid.
“Motherfuck. This is really happening. I’m gonna visit you every month until you get out.”
“Don’t,” Matt said. “I’ll refuse to see you. This is our final goodbye.”
“You don’t want me to visit?”
“It’s over, Sam. Today’s our wake-up call. We gave Hollywood our best shot and failed. We move on. For me, it’s prison. For you, freedom from this awful business.” Matt shifted uncomfortably. He couldn’t look me in the eyes.
“But I thought we were writers forever, no matter what.”
“That much is true. I may write the Great American Novel while I’m doing time. I’ve already got my title: American Gulag. If that Russian fag Solzhenitsyn can win a Nobel Prize for writing about his unfair incarceration, so can I. But I can’t have you shoving the outside world in my face.”
“You’re ending our friendship to write a novel?”
“That’s what artists do. Make difficult choices. Now go back to fucking Brooklyn. You don’t fit into Los Angeles very well — you never have.”
“I can’t go back,” I said. “You know that.”
“You’ve only got two choices: go home or go down.”
“Maybe I should write a novel, too.”
“Oh, Jesus. Here it comes,” Matt said. “Sam, I’m not a mother duck. You don’t want to follow me where I’m going. I’ll be inside with hard men. They’d stick it in you and break it off.”
“I don’t have to go to prison to write a novel.”
Matt appraised me coldly. “You think you’re a writer. The truth is, you’re sunk without me.”
I felt like crying, but I didn’t want Matt to think I was weak, even though he spoke so much truth.
“I wrote Glamourville on my own,” I said.
“With my prodding. If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, put a shotgun in your mouth and blow your brains out.”
“If you kill yourself in gruesome fashion, I guarantee somebody will pay attention. There’s no better story than a writer who gets famous after his suicide. Glamourville would be read by everyone.”
With that, Matt Steele turned away and marched into the courtroom without looking back. It was the end of the dream.
A week after Matt went to prison, I got a call from his lawyer. “Matt left a package for you at my office. It’s not something I can put in the mail.”
Curious, I dropped by Jake Berman’s office in Westwood and picked up a large cardboard box. It was big enough to fit golf clubs, wrapped in packing tape, and had my name prominently written on it in marker: HOLD FOR SAM REUBEN.
I recognized Matt’s handwriting. Though I was stung by the way we’d left things outside the courtroom, I didn’t hold a grudge. Matt was under a lot of stress that day. I put the box in the rear seat of my car and drove home.
Back at my garage-apartment, I laid the box on my bed and cut it open.
Inside was Matt’s shotgun, plus the two James Bondian pistols that failed to impress John Milius at the firing range. Also six hundred rounds of ammunition. Matt was kind enough to attach a brief note:
Apparently murderers and convicted felons are not allowed firearms. My lawyer said dump them. So I pass these holy talismans of manhood to you.
Petra’s breasts were big and natural, but felt mysteriously sad. Sucking on her pale pink nipples was sadder still.
Petra worked out of an apartment in Mar Vista where she also lived. Her bathroom was wall-to-wall beauty products, including dozens of bottles of earth-colored goo.
After she counted my $300 cash donation, we both stripped and I climbed on her bed. Petra tied back her dirty blonde hair, then squirted baby oil on my back. Her massage technique was neither sensual nor therapeutic. After a few minutes of uninspired rubbing, she reached under my hips and grabbed my flaccid penis in a hearty grip.
“Not so rough,” I gulped.
“Sorry. Maybe you want to massage me?” Her accent was Eastern European.
I looked back at her. Petra had one of those asymmetrical faces with misaligned eyes. Some tiny genetic error dashed hopes for fashion-model beauty and sent her to the unlovely Island of Dr. Moreau. There was fatigue in her smile.
“Where are you from?” I asked.
“I’d love to massage you,” I said.
We traded positions on the bed. I swung my legs over her, straddling the small of her back like a saddle. She moaned softly as I kneaded her shoulders.
Rocking back and forth, digging my fingers deeper into her muscles, my balls rubbed against the impending cellulite on her ass.
“In Budapest, I was a television model,” Petra told me. “I came to Hollywood to be a star.”
“Do you like it here?”
“It’s not what I expected.” She turned over and stared up at me. “You can do whatever you want to me.”
So many women had fondled, fucked, and sucked my cock, I no longer cared about bad reactions to my mangled dong.
“Bet you’ve never seen a dick like mine before. Check it out.” I spit on my hand and quickly rubbed my cock until it rose to a firm erection. “See that scar tissue? When it grinds against your G-spot, it’ll give you the most mind-blowing orgasm of your life.”
“Put it inside me, please,” Petra said.
She reached over to the clutter beside her bed and found a bottle of Astroglide lubricant. Petra generously squirted the jelly-like goo on my firming cock.
I fingered her vagina. It was moist and very large. Petra spread her legs wide and I penetrated her slowly.
She immediately tensed as my ramrod slid into her pussy. Her orgasm was shockingly instantaneous.
“Ooooh,” she whimpered.
I continued to pump away. The suction created by my cock in Petra’s vagina made a liquid plunging sound. She squirmed beneath me and wrapped her arms around my chest, squeezing tight.
“Come on my face,” Petra whispered. “Will you do it for me?”
Who was I to deny such a gracious request?
I pulled out, slid my member between Petra’s breasts, and resumed humping away.
Suddenly, the light shifted in the room as a door opened softly. Someone was behind us. I could hear the breathing. Low, wheezing exhales.
I glanced over my shoulder, expecting to see an angry husband. Instead, a very young boy stood in the doorway wearing flannel pajamas, little boots, and a cowboy hat. He was mute and immobile as I titty-fucked his mother. The way I was positioned, Petra didn’t see him. She cupped my penis in her hands and jerked my cock until a primitive groan escaped my mouth. Hot cum sprayed, dousing Petra’s face.
Finally, the little cowboy spoke. “Mommy, can I have my birthday cake now?”
(to be continued…)