Saturday, December 12, 2009

“Uncle Buddy’s House”, Chapter 28: “Deh, vieni...”

Let us rejoin our hero, that middle-aged Lothario Buddy Best, right outside his Depression Era-vintage Mission/Tudor house on North Ivar Avenue, smack in the middle of a strange world called Hollywood...

(Go here to go to review our previous chapter, or here to return to the beginning of this “tale apparently told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying even less than nothing; in other words the perfect book for these dreadful times” -- (J.J. Hunsecker, in Boy’s Life.)


Buddy sat in the car. He had the engine running and the A/C on. What the fuck was she doing?

****

She had climbed back into the bed and gotten under the covers with him. And okay, she felt good snuggled against him, but --

“Cordelia, we can’t just lie here.”

“Oh.”

“We’ve got to get you out of here.”

“Oh, okay,” and she sat up and swung her legs off the bed.

“No, wait, I didn’t mean it like that. I mean, we’ve both got to go.”

“That’s okay, Buddy, I have to go to my dance class,
anyway --”

She bent down and picked her rose-colored panties up off the floor, shook them out, then pulled them on, standing up as she did. (Another mental film clip for Buddy’s old age.)

“Cordelia, what I meant was we’ll both go -- you know --”

“I told you, I have to go to class,” walking over to where her bra lay on the floor.

“Where is it? I’ll drive you.”

“I can take the bus, Buddy, really, it’s okay,” dipping into the matching bra, “I take the bus all the time. I just need to check my schedule for the buses around here --”

And so it went on until they were going downstairs together, or rather Cordelia went down a few steps before Buddy.

At the foot of the stairs Buddy stopped because Cordelia had started in toward the kitchen, which you couldn’t see from here, but from the direction of which he could faintly hear Philip’s and Liz’s voices.

“Cordelia,” he said, in a bad stage whisper. “It’s this way. The front door.”

“I know, “ she stage-whispered professionally while turning, “I just want to apologize first.”

“What? Why?”

“Because, I just want them to know I’m not just a --
just a --”

And she headed on in.

“Wait. Stop.”

She stopped and turned again.

“I can’t face them,” he said, or croaked.

Still stage-whispering:

“Just wait in the car then. I’ll only be a second.”

****

Buddy had done or tried to do a lot of insane things in his life, but this little escapade, this was right up there, definitely in the top four or five. It was too insane, really, even for him, and he should probably just nip the whole motherfucker in the bud, maybe.

But then if only Philip and Liz hadn’t shown up. It would have been nice to do it just once, even with a condom, if she had found a condom in her bag. Something to hang on to, a special highlight for that old-folks’ home memory-reel.

Buddy had a CD player in his dashboard. He pressed play, and on came Don Giovanni no less, with Raimondi...

The overture, then Leporello bitching about what a pain it was to be a servant, then uh oh, here comes the Don, in trouble again, Donna Anna hot on his ass…

Okay, come to think of it, It wasn’t like any of this really mattered. But wait. Maybe it didn’t matter to him if he acted like a fool, but what about the chick? She was a human being too. He should think about her. But wait. Cordelia was a grown-up. She could make her own decisions. It wasn’t as if he had dragged her into bed with him. But wait. She was the Mariner’s fucking daughter. If she was too wifty to realize that it was not a good idea for her to fool around with her father’s girlfriend’s middle-aged husband then it was up to Buddy to, to...but then after what had just happened she probably wouldn’t ever want to see him again anyway, so, you know, fuck it. And what the hell was she doing in there?

His cellphone buzzed and vibrated in his pocket. He took it out, didn’t recognize the number. He flipped it open.

“Hello.”

“Yeah? Buddy?”

“Yeah.”

“Turn that cheap wailing slut off, willya? I can’t hear.”

Buddy hit pause.

“Buddy?”

“Yeah.”

“Joe Morrow.”

“Hi, Joe, how ya doin’?”

“Good, good. Whatcha doin’?”

“Yanking my chain.”

“Oh, ya want me to call back?”

“No, no, I can yank and talk to you, Joe.”

“Great. So, look, Bud, we read that girl whose tape you sent over.”

“Ah, good.”

“Olivia--”

“Cordelia.”

“Right, fuck me -- Cordelia -- that movie sucked.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“But she was pretty good in it.”

“Uh-huh.”

“So we read her.”

“Good, thanks.”

“And she was good. She read really well.”

“Cool, I’m glad to hear it.”

“Buddy, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure.”

“Are you fucking her?”

Only the smallest beat here.

“No.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“Oh. Well, are you trying to fuck her? I mean is that why --”

“Joe, she’s just a kid I’m trying to help. She’s sort of a -- friend of the family.”

“Ah, a friend.”

“Yeah, a friend.”

“Like a friend of your daughter’s, or --”

“Look, Joe, she’s a friend, okay? I thought I’d try to help her out.”

“Couldn’t you give her a part in one of your --”

“Sure I could, and maybe I will, but we’re not shooting anything right now, and you are, so, there you go.”

“Right. So, Buddy, let me ask you another question.”

“Sure, Joe.”

“Would you mind if I -- you know --”

“Fucked her?”

“Well, you know, I just didn’t want to step onto your territory if it were to come to that, you know --”

“Joe.”

“Yeah, Bud.”

“She’s a grown woman, she can make her own choices.”

“Right.”

“If you want to make a play for her go right ahead.”

“Okay, that’s all --”

“But, Joe --”

“Yeah, Bud.”

“If I find out you’ve tried to pull some of your sleazy-ass shit on her I will personally come over and --"

“Yo, Bud --”

“What?”

“Lighten up.”

Buddy didn’t say anything.

“So you’re really not fucking her?”

“Joe.”

“Yo.”

“Shut the fuck up about it.”

“Okay.”

“Okay, then.”

“So,” said Joe, as if they had just been discussing the weather, “tomorrow we have her reading with Chris Lambert.”

“Good.”

“We’re reading her for the female lead.”

“No kidding.”

“Yeah. We thought we had Kari Wührer, but --”

“Uh-huh.”

“Let me ask you just one more question though.”

“Sure,” said Buddy.

“Is she a psycho?”

“Cordelia?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“She’s a hell of a lot less psycho than you are, Joe.”

“She gave such a good reading, but she was a little weird. Almost like she didn’t give a fuck or something.”

“Maybe she doesn’t. It’s a Northwest Mountie vampire movie, Joe.”

“True. You got a point.”

“Okay, well, look, Joe, even if you are a sleazebag, thanks for giving her the reading.”

“No problem. She’s -- are those her real breasts?”

“What?”

“In that nude scene in that movie her breasts looked real. I mean really nice, but real, too. You don’t see that very often. Nice but real.” Buddy said nothing to this. “So,” said Joe, “how’s Joan?”

“Joan’s fine. How’s --”

What the fuck was her name --

“Mamie,” said Joe.

“Yeah, Mamie.”

She’s fine.”

“Okay, I’ll talk to you later then, Joe.”

“Thanks, Bud. So Buddy, really, you’re really not --”

Buddy took the phone away from his ear. The little screen told him he had a new voice message and that he had the choice of listening to it or ignoring it. Joe was still talking away. Buddy closed the phone, then put it back into his pocket.


(Continued here, because legions of fervent fans demand it.)

(Kindly look to the right hand column of this page to find a listing of links to many other fine chapters of Uncle Buddy’s House™; when printed out on cheap copy paper these make the perfect recession stocking stuffers!)

2 comments:

kathleenmaher said...

Why doesn't anyone tell Buddy what a prince he is?

"Wait."...."Wait."..."But wait..."

That's a great sequence and it leads so well into the directors' phone conversation, which is the kind that always baffles me, but not them.

Dan Leo said...

Heh heh -- Buddy is a somewhat chastened prince right now, Kathleen...but, still, his life is slightly less complicated than Don Juan's.