Jake’s Holidaze Slumber Party.
Submitted for your holiday reading pleasure or just to put you in the right spirit for slugging back pepper-tinis and spending merry times with good friends, I bring you the first (topical) installment of “Tales from the MISLH Cutting Room Floor”: Jake’s Holdiaze Slumber Party. Its an excerpt from my yet to be represented or published book, More Inner Strength, Less Hallucination. An excerpt that has been heartbreakingly edited out of the book entirely because I must reduce MISLH by at least 60,000 words if I stand any chance of getting an agent. Still, its one of my favorite stories. I hope you will enjoy. Happy Happy, Merry Merry to you in the upcoming year and thank you for reading my work, it means the world to me. And Scene. Each year Jake hosts a "Cathie" slumber party on the eve of December 25th. A gathering borne as an excuse not merely to escape family obligations but mainly to ensure that we’d have our own family holiday celebration together. There was added value in that it also got Jake to stop rushing, running, and merrymaking all over the metro area. At Christmas that boy takes on more than a one armed elf making “Charlie in the Boxes” on December 12th. The invite required arriving in your PJs, a white elephant gift and admonished that relaxation was mandatory. The usual suspects arrived between 9 &10 pm: the Cathies, Judy Lynn and myself. Jake’s home was warm and inviting decorated as if overly caffeinated design interns from pottery barn had run rampant through the house flinging fists full of tinsel and garland. Each year Jake decorates in a new and different holiday theme. This year his home was covered in snowflakes and peppermint, featuring a lovely spread with a mini bar set up to ply house guests with peppertinis and yummy sugar dusted rum ball cookies. I am desperate here to make a joke about a bunch of hags and fags sucking back sugar coated balls and rum- but honestly, shouldn’t the holidays be treated a bit more reverently? Plus I am not sure I have license to loosely use the term “fags” and all the boys will yell at me for calling myself and Judi Lynn “hags”. Fruit flies, darling, fruit flies… To my chagrin, Jake wore peppermint striped PJ pants, and not the “HO HO HO” flannels from Old Navy that I had purchased for him earlier that month. Dean Martin sang Christmas carols in the background, sparkly white lights twinkled from a gorgeously
decorated tree. We gathered in the kitchen to drink nibble, relax and catch up after a hectic holiday season. By midnight, we were all snuggled under blankets on the living room floor. With a twinkle in his eye that would have made Santa proud, Mikael made a suggestion. I love when Mikael gets an idea. He’s the sweetest baby lamb you’ll ever meet. All the more delicious because he holds an impressive job as a VP for one of the biggest industrial giants in the area. Yet, for all the corporate success he is the kindest soul with the warmest heart. He never says mean thing about anyone- or if he does, its at the prodding of one of us and he always appears sheepish, and apologetic. Mikael could tell Gaga she’s a derivative talentless hack on live television and get away with it just by flashing that gleaming white smile. If only he would… sigh. This Christmasn nigh, he had a great idea. “We should go round the circle and tell our most embarrassing story.” He said. My immediate thought was “Oh he’s got something juicy”. I mean why bother suggesting the topic otherwise? Then I thought: “Oh shit, I have to come up with something fucking fantastic.” My mind turned immediately to my “Grandma got run over by a lesbian” story. Rat turds. I had already told everyone that one. I was stumped. Mikael told his story first. It was a show stopper. Before coming out, He’d gone on a date with a stylish French girl (which you should pronounce as “Gahhrrrl”). She smoked tiny thin brown cigarettes and worked at “chic Birmingham boutique” and managed to lure him up to her apartment, après their first date. As they walked in he discovered that it was very messy. I believe the French word you are looking for is “cochon”, or “pig filthy” if you prefer freedom fries. And she had a yappy little dog. Quelle Surprise. It was hot and humid and the place kind of smelled. She excused herself to the kitchen to make drinks. He knelt on the couch to turn the window air conditioner on. When he turned around to re-adjust the seat cushions, his hand slid between them and he felt something hard, like marbles. He picked the marbles up. They were dried dog poos. Petrified turds. In his hand. “No way.” several of us gasped.
“What did you do?” Jake asked. “I put them back. And got out of there.” To see the look on his sweet face, those blue eyes, so plaintive. Of all people. Scarred for life. Scarred for life. The horror. No way to top that story. No need really. That should have been the beginning and end. Still, we went around the room, each giving stories of slight and immense embarrassment. I was second to last and drawing a blank. I couldn’t think of anything, and the more I drank the more important I was becoming to have an utterly charming, hysterical story. Completely drunk and half asleep by the time my turn came, I still can’t say how I pulled this one out of the couch cushions- but I am quite proud. “Well”. I began. “In the summer of 1994 I lived in Chicago. Thrilling fantastic time to be living in Wrigleyville. I had the most delicious boyfriend, a 6’3” sandy blonde green eyed Polish kid from the “D” like me. Swimmers build, great abs, long muscled legs, those shoulders. Oh Purrrrrr. But he was a player. And he attracted massive amounts of women wherever he went. Getting jealous and clinging to him was exactly what he wanted from me and I would have none of that. Instead, for every hottie he smiled at or chatted with, I would find my own hottie to pay attention to me. Oh to be in love and so mature all once more…. Sigh. As you can imagine, many a bar night would end in fights. After one particularly vocal fight, I stormed out of the bar and left him there. I was through. Drunk, crying and headed home for good. I pass out alone and miserable. Phone rings, 7 am. I pick up and hear a scratchy grave voice. “Hey babe. Sorry about last night.” “Me too.” And we start to talk. Eventually he says, “Miss you. What are you wearing?” So then we proceed to have amazing phone sex. When we both finish he says: “Let’s go to Melrose and get breakfast. Meet me outside your place, I’ll pick you up.”
So I shower, put on my cutest sundress, espadrilles and sunglasses. I head out to sit on my stoop and wait for him. And I wait. For a good hour. I go back into the apartment and call his place. His roommate answers, stone asleep. “Hey Joe, did Jon leave?” “What?” Joe’s disoriented and probably still drunk. “Joe, go get Jon.” “He’s not here.” But I don’t believe him. I start to suspect Jon went back to bed. “When did he leave?” “I don’t know.” “Joe! Go check his room.” Joe just doesn’t want to get off the couch. Shuffling feet, knock on door, mumbling “Its Lena”, phone gets thrown and door closes. “Hello?” Gravelly voice. Stone asleep. I say: “Damn it Jon, I thought you were taking me to breakfast.” “What?” He’s not at all awake. “Breakfast, Melrose.” I chirp. “When did we decide this?” He asks, and I can see him scratching his belly, rubbing sleep out of his eyes. “About 2 hours ago, when you called, you ass.” I say. “I didn’t call you 2 hours ago.” He says. “What?” I say. “Nope. I’m asleep. Been asleep all morning.” “Well what the hell!” I yell at him, get mad and hang up. Then it hits me. I had phone sex with a complete stranger.
A complete stranger. I end my story and look around the room, everyone is speechless- mouths a gape with that look of delicious incredulity in their eyes. “Oh Lena, not really?” Preston giggled, hugging Judy Lynn. “Oh yea” I say and nod slowly with a bemused grin and a spacey look in my eyes. From Brock: “That’s fucking fantastic.” “Sofaking fantastic” sleepy whisper from Ken. “How is that even possible?” Jake asks staring at me the way he does when he thinks I can’t do anything more outrageous. “It’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma.” I say and snuggle back onto Ken’s shoulder. Eventually we all drift off to sleep, visions of random phone sex and dog poo dancing in our heads.