A Date with Myself – Tina Kennard L Word
Shaolin Studios – Tina – 8 AM
Today is script day and my whole morning is blocked off to read Jenny’s book chapters for any possibility her Les Girls could adapt to a movie. It’s one thing that Aaron wants me to option it and sure, I’ll get Jenny an agent and they can call me and I’ll say the same thing I say to any first time author: Here’s our deal. Think about it and let me know if you want to sign a one-year contract with an option to renew.
But aside from all the boilerplate here’s our deal take it or leave it stuff, I still need to know if Jenny’s story can play On Screen. Another job I have that Aaron keeps neglecting to mention. I’m Head of Development and I’m also Director of Creative. It irritates me he does this, drops one of my executive titles when introducing me. Even though it’s not personal it’s irritating and demeaning. His vision simply stops a foot out from his face. He’s focused but myopic. and today as Studio Chief he’s told me he wants my read on Jenny’s project by three o’clock. Admittedly, I’m curious.
As I open the door to my office, in my arms is a fully in bloom tiger’s eye yellow speckled orchid. For hours each day, soft northeastern light comes through my office window. This will be a spot of beauty and I can look at it and feel good. At least that’s my hope.
I’d passed this particular gangly looking orchid a few times at the market last week. Even thought of it later when I was back at my apartment. It was then that I had wished for something alive and beautiful and unexpected to be there with me. And another awareness I don’t ever recall feeling quite so deeply: Why do little things now seem so big?
Part of my problem these past few weeks is that I’m awake far too early every single fucking morning. I find at 5 AM my rooms are too still, and if Angelica’s at Bette’s overnight it’s impossible for me to fall back asleep. An hour passes and by 6 AM my mind has travelled into every room and inside all my closets, even my refrigerator and found them all far too singular in emptiness.
When Angie’s gone, I’ve wondered what they do together on the nights that Bette has her. What we do is talk about Mama B playing the game with us, or how Bette reads that funny part of the children’s book when it’s time for the friendly ghost to pop out and say, “Boo!” Apparently Bette does this part far better than I do, so I’m trying to learn.
Lately, we’ve been calling Bette before bedtime, and the times she’s not been home I’ve been tempted to open up her Outlook calendar to see where she is. I know her password. It’s my birthday.
It would have occurred to her, of course to change her password. But where she keeps her spare house and car keys, her thousand dollars of just in case earthquake money, is likely just the way it was. In all those ways she still trusts me.
Other things have come to me to while lying alone hour after hour every morning. I’m finally getting an inkling of what her long stares at the ceiling must be like. I’ve been logging hours and hours of these myself lately. She was always our worrier. Now both of us are, I suspect.
After making love or when she’s fed up with an annoying editorial in the paper are the times I can always count on her eyes heading for the ceiling to dream or wonder about something that’s bothering her. It gave me a lot freedom to nestle against her with my own undisturbed thoughts. Once entranced, Bette would lie nearly still until the “Eureka!” moment hit her, or I stirred her to pay attention to me again. It was a rhythm she had and thinking things through far up in the air was what she did and it never bothered me at all. It’s my thoughts when I’m alone now that I really don’t like.
I have two words for this story of Jenny’s: Fuck You. Now, for the remaining thoughts: Cultural upheaval if this ever gets made, and Bette’s going to blow a fucking gasket. I can’t believe I told her where to find a copy of Jenny’s book. I’m such a fucking idiot.
I lock my office door and head over to the studio canteen for lunch. I don’t know if Jenny’s actually still crazy, or she just doesn’t give a flying fuck, but Nina/Tina and Bev/Bette are far too close for comfort. I can’t imagine any sane writer would rip off of her neighbor’s lives and then barely disguise their names. And now the fucking thing is on my desk to make it for a worldwide audience? In what universe does this happen? What other studio executive is ever offered a movie deal to turn their most intimate private moments, their worst most degrading and fucking awful behaviors, into a movie? Me!
Aaron’s going to want me to make this deal, and he’s probably right. The story has potential, but it could also die on the shelf. It all comes down to who gets attached, another one of my jobs.
Let’s say the remarkable happens – a great looking star appears, and suddenly we have an A List actor to play one of the lesbians. A real leap right there! It’s a tricky, tricky acting role. If the director is bad, you as an actor are screwed. When dailies come back, and it’s clear a director is bombing then budgets get slashed and any artistry you brought to your sex scenes gets lost in the budget slashed editing.
They’re two ways the film editing can go if the studio decides to cut it fast and get it out the door. For an actor, your sex scenes get cut so they’re pornographic and then, it’s straight to a NC 17 DVD. A star doesn’t want that and a producer doesn’t want that, so, I’ll dream the fantastic. Let’s say this goes into production, and depending on what kind of influence I can keep over the creative, I may be able to scramble the names and places around where no one is the wiser, and the story never points to me.
Except Jenny will know.
Chances are once her agents see what a maniac she is they’ll drop her if she doesn’t go along and cooperate with me, and the Studio. That will leave her broke, and flopping like a fish. Then, I scoop her up, dry her tears and Bev and Nina become Carol and Suzanne for all I care. Just anything except me and Bette as Bev and Nina. Anything.
On second thought, if Les Girls takes two or three turns for the worse once it gets underway then of course Bette will have to kill her. There‘s no way she’s going to take all this exposure, and creepy personal invasiveness lying down. In other words, the ceiling will not be consulted in one of her long pensive stares. She’ll just beat Jenny’s door down, and then it’s anyone’s guess what happens next.
I smile to myself at the thought. I’m certain I can find the stomach to do to some forceful underhanded maneuvering on my own with Jenny. Given the blowback and consequences, I don’t see any other options. None of this will be easy, but maybe it is time for a great lesbian themed movie – just not starring an ersatz of me at my worst moments.
At the backlot canteen I order my lunch. “I’ll take the lamb and rice with vegetables. Thank you.” I swipe my studio credit card and take my number over to the tables in the shade. There are two types of people in Los Angeles. The Sun People who sit and stand in it no matter how direct or devoid of any ozone to keep it from baking flesh into cancer, and those of us who like the shade, but still sit with our sunglasses on. Because sunglasses are LA and that’s just a given.
After lunch I head back to my office to write up my Les Girls development ideas for Aaron. God, I wonder if the Yoga studio has a break between 1 and 1:30? Would they let me take a quick power nap on one of their mats? I’m so drowsy from lack of sleep, and a belly full of rice and lamb I could easily doze off right now.
I do miss sleeping well. Angie’s gone at Bette’s again tonight, and I wish sometimes she would ask me to be with them. Maybe I should ask her? I don’t know anymore. Are we waiting for something to happen that makes the air around us clean and clear again? Or are we just waiting for all the mines to go off and come to an agreement to not plant anymore? I don’t know. We’ve become like every other couple on the edge of destruction – wary, more self aware, but each more doubtful, and easily spooked. I could see it in her eyes – as Henry disappeared in her rear view mirror – the jealous burning anger she once had is now behind her, and fading fast.
Why that bothers me is no doubt pathetic.
A hundred years ago I could’ve imagined her seizing any number of violent solutions to getting rid of Henry, or Helena for that matter. In my imaginary high camp film version, I see Bette as the cross dressing intellectual, but spiteful, George Sand, appearing in a long dark duster coat on the main street of Tombstone. Darkly motivated, she waits under the bell tower, her pistols shiny and loaded for Henry. I smile at the thought. Then, Aaron interrupts my reverie.
Tina’s Apartment – 9 pm
I’ve never lived in a cleaner place in my life. With all my close friend’s lives in their odd orbits, Shane spending time with her brother doing kid things; Alice obsessed with a curious character named, Papi; Kit inconsolable over Angus’ infidelity, and Helena prepping for a catering job – I’m alone during another evening. There are no more floors to vacuum and scrub, or laundry to fold.
My long night looming ahead of me, so, what now? I’ve never been this way, fidgety, bored, and lonely. I pour a glass of wine and remember I have the watercolors Bette painted of me and Angelica. No one comes here very much. Certainly just close friends. Perhaps I can put the watercolors on my wall. I slip them out of their folder. They are so beautiful.
Oh, this is one I hadn’t seen before. How did I miss the one of me lying half asleep, my breast slipped out my blouse to nurse? Bette did love that with me.
I lean back in the chair and unzip my jeans. Surely I can go there and give myself some relief and then another glass of wine and hopefully sleep tonight. I look down at the painting. It was exquisite the feeling – her sucking my milk. I remember her tongue as she coaxed it out of me. I lick my fingers and find myself. I take a long sip of wine. I feel it warm around my tongue. I remember hers circling me and circling me. I feel myself growing wet at the fantasy.
I close my eyes and image Bette’s tongue licking my breasts to flow more milk to her lips. Her fingers are my fingers circling and pressing against me, arousing me to make love with her.
This is good. I can work with this.
I look at the painting in my lap of how she imagined me back then: Sensual, sometimes waiting on her, wanting her mouth on my breasts – hungry. There was no question her sucking my milk while fucking me was mind altering – and confusing – but so, so ancient a feeling, too. We were swept away by it sometimes. I feel it almost like a color of light, and then very clearly now I can recall – the sounds of us together, and me wanting her. I moan softly and sigh, as I begin to feel better and no longer alone.
When her suckling from me first began, I was sleepy with breastfeeding hormones. I knew she wanted more of me but taking her to my breast was erotic for us, and certainly was easier on me. I was so exhausted back then, and lazy feeling really. Like now. I just want to lie back and feel more and more spirals of pleasure as I circle my clitoris over and over in the perfect way. I sip more wine. This is good. Better than good, a very welcome tide me over.
I take a different painting out of the envelope. This one is of the baby and me but from an angle where Bette must have sat nearly at my knees to paint me. I remember the feeling of Angelica and then Bette sucking on me. Again, I feel how at first I was so startled – even guilty about how much I wanted her to fuck me while she did it, too. Hmmm. I need to arrange some things here.
I pull my pants up and go into my bedroom with my wine and props. I undress and look in my bedside table for the vibrator Alice swore up and down that I had to buy for myself. So I did. But I have really no idea how to use it. I’m annoyed suddenly that this is what I have to do. Batteries check they’re in there right. Alice swears by this model because once turned on the skin begins to heat up. It’s true, it does. Not too creepy. Okay, I’m ready. I put the lubricant on. Inside she goes.
Back to the painting of just me as I close my eyes, I can see her waiting and panting over me. God! That animal look sometimes in her eyes. Hang on a second. This thing’s vibrating too fast, that’s not Bette. Goddammit. I don’t know how to work it!
I hit a different control button to slow it down. Alright, much better where was I? Oh yes, getting ready to get really fucked.
I feel her curls in my hands as she comes inside me. Always the same way, straight in as far as she wants to go, and then there for awhile before a dance a little lower. I want her tongue in my mouth. I squeeze my eyes shut to imagine it. Sometimes only part of it she gives me until I suck on it for more, and fills my mouth and I’m always surprised by it.
God, and her tongue fucks me, too. No one else does that to me and I swear to God I don’t know how she does it either. It feels like a very twisting, very curious, very fulfilling piece of muscle inside me. But how does she breathe? I never thought of that.
I move the vibrator back and forth to mimic Bette’s tongue probing inside me. Christ! Am I dripping all down into the sheets? Fuck. I don’t care. Here’s a very good spot. I rock back and forth with the vibrator. I could come if I wanted to speed things up. No, I’ve got hours before I can fall asleep.
Where do I want to be with her? When was the first time she ever did that to me? Now, I remember. It was at her friend’s vineyard in that beautiful bedroom upstairs. I’ve always wanted to go back there again.
It hadn’t been late when we had said goodnight to our hosts, and climbed the stairs to “catch up on some reading and emails,” we had said as we went up to bed early. She’d undressed me immediately, and then bare herself she was on top of me. I remember how my heart and my body opened to her. We were so in love and the sex between us was still changing, as we fell deeper with more wanting to connect in every way we could.
First, her kisses on me went everywhere, before I captured her lips for a while as she slid into me and I felt her body warm and muscled press me deeper and deeper under her as she made love to me. The wine we had with dinner had softened my thoughts. They came slowly, and then left, as all I felt was her inside me and my mouth overtaken by hers.
I thought I was going to lose my control and come too early, but not with this watchful lover. Slowly she slipped her fingers out of me, and then she kissed me all down by body, until her tongue began to lick and tease me from inside.
I remember the feeling of pleasure and I remember the feeling – this can’t possibly be. She had pulled my waist up to arch my back for her. I push my vibrator deep inside me to hold the feeling of her. There’s no way to recreate the twisting inner licking that drove me fucking wild. It was that night that may have been the most intimate I’d ever felt with another lover – the ultimate of being opened, tasted, and so deeply known. I spread my legs to take myself back there.
I love her I realize. I love her still. I know I do. The pleasure is so intense. I know it’s almost over. I move my fingers faster against my clitoris. Her fingers always so perfect at knowing my speed and my pleasures and my beginnings and now… I fall back and begin to come and shudder and hold it until it begins to finally fade away.
My phone rings in the other room. The ringtone tells me it’s her calling. I rub my face and walk to the other room with my vibrator in my hands, I answer the call from Bette.
“Tina, I bought Jenny’s “Les Girls”.” I hear a page snap on the other end of the phone. “Just tell me one thing: What the fuck?”
Up next – Story #22. The Thirteenth Floor http://wp.me/p4AUvc-3Z
Bette has spooky thoughts about taking revenge on Jenny.
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