Patrick was outside lifting the window murmuring imagery climbing in while i stirred my tea reading “Our Lady of the Flowers”. morning warmed the dark. The bed was right under the window so he had to tumble across his girlfriend who’d spent the night and was still mostly asleep cursing him as he made his apologies. But he had big news and i had to come with him right away.
This fuckin Monkey God could usually talk me into most any crazy shit, so i was cautious, trying not to get infected by his madness before i’d even had some Earl Gray. He started calling himself the Monkey God after i’d told him my nickname in school was “the Prince” because of my penchant for quoting from that rueful volume. He had the handsome face of a holy monkey mask and a laugh like a chimp in heat.
Shelley padded over dragging the sheet and draped herself on Pat’s shoulder, “come to bed, come to bed”. “not just yet, baby” he said tenderly. She wrapped her arms around my neck, “i’m not finished sleeping”, so the three of us laid down and Patrick revealed the plan. Like most junkies i knew, the bulk of his creative energy went into acquiring more dope. I was never a junkie since psychedelics were not considered junk. I didn’t even drink. That would come much later.
Oh no, i was gonna say yes to this.
His scheme was fraught with peril and doom, but do-able by weight of its audacity. Patrick grew up in West Hollywood right up behind the Troubadour, so he knew everyone and everyone knew him, or so it seemed. A prominent member of the local “gay community”, whatever the fuck that is, was home after a successful run of his off-broadway musical in NY. The guy had known Pat since he was a baby and was close friends with his mother. He was also uber-gay, meaning he required three full squirts a day plus copious between meal snacks. Pat wanted to rip off his stash of prescription narcotics because, having just gotten home he would have renewed all his scripts and hid them in a bulging medicine drawer. We'd go over to his luxury apartment in a few hours and Pat was sure he’d get the instant hots for my skinny butt, so Pat could ransack the place and find the stash while i distracted the mark. The fact that i’m not gay didn’t matter much and supposedly would actually work to our advantage. When Pat runs out the front door it’s my cue to extract from the situation and run down the alley to . . . well we hadn’t quite thought things through that far.
There were a few problems with this scenario,
aside from the fact that he would know right away that Pat was there to rip him off. The first of which was that the guy was good friends with the top brass in the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, just a few blocks away. Second, he liked to stroke guns almost as much as he liked cocks and had quite a collection of both (he might not be alone). Third, he was an amateur boxer of some renown who took great pleasure in beating up gay-bashers. I am not, never have been, a fighter or tough guy. We were counting on his blind lust for the plan to work.
Mind you, i was not going to get anything out of this. I hate narcotics, have no interest in getting groped by this queen, and if he finds any money, i don’t even want that. It’s just that Patrick was so much damn fun to hang with, and he was my pal, and he needed some dope. So we head on over to the guy’s pad a few blocks away through the alley that runs parallel to and north of Santa Monica Blvd. He’s home, we go in, his silk robe is open, the guy’s a fuckin hairy toad with a thumb-size dick. he pours some wine and pushes a box of weed toward me, says roll up a few. Then he starts to wrestle with Patrick trying to get his hand down his pants.
Change of plans.
I go in search of drugs. Patrick is screeching, the guy is grunting and cursing and cooing, loving every minute of it. I find a small wooden cabinet nailed to the wall in a closet and yank it loose, kick at it viciously, it breaks open. A friggin cannon size revolver tumbles out along with a few dozen large pill bottles and a bundle of cash. I stuff the dope and money in a pillow case, leave the gun and find Pat in a savage fight in the living room. There’s little porch outside through the kitchen with a water hose attached to the faucet of the utility sink. Turn the water full blast and rush into the living room dousing the combatants on the leather couch and everything else in the living room; fine art on the walls, silk carpets, books, notebooks, then back to the two nut jobs slinging hard punches now. Pat’s got some Irish scrapper in his blood, but he’s not a fighter either and is losing this one. I start beating the mark with the brass nozzle jetting water everywhere. He rolls over and Pat makes for the door with me close behind, down the steps, down the alley. The toad is howling something in the doorway and Pat is bleeding. He peels off a few bills from the roll and hands them to me, spins the pillow case into a bunch, then scurries north between houses heading for Sunset, no doubt.
Back at my place, Shelley is lounging in bed reading, sipping tea and still in a mood, so we screw a bit and i tell her the story.
“let’s go eat at the Mediterranean.”
We ordered some coffees and croissants and a plate of cheeses and fruits, then fell into a sparring match about Salinger. She always leads with how boring he is, and i think he’s fantastic so i get all exercised when she says that. She’s read every word he’s ever published and i can see her eyes twinkling and her pretty little lips straighten, she’s about to drop a quote on me.
Suddenly there’s a big commotion by the front door and it’s the guy, hairy-toad-thumb-dick with entourage. He’s got a fat lip and his left eye is swelled shut and he’s carrying on about his great adventure with Patrick the junkie thief and an unidentified accomplice. He loved it. Wants to do it again, shouting and carrying on while they all re-arrange chairs around a table.
We are seated back by the kitchen so i bolt into there. Shelley is cracking up, being theatrical to get his attention, so i run out the back door and break into a lope down the alley.
Curtis McCosco 2015