Sunday, February 15, 2015


The wonderful thing about Beverly Hills, even the wrong side of Wilshire, is that the young people-- and there are a lot of them-- can actually dress themselves wretched.  In a world where almost everybody is suffering, whole nations are being devoured, and nobody can go outside because the weather is so bad, half naked people, their butt cheeks hanging loose from the bottom of their shorts, are, if not quite working the streets here, at least walking them, more than comfortable in the more than sunshine. Even as I sorrow over Brian Williams-- poor baby, he just wanted to be a little bit of a fabulist-- I am reminded of how cruel our courts are when it comes to the truth of our histories, and that juries in the small towns which is what most of them are, at least in their brains, have little or no comprehension of what constitutes Truth.
   I was, after all, the Landmark Libel Case in Fiction, something that will never go away, even though the man who sued me was a self-promoting fraud, a truth that exists in his obituary.  He gave Ski Weekends and Nude Encounters, something I could not have made up even if I was making something up.  And it was my career that suffered and not his.  Oh well.  So I am sorrowing for Brian, so handsome and with such nice ties, that he will undoubtedly never be able to make a comeback, no matter what they are promising his listeners.  All he wanted was to be a little closer to the plane than he said, oh maybe by an hour.  
      I was told by one of the jurors who found for me at my trial, which it really was-- they did not have to be unanimous-- that the jurors were madder at me for going to a nude encounter marathon than they were at Paul Bindrim, not a PhD for many years afterwards till it came to wanting to seem more qualified for the trial, for giving one.  It was, after all, southern California at the beginning of the 70s.  I remember James Mason-- does anyone else remember him? Pamela's husband, though not the real father of Morgan, though he was credited-- saying to me on a TV talk show we were guests on together: "A nude encounter what?" 
    What a time that was, with people exploring, especially once you got up past the hills you could easily negotiate.  Gay Talese was there, exposing everybody even while pretending to support them, keeping up his contacts and seducing them, because that was the kind of era it was.  I would say we were lucky to be a part of it, except that it brought about the early death of my darling husband, a genuinely kind and funny man who thought the only way you could get in trouble with the law was by breaking it.
     I saw Gay again at the press party for Daniel Rose with the publication of his memorable memoir, Making a Living Making a Life, with everybody major  and interesting in New York invited and there.   It amazed me how thick-skinned the important can become.  Or maybe it is just a part of getting older.  One can just sail through being sensitive onto the part of the road where one remembers only some of his manners, and forgets the part where he should be embarrassed about how he behaved.