Tuesday, March 2, 2010

“Uncle Buddy’s House”, Chapter 39: paragon

Let us rejoin that man-about-Hollywood Buddy Best, just pulling up to a certain overtly rough-hewn house at the tail-end of Venice Beach on a pleasant spring evening in the year 2003...

(Click here to go to our previous episode, or go here to return to the first chapter of Uncle Buddy’s House©. “Apparently the peccadilloes of the denizens of the movie world will never cease to fascinate the denizens of the nether regions of the literary world.” -- J.J. Hunsecker, The Tea Party Monthly.)


He pulled up outside the Mariner’s barn, and before he could beep his horn Deirdre came bounding out, her backpack over her shoulder. She pulled open the passenger door and jumped in.

“Step on it. They’re right behind me and they’ve both got rabid spiders up their areseholes.”

“Put your seat belt on.”

She did, and he pulled out.

“So, how’d it go today otherwise?”

“Oh, please. He is so fucking weird. He keeps trying to talk to me. And he always wants to do stuff.”

“Nothing -- untoward, I hope.”

“No, nothing like that. Just, oh, God, he’s such a bore. Y’know what’s a nice thing about you, Uncle Bud?”

“My driver’s license?”

“You never try to like do things. I mean you just leave me alone.”

Buddy thought about this for half a block.

“I took you to the opera --”

“That was different, I wanted to go to the opera, but you don’t try to teach me how to play backgammon. You don’t invite me to caulk your smelly old fishing boat.”

“Yeah. How’s your mom?”

“Idiotic.”

She put her Discman earphones on.

They were a few blocks from home when she took off the phones and said:

“You smell funny, Uncle Bud.”

“Do I? I’m sorry. I never, uh, took a shower today --”

“I don’t mind. You don’t smell that bad. Did you work out today?”

“No. No, I had a business lunch. I didn’t do much. Made up a new title for our movie.”

“What is it?”

Nikki Palmer.”

Nikki Palmer?”

“Yeah. Nikki with two k’s and an i.”

“Gay. So gay.”

“Well, gay or not, we’re going with it.”

“It’s not all that gay. Have you heard from Cordelia?”

“Uh, yeah, she called today, from Vancouver.”

“Do you miss her?”

“We’re not going out.”

“I didn’t ask you that.”

“Uh, yeah, I miss her a little.”

He was asking me about her. Trying to pump me. But I was cool this time. I told him I didn’t think there was anything going on between you two.”

“Well, fuck him.”

“Yeah, that’s what I say.”

“Hey, did they feed you? Do you want to stop somewhere?”

“Oh, they fed me a big lunch. He made croque-monsieurs.”

Of course he did.

“So you’re not ready for dinner yet?”

“I’m going out for dinner with a friend. I mean if that’s okay.”

“Uh, yeah, I guess so, I mean, as long as you’re in by -- uh, who’s the friend?”

“It’s a guy.”

“Oh. Really? Where’d you meet him?”

“It’s Jeremy. Philip’s friend.”

“Jeremy? What -- who’s -- what’s he look like?”

“He’s got like a shaven head, goatee --”

“That kid who was helping Philip move in --”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, hold on.”

They were coming up to the house. He parked and cut the ignition, then turned to her.

“How old’s this guy?”

“Twenty-six.”

Buddy undid his seatbelt and she undid hers.

“Are you going to give me shit?” she asked.

“Um, I don’t think this is such a good idea, Deirdre.”

“We’re not going to have sex.”

“You better not. Unless you want to send this little fuckwad to jail you better not.”

“What if I like him?”

“He’s too old for you.”

“Uncle Buddy. Hello. Cordelia.”

“Cordelia’s different. She’s over eighteen. You’re not even sixteen.”

“I’m sixteen.”

“You are?”

“Ha. Gotcha.”

“You’re fifteen still, right?”

“Right, Uncle Bud.”

“Okay. Whatever, fifteen, sixteen, you’re underage.”

“It’s not a crime unless we have sex.”

“That’s true.”

“So what’s the big whoop?”

“Deirdre, why do you think this guy wants to go out with you? Just to talk? He’s a guy. Guys go out with girls so they can have sex with them.”

“Like you and Cordelia.”

“Who, again, is over eighteen. And who, again, I am not going out with.”

They both just sat there, looking through the windshield.

“Have you guys already gone out?” he asked.

“Sort of.”

“Does Philip know about this?”

“No.”

Buddy took off his glasses, put them away. He breathed deeply.

“Listen,” he said, “be honest with me; have you two, uh --”

“What?”

“You know what I’m trying to say.”

“We haven’t fucked.”

“All right. Good.”

“We made out though. We made out, and --”


“Okay. Stop. That’s all I want to know. All right, listen -- I know I’m no -- paragon.”

“Ha.”

“Right.”

“You are definitely no paragon, dude.”

“Right. But --”

“What?”

“I, uh, I don’t want you to go out with this guy.”

“You’re such a hypocrite, Uncle Buddy. You think I don’t know what a slut you are?”

“I used to be a slut.”

“Ha.”

More staring through the windscreen.

“Okay,” said Buddy. “Listen, what kind of a dude fools around with his friend’s teenage stepsister? And keeps it a secret from his friend? What kind of a dickweed is that? And what’s up with the goatee and the bald head? How original is that? Oh. And dig: Jeremy. Do you really want to lose your virginity to some shiny-headed little creep named Jeremy? That’s something you’d have to carry around with you the rest of your fucking life. You don’t want that.”

She didn’t say anything. He didn’t say anything.

Then he said:

“I mean you’re better than that.”

Then he shut up.

If she wanted to get together with this kid she would anyway.

“Uncle Bud.”

“Yeah.”

“I won’t go out with him.”

“You won’t?”

“No. You’re right. Jeremy is kind of sleazy now that you mention it. And anyway, I owe you one.”

“Are you serious?”

“About owing you one?”

“About not seeing this guy.”

“Yes.”

“Well, thanks, now I don’t have to kick his pedophile ass.”

“I wouldn’t want you to have to do that.”

Her backpack was on her lap. She unzipped a pocket and took out her cellphone. She flicked it open and speed-dialed.

“Hi, Jeremy? Listen, I can’t go out tonight. Yeah. Uh, no. No, I don’t think tomorrow’s gonna work either. No. No. Um, how about never? Yeah. No. No, I don’t think it’s gonna work for me. Why? Because I’m too young and you’re too old. And because you’re supposed to be Philip’s friend. No. No. Wait, hey, Jeremy, you know what? Why don’t I just tell Philip about it? Oh, okay. Right. Right. Hey, I’ve got a brilliant idea, Jeremy. Why don’t you just find some bimbo your own age, okay? And while you’re at it why don’t you shave off that lame-o goatee and grow some hair on your fucking skull. Asshole.”

She flicked the phone shut.

“That was fun,” she said. “Okay, now you owe me dinner at my place of choice.”

“Okay,” said Buddy.


She said she’d just as soon go to Mama Maria’s, but first they went into the house to see if Philip or Liz were home. Liz was sitting at the kitchen table with her laptop, and she said she wasn’t hungry. Philip wasn’t home. So Buddy and Deirdre walked down to the restaurant.

As they walked he was thinking he should just let this Cordelia thing dissipate.

As for Marjorie, well, whatever.

It wouldn’t be hard to let the Cordelia thing go. She was up in Vancouver for five more weeks, and he had a lot of work to do. By the time they finished up post on gay Nikki Palmer they would be going right into preproduction on the sequel. Also he would probably be going to Cannes, and maybe some other festivals. That would be fun. Maybe. Then production on the sequel, post-production. Plenty of work to do. Maybe take a nice vacation Christmastime. Then just get old and die --

“What are you thinking about?” said Deirdre.

“Um, I was thinking about what I wanted to eat, actually.”

“I want the meatballs, dude.”

“Meatballs sound good,” said Buddy.

Yeah, let it go.


And yet when Cordelia called again, drunk, that night at 2:38 a.m., and woke him up from a sound sleep, his resolutions from earlier in the evening went right out the window.

“Hi, Buddy, it’s your stalker.”

“Hi.”

“You were right, Buddy, weirdo Joe tried to hit on me!”

“No kidding. But I thought you and your friends --”

“He was at the bar. Everybody was at the bar. Canadians, too.”

“That figures.”

“Weirdo Joe tried to hit on me, but he had no luck.”

“Good.”

“There’s another guy on the show who likes me, though.”

“I’m sure there’s plenty of guys on the show who like you.”

“You think so?”

“Unless they’re all gay.”

“There are some gay guys. And they love me.”

“They should love you. You’re lovable.”

“What time is it there?”

“Same time as it is where you are I should think.”

“I woke you up again.”

“I don’t mind.”

“I think I have to get off now.”

“Okay. Are you in bed?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you undressed?”

“Almost.”

“You should drink some water.”

“Water’s too far away.”

“Good night, baby.”

“Good night, baby.”

He lay there for a while with the phone to his ear, listening to nothing.


(Continued here, because that’s the way we roll.)

(Please go to the right hand side of this page to find a possibly accurate listing of links to all other available chapters of Uncle Buddy’s House™, vetted and approved by the Committee for Morally Unobjectionable Literature.

6 comments:

kathleenmaher said...

Put a group of the right 15-year old girls in charge before they turn 16 or worse 17, and the world might make sense.

Dan Leo said...

Well, maybe if they were all as cool as Deirdre...

Manny said...

I'm glad my name's not Jeremy.

Dan Leo said...

To all the Jeremys of the world, as well as to all those dudes with the shaven-head-and-goatee look: I decline any responsibility for my hero's hare-brained statements!

Bald Samson said...

This blog discriminates against bald people!

Dan Leo said...

One or two of my closest casual acquaintances are bald!