Tuesday, January 12, 2010

“Uncle Buddy’s House”, Chapter 32: breathing


It started out as just another day in the life of Buddy Best, that C-List auteur, when who should come by his modest offices at Hollywood Boulevard and Las Palmas but the fair Cordelia, the talented actress daughter of “the Ancient Mariner”, the ham actor Buddy’s wife Joan has run off with. Somehow Buddy and Cordelia wind up in his bed, but before they can really get going who should burst into Buddy’s room but his 27-year-old son Philip, who has just moved Buddy’s 24-year-old daughter Elizabeth’s stuff back to the familial manse, to which Philip has also returned, because his life has come apart just as Liz’s has. And then there’s the problem of Buddy’s 15-year-old stepdaughter Deirdre, who has been informed by her mother that she must move in with her and the Mariner, when Deirdre would much prefer to stay in her “Uncle” Buddy’s house.


And then there was that awful scene when Buddy dropped off Cordelia at the Mariner’s house...

(Go here to read our previous episode, or click here to read the first chapter of this “no-holds barred exposé of the sinful shenanigans all-too prevalent among today’s cinematic 'artists'” -- (J.J. Hunsecker, in The Ladies’ Home Journal.)


He was in bed, awake, and his cellphone rang in its charger on his night table.

“Hi,” she said.

“Hi.”

“Are you awake?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you sure? ’Cause if you were sleeping --”

“No, I was wide awake.” (In fact he’d just been lying there going over the day’s events, wanting and needing to masturbate but postponing it for as long as possible.) “I was, uh, reading.”

“Oh. What were you reading?”

“Uh --” what the fuck, it had been on his night table since Christmas, a present from Philip; he reached over and switched on the lamp -- “um, All the Pretty Horses?”

“Oh, I never heard of it. Any good?”

“Well, I’m only about ten pages into it. I saw the movie though.” Pause. “So what’s up?” he said, which sounded really stupid, so he said, “I mean, uh --” and then he ran out of words, and there was another pause. “Cordelia?”

“Wait.”

“Okay.”

He waited. Could he hear her breathing? He thought he could.

“It was awful,” she said.

She was speaking in a very low voice now.

“No, it was really awful,” she said, as if he had challenged her statement. “After you left. My father was awful.”

Yet another pause started building, so, as much as Buddy hated saying this sort of thing, he said:

“Do you want to talk about it?”

She didn’t say anything. Okay.

“Are you still there?” asked Buddy.

“I’m still here.”

“I mean, are you still at your dad’s place.”

“No. I’m at my friend Stephanie’s apartment. She picked me up in her car. I just threw some stuff in a suitcase and in my backpack and split. I had to get out of there.”

“Right.”

“I can’t live there any more.” Yeah, he could hear her breathing. “Stephanie said I can sleep on her couch till I find my own place.”

“Good,” he said. Then, “You sound funny.”

“I’m sitting in the bathroom.”

“Ah.”

“I’m holding my hand over the side of the phone, ‘cause Stephanie is sleeping.”

“Oh.”

“My father accused me of seducing you. He accused me of seducing you so that I could hurt him. And when I told him I didn’t seduce you he said that you seduced me just so you could get back at him and Joan. He said a lot of bad things about you. He said that you had always cheated on Joan, and that --”

“Wait, wait, Cordelia --”

“Yes?”

“Can I just say one thing?”

“What?”

“Fuck your father.”

“Oh.”

“I mean, sorry.”

“No, that’s okay,” she said. “Did you always cheat on her?”

“Well, the last year or so I had a dry spell.”

Another pause. Then:

“Hey,” she said, “did I leave my sunglasses in your car?”

“Yeah,” said Buddy. “I’ve got them. They’re on my dresser.”

“Oh, good,” she said. “Um, we probably shouldn’t see each other any more.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right.”

“It’s really stupid.”

More breathing.

“Maybe you’ll get that job tomorrow,” he said.

“Yeah. That would be great. I enjoyed making out with you though.”

“No kidding?” said Buddy. “I enjoyed making out with you, too.”

“I know. I liked the way you touched me.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“I liked touching you.”

A few seconds passed by.

“Well, okay then,” said Buddy.

“Wait.”

“Wait?”

“Yeah.”

Buddy waited. What the hell, he had nothing better to do. Keeping the phone to his ear he reached over with his free hand and picked up the horse novel. He stood it on his stomach and the bookmark fell out and slid onto the bed. He laid the unopened book on his stomach, picked up the bookmark and flicked it onto the night table. He stood the book up on his stomach again and with his thumb he tried to find where he had left off. He came to a page which might be it, a bit of dialogue, with no quotation marks. You really knew you were reading literature when they left out the quotation marks --

“Where did you like touching me?” she said.

“What?”

“Where did you like touching me?”

He closed the book.

“Um -- your breasts?” he said.

“My breasts.”

“Yeah.”

He lay there with the phone to his ear. After half a minute he put the book back onto the night table and switched off the lamp. Another half minute went by.

“Where else?” she whispered.

“Wh-- pardon me?”

“Where else did you like touching me?”

Her voice had a lot of that moist quality to it now.

“Well, I -- I liked touching you -- uh --”

“Yeah?”

“Cordelia -- are you doing what I think you’re doing?”

“Yeah,” she said, low.

“Oh.”

“Do you mind?” she whispered.

“No,” he said. “Not at all.”

They listened to each other breathe.


(Continued here, breathlessly.)

(Please look to the right hand column of this page for an up-to-date listing of links to all other previously-broadcast episodes of Uncle Buddy’s House™, available exclusively on the Dumont Television Network; a Larry Winchester Production, brought to you by Lux, “Beauty Soap of the Stars”.)

4 comments:

kathleenmaher said...

Such a great scene! I forget how old exactly Cordelia is here but her skipping attention into the business with her really awful father to wondering where her sunglasses are-- to time for some sexual relief--ring true as a young woman's way of coping.

Dan Leo said...

Ah, thanks, Kathleen. It's always nice to hear from a woman that a woman character rings true.

Bald Samson said...

I must now retire to my fainting couch!

Dan Leo said...

I could use a nap myself...