The Suicide Note #5

Early test shots NYC 1974

The Suicide Note

There could be hope for me yet; discovered and fell in love with an IPhone app called LoseIt. Am so motivated to use this to drop the 30 lbs that have insidiously crept up in the past five years that I keep bulling my way through it just to get my journal postings accurate. Last week I was scrolling through the photos on our digital camera and was perplexed at why The Spousal Unit would have been photographing pizzas; was he hiding some twisted, yet undisclosed marinara fantasy from me?? Did he want me to cover him in pepperoni and bake him @ 500 degrees? Perplexed, I was about to get up and question him when I realized that those pizzas were actually pictures of my face!! Who was that fat little porker with no cheekbones and no chin? AAPIS CRAPPIS, I was going to have to lose that same damn 20 lbs. I lost through Weight Watchers in 2005, and apparently an additional 10 if I wanted Oprah to stop sending the local police over here to search for her missing size 14’s. It’s nearly impossible to remember I was once this gangly, praying-mantis creature in the photo on the left. Next goal is to figure out how to get pix from my IPhone onto my Facebook page, even the 17-year-old can’t figure that one out, or so he says.

We’ve been howling at the size of Booger’s tongue, which is wider than Steven Tyler’s lips. It is unfathomable that a tongue that broad can exist on a 10-week-old puppy. That and his Eiffel Tower legs are making me pray I’m one of his favorite people when he’s full grown, as I would prefer not to be the Boeuf in his Bourguignon.  Pooter was just the opposite; her anteater tongue was so long as a puppy that one day she reached across the table and licked the pony right off a dinner guest’s Polo shirt, very impressive. Booger’s trick of the week is to jump straight up when he wants to reach something.  He doesn’t take a running start or go at an angle, just up straight as an arrow, then, oops straight back down again; this result always seems to surprise him. He looks like a meth addict on a Pammed pogo stick. Our Tortie cat Nico was five very spoiled years old when we brought Reggae (Pooter) home as a 7-week-old puppy and she has, quite frankly, never forgiven me. She took to watching classic films on late night TV in order to perfect her Betty Davis/Joan Crawford glare; you know, the one they shot to the camera just before they jangled their arm bracelets and chopped off their lover’s right hand with an axe in order to keep it for a souvenir to remember them by. You can only just imagine the murderous betrayal when we showed up with Booger. Being a cranky but dignified 13-year-old pussy (68 in people years!) I can understand she’s miffed. That being said, I never expected to find a suicide note taped to her litter box this morning.

"I'll pretend you're the litter box"

Bette Davis Eyes

                Dearest mamaa BLovedd Poppa,

Sory about steeling yur debit card, had 2 get to a bar 2 by sum Pussytinis 2 get up the courage to off miself, that’s rite, im a go swim wid da fishes. Cain’t take it no more, no how. Eye will c u & daddie  in heavn.  Luv yur puddy cat

We’re sure gonna miss that fur ball! Very different than the cat I adopted in Austin. Beware of friends bearing gifts for absolutely no reason whatsoever!! This kitten was generously offered to me free, with all vet bills and services to be paid in full for one year just for taking her off this “friend’s” hands. Quite ugly really, matte gray with eyes the exact same shade of gray, so you could never be exactly sure where the she-devil was looking, which gave that evil-doer a home court advantage. Supposedly she was part Manx, part bobcat; considering she grew to 23 lbs. and had no tail, who was I to argue with her parentage? That cat had a passionate hatred for anyone possessing a penis. While she grudgingly tolerated Baseball Bat Boy, she took great pleasure in crouching on the ledge of my second story bedroom loft and pouncing on unsuspecting men, entering the apartment from the floor below, then making like a feline Cuisinart on speed while attacking their head, neck, and flailing arms. I should have named her Lucifer instead of Brandy.

Speaking of Baseball Bat Boy brings me back to my story. At the end of that momentous June day Where I Became A Real True Bonafide New York Model!!! I was taken out to dinner by said Boy, his boss, secretary Marion, and of course, the Prancing Sheilas. It was Marion, the secretary at the lighting design firm, who had taken Baseball Bat Boy (and by association, me) under her wing and introduced him to her circle of closest friends, who were the six Sheilas. She had been raised in Queens and had a Polish accent as heavy as her backside, but possessed a heart of gold. Like so many single women in a large city, she had surrounded herself with this motley group of gay men, and they formed something of an unconventional  family, sharing holidays, vacations, and fabulous gossip. If you had Marion’s stamp of approval, you automatically were accepted by the Sheilas, no questions asked, even if your face was featured on a poster at your local post office. Our entire social universe was comprised of the Sheilas and Boy’s boss and Marion and throughout the summer of 1974 we sampled our first lobsters, Little Italy, Chinatown, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, The Fantastiks, the Staten Island Ferry, and much more. I was in love with this amazing city and ate it up with a spoon. The only thorn in my side was that God forsaken place we lived, which we dubbed Casa de Crappy.

Marion to the rescue when she shared with us the news that she had just rented an amazing space in a newly-renovated purse factory that had burned out years before. It was called the Cast Iron Building and was on the corner of Broadway and East 11th Street in the Village, and as soon as we saw the soaring 2-story living room, cast iron columns in the dining room, loft bedroom, and huge walk-in closet we knew it had to be our home. Affording it put a huge dent in our tiny budget. The seemingly generous salary that was offered to Boy when he was hired for the NY job had once seemed vast to us with our college lifestyle. When we arrived in NYC, however, reality set in and we very quickly realized we were house poor. Taxis were not even a thought, buses and subways only, no eating out unless someone else was picking up the tab, and I didn’t purchase a single item of clothing for the next two years. But we HAD said goodbye to Casa de Crappy and I WAS working sporadically.

Turned out the $60 per hour rate I was promised was almost always negotiated down to $30 because Eve Shelton Models was not one of the top agencies. Not too glamorous either. Hand modeling (gives a whole new meaning to the term hand job!), girdle and pantyhose shots for catalogs, (where my head was inevitably cropped out to avoid the client paying a higher “lingerie” rate), trade shows held in giant warehouses in Queens where the powers that be wanted a few pretty girls sprinkled through the crowd to alleviate the boredom of paunchy mid-level managers sporting horn rimmed glasses and pocket protectors.  The biggest career challenge at these corporate love-ins was to not break a nail while opening a soda can and avoiding the horny hands of these mostly married men.

During my time with Eve, I certainly appeared on more than my fair share of covers of True Confessions, Modern Romance and other magazines of that ilk. My mom, my biggest fan, was a regular reader of these trash rags when she was in her 20’s. When she passed away last year I discovered she had saved every last issue I appeared in, including some I wasn’t even aware of. Amazing!

 The strangest job that I did in that period was also the steadiest. Have you ever seen paperback book covers with a painting of a frightened young woman, generally wearing something diaphanous and flowing, with hand pressed in horror to her mouth, while terrified eyes glanced over her shoulder to the ominous danger lurking behind her?? Well, kiddies, they actually shot photos of real models for these and then drew or painted the rendition that ultimately appeared on the covers. Yep, you guessed it, another $30 per hour. But it was a steady, weekly gig, and being within walking distance of our apartment, it meant not having to shell out the price of a subway token. Money was now becoming a huge issue, as Boy’s anger management issues and massive ego had just gotten him fired (for the second and final time) from the lighting design firm.  We lived for months on frozen French fries and Velveeta cheese omelets for dinner, with absolutely no money left over for something as frivolous as a box of Texas Toast. Til tomorrow, dear ones.

Only a mother would be proud of this gig!

Whoopee! $300 for a day of shooting coats in August in Battery Park

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