I once knew a fat lady in Hollywood who had a way of getting around and one of her best friends was a new comedian who liked to dress up as Mighty Mouse and sing. He became famous for being an idiot but gained glory by dressing like Elvis. I hate star-fuckers, but I told my brother I knew Mighty Mouse and he started to foam at the mouth. Back home, Hollywood, at that time just a run-down stretch of inner-city squalor, was still thought to be glamorous. Say the name and people wept. So it was with my big brother, who wore a baseball cap in reverse and drove a Pontiac. Once he heard that I knew a lady with Hollywood connections he couldn’t sleep. He had to meet Mighty.
My friend Carole took us to a restaurant off Beverly Boulevard that served macro-biotic spinach to vegans. This guy, the impersonator of Elvis, was a fanatic when it came to food. He liked to eat alone and always sat in the same spot. Carole knew where to find him and although she knew him well, she didn’t consider the fact that he wouldn’t want to be disturbed. As a matter of fact, he valued his privacy as much as he hated beef. Now I’m not saying she was sucking his dick, but she knew him intimately. She called him but neglected to say she’d be bringing along a couple of commoners from the Outback.
In we walked. He looked up and went back to eating his tofu. He didn’t look up again.
Instead, he seethed. He was in an instant rage. Carole began to apologize. He didn’t complain. He said nothing. She whined. Then she introduced us. I smiled and felt miserable. My brother didn’t notice. It was a great honor, he said, to meet a famous mouse. Could he have his autograph, could he try his tofu, could he sip from his cup? Yes, he would be thrilled to join him for dinner. “Can I get a menu?” What’s it like to be famous? “I just love Saturday Night Live.” When I finish kissing your ass, would you care to have your balls licked? I was mortified. Mighty seethed. Carole blushed. I turned to stone and couldn’t move. I stopped breathing. My brother gushed.
And, finally, we got out of there. We ran. Carole was hysterical. She knew she had blown. My brother wanted to meet back again for breakfast. “Does he like tofu burritos?” He hadn’t noticed that Mighty was furious. Isn’t that marvelous? When I told him, and got Carole to back me up, he denied it. “But he was so friendly. He was so courteous.” It was his impression that we had made his day. He’d certainly made his. It was the greatest day of his life. Now he wanted to go to Barney’s Beanery on Santa Monica, in hopes of finding Tom Cruise. “I’ll buy him a beer.”
David Lohrey‘s poetry can be found internationally in Softblow (Shanghai), Cecile’s Writers’ Magazine (The Hague) and Otoliths (Australia), and elsewhere. In the US, recent poems have appeared in Apogee, Abstract Magazine and Anti-Heroin Chic. Several have been anthologized by the University of Alabama (Dewpoint), Illinois State University (Obsidian) and Michigan State University (The Offbeat). Machiavellli’s Backyard, David’s first collection of poetry, appeared in August, 2017. He lives in Tokyo.