Monday, May 7, 2012

The Queen Has Fallen

The Queen is Tired. Long Sleep the Queen.
When you look at that title, I wonder what you see? Do you envision a rotund, orange-haired traitor stumbling on her heels, thanks to a .38 bullet that has pierced the understory of her bouffant? Do you imagine her girth collapsing against the louse of a man who has the audacity to walk two paces in front of her, his cheating form acting merely as a tool to break her fall?

Alas, my kittens. The queen, is moi.

I couldn't do it. Oh do not misinterpret. It was not a question of skill or canniness. I had them in my sights, both of them. They were nothing if not obvious. I've shot festival courtyard mimes that were better hidden then these two. Oh, I have. In the Marienplatz in Munich, just in the late afternoon shadow of the great glockenspiel. But that's another story, my dears. I know you want to hear it, but you will just have to wait!

No, the truth is, this grande old dame (and a reminder, I may refer to myself as "old", you oughtn't dare, as the late Mimieux would mime for you) discovered a softness in her heart that she'd longsince forgotten. Miles was the first to remind me of it, when I grew concerned about the ache that had begun to swell in my chest. I thought it might have been that the foi gras and toast had been spiked with arsenic, but since Miles had eaten far more than his fair share (and was happily enjoying the afterglow of a Latin-delivered rubdown) I knew it was something else.

"It's happening, my queen," he said.

"What is that?" I queried.

"You're rediscovering your heart. They have betrayed you, the both of them. But the love you once felt toward them is still hot to the touch. Like an earthenware caquelon at the end of a long, champagne-fueld soiree."  I shot him a horrified look and he shrugged nonchalantly, adding "I've never had fondue myself, but I've heard..."

And so I let them go, the two of them. On their merry ways. But not before firing off a single round and taking out the street light directly over them, sending a shower of glass onto them, like flakes of jagged snow.

I'm thinking that I am due for a trip to Morocco. Don't you?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oatmeal and Noxema, Then Soak

In all my borne days I never dreamed--never, my crumpets--that Miles and I would actually plan and carry out a mission together, in tandem, côte à côte. Oh, we've been in the same place at the same time during a great many soirees. Goodness, I took out the Ghanan Prime Minister's mistress with a sniper's rifle, through the nook window of a quaint Barcelonan apartment as Miles lay beside me in bed, filing his nails and humming the overture from Kiss Me Kate. So I'm not adverse to killing in the presence of my dear friend. Hardly, my dears. Call me an exhibitionist (others have), but I find I get a naughty tickle behind my knees when an admirer is nearby to whisper, "Good shot, Vivian darling!"

And so the night that I thought would never end did, in fact, end at long last. Walter absconded with that carp in crinoline Zinnia (soon to be known as, "The-carp-who-went-to-rest-with-the-rest-of-the-fishes") and Miles whisked me away to the nearest five star, one of the few left in town that will still slip me in through the back door and pretend I am nothing more than a Czech immigrant dishwasher. Throw a drab smock over my head, snap at me in broken English and leave me alone in the presidential suite for the next twelve hours.

It looks to be a complicated venture, complicated in the worst way. It's bad enough that the target has to be someone who might well be missed (by the public, my bunnies, not by me--for I never miss a target!). But there are two to hit, and voluptuous as she may be, and certainly beginning her descent down the backside of that mountain we call life, Zinnia is not to be underestimated. It's not been too long since I've seen her scale a four-story walkup using only a pocket fisherman and saddle shoes (that, I might add, were two sizes too small). The girl still has a little left in her. The good news is, I know just which pockets she has that little bit stored in.

It's nearly dawn, and I'm exhausted dear ones. Miles is soaking in a bath of oatmeal and olive oil water, his face slathered in Noxema. The pillow is calling me, and I shall answer--for a little while, anyway.

bonne nuit

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Saved by Tiffany (again)!

Oh dear lord, where do I even begin? For that matter, my dears, where does it end? I suppose in all cases, at the beginning or, in this case, where I last left off.

I'd just finished my third piece of thin slice with cherry tomatoes and almond slivers when I saw them. There they were, Walter and my once-upon-a-time-saved-her-lunar-white-tush-more-times-than-I-can-count best friend. Yes, sweet bunnies, it was none other than that red-haired interloper Zinnia. Need I remind you that it was not long ago that I, unselfishly and at the risk of losing my own life and freedom, facilitated her own wretched husband's well-deserved exit from this world? I mean, really. What act of loyalty is more genuine--more raw than that of killing a woman's husband, when said's husband wife is too emotionally distraught to do it herself? In fact, as I stood there dabbing red sauce from my own saucy lips, there came a moment when I thought I might like to ring my own best girlfriend to return the favor, and send good old Walter on an eternal pearl-diving expedition deep to the bottom of the Hudson River. But then I realized, said "best friend" had her Orientally manicured tendrils already sunk into him!

My mind began a rapid fire, random thoughts shooting in and out like some tangled string of sparking Christmas lights. I felt my knees growing weak, and there was a burning in my eyes, burning, unlike anything I'd ever felt before. This was all so new to me, my sweet kittens, you must believe this without hesitation. In all my years house, let's say...every single time I've ever pulled the trigger, or cinched the pebble-filled stocking or roundhouse kicked a target from the building ledge, I have never felt this level of emotion. Nerves, yes--we all have them and should claim them proudly. In fact, the one who says that killing makes no dent in his armor has no soul. But this...I could only say that it was something I was not prepared to feel.

Perhaps, if I may be so bold as to surmise, it was--and is--love. For all the headaches, and the seeping nausea and the lousy jokes at my expense, I suppose I actually loved the old lunt. And that, my dears, is why it hurt so badly. For the two people in my life whom I loved the most, the two people whom I felt would be there for me until the last bullet left my pistol, had done to me what my chauffeur Miles was likely having done to him in some brownstone alley in Greenwich.

Which brings me to Tiffany.

Like I said, the flames were quite nearly literally shooting from my eyes, and I had had the luck (misfortune?) of spotting the curvature of the pizza pie slicer in my gauzy periphery. With lightning speed (for that is how I most frequently move) I snatched it into my quivering hands. I had reached far back behind me, probably as far back as the East Village dears, and just as I was to hurl the gleaming, yet tomatoey, weapon at the smarmy couple, I was lain usunder by something piercing and expensive against my breast. Perhaps it was the shock of the assault or the realization of 14 carat gold, but the cool dampness of the sidewalk was soon resonating on my rump.

And who should scoop me from the ground, and cradle me in his arms, and remind me that to kill these two gerbils in the broad clarity of Little Italy would spell my demise and ruin, was my dear chauffeur (and only remaining friend) Miles.

"It's been a rough night," he smiled, collecting the gleaming Tiffany cufflinks from the ground.
"Was there no one you would have rather spent the evening with than me?" I asked, sincerely. My voice by now was more of a bird's chirp than a woman's.
"No one," he promised. "Now let's get you cleaned up. And then we can figure out how to send them to Shanghai."

"Shanghai?" I asked. "Why China?"

"Oh," he smiled, pointing at the ground. "They might not make it there, but we can certainly send them part way."

Friday, April 9, 2010

I'll have the salad, please.

It's been a week since the fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria--did I ever tell you how much I loathe those things? It's such a puzzle to me, these obscene parties. Spend twenty or thirty thousand dollars on champagne and caviar and bimbos with cigarette trays to stroke the egos of bloated and self-important politicians and executives and by the time the night is over, you have those same lunkheads ten percent poorer and twenty percent fatter. I say, take a week out of your life, make some phone calls and personal visits, take out an ad in the Times to thank them--and if you're so inclined, add the money you saved from putting a party and viola--you have one hell of a good fundraiser. But then, where would the cigarette girls go?

A good deal has arisen over the horizon that is my husband, Walter. After the Waldorf function I was quite famished. The lobster bisque smelled of last month's cheese and the bread was as leaden as the hostess's sense of humor, so I skipped both and stuck with the salad. Needless to say, I'd have given my right eye for a slice of pizza. So off I went into the Manhattan night to take my chances in Little Italy. For this venture, I put away my party dress and slipped on my denim trousers and best checked farmer's blouse. I was interestingly ravishing, I must say, a cross between Annie Oakley and some old broad who would be more comfortable under the carriage of a Buick than a man, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I had my driver, Miles, drop me at the corner of Mulberry and Main, while I let him drive on to prowl Greenwich. No sooner did I turn into Vivaldi's for a slice of pepperoni did I catch a whiff of cheap tramp musk. I spun around and there they were--my Walter and that thing, attached to his arm like a sucking leech.

Now, my bunnies, I have nothing against men taking a lover--I believe I've made that amply clear. It's in the DNA--men need artificial sweetner like women need an occasional coiff. It reminds us that we are still pertinent and can still draw the eye. But there are rules, and rules must be obeyed. Be discreet. Never take a lover that would reflect poorly on your wife--either making her look foolish or frumpy, or stupid for having settled for a man whose standard are clearly in the gutter. And this..."woman" that Walter was dragging around like a fishing lure--she was clearly in the latter. And, I might add---she was my friend.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh, Dear Me

Goodness gracious, my bunnies. I'm so sorry that I have taken such a long hiatus, but I do have a reason. I can't go into much detail as I fear that I'm being watched, but suffice to say that I am on the "lam", for lack of a better word.

I was leaving from my perch on the rooftop of the Woodward Building in Soho, where I was watching through my spy specs, my husband and that thing he calls a woman exiting a late night bistro. As I came from the back door, I was suddenly struck in the base of skull and collected right then and there.

"Collected" you ask? Yes, dears. In my line of work, we never say "kidnapped", since we're not kids and there is no napping involved. It sounds so amateurish that way. And "absconded" is what one does with a neglected cookie on the countertop. "Collected" is what a mother does with her wild brood, or what a tiny girl or a doddering first lady does with Easter Eggs. Gather those things which need gathering. And that's what happened to me. It was nothing personal, though it was quite unpleasant.

I was sequestered in a warehouse just off the meat packing district. I know this, even though I was blinded folded because I could smell the raw beef and sausage casings through the gauze. The held me there for weeks, it seemed and I'd have escaped sooner but it seemed that the lunt who was guarding me never tired of gazing at my gams and melons, so I couldn't get a moment to use the dental underwire. What's this, you ask? Suffice to say that pimply adolescents have retainers, spies have dental underwiring, slipped on each morning for situations just like this. And since I could tie a cherry stem into a sailor's knot with my tongue, it's not a major task for me to slip off the wire, fashion it into a corkscrew and free myself from any ridiculous knot these Boy Scout rejects could have tied.

So now, there is a trail of dead collectors in my wake, I have a husband and a whore with whom I have unfinished business and I'm late for a fundraising party at the Waldorf Astoria. And my dress is an absolute mess.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Mare at Night is Not Really a Nightmare

I had a puzzling dream the other night. I was in my kitchen, making a tuna casserole and I was out of toasted breadcrumbs. The house I was living in wasn't my house at all, but one of the homes of my old Black Cat prowls, a tract house in the San Fernando Valley. Anyway, I went onto the porch to see if perhaps there would be bread there (it was a dream, bunnies, so it isn't supposed to make sense). Anyway, out on to the porches of every single cottage down the street came a single woman, housedress alight with various floral prints, hair looking sculpted as if from clay. And simultaneously, they each called out for breadcrumbs, that their husbands would be home any minute and their tuna casseroles weren't ready. And then, Seabuscuit came galloping down the empty roadway, whinneying at the top of his lungs. And so I dashed inside, and began hammering lumber across the door, fearful that they would began pounding upon my door, thinking I had a loaf of bread stashed somewhere inside. And as I pouded the ten-penny nails through the hard cedar planks, the nails twisted themselves back out again, like worms crawling out from the dirt. And then I woke up, lightly dewy in perspiration.

I'm feeling oh so worried, kittens. This morning I was going through Walter's jacket pockets (you would think I would know better after discovering the aged nectarine and the exploded tube of Ben-Gay). What should I find but a matchbook from the St. Sebastiane Hotel off 49th street. Walter hasn't been to that hotel, that I know of, ever. For those of you not familiar with the St. Sebastiane, it rents rooms for $3.00 per hour, $2.50 if you bring your own linens. And what's with the matchbook? Please, Walter. Taking a matchbook from a hotel in which you are doing something scandalous is so cliched, it's rather "1932 Film Noir" if you ask me. And ridiculously stupid. But here's the puzzling thing: I'm not the least bit jealous. Perhaps since I've never really been able to give of myself to him, there's nothing he has of me that he can hurt. So many women, they give their heart and soul to their men and then when those men act like men do, the poor women blather on about how "he stole a piece of me." No, honey. He didn't steal from you. You gave it to him. He just didn't take care of it and left it laying around so that it could get damaged by the elements. That's what men do. Unless it's kept safe behind their zippers, they don't give a damn about it. And even that thing they throw out for any Susan that wants to look at it.

So what to do with the tramp he's meeting? I could easily find her, of course. I could find her and snap her neck before she even smelled the Chanel Number 5 wafting from my collar. And I might. Oh, I'm not jealous, dears. I'm telling the truth in that. I just hate to be made to look the fool. I'm a lot of things, but "stupid" is not one of them.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bubble, Bubble, Toilet Trouble

Oh dear me, but Bora Bora was Love-a, Love-a! I'd forgotten what it was like to simply rest, not having to roll a plan of attack around in the back of my mind, watching from the corner of my eye at every Tom, Dick and Mary that saunters by, anticipating the telltale glint of polished metal that may come flying at my temple either in bullet or knife form. The pool was wonderfully warm, the cocktails were chilly and copious and the massuese was...well...suffice to say that the masseuse was thorough.

But as with Russian caviar on toast, the gentle tingle running up my gams and the guilty pleasure of a vanilla Tastee-Freeze, all good things must come to an end. A gal can't spend her whole life sipping Mai Tais and drinking in the local cabana boys' white, toothy smiles, can she? Not when evil continues to fester in this wonderful world of ours.

On the way home, we had a stopover in Shanghai, which I thought was an odd diversion coming from Bora Bora to Los Angeles. I nearly put in a curt phone call to my travel secretary, but upon landing, I received a fortune cookie that had the telltale odor of Pine Sol. I cracked it open to find a brief, but crystal clear message informing me that I was to take suddenly ill, running posthaste to the nearest powderroom to my gate. Once again, Walter gave me a wide berth as I sqeaked out an explanation, hands to my nether regions, dashing on my $150 Giles Sinclair pumps across the tarmac to the glass double doors.

In the powderroom, there was one stall in which the door was securely locked. Pulling a bobby pin from my hair, I opened it in no time at all, then began spinning the Scott towel dispenser as directed. It was necessary to spin at a specific speed, as the instructions written on the paper were not in code, but in the obscure Tzichitan script that I had (thankfully) mastered when stranded so many years ago on the island of Tzichiti (south of Psusupsusu in the Pacific ring around LaRosie). And when I saw what I was to do, I was not surprised, but I was supremely peeved. Why, oh why dear Goddess does it have to be me? And not even have the common decency to provide gloves that reach up to a dame's elbows?

I kneeled, as one would do should she feel the overwhelming urge to purge, or if she has dropped her Tiffany platinum and diamond earring into the toilette. The route that waste travels when flushed away is not the pathway I'd have predicted. There is a snakey manner to it, a design that one's forearm does not navigate easily. But if determined, a lithe gal can retrieve the plastic bag filled with explosives and if she is at the top of her game, she can draw it from the bowl without puncturing the bag and hence, ruining the contents.

It had been years since I'd dabbled in explosives and much has progressed since the days of the French Resistance. Plastics. Electrical centrifuges. Mercury-based ignition points. Good grief. And the lunt that wrote the directions should either have his eyes checked or gouged from his head with spoons. I'm sorry my bunnies, but I was so livid I could hardly spit. It was a miracle I didn't blow myself from Shanghai to Peking. Suffice to say, it worked. I managed to construct the explosive Tiki Doll as instructed, slip it into the handbag of the wife of Secretary of Defense Xiaoping (sorry, dear Fang, but you knew when you married the snake that it might come to this).

Liftoff was uninteresting, save for the sudden yellow glow and the quiver of turbulance that appeared from below. I understand that Judy Garland is appearing in New York this coming week. I so love her. I'll never forget that wild night we spent in the Bronx, when we took the wrong subway after a night of appletinis and brie-stuffed crouquets. But then, that's another story.