As you might have gleaned by now, when there’s a story to tell about Hollywood, I’m inclined to change the names and mix it up a bit to protect the innocent. What follows is mostly true, except what’s not.
Carrot topped Kier Bloomfield smeared zinc oxide over the bridge of his freckled nose and jammed a self-described “dorky” golf cap over the crown of his head. He was a sophomore in college (Dartmouth, in nowhere, New Hampshire) and he was home in the intense heat and sun of Southern California for the summer. He longed for gray skies and the stolid disposition of New Englanders. Instead he was accompanying his landscape architect mom on a round through Beverly Hills. She had him scampering over flawless lawns, hauling and placing, and then replacing, botanical specimens. Kier didn’t like to sweat. As a matter of fact he didn’t really like being outdoors at all. He knew better than to complain. He knew single Zoe Bloomfield’s stock answer to dissent, “I’m putting you through college all by myself, and you don’t want to help me out?” Then he got the incredulous look and the martyr’s dismissive twist of the head. He had four more weeks before he could return to school. Kier drove to their last stop. Zoe reached to turn off the car radio, he swatted her hand away, “What is that noise?” she demanded.
“It’s the Thompson Twins, and I’m driving.”
“And that gives you license to make me insane?”
“Ma, we’re almost there.”
They arrived at a strange hybrid of Art Deco and Castilian Castle on Coldwater Canyon. The garden was English and high maintenance and the owner was Toni Todd; legendary beauty, husband collector, and currently Hollywood’s come-back queen, as she had just recently maneuvered her way, at nearly sixty, into a starring role in a night time soap. In July her show was on hiatus so Toni was at home, wandering the estate, making “improvements”. Ms. Bloomfield cautioned Kier to stay out of Toni’s way, to no avail. While Kier was hiding under a shade tree Toni spotted his pallid white skin practically shining out against a dense background of blossoms and greens.
“Funny dumpling, come here!” she commanded. Kier obeyed. “You can help me hang some pictures. Can you do that?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Kier replied.
“And, then afterwards if you’re overheated you can take a dip in the pool.”
“But my Mom…”
Toni interrupted, “That’s right, your Amanda’s boy. Kier made a funny little popping sound like a guppy. “Amanda!” She called out.
Ms. Bloomfield looked up from her sketchpad. She squinted in Toni’s direction.
“Amanda! It’s late. You go on home. I’m going to take your boy inside for a little manpower. I promise I won’t keep him more than an hour then I’ll drop him off at your place.”
“Mrs. Todd, ma’am, Mom’s name is Zoe.”
She turned to Kier. “Of course it is. Don’t worry. I’ll take you home, or you can take one of the cars… Unless, you don’t want to…” she said pausing by a massively carved double front door. To Kier, who lived with his mother in a depressingly sunny window-box of a house in Burbank, it looked like the entry to something promising, a rich, dark, cool place, reminiscent, in his mind, to what he’d left behind at Dartmouth. To Toni, who had interesting ideas about male vitality, and the regenerative powers of sex, a nineteen year old suited her perfectly.
To be continued…
© Vickie Lester and Beguiling Hollywood, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (text) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vickie Lester and Beguiling Hollywood with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.