One of my highest priorities after my recent LCE — Life-Changing Event — is to re-establish friendships that, in the whirligig that has been my existence for the past five years or so — had fallen by the wayside. Top of the list was my friend the Actress whom I used to blog about on a regular basis, because she’s one of those people who makes for good blogging.
I sent her an email and she called me immediately. “I’m in bed. Pop Star* is here too. We have always really liked you. Come over!”
I thought I would remember the way to Pop Star’s place, except I went right and then left when I should have gone left and then right. I called his house number and talked to a skeptical employee who first had to go off and validate my identity and my reason for wanting directions, and then I found my way through some very large gates and talked to a dude in the guardhouse who had to validate me all over again.
His house was exactly as I remembered, including the shadowy womb of his bedroom, where one of his almost-constant buddies was slouching in a chair and Actress and Pop Star were sitting up in bed, naked with sheets drawn up to their chests. They seemed poised and serene, like a king and queen holding court in a rock’n’roll underworld. Pop Star was a bit beefier than when I last knew him. I noticed his tattoos and exceptional eyes. Actress is as stunning as ever, even with no makeup and tousled hair that, she claimed, she hadn’t washed in days.
We hung out, talked extensively, passed declarations of love and adoration all around, most of which were actually sincere, and then I went home to my kids.
The life of a pop-culture entertainer is an eccentric one, to say the least: either you’re working all the time or not at all. I’ve known Actress through periods when the only time I could spend a few minutes with her was before or between sessions of a TV taping: hanging out in her changing room or some backstage area with a wall of camera monitors showing different angles of whatever scene they were doing over and over and over and over again, making subtle adjustments to what they were saying and how they were saying it.
At the moment, neither Actress nor Pop Star is working. Pop Star, in a way that does not seem unusual among people who’ve been famous for an extremely long time, doesn’t like to leave his house much. The house is large and populated by a shifting cast of characters. One of them — whom I remembered quite well from that earlier era — had been ejected amid the kind of personal drama that accrues around individuals whom other individuals compete to have access to and seek favors (and favoritism) from. I was struck all over again by how difficult it must be to stay connected to reality when so many people have such a vested interest in sealing you away. Whether you’re a pop star or President of the United States, a bubble is a bubble.
Inside this particular bubble, they’ve been playing a lot of poker.
They offered to teach me at some vague point in the future.
I said that would be fun.
* Not his real name. Which should be obvious, clearly, except this is LA and you can never be sure. Actress is also a pseudonym, and shall remain that way unless I start blogging about another Actress which might then make things more complicated.