Told ya I’d be back with another installment of my seemingly endless memories of disastrous Christmases past. This time we grab the Red Eye and jet from LA to NYC for yet more Yuletide misery. Enjoy!
O HOLY NIGHT
One year after being dumped by Monica I’m back in New York. Another Christmas Eve. Another girlfriend. Another dumping. This time – Lana. Something about me having no money and being a loser. She has a point. I am once again gainfully employed as a full-time starving actor – fucking adorable but broke. Not what Lana has in mind so –
“Merry Christmas, you’re dumped.”
“Oh yeah? Fuck you! I’ve been given a free ticket to a Broadway show – so there.”
Lana is a model. A beautiful model. With perfect lips. Succulent lips. Dreams are made of such lips. If you don’t believe me just ask the radio station that has chosen Lana’s lips as its new logo currently splashed over every available space in New York City. Walls. Billboards. The sides of buses. Trains. Taxis. As I hurry to the theater, her luscious lips confront me at every turn. In Times Square, Lana’s lips, luminously captured in neon light, tower above me. I am almost hit by a cab decorated with Lana’s lips as I run to touch those very same lips that adorn the back of a bus. Her lips smile at me, seduce me, invite and entice me. Then they chase me down the street taunting, “Loser, loser, loser” until I escape them by ducking into the theater lobby.
When I settle into my seat, I realize that I’ve seen this play before. With Lana. (Choke. Sniffle.) So, there I am contemplating throwing myself off the balcony and thinking – Well, at least I’ll crush some Jews. I am surrounded by Jews. Who else goes to the theater on Christmas Eve? But, overtaken by the spirit of the season, I decide to live and let live. I imagine these theater-loving Hebrews bustling home to enjoy their Chanukah bushes and to drink Christian baby-blood. As I leave the theater a heavy snow is blanketing yesterday’s filthy white pile. The Jefferson Airplane’s lyric comes to me –
City streets in the dead of winter,
Stop your mind with dirty snow.
But, my mind won’t stop. It zooms. I am in my thirties. I’ve limped back to New York after failing in L.A. – limped back for a second dose of the same medicine. A glutton for punishment. No money. No food. No job. No woman. No hope. Walking in Times Square on Christmas Eve with nothing and no one waiting for me at home. Not even a Chanukah Bush. Again, I become Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life. I lean into the biting wind and trudge through the heaping snow, not in Bedford Falls but in Midtown Manhattan searching for a smile, a break. Searching for my life. It was here a minute ago. Crazed, I search for warmth in passing faces but they hurry away. I press my nose against restaurant windows ’til frightened diners have the waiter tap on the glass and chase the bum away. Then I see the brightly flashing lights ahead. Red and green. Not a Christmas tree but the marquee of a porn theater. A sin-pit of the lowest sort.
I buy my ticket comforted by the thought that I will have the Snowblowers all to my lonesome. Enter theater and… the place is packed. Jammed. I have trouble finding a seat. Who knew there were this many sad, lonely, desperate losers in New York on Christmas Eve? But, maybe they’re just killing time ‘til Midnight Mass.
Snowblowers is neither Christmas In Connecticut nor The Miracle On 34th Street. In fact, the movie is so out-of-focus and out-of-sync that it’s difficult to discern who is doing what to what part of whom. I think the plot involves flabby-assed actresses performing a variety of sex acts while on skis with hairy-assed actors also on skis. I worry the performers risk frostbite on their asses, whether flabby or hairy.
Divertimento on Porn Etiquette
In those golden days of yesteryear, there were strict codes of conduct in porn theaters and dirty bookstores. In the latter, it was thought rude to pick up a porn magazine immediately after another sticky-fingered voyeur had put it down. The girl in that magazine was still his girl. It was best to let some time pass and allow the couple to come to terms with their recent break-up. Then you were free to paw over Teenage Enema Bandits.
In porn cinemas, as in all cinemas, it was held inconsiderate, threatening and sexually provocative to sit right next to, directly in front of or (worse) directly behind someone when there were other seats available. It pains me to report that some lost souls went to porn theaters expressly to jack-off or to be jacked-off. I was never among their number. My preference was to sit far apart, all the better to enjoy the mise en scène. And, to avoid being hit by recklessly extruded seminal fluid.
Porn theaters, like strip-shows, were remarkably somber affairs. The men hunkered down to watch and/or wank in silence. No chitchat. No popcorn passing. Definitely no eye contact. You didn’t want to risk being recognized.
“Murray, what the hell are you doing here?”
Furthermore, a wisp too much eye-contact with the flaming Black fairies who walked up and down the center aisle, licking their lips while looking into laps, might suggest you were happy to let them get a lip-lock on your love-monkey. No. And again, no! Eyes straight ahead.
In the middle of Snowblowers just as the star blower is fellating her shivering co-star on a toboggan, I become aware of a commotion at the end of my aisle. A suburban daddy is awkwardly climbing and tripping his way over the masturbating men while loaded down with his Christmas treasures. He is juggling bags from Saks, Macy’s and Bloomingdales.
“Excuse me, Merry Christmas. Oops, scuse me, please. Merry Christmas. I’m terribly sorry to trouble you but could I possibly sneak past. Merry Christmas.” And, he is off to catch the last train to Westchester. The erotic mood destroyed, I let Mr. Westchester run interference for me through the aisle-fairies and follow him out into the blizzard.
Lights get turned off even on the Great White Way and much of Midtown is now dark. Lana’s neon lips are a grey ghost drained of all erotic power. I tramp downtown as far as the Village where, ashamed and ascared, I grab a bagel and the subway and make for Brooklyn. I make for home.