by Lawrence H. Levy
“That’s fuckin’ disgusting,” I announced.
Elizabeth Taylor and I were dining on the patio at La Piazza in the Grove, a trendy outside shopping mall in L.A. She was devouring a huge turkey leg caveman style, juices running down her chin and turkey skin hanging out the side of her mouth.
“Tough shit, Kyle,” she said as she sent a piece of turkey airborne with her words. “My whole life I had to watch my weight or my public would get on my ass. Now I say fuck my public. Fuck ‘em, fuck, fuck, fuck!”
She stood up on her chair and, using the turkey leg as one of her middle fingers, she repeatedly pumped her hands up and down flipping the bird to everyone in the restaurant and any Grove shoppers passing by.
“Charming,” I said. “You through making a spectacle of yourself or would you also like to flash a few people?”
“Oh, chill. You’re the only one that can see me, PSD Boy.” Liz plopped back down in her seat. She had licked the turkey leg clean, so she tossed it back into her purse
“Then at least give me a break. I’m eating here.” Not really eating. Liz’s antics had dulled any desire I had for my risotto.
“Jeez, Kyle, you’re such a pussy.”
I had heard rumors of Liz being an emasculating bitch, and now that my balls were beginning to shrink I realized they probably had merit. She pulled two Twinkies out of her purse and stuffed them in her mouth, barely taking time to unwrap them first. She started to speak, but only garbled sounds came out.
“Finish chewing and then tell me.”
But Liz ignored me, spraying Twinkie everywhere as she spoke.
“You have no idea what a relief it is to eat as much as I want and stay the same weight as when I did “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
I wasn’t listening. All I could see were the bits of Twinkie cream that landed in my risotto. I knew they weren’t real because Liz wasn’t, but I had had it. I pushed back on my chair, pounded the table, and stood up.
“That’s it. I’ve had enough of this shit! I’m outta here!”
Suddenly I heard loud applause, and I turned to see everyone in the restaurant was thrilled at my decision to leave. I was obviously getting too comfortable talking to people who weren’t there. Embarrassed, I quickly paid the check and left. Liz followed along, bowing and blowing kisses as if they were her adoring fans.
As I sulked along the main street of the Grove, my hands in my pockets, Liz tagged along, this time munching on what looked like a Wetzel’s Pretzel, dripping with butter.
“Stop being so grumpy, Kyle.”
“Me, grumpy? Why would I be grumpy? Oh, I know. Maybe it’s because I’m a fuckin’ nutcase!”
“Hey, you know what always cheered me up when I got down — a nice, big-ass diamond.”
“Gee, thanks for the great suggestion,” I said as facetiously as possible. “But even if I was a big enough pussy for that to work, how am I supposed to afford it?”
“Oh, that’s right,” Liz quickly responded, “I forgot that you’re also a complete loser.”
As my balls retreated northward, I could swear I felt them in the bottom of my throat when I freaked out.
“Goddamn it! I hate this PSD,” I screamed. I grabbed my head and started squeezing as if my hands were a vice. “Get it out of here. Make it go away!”
By then I had almost cleared the street. The shoppers at the Grove wanted no part of me and more than one person went looking for security.
“If you hate it so much, Kyle,” Liz said as she licked some of the butter off her upper lip, “why don’t you get rid of it?”
“I can’t. There’s no cure. I’m just fucked.”
“There’s always a cure. How did you get it?”
“I got hit in the head with a softball.”
“Have you ever thought of getting hit on the head again?”
“Why? So I can materialize you and Richard Burton at the same time and you can curse out each other in front of me?”
Liz grew impatient. “Think, dipshit. Amnesia victims are sometimes cured by getting hit on the head a second time. Why not you?”
It was so simple, so obvious. Why hadn’t I thought of that before? As ideas rushed through my brain as to how I would accomplish this, I saw two security guards heading my way, and I took off in a sprint.
Once I was off Grove property the security guards gave up, but it didn’t matter. I was a man on a mission, and no one was going to stop me. I got in my car and headed west to Oak Park in Brentwood where it all began. I was determined to get hit in the head by a softball once again and be cured.
As luck would have it, there was a game in progress when I got there. I stood by the foul line, close to the third baseman, waiting for my opportunity. It didn’t take long.
A monster guy smacked a scorching line drive down the third base line. I immediately stepped in front of the third baseman, ready to take one right in the ol’ noggin. Then the unthinkable happened. The third baseman heroically pushed me out of the way and took the ball right in his nose. He fell to the ground, blood gushing everywhere. Everyone rushed to his aid. I was seriously pissed.
“Next time mind your own goddamn business!” I screamed at him then stomped off.
I spent the rest of the day trying to get someone to hit me on the head, but no one was buying. I even stepped out into the middle of traffic, and all the cars crashed into each other to avoid hitting me. It was frustrating as hell.
That night I went to MacArthur Park, a place known for its gang activity. I figured if I couldn’t get mugged there, I might as well give up. I walked through the park waving five twenty dollar bills in the air.
“I got money here. Come get it. I’m a sucker.”
It wasn’t too long before a muscular Latino with gang tatts appeared. This had to be my guy.
“I’m real happy to take your money, ese.”
“Fine, take it. But first, you have to hit me over the head with the butt of your gun.”
“I don’t have a gun.”
“What kind of mugger are you?” I said. “Okay, I’ll wait while you go get one.”
“Will this do?” he said as he pulled out a knife.
“No, no knives. I’ve got to be hit over the head. Those are my rules.”
“Yeah? This is my rule, ese.” And he started for me with the knife.
That was my “aha” moment. My desire to rid myself of PSD was crazier than living with it. And living was very much on my mind at that moment.
I turned and started to run as fast as I could, but I didn’t get far. I tripped over the bench behind me, hit my head on the lamppost and fell to the ground, out cold.
I woke up in the hospital, and pretty soon a doctor came in. I was a little wary. The last time I was in the hospital I was talking to Freud, but this guy seemed normal and after a few questions I realized he was real. I went through a bunch of tests and passed them okay. Everyone and everything seemed normal, whatever that was. Finally, it was all done, I was declared lucky, and a nurse came in to give me a sedative so I could sleep.
“Thank you,” I said, relieved I was finally going to get some real rest for the first time in a very long while.
The nurse turned to me. It was Richard Burton, and he spoke to me in his deep, melodious voice.
“Elizabeth told me you were a pussy, Kyle. That woman can be insufferable, but she has a great nose for pussy… Wait, I may have phrased that incorrectly.”
“Fuck!!!!” I screamed at the top of my lungs then passed out.