Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Forty-Three Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding

I don't know how many of you are as old as I am, but I remember a novel that made a sensation in my still-youth, about a black(it was all right to call them then) hooker and a kind of hoosier, straw-chewing john who didn't realize there was a price to pay. In my less-than-youth but-still-naivete-except-for-my-prose, I wrote a novel with its central character a dominatrix based on Vicki Morgan, Alfred Bloomingdale's mistress, except I loved the character and through mine own compassion made her deep and complex and very touching, so I hated it when she got killed and even more when Dominick Dunne wrote a book on the same subject and made her cliche and superficial but that was his problem, as well as mine, probably, because not only did I feel he had killed my character but also his was a huge bestseller and mine had a struggle, as most everything I have written does except The Pretenders because it was so dirty. Oddly, Silk Lady, the one about Miranda as I called her, was not that dirty at all, even with its subject matter, but I did have to research dominatrixes, which led me into some adventures. I answered an ad in the LA Free Press("want a little discipline? call Mistress Victoria") so I did and told her I was writing a book and she said "Yeah, sure," but invited me to come anyway. Her 'dungeon' was in a little house behind the LA County Museum where I am going tomorrow(the museum, not the dungeon) its windows draped with red velvet so nobody could see in. She took me in to see all her gizmos, which included an Iron Maiden and a leather swing, told me how she had gotten into the business and how proud her parents were of her. Then she invited me for Easter Brunch, which my darling friend George-Anne, nursing her baby Nick at the time told me I had to go to, if only to see what they were serving, if they had bagels and cream cheese, fruit, etc.(as it turned out I think they had Hot Cross Buns, but it is possible I made that up as a pun.) Anyway, I figured unsound counsel would not come to me through a nursing mother, especially George-Anne, so on Palm Sunday, after going to Quaker Meeting and getting people to sign a No-First-Strike petition and taking my children to the airport to go visit their grandfather, I went to the Brunch. The details can be found, much prettified, especially the people who were in real life gross and pathetic, in Silk Lady, which except for that chapter is a fairly literate read. But I did learn from Mistress Victoria what it was that drove her clientele, mostly, according to her, high-powered executives under a lot of pressure so they needed women in spike heels to step on their genitals or paint them with mercurochrome, etc. as a release from having so much control. I was to go back to observe a private session with my lawyer, a woman of some caution and a most unsatisfactory sex life who insisted on accompanying me for my own protection(Ha!) but Mistress Victoria called me just before we set out to tell me the meeting was postponed as "two of her slaves had board meetings." When I called to re-schedule, she had disappeared, and I suppose the rest of her adventure can be found through CS!.
All of this brings me to Eliot Spitzer, for whom I cannot help but feel compassion, because compassion is my thing now more than it ever was, and I think I understand why he did it, if I can believe Mistress Victoria. So much pressure. And yet, such a lovely wife and such a smart law professor(Dershowitz) and so many hookers in DC. WHy did he have to bring anybody in? And why the Mayflower Hotel? It is all very Bill Clinton whom many people say always wanted to get caught but I think he was just a hubristic pig.
So to me it is not so much puzzling as suicidal and spendthrift. Surely he could have gotten someone for a hundred dollars, or, as things go nowadays, a few gallons of gas. I am brought in mind of Hugh Grant whom as we all may remember got a blow job from a street hooker around the corner from Grauman's Chinese, and when caught was asked by Jay Leno on TV, "What were you thinking?" Especially as there must have been multiple thousands of women who would have done him for nothing.
Well, "Men," as Sadie Thompson said. "They're all pigs." Of course I don't mean you or yours.