This is Part 2 of Chapter 95 in the "Queer Theories" series.
Go back to "The Difficult Kind -- Part 1", the previous section.
POV: Ron Rosenblum, featuring Brian Kinney, Carmel, Freddy Weinstein, Eugene Majeski, Others.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Ron is having a hard time adjusting to Brian's new 'image.' August 2002.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.
"I am not buying this stuff, Mr. Ron -- I don't even know what it is!" Carmel shoves the list at me.
Brian has written down a list of special food that he insists he needs. He claims he won't eat anything that has been 'processed by the agri-business conglomerates.' Which means nothing frozen or packaged. He also wants some special kind of de-ionized water. He refuses to drink Evian water because France has 'fascistic policies against the struggles of certain Third World indigenous peoples.' On his list he also has organic fruit, non-gluten bread, hummus, tofu, lemon grass, Basmati rice, rice noodles, and black bean paste.
"A lot of these are ingredients, Carmel. Maybe Brian wants to cook something." It doesn't seem likely -- Brian in the kitchen, cooking. "Or maybe he wants you to cook something for him?"
"I am not cooking anything with grass in it and neither is Mama! This is crazy stuff, Mr. Ron!"
"Lemon grass, not grass." I try to give Carmel back the list, but she won't take it. "Some of them are ingredients used in Thai food. That wouldn't be so hard, would it? You could at least TRY? I can get you a cookbook."
She just glares at me.
"I'll talk to him." Yeah. I'll try to talk to him. Good luck. I haven't had much luck with that. Brian barely looks at me and he hardly speaks to me unless he wants to lecture me on some fucking political or environmental thing. I don't understand half of what he's saying anymore!
"Brian?" I stop him as he is on his way into the poolhouse. I want to talk to him about the list he gave Carmel. And about his trip to London. And about a million other things that we have to get clear before I have to leave for Europe.
He's wearing a tattered pair of Levis and nothing else. No shirt, no shoes. And the jeans are so loose they are slipping down his hips. Jesus! He looks horrible -- but also so fucking hot that I can't keep my hands off of him. And he doesn't try to stop me.
Instead, Brian just stands there while I touch him. He stares into space and I'm certain that he's stoned. He MUST be stoned. But he's not. Because he looks down at me and his eyes are clear, his pupils normal. He's not stoned at all. He's just not THERE. Completely disconnected.
How the fuck am I supposed to deal with THAT?
Brian has only been home for three fucking days and already I have to leave tomorrow to go with Jimmy to Venice for the film festival. I want to take Brian with me to keep an eye on him, but he has to be in London this weekend to do post-production on that 'Hammersmith' fiasco. I've made a reservation at the Dorchester and it actually seems like he will stay there this time. I'm sure he's had quite enough of the sleazy Chatterton.
I was certain that the minute he got back to the house and had a chance to relax, Brian would get himself cleaned up. But no fucking way! I made sure his clothes were washed and that those grungy jeans 'disappeared' -- but he still hasn't shaved or cut his hair. And all the fabulous new clothes he bought in London are hanging in the closet, ignored, while he wears another old pair of jeans and a tacky tee shirt that reads -- God help me! -- 'Salty Seaman'!
Carmel and Maria keep staring at Brian like he landed here from Mars. "That boy is on the drugs, Mr. Ron! Maybe we don't see him doing it, but LOOK at him! You tell me!"
"He's NOT on drugs, Carmel. Now leave it alone." And I've searched all of Brian's luggage. Twice. I've examined the whole house and yard, checking his usual stashes. No drugs. No alcohol. Nothing! Nothing at all.
I can't fucking figure out what's going on with him!
And it's getting so that I dread it every time he opens his mouth, because he keeps spouting off these quasi-political, quasi-Zen little comments. I don't know what the fuck he's talking about half the time! I have no clue where he picked up these ideas, but I wish he'd just get over it. It's giving me a sick headache. Brian is starting to sound like fucking Ben Bruckner -- and that's all I need!
Well, Brian better get over it. Soon.
And now he refuses to get dressed or clean up even to go out to dinner. And I can't very well take him to Morton's or somewhere like that when he won't put on a fucking tie! Or comb his hair! So, we go out to some place that Brian suggests. Turns out to be one of those trendy dumps on Santa Monica. They don't give a damn how you dress there, that's for certain. The food isn't bad, but it's no place to hang out or to see anyone important or make any kind of connections. And I mean BUSINESS connections, not cheap pick-ups!
And it's obvious that this is a major pick-up joint. Every waiter in the fucking place knows Brian by name, not to mention half the trashy clientele. And they all have a comment to make about his 'new look.' This is just fucking encouraging him! They all want to know about London and the new film. Asking all about Dorian Folco, who has just been signed to come over HERE and make some film with Jude Law. Another reason NOT to have come to this fucking West Hollywood dive!
After dinner I manage to tear Brian away from his little crowd of admirers and head for the Polo Lounge. We are meeting Freddy Weinstein there to talk about some future projects. But I cringe when we walk in and Freddy does a double take at seeing Brian. And not a good double take. Freddy shakes his head. Brian catches it, but doesn't seem to give a shit. Not at all. He gives Freddy a smarmy, superior smirk. Right, Brian. Good. Nothing like going out of your way to make an enemy of one of the most powerful agents in the Industry.
"Joining a commune, Brian?" says Freddy, looking Brian up and down.
"Nope," he answers. "Why should I be made to conform to an outdated stereotype that is based on notions of gender preference as demarcated by modes of dress and styles promoted by multi-national corporations that merely feed into the military/industrial complex?"
"Ron -- what did he just say? Is he putting me on?" Freddy digs his elbow into my ribs.
"No clue, Freddy." And I quickly order a drink. A vodka martini. A double. Straight up.
"Is he serious with this shit?" Freddy asks loudly.
"You know, 'he' is sitting right here and can hear you quite clearly," says Brian, still smirking.
"Oh, my mistake. I thought that since your hair seems to be covering up your ears that it was affecting your hearing," snarks Freddy.
"No such luck," retorts Brian. "If I thought growing my hair would shut out YOUR comments, Fred, I'd let it grow to my waist." He pauses. "Maybe I will anyway."
"Brian! Will you stop fooling around?" I say, afraid he really means it.
"Who's fooling around, Ron?"
The waiter comes over to take our orders. The fucking guy immediately starts cruising Brian. Leaning against his arm. Brushing against the back of his shoulder. It's the same here as at that dump in West Hollywood. Let's face it -- it's the same everywhere we go. Brian looks at him and smiles. Even looking the scruffy way he does, Brian still radiates sex, I can't deny that. I can't deny it at all.
One thing I notice is that Brian only orders a mineral water -- and NOT the Evian, either. That's not politically correct anymore. But no booze at all. And he hasn't had any alcohol that I know of since he got back. Not that I'm displeased by his non-drinking. But it's so uncharacteristic -- along with everything else he's doing and saying -- that it worries me. How bad is THAT? Being concerned because he ISN'T drinking like a fish?
"Let me get you a Cosmopolitan, Brian," I say, testing him out.
"No thanks, Ron. I'm fine here."
"What about a scotch? Maybe not as good as you had in London, right?"
And I end up ordering another martini for myself. Another double.
Yes, the Polo Lounge is MUCH better for business. A lot of people stop by. I give a few of them the number of my office. Set up a few breakfast meetings. Talk out a few new projects. Hey, I'm HOT right now and I plan to take advantage of it. Brian and I will be the hottest fucking couple in the Industry. No doubt. And Mike Ovitz and his cronies can shove that stupid 'Gay Mafia' thing up their asses -- THIS is the real thing!
Although Brian is looking a little out of the ordinary, most people seem to take it with a grain of salt. A few of them ask me if he's filming or getting ready for a new role with this hair thing. And I don't deny it. If they think it's for a part, that's another matter altogether.
Brian gets up to go to the men's room and after he's gone Freddy gives me a prod in my side. "Your boyfriend has a fucking bad attitude, Ron. That's never a good thing."
"It's none of your business, Freddy," I say. "He's not your client. Besides, he just came back from his vacation. He's still unwinding." But I take a gulp of my martini to steady my nerves.
"Well, tell him to wind himself back up again. It's embarrassing to be seen with him, for fucksake."
Now Freddy is going over the line. Big time. "I don't think that's any of your fucking business, Fred. If it doesn't bother ME, then it shouldn't matter to you."
Freddy guffaws. "It bothers you. Plenty. You should SEE the look on your face, Ron. THAT says it all." He leans over to me again. His breath smells like gin. "Looks like your arm candy is ALL messed up! Time to look for a new model, I'd say. You're such a fussy bastard, Ron. I don't see how you can bring yourself to touch the guy, let alone fuck him!"
"Shut the fuck up, Fred!"
"He looks like a goddamn drug dealer, Ron! And I bet he's using plenty, too. I read between the lines of that London story -- and seeing him just confirms it. I don't care if the limeys let him off -- he's got doper written all over him! And no one is going to hire a junkie for a multi-million dollar film project. No one! Look at Robert Downey, Jr. HE snorted away a career. He'll be lucky to get dog food infomercials in the future. And YOUR boy -- he'll be lucky to get an 800 line ad if he keeps this up. Yeah, the only place HE'LL be able to get work is a corner on Hollywood Boulevard. Maybe he can get his OLD spot back in New York, Ron!"
"Fuck YOU!" Freddy is one of the few people -- so far -- who has managed to put Brian and 'Jack' in 'Red Shirt' together -- and he just loves bringing it up!
"Hey, if your friends don't tell you, Ron, then who will?"
Meanwhile, Brian is taking a long time in the toilet. An awfully long time. Too long just to take a piss. I'm ready to get up and go looking for him when he finally reappears. And there's someone hanging on him. Leaning up and whispering in his ear. They come over to the table and stand next to Brian's chair, like they might be planning to take off somewhere.
"You remember Eugene, don't you, Ron?"
Fuck. That photographer! "Sure. I remember you." Yeah. Sitting by MY pool that morning. Eating breakfast! "This is my agent, Freddy Weinstein. Freddy, this is Eugene Majeski. He did the 'Vanity Fair' shoot. The layout that's coming out in the November issue."
"Yeah. Sure." Freddy could care less and makes that very plain.
"I was just telling Brian that I want to do a new shoot with him. A full layout," says Eugene. He has a little goatee and small, probing eyes like a rat. I think of Brian telling me that Eugene is a classic starfucker. That he'll bottom out for anyone who ever had his name in the columns. "I LOVE this new look of Brian's. It's so Retro. That is VERY hot right now!"
"Whatever you say, Eugene," I reply. But I HATE this 'look'! I really, really hate it. I'm beginning to forget what Brian's FACE actually looks like under all that fucking hair! Why would anyone want to cover up that beautiful face? It doesn't make sense to me.
And now I can't even look at Brian's ass without having a fucking anxiety attack! Just thinking of that THING he has there shoots my blood pressure into overdrive. Last night I had to take another Xanax even to pretend that it wasn't bothering me. That I wasn't seeing IT the entire time I was trying to fuck Brian. Right, 'trying' is the fucking word! What a disaster! I can't even think about it -- and now here's Brian with THIS jerk!
"I think it would be a good move. I'd LIKE to do another photo shoot with you, Eugene." Brian glances sideways at Eugene and smiles. Now I KNOW for certain that this creep blew him in the men's room!
"Brian is leaving for London in a few days," I mention, trying to shake Eugene off.
"You are always on the go, aren't you, Brian? A hard man to pin down. Very hard." Eugene grins. It's a dirty, knowing grin. I fucking HATE him!
"We'll just have to get on it quickly before I leave, won't we?" Brian replies. "Ron is leaving tomorrow morning for Venice. So, you can come over tomorrow night, Eugene. Or in the afternoon would be even better. There's the pool. That might be... interesting for taking some pictures." Brian smiles a nasty little smile. "Not to mention the entire backyard. It's nice and private."
"Um, Brian?" I say.
"What Ron?" He looks directly at me. He's fucking challenging me!
"Nothing. Nothing at all." And I back right down. I fucking back down! What is wrong with me?
"Hey!" Eugene breaks in. "What about that kid? You MUST have his number? The hot little blond? Jesus! What an ass on that kid! Remember I said that it might be fun to use him in some shots? This would be the perfect opportunity."
That fucking Justin! And that tattoo! Brian told me it was 'none of my fucking business' when I asked where it came from! EVERYTHING is my fucking business, Brian -- just remember that! Christ!
Brian must have been drunk when that kid convinced him to get that tattoo. And it was Justin's idea. Completely. It's the only logical explanation. Brian was drunk AND stoned. And he acts like it's no big deal! He's fucking SCARRED for life! Unless I can convince him to have it removed. After all, it isn't THAT big....
But Brian's face is a blank when Eugene mentions Justin. 'He's not in town," is all he says. Brian won't talk about the kid. He won't even answer me when I ask a simple question about him. He just stares at me and I back down. Sometimes Brian can be a little intimidating, especially with his new pseudo-biker look.
"Too bad," says Eugene. "No matter. It was only a thought." He turns to me. "Sorry you won't be there to watch the shoot, Ron. It should be great. Should be beyond HOT, huh?"
"I wouldn't know," I say, icily.
"Especially if we can use your pool, huh? But then YOU get to gaze at this boy whenever you want to, you lucky bastard. Am I right?" Freddy snorts loudly and looks away, disgusted. And I don't answer, so Majeski tries another line of conversation. "You're going to Venice for the film festival? Are you previewing 'The Olympian' there, Ron?"
"Yes," I say, shortly. Can't this guy take the fucking hint and leave?
"Fantastic. I've seen some promo clips. And I saw that trailer over at a party at The Steam Room a couple of weeks ago. Just fantastic! This movie will blow them away. Fucking BLOW them away! Brian and Jimmy Hardy -- those scenes of them together look positively hardcore!" enthuses Eugene. Christ, someone throw some cold water on this guy.
"You know, Eugene," says Brian, casually. "I'm doing the new Woody Allen film. I'll be shooting my scenes in New York in November. We set it up for the week I'm going to be there doing the press junkets for 'The Olympian.'
"Woody Allen? That is fabulous, Brian!" Eugene is practically jumping out of his pants.
"Bullshit," mumbles Freddy.
I sit up straighter in my chair. "Brian -- when did you hear this?"
"When I met with my agent, Ron. I've already signed the contract."
"When did you meet with Lew Blackmore? Brian? When? Why didn't you talk to me about it first?"
"This afternoon," he says, coolly. "I went over to his office and we worked out the details. I might be doing a new men's cologne campaign, too. They're going to send me some more specifics before I decide if I want to do it."
"Brian, why didn't you discuss this with me before you signed any fucking contracts? Brian?"
"I don't need to discuss everything with you, Ron. Lew is my agent. And my lawyer was there, too. My new lawyer."
"What lawyer is this, Brian?"
"You don't know him," Brian says, and he looks away from me.
"Could you mention my name, Brian? For that cologne shoot? At least mention it?" Eugene pipes up. "I could shoot a really HOT layout, I know I could. Hey, Ron -- wait until people get a load of some of those scenes in 'The Olympian'! That one with what's-his-name?"
"Sir Kenneth Fielding," Brian puts in. "Great actor."
"Right. As the old fag. Fabulous scene. Jesus, what a body, Brian! Everyone will want to get Brian for their campaigns, Ron. There's a fantastic buzz already. That's one reason I'm anxious to get some new photos. Before I have to stand in a long, long line to get a crack at THIS boy! SOOO fantastic!" Eugene puts his fucking hand on Brian's shoulder and squeezes it like he owns it!
"Eugene, I'll always let YOU 'jump the queue' -- as they say in London!" says Brian, slapping him on the back. These two are way too touchy-feely for my comfort. And the minute I leave for Venice, this fucker is going to be in MY house with his fucking camera, snapping filthy photos of Brian in the pool -- and who the fuck KNOWS where else! Brian's fucking TATTOO will probably get a five page spread in 'Genre'!
"Just fantastic!" Eugene repeats.
Then Brian decides to sit back down at our table and stay a while. The way he was hovering I was afraid he might grab the odious Eugene and take him off somewhere to trick. I breathe a sigh of relief. But then Eugene pulls up a chair, too, like he's planning for a long stay.
Right, I think. Fucking fantastic. And I order another vodka martini. A double. Straight up.
Continue on to "Debriding -- Part 1", the next chapter.
©Gaedhal, October 2002
Updated October 20, 2002