You Don’t Own Me
“In a happy world, there would be no art. I retreat too often into my imagination. In a happy world, the experience of reality would be enough.”
There are so many myths on which the reality of Hollywood is based. Some are funny and fun, some are sad, and some are desperate. Billie knew that success, no matter how it came, was the one thing everyone remembered. Consider this, around the time Billie had become a producer so had a young fellow that happened to have a way with finicky animals. Titans of the industry relied on him to run errands and walk their dogs, and as luck would have it he was nearing completion on a film that featured whales, dinosaurs, or comic book heroes — it’s hard to remember the particulars. Two years earlier another up-and-comer had answered phones for a he-man actor who had a production deal at one of the majors with offices off the lot. This amiable youngster was biddable, sweet, and built. The actor had a penchant for youths of that nature, and when he discovered the dulcet voiced Adonis was sleeping in his car he invited him to take up residence in his offices — a couch became his bed; he showered at the gym, and within six months he-man and Adonis were in production on a best-selling book turned sizzling screenplay turned box office dynamo.
The dog walker had a reputation in town for being deft and diplomatic, the kid who once lived in his car had his fingers to the pulse of current events — how would the former nanny be perceived? It depended entirely on how much money her movie made.
Billie was seated on the veranda of Cooper’s hotel, waiting for him to emerge from his cottage. It was a bright day, the glow of the Pacific blue sky found its way past stone column and arch, and traced a scalloped pattern of light and dark on the terracotta tile at her feet. Once upon a time in the late 1920s the Chateau was constructed as a luxury apartment building, a little slice of idealized France suspended just above the buzz of Sunset Boulevard. She could see why Cooper had retreated to the grounds, it was a little fortress-like, a little magical, and it was steeped in the history and folly of Los Angeles. She ordered a pot of tea and a plate of scones and thought Mr. Booker would approve of the porcelain, the heavy silver, and the immaculate table linens. It was a gorgeous veneer of civilization masking antecedents of less than civilized behavior — motorcycles roaring into the lobby, rockers hanging from drainpipes, drug binges and deaths. Billie was in a dark underbelly frame of mind…
© Vickie Lester and Beguiling Hollywood, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material 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.