(Author's Note: I am turning over this space, and my usual website, www.reportfromthefront.com, to Mimi, my Bichon Frise, who has a confession to make.)
James Frey was my lover. For those of you who live in Outer Mongolia, and so have never seen Oprah, and so don'tknow who he is, or Larry King(though he is probably available via CNN Outer Mongolia, there being few real hiding places left in this world) you may have missed the brouhaha over Frey's so-called memoir, which having sold three million copies and rising because of the esteemed Oprah's oohing and aahing over its brutal honesty, was revealed in the past few days to be in large part fabricated. Well, let me start by saying he is a true son-of-a-bitch, which in some parts of the doggy-run we call life, might be construed as a tough-guy compliment. But now that he is allegedly telling some of what was allegedly tell-all, let me tell you about the all about the part that he isn't telling, that they didn't even know about on The Smoking Gun. The tragic crack-addicted blonde who suicided before he could get there in time to save her was in fact, me. And I am neither blonde nor crack-addicted nor dead. I am,in fact, white as the driven snow when you're not snorting it. It was my intention never to reveal the truth, but having sat through Frey's Alito-like, composed fielding of questions last night with the Suspendered One, something rose up in me past Rage, that I will refer to as The Growl.
I will begin,as memoirs of abuse must, with what I suffered in Puppyhood.
Happy dogs are all alike. Every unhappy hound has a much more interesting tail to tell. Though it would doubtless be more saleable to say I came from a deprived beginning, I did, in fact, come from a high-line puppy mill that sold to a pet store on New York's fashionable East Side, where I was purchased by a self-absorbed writer, or at least she seemed self-absorbed to me until I met James Frey. He was sitting on a bench in Central Park donated by Leona Helmsley, pretending to be homeless, and trying to figure out how he could get on Oprah. Though it was early in the morning, he had a half-drunk beer in the hand he wasn't writing with, which was later to appear in his book as absinthe. Seeing that my owner was distracted, as she usually is by Nature, her own and that which is around her, he slipped me what remained of his beer, unloosed my leash, slid me into the zippered front of his jogging suit, and sped away in his Nikes, which were later to be depicted as bare feet.
Then he took me back to his loft in the Meat-Packing district, and packed his own meat. The cur. That was the first time I felt The Growl. Right about then, for the first time facing up to his own bestiality, he called his upper-middle class parents and told them he was committing suicide by slashing his wrists in a warm bath. They called 911 but when the police and the ambulance got there he had been unable to find a razor, so they came upon him in the tub playing filthy games with me. They urged him to go to a shrink, but he kicked them in the balls according to that chapter of his book. What he really did was ask them for a towel, with which he dried me before committing another lewd act. The Growl. By then it was afternoon, so he watched Oprah.
I will not dirty up your day or sully mine own hairy memories since I am still in recovery by telling you what else he did to me in the time before my Rightful(or as she has just come back from The Nation Cruise, Leftful) owner found me, but let me assure you it was not pleasant unless you are a masochist and sick as a dog. Maybe if he had given the sordid details of that to Nan Talese she would have given him a contract right away(He could have called it The Story of 'M') instead of making him go away and come back with a supposed memoir. Although probably it would have gone down better with Judith Regan. Surely he would not have dared tell that Truth to Oprah, since she is allegedly a dog-lover, though God knows, and I do believe in God having read both St. Augustine and Maya Angelou, what that phrase would mean exactly today.
But as for me, I am a Survivor, coming from a breed that survived the French-- Marie Antoinette fashioned her wig after her Bichon's hairdo, so when the French offed with her head they didn't want to be reminded and so started offing with their heads all the Bichons, which were rescued by the Italians who taught us how to dance on our hind legs-- something Frey also made me do during The Act(Growl) but I don't want to think about that anymore. Fortunately I had one of those metal discs implanted between my shoulder blades so my owner was able to find me, and I was rescued while the Queen(Frey was also bi, no longer a sin of course, or even a crime though a passing reference to it did cause a new shade of pale to cross the alleged complexion of Alito) was in the parlor eating bread and honey and Frey was in the counting house counting all his money, and so was not paying attention, except to the bestseller list.
This is a true story, I swear by Cerberus. The movingly picaresque saga of my predecessor, a Yorkie named Happy, appeared in a limited edition called Happy at the Bel-Air. Happy himself, without ever having gone to rehab, actually appeared on Oprah, and the volume would have sold in the millions and he would have been immortal, except Oprah didn't show the book. The bitch.