Friday, July 09, 2004


Her brother introduced her to the rock star and the attraction was immediate.

He wasn’t really a rock star, not in the Steven Tyler, Lenny Kravitz rock star way, but he had been a guitar for hire on tour with an aging singer in the twilight years of his career and he’d had some success and popularity in Japan. He was still big in Japan and although he was pushing 40 he could pass for 33, and he still harbored fantasies of hitting big in America.

She was 30, but told everyone she was 21, and when she put her long, curly hair, dyed platinum like Pam Anderson’s, in pigtails and talked like a little girl, people didn’t question her. When her hair wasn’t in pigtails it was long and wild, reminiscent of the hair you’d see on the groupies that flocked after the 80s metals bands that she revered. Her complexion was peachy and she was tall and slender with hips and full breasts that turned rich and powerful men into babbling idiots. She was in Los Angeles to become a successful actress but although she’d gotten some walk on bit parts in a couple of movies and a few pilots, they’d gone nowhere – success was eluding her. That was okay though because she was only 21.

The rock star had a girlfriend whom he lived with and had been in a tumultuous relationship with for 12 years. This woman, let’s call her Tess, was very successful at her job as a stylist for a super diva popstar, but very unhappy in general. The rock star had cheated on her throughout most of their relationship and it had done a number on her self-esteem. When he had attempted to end the relationship she refused to let him go and would commit acts of vandalism – making it impossible for him to leave her (this is the way he tells it – doesn’t make much sense if you think about it).

She was just out of a marriage, although the state of California and SAG didn’t recognize it as such, since they’d just gone to a notary public to take their vows, and so all the medical claims he’d made on her insurance as her husband were being denied. She’d filed a restraining order against him because he had just recently moved into her building. The place she moved to in order to get away from him. Now he was living on the fourth floor with his new girlfriend and he’d just booked a soap opera.

They hung out together on a number of occasions, along with her brother. He was her twin and they had just started speaking again after being estranged for nine years. There was some kind of issue when he began dating her best friend all those years ago and it was her style to cut people off completely when there was conflict. She and her brother both smoked pot everyday, all day, so nine years went by before they knew it. Now he and her ex-best friend were broken up and they were together again, partying with the rock star.

On Valentine’s Day she made the rock star an offer. Since his girlfriend wasn’t in town and she didn’t have anybody special right at that moment, how’s about they act on the intense chemistry between them and have a little no-strings sex to celebrate the day of love? And he jumped on that ride like a hobo on an empty boxcar and before you could say Voodoo Chile they were making hot monkey love. At his house. Where he lived with his girlfriend. In his bed – where he slept with his girlfriend who was currently away on tour.

Of course this wasn’t a one time thing. Oh no! It turned into an everyday thing and against her better judgment she fell for him. Hard. By the time May rolled around and Tess, the girlfriend, was due to come home, the thought of ending the affair was breaking both of their hearts. But she told him that she could not continue to come over and fuck him in his girlfriend’s bed and it wasn’t okay for him to continue to come to her house either. Of course he couldn’t stay away and she didn’t really want him too, so even though Tess was home and wanting to go away with him he continued to come to her and they would fuck all over her apartment. And when he would go home, she would cry and feel like shit about herself.

The rock star did not want to go to Hawaii with Tess, but he did, I mean it was a free trip to Hawaii. But when he got back he told her that it was really over between them. He told her that she could have the apartment that he loved so much on the beach and he told her that she could drive one of his cars while she figured out what to do next. Tess was floored and she asked him if there was someone else. He told her “No, of course not! I’ve been unhappy for a long time.” And he walked out.

He called and told her that he had left Tess and asked if it would it be all right if he came and lived with her? She was happy, but inside she felt a little guilty. What about Tess? He told her that Tess would be fine, she had a place to live, a car to drive, and she knew that it wasn’t working between them. She’d get over it. So they went to bed and had sex to celebrate the fact that now they could be together. It wasn’t as easy as that however, because now he had nowhere else to go and he started bringing his stuff into her house. Soon it was full of his guitars and his surfboards and all the other odds and ends that he would swing by Tess’s house and pick up. He was used to having someone pick up after him and now he expected her to do it and to consider it an honor. He was, after all, a rock star. Now that this had turned into a full time relationship he was beginning to take her for granted and that wasn’t quite as fun as an illicit affair. But no matter – they were in love.

Tess would not be discarded so easily. She called constantly, crying and asking why? And why now? Some mutual friends told her that they’d seen the rock star with another woman and before you knew it Tess was calling her too. As she and the rock star were getting ready to go to his condo down south for Memorial Day weekend Tess called again and begged her to stop seeing the rock star. She told Tess that this didn’t have anything to do with her. It was between Tess and the rock star and he was doing what he wanted to do. And what he wanted to do was be with her. If Tess could just understand that and move on with her life it would be better for everyone. She and the rock star took off for the weekend.

It was Friday night and Tess who had been trying to “get over it and move on” with the help of a therapist decided that she just couldn’t. So after making a neatly lettered sign that said “POLICE ONLY” and taping it on the bathroom door, which she closed tightly, she put some blankets and pillows in the bathtub, climbed in and took all the pills in the house at once. She placed a knife on the floor by the tub. Just in case. But she didn’t need it. On Sunday they found her body lying on the floor in the bedroom by the phone. A neighbor had contacted one of her friends after seeing all the light in the house on for two days and two nights. The friend tried calling and got no answer. He came over and banged on the door but got no response. So he called the police and because there was reason to be concerned about her mental state, they broke in. Her friends conjectured that Tess must’ve changed her mind and gotten out of the tub to call for help.

But when she called to check her messages from the rock stars condo she heard Tess, tearful, slightly slurring, telling her that she could have the rock star, but she should remember how she got him, because that’s how she’d lose him.

When the rock star found out about Tess’s death he seemed to take it in stride. What bothered him most is that people who loved Tess were blaming him. They were angry at him! All of a sudden he was the bad guy! Well it wasn’t all of a sudden really. They’d never like him because he’d treated Tess like shit for the most part. He gave up the apartment on the beach and moved in with her full time. He still had an apartment in the Hollywood Hills, but his cousin was living there and it was so far from the beach. He cleaned out the home that he’d shared with Tess and brought the plants and food over to her house. He filled up her freezer with ice cream that Tess had bought, but never eaten.

Now that he was her boyfriend when they went out to eat they would split the bill. And although she was now paying her own way, he never offered to help out with the rent. But he was a rock star and the sex was still good so she let it slide. He was working on new songs for a CD and they were all about Tess. And although her friends didn’t like him or the way he treated her she felt that she was in love and so she ignored them. It probably helped that she still smoked pot everyday, all day, because it took the edge off the resentment that was starting to grow.

When the holidays came around she felt uncomfortable having him around her family. Her mother didn’t like him and she didn’t even know the half of it as far as how they’d come to be a couple. She just didn’t like the off hand way this man treated her daughter. His ego was such that he didn’t realize that his behavior and the “me, me, me” conversation was off-putting. After Thanksgiving they broke up, but he cried and begged and she allowed him to come back for New Year’s Eve. After they would fight he would be more loving and make a conscious effort to be more considerate, but it never lasted for long.

As the one-year anniversary of Tess’s death approached a fashion magazine did a story about her death. He was interviewed, and the article referenced him as a B-level player, who flipped his longish dark hair back from his face over and over, as he denied any wrongdoing in their relationship. He came off in the article like a complete jerk and she was embarrassed that her friends read it. Work was slow for her – she wasn’t getting call backs after her auditions. The rock star still wasn’t helping out with the rent so she told him he needed to move his shit to his Hollywood apartment, and he did. He started going out more and more with his friends and one night after he told her to meet him at his house, he didn’t come home until 4am – some girl he met in a bar dropped him off. He said they were just friends. When she complainingly told this story to one of her girlfriends, the woman looked at her and said, “I wonder how long it will be before you’re in the bathtub with a bottle of pills?”

She started going out with the numerous men who asked her, accepting their attentions and allowing them to spend lots of money on her. Because she told them that she had a boyfriend she figured it wasn’t cheating. And she couldn’t be accused of using anyone because she was up front about the fact that she had a boyfriend. And even though she sometimes kissed these men, or held hands with them she wasn’t leading them on – they were just having a good time hanging out. And because men love a challenge they would continue dating her, because that’s what these guys thought was going on. She started lying to her mom and her friends who were very vocal about their dislike for the rock star. And she still smoked pot everyday so the bad feelings were only a low hum.

Around her 32nd or 33rd birthday – she wasn’t really sure how old she was because she was still telling people she was in her twenties, but twenty what exactly kept changing, her mom came out to stay. She had told her friends and her mom that she and the rock star were really over. But they weren’t. And when he showed up at a restaurant one night after she called him and told him where she was, but lied and told her mom that it was a girlfriend on the phone, there was a huge scene. Also there at dinner was the friend who’d made that bathtub comment and a guy who’d pursued her and wooed her and actually made the rock star jealous. Which was why she wanted to the rock star to stop by – so he could see that the man still wanted her. Her friend finally had it with all the lying and storytelling and she pretty much told mom everything in a loud voice in the restaurant. Mom cried all night and she decided that she would never talk to that friend, or any other friend that ever said anything negative about the rock star – ever again.

Because people who are really your friends support you when you’re in love. And just because you’re lying to everybody and smoking pot all the time and your career is going nowhere despite the heavy hitters who think they’re dating you and promise to help you – that doesn’t mean that you’re going to end up in the bathtub with a bottle of pills.

At least probably not…

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