Clay began attending High School at Magmaville High, soon after Punk Mother and Milo relocated from England to The States. It was there that he’d met Stella, Kent, and Jarvis. Cannes was still attending Magmaville Elementary School. By that time, Clay learned plenty about diabetes though his family’s association with Milo’s bandmate Teddyboy as well as through his mother. So he did his best to protect Stella whenever anyone gave her a hard time about it. As interested as he was in Stella at the time, she somehow developed a crush on Jarvis instead. I’m pretty sure the events that took place during rehearsals for the Halloween play, which was Dracula.
Magmaville High School was no less plagued by bullies than any other school campus. Clay soon became one, as was Stella’s soon-to-be love interest Jarvis Rodriguez. Kent Neidermeyer, on the other hand, got picked on a lot. To be fair (and let me be clear that I don’t condone bullying in any way, shape, or form), Kent tends to bring a lot of that upon himself by speaking out of turn, talking out of his ass, giving out way too much information, and just generally being a really annoying pest to everyone. At any rate, for however long this had been going on, Kent wanted to prove to the whole campus that he could be just as big a bully as anyone else.
One afternoon in late September, Stella Yossarian tried out for and got the part of Mina Murray in the play. Unfortunately for her, Kent Neidermeyer got the role of Count Dracula. Now, where Kent got the idea that “Dracula” could carry “Mina” over his shoulder to the “castle” (read: backstage), is anyone’s guess. But during rehearsals he went through the motions of hypnotizing “Mina.” Then as she was acting as if she were under the vampire’s spell, he somehow managed with considerable effort to throw Stella over his shoulder and carry her off.
Right then was when Stella suffered a severe glucose spike. She began to feel dizzy as her blood sugar levels plummeted sharply. Additionally she began to hallucinate, and everything looked so distorted to her that she began to think she was in a Popeye cartoon. So it was no wonder when she was being carried offstage she thought she was Olive Oyl and that Kent was Bluto. So when Kent refused to put her down, she started yelling, “Help! Popeye!! Save me, Popeye!! Save me!!”
The other actors in the play realized something was really wrong when Stella called for Popeye. She had no lines for the scene they were rehearsing at the time.
Kent decided to have some fun with Stella, spinning her around while he carried her, just to show everyone how tough he was. That made it worse for Stella, making her even dizzier. Additionally, she was starting to tremble and sweat, and she was really getting panicky. With what little strength she had, she pounded Kent’s back with her fists, still screaming for Popeye to come and rescue her. Kent only stopped his schnanigans with Stella when the drama teacher – who also directed the play – intervened. “Kent Neidermeyer! Either stop this at once, or you’re going straight to the principal’s office and I’ll have someone else play Count Dracula!!”
The threat of losing the lead role in the Halloween play was enough to make Kent stop spinning poor Stella around. He dropped her to the floor backstage, and she promptly lost consciousness. When she couldn’t be revived, the school nurse was summoned. She brought the emergency first aid kit and tried smelling salts at first. No coming to. Then she spied the brass plated med-alert bracelet that Stella wore on her right wrist, and saw the word "Diabetes.” She then ran a glucose test on her immediately. It simply read “Lo,” which meant that her blood sugar level was well below 20 mg/dl – very dangerous. The school nurse immediately administered a shot of glucagon into Stella and called 911.
Clay, Jarvis, and Kent watched as all this was going on. They were really scared. Jarvis especially came to understand why both Stella’s little sister Cannes and Clay were so damned protective. When he saw the ambulance arrive, he became terrified thinking that Stella would die, and who would he have to bully about if she did? Kent? Well, he probably deserves it more than she does anyway, but Jarvis never wanted her to die. He only wanted to eat the granola bar that she’s always got in her purse because his mamma and poppa never give him a granola bar with his lunch. His family was too poor.
But at this point, fuck the granola bar. He didn’t care about that anymore. He asked the medic, “Is che gonna die, señor?”
“Well, we hope to keep her alive. She’s way too young to die, young man!” The medic replied.
As Stella was being strapped onto the gurney before being loaded into the ambulance, Jarvis and Clay totally got in Kent’s face.
“Hey numbnuts! Yu think you’re cuch a beeg chot, peecking on a girl??” Jarvis growled at Kent. Right about then, Stella was just coming too as she was being transported to the ambulance. She saw Jarvis give Kent a big shove as he said this.
“Yeah, you’re lucky her sister’s not here!!! She’d beat the shit out of you for that!!!” Clay parroted.
Jarvis knew that to be true. Once he made the mistake of calling Stella a drug addict for shooting up in the little girls room – never mind that it was insulin she was injecting and not heroin. Now Cannes was a she-bully in her own right, and soon gave chase to Jarvis and beat the living crap out of him until he took it back. At the time, Cannes was only in the 3rd grade. While Jarvis somehow managed to keep from crying, the experience of being beaten up by a girl and one much younger than him at that was pretty mortifying.
“We chould beat the chit out of you right now, Kunt. We chould teach chu a lesson!” Clay continued. Kent was really freaking out.
“You probably killed her, you bunghole!”
“How would chu like eet eef we spun you around until you got seeck like kyu made her? Huh??”
“Yeah, Kunt, you make everyone sick, you maggot!!”
“Chu a maggot and a murderer, and you ruined the school play!!”
“Yeah, you’re going to jail forever, Kunt!!”
“And I hope chu drop the soap, too!!!”
The director stepped in again to stop the fight before it came to blows. Then he sent all three of them to the principal’s office. Rehearsals were cancelled for the rest of the day.
But Stella didn’t die, of course. She was fully conscious by the time she got to the hospital. When she was released, she swore she’d never forgive Kent if she lost the part of Mina Murray in Count Dracula because of her diabetes. Because she really wanted to prove to the drama teacher that she could be a great actress one day.
Cannes was furious when she found out what had happened to her sister, and wanted to pummel Kent. It took a lot of convincing on Janet & Richard’s part to calm her down, to convince her that Kent was already being punished for that. They even had to throw in a trip to the Jedi Knight Pizza Portal as a bribe to calm her down.
Kent nearly lost the role of Count Dracula in the play. Stella was a bit of a diva, and threatened to drop out of the play if it meant being stuck with Kent. She no longer trusted him anymore, can you blame her one bit? She only relented when she saw Kent crying, which he did not out of remorse but out of fear that he would get kicked out of the play. While she didn’t forgive him altogether, she did enjoy seeing him cry. That felt like justice to her.
On top of that she was pleased to have seen a guy defending her, or at least calling out the guy who was physically threatening her. And the fact that it was Jarvis who was defending her made her think that Jarvis was actually a pretty cool guy.
So that was how she became smitten with Jarvis. After she was released from the hospital, it became all the more easier for Stella to ask Janet to let her take more granola bars to school…so that she could share one with Jarvis (awwww!).
And eventually the two of them started dating.
Now, rumour has it that Jarvis Gonzales is a direct descendent of the Asztec Emperor Montezuma. whether that is true or not is anyone's guess, really. Most people who've heard that one take it to be complete bullshit, and even if it were true, it's old news, dear. Far too old to be relevant to this day and age. Screw that. All that's really important about Jarvis' family is that he's the youngest of 4 children of parents who have immigrated from Mexico City and went through all the legal steps to become naturalized citizens of the United States of America. And when the 3 elder siblings were old enough, they all began work in the lettuce fields for long hours under sweltering conditions.
Jarvis, being somewhat more savvy in the education, looked into college grants and -- being from a low-income family and born in the United States, was fortunate enough to qualify for one. However, to better make ends meet, he took a part time position as a "sandwich sculptor" ... as they were called at The Hoagie Queen.
He and Stella Yossarian had been friends since high school and the two of them found work at the Hoagie Queen under the management of Tarsem Chopra, a muslim immigrant who'd hailed from New Delhi in India. Despite the cultural differences, Stella managed to remain employed at The Hoagie Queen until Punk Mother offered her a position as a barista at The Bauhaus Cafe.
By that time there began to be some troubles in the relationship caused mostly by Jarvis' drinking problem...which was triggered by an incident in which his attempt to rape Cannes Yossarian backfired. To add insult to injury, she even bragged about it to damn near everyone she knew. "Very tasty it was, too!" She'd smirk. (Yeah, she can be pretty arrogant at times; it's no wonder he was pissed off at her. Even so, after Stella learned about the incident and threatedned to dump him for Clay -- who was still very smitten with Stella himself at the time, along with Kent Neidermeyer and a catering student named Dylan (she was quite the hottie, that Stella!) -- he never messed with her sister ever again.
Jarvis was a pretty cool guy when he was lucid, but very often his shame and anger bubbled to the surface when he had a few too many Tecate's. HIs drunken binges increased over time and when he got to that state, he was very self-centered, demanding, oblivious to others around him especially Stella, and even very abusive. I think he got to taking his anger over his botched rape attempt out on her! So for his reason, while her dicision to give Jarvis another chance after that was ultimately good for Cannes and Clay -- as eventually he'd come to terms with the fact that Stella just wasn't terribly interested in him...and simply found himself transferring his smitteness to Cannes -- it was especially rough on Stella, who found it hard to manage her diabetes and this guy's drunken temper.
Come to think of it, her boss at the time -- Tarsem -- was often more sensitive and accommodating to Stella's needs than Jarvis was. Now it shouldn't surprise you, dear reader, that Tarsem may have had to face diabetes issues in his how family....or that he may have found Stella very attractive also. Even so, Stella was grateful when she got the job at The Bauhaus Cafe. By that time she was tiring of his drunken belligerence and felt she needed some time apart from him...at least half a day.
I don't know if it helped their relationship or not for the two of them to have separate jobs. As relieved as he was that he no longer had any competition from Tarsem -- it was bad enough that his best friend Clay was competing for her affections at the time -- he wasn't happy that she began distancing herself from him at all.
Anyway, I digress.
Kent tried to make it up to Stella at one point. He came to the Yossarian “Mansion” bearing a box of chocolates for her. At that moment, Stella was writing in her diary. Her desk overlooked the front yard through the attic window. Cannes was raking the yard trimmings, helping her parents with pruning the shrubbery, when she’d saw Kent strutting towards the property.
Richard Yossarian turned his gaze towards Kent, then back behind him just in time to see Cannes being restrained by Janet. He could also tell by the look in Cannes’ eyes and the way she struggled to get free that she was out for blood. He rushed to his wife’s side to restrain his angry daughter.
Stella saw this drama play out and, rolling her eyes, she sighed, “Oh boy, here we go!”
Back on the front lawn, Richard said to Cannes, “Now look, young lady, why don’t you just jazz down and let your old baba handle this one.” So Cannes sighed and reluctantly stopped struggling.
Then Richard turned to chase Kent away, yelling, “Get the fuck offa my property, you shit for brains!!! You think I’d let you near my girls, asshole??? Aw, Hell No!!!”
Kent took off running, dropping the box of chocolates all over the street. I’m sure many of them were crushed under Richard’s motorcycle boots. Janet and Cannes were cracking up at the sight of this chase scene.
Stella chuckled as she resumed writing in her diary; “My dad just chased that creep Kunt Nerdermeyer away from our house. I’m not allowed to have a whole box of chocolates to myself anyway because of my diabetes…the stupid fuck!!!”
It’s fucking entrapment, I tell you!!!” Stella was on a roll after Sunday Services ended. Even though she felt a low come on at the tail end of the services, which was sometime between communion and dismissal, there was no way she was gonna hang around for coffee hour this time anyway.
Fergie insisted on bringing the Yossarian girls to Church during their teen years. She had hoped to instill some kind of morality into their young minds as a counterpoint to their parents’ bohemian ways.
And it was debateable whether it was fortunate or not that Fergie struck up a conversation with the rector after the service. But it was an opportunity for both girls to feign bladder troubles so that they could make their escape.
One look at the spread on the long table in the parish hall and you could see why Stella felt she couldn’t stick around. It was a diabetic nightmare; practically nothing but baked sweets and fruit and the fruit was clearly the most diabetic friendly item being offered by the volunteers at the church. To Fergie’s mind with her dated knowledge of diabetes, even strawberries were considered suspect.
It all looked delicious and very tempting…too tempting, really. There were double chocolate chip cookies, raspberry swirl rolls, strawberry cheesecake, lemon cake, and plates of plain and chocolate dipped strawberries and pineapple chunks. Stella would’ve loved to – and very much needed to – stay and eat some of the food, but she knew her grandmother too well and was in no state to deal with what would’ve been the inevitable interference from her.
So they left.
Cannes managed to maintain the same furious walking pace as her sister, walking away from the church. Somehow she managed to smuggle out a slice of lemon cake from the parish hall, which she had offered to Stella. But Stella wasn’t interested. She was too incensed that the church hadn’t accommodated her in a way that wouldn’t bring out Fregie’s incessant nagging.
“It’s a complete set-up!! Fucking announcements dragged to the point where my equilibrium is completely thrown off!!! There’s not a single atom of protein on that table!!! The ‘good’ (and here Stella raised both hands and made quotation marking motions with her fingers.) Reverend knows I’m not the only person with diabetes in that fucking congregation, and this…” she pointed to the slice of cake Cannes offered, “is all they have to offer us…
“And you know what I’ll get for trying to treat a low any time Mum-Mum’s around! ‘Ah-ah-ah!!! That has sugar in it, you shouldn’t eat that young lady!! You know better than that!!!’ in that gawd-awful roboty voice of hers, and shaking her finger in my face!!! If she had her way, I’d be dead just like Pop-Pop Jake!!! Thank you…No!!”
“Look, she’s not walking with us now. Just take this.” Cannes implored, offering the slice of cake yet again.
“Are you mad?? I’ll spike harder than a dog collar!! Fergetdaboutit!! I need some real damn food!”
“Stella, I do not want to peel you off the asphalt!!”
Just then Richard pulled up towards the girls as he was riding his Harley.
“I’m not going back to the church, Baba!!!”
“Now,” Richard began, “You’d better be either too high or too low if your gonna take that tone with me, girl!”
“Baba,” Cannes interjected, showing him the cake she smuggled out. “This and a slew of other sweeties was all they had to offer at Coffee Hour today. That and maybe some fruit. And of course Morty and Mum-Mum are ready to pounce on her as soon as she even looks at any of it.”
Richard sighed, rolled his eyes and said, “Get on, both of you. We’re going to Hoagie Queen.”
Cannes boarded the motorbike, which had a side car attached to the right hand side of it. Stella decided to ride in that. As they did, Richard ordered, “Cannes, give her some of that cake, will ya? Your sister’s sweating like a pig and it ain’t that warm out here.”
Before Stella could protest, Cannes ordered with equal authority, “Just shut up and eat the cake, bitch!”
“Fine!” Stella grumbled as her sister split that slice of lemon cake in half.
So while all this was going on, Fergie was still at the parish hall ranting about the food. And Morty was beginning to wonder what was taking the girls so long in the toilet.
“Look at this mess, willya?” Fergie grumbled into her voice synthesizer. “What is this church trying to do; kill everyone?? I keep telling the good padre, now he of all people should know that man does not live by bread alone. Even Jesus says so; it’s right there in the Gospel of St. Matthew, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone…’ especially when a person has diabetes.
“I keep telling him, ‘Look, Padre, it’s not as if I expect this congregation to serve lobster tails or Peking duck for my grandchildren’s sake. I wouldn’t let anyone spoil my own daughter that way. But surely it wouldn’t hurt the volunteers to bring some cheese and crackers and cold-cuts or a couple of small tubs of hummus and pita breads and maybe some carrot sticks and celery or something more nutritious, would it?
“That crazy pastor is too busy implementing these cockamamie so-called avant garde musical ideas to see what’s going on right here in God’s Church!! I mean, who ever head of having the entire choir perform ‘Rock of Ages’ on kazoos, anyway???”
“What’s keeping those girls?” Morty demanded. “We’re supposed to have lunch at Peter’s Big One this afternoon.”
For all of Cannes’ outward belligerance inherent in her endeavors to protect her diabetic bigger sister from all those schoolyard bullies who would eventually become friends to both girls, she truly was a caring, compassionate, and loving person. Stella had always envied that about her younger sister and often wished that she wasn’t always so bitter and moody…or “mitter and boody” as she once stammered in tears.
She was blubbering like a baby in front of Cannes as she stammered that goofy phrase during one very private conversation. And usually that would make Cannes roll her eyes and think, “Oh brother!” But Cannes took one look into her sister’s bloodshot eyes, saw the source of Stella’s depression and looked that deep in the eyes. And then she concluded, “I know what you need. I’m gonna give you a makeover.”
And when Cannes wanted to do a makeover on you, she wouldn’t take no for an answer. On more than one occasion, she had wrestled Stella to the ground, saying, “You can’t scare me with your dumb old diabetes!!! I know it’s not contagious!!” Of course in the wake of Cannes eventual diagnosis, She would wonder if Karma wasn’t paying her back for making Stella look like Tutankhamun…even if she made her feel like Siouxie.
But as it was at the time, Stella felt a tad low to want to be wrestled to the ground that particular time. So she pretty much went, “Pfft, fuck it! Let’s do it.” from that point on. She would agree to be her sister’s guinea pig as long as she got a juice and a cereal bar or something to nosh on for a pre-emptive attack on creeping insulin attacks.
Additionally, Cannes found she loved wearing makeup and putting it on her own face and on other people’s faces. She’d watch Janet, her mother, apply concealer, foundation, eyeliner, various colors of eye shadow, mascara, blush, lip gloss, and sometimes even glitter to her face when she was in a festive mood. By mimicking her mother’s actions, she became adept at applying makeup to her own face…particularly the Liz Taylor as Cleopatra look.
She got much encouragement from Janet, who was not one to discourage the flesh of her flesh from following her heart, especially when it comes to fashion and artistic endeavors. She told Cannes once, and this stuck with her ever since, “Y’know darling, there are people who make a great living turning ordinary citizens into fabulous people. It would be a worthy niche for you to commit random acts of beauty for a living.
“It’s rock n roll,” She continued, “It’s fashion, it’s an art form. You couldn’t ask for a better vocation. You’ll excel at this and you’ll be painting smiles on many faces for as long as you can stand it.” This sage wisdom made Cannes’ heart leap with joy at the thought of having that kind of power. As empowering and as much fun as it is to be stronger and braver than all the boys as school, she was getting the sense that there was more to this life than being the meanest, toughest little girl in Magmaville all the time.
Since then Cannes began to practice her make up skills on anyone she could wrestle to the ground. It didn’t matter if you were a boy or a girl; if she thought you needed a makeover, than by golly you do you ugly muthafuggah. For that matter neither Jarvis nor Clay ever escaped her experimentations with color – she made Jarvis look downright gorgeous as a Tammy Faye Messner impersonator.
But she, Janet, and Stella were the ones she got to do makeovers on the most. She would start with foundation powder, covering the entire face and neck to tone down the ruddiness their skin tones. She’d then sweep the excess powder off with one of her brushes. And reaching for several cotton swabs, colored powders, and eyeliner pencils, proceed to go to work on the eyes. Often one color of eyeliner is enough for many of her victims, but there are always those who need all the help they can get. On Stella, for instance, she’d start with black eyeliner, then blue-colored eyeliner, and to top it all off, plum colored eyeliner. This was to give an effect of black with peacock colored highlighted look similar to the many haircolorings she would add to her client’s hair upon request later in her life.
Then a q-tip coated with fuscia colored powder coating its side would be swiped across the surface of Stella’s eyelids, a few pinkish specks would fall across the lower eyelid waiting to be swiped across the surface. A plum or purple color would come next, across the surface covering the eye, amaybe a little above the point where the skull ends and the eyeball begins, only to be slightly muted by a swatch of gold which would also grace the lower eyelids directly under her lashes. Then a hue called Kitten – which can only be described as a sparkly iridescent beige color – is streaked across the very top just under the spot where Stella’s eyebrow would be if only Stella would let herself have eyebrows…and on the lower lid as well. Then a shade called Midnight Cowboy – which is essentially the same shade only with more glitter added to it – adds the finishing touches of eyeshadow on the top and bottom of the eye.
Then Cannes would apply mascara to the lashes. To her credit, she never once clumped Stella’s eyelashes.
She would then add blush to the cheeks, usually a hot pink color. Then she ‘d go to work on the lips. First she would apply mentholated lip balm as a foundation of healing a moisturizer of Stella’s lips. Then she’d find a nice colored lipstick – usually a plum or burgundy colored stick, or -- if she was feeling particularly ooky – black colored lipstick would be all Stella would want. But it’s not unlike Stella one bit to indulge in a creamy luminescent lavender toned blend of lipstick and lipgloss to go with the glitter and glam that was so deftly applied to her face by the capable hands of her younger sister.
Ultimately Stella deeply respected and appreciated the fact that Cannes always knows what she’s doing, especially in creating a “new you.” This also provided a delicious escape from being in the middle of Fergie and Janet’s battles over her, with Janet screaming at her mother to stop trying to starve her daughter, threatening to keep the girls away from her…that sort of thing.
In the years to follow, it would not be uncommon for Cannes to offer her services for birthdays, Valentines’ Day, Mother’s Day, and weddings. Often when she was strapped for cash around the holidays, Cannes would do makeovers on the other Yossarian women as her Xmas present to them. And when she was through she would take photos of the finished looks to give to them as gifts…and to add to her own personal portfolio. Even her father Richard got a nice close shave out of the deal.
Cannes and Stella would host slumber parties and have lots of makeover sessions with Stella and Pearl and some of the other girls at school. Pearl would often provide manicures to the other girls as well. Then the girls would get stoned and eat lots of strawberries dipped in sugar-free chocolate pudding. Then they’d do lengthy imitations of dudes, saying things like “Hey let’s go get some brewskies and get fucked up and shit, dude!” “Yeah, let’s go fuck some bitches, dude!”
In fact much of the night would be spent trying to out-dude each other…all of them. And it goes without saying that the voices of dudeness would resonate throughout the “Mansion” to the point where the occupants of the master bedroom – one Richard and Janet Yossarian – could get no sleep at all. All the high volumed banter had them both in stitches.
But that wasn’t all that went on at these parties. One of the girls got the idea of having an X-rated Haiku roundtable. All of the girls at the slumber party would write, and then take turns reading, some raunchy-arsed haiku poetry verses to each other. Many of these have been transcribed to Stella’s diaries.
Kiss me once again, Your skin feels so soft,
Let me feel your silken tongue I rub my thighs together…
intertwine with mine. I get so aroused.
God you turn me on, I love how it feels
when you’re penetrating me. when your hands are on my ass
Give it to me good. God they feel so warm
I’m getting so wet I want to fuck you
when I get wet I get hot Do you want to fuck me too?
and that gets me wet Let’s just get it on.
Your breath tickles me I love having sex.
so does your tongue on my neck. Love when you cum inside me
I’m enjoying this. and you make me cum
“You’ve got lovely tits” My clit is throbbing
Lick them like they’re ice cream cones run your fingers through my pubes
make my nipples harrrd. make me gush and ache
You’ve got a big dick Moving in and out
I could ride you all night long harder, faster, more and more
I don’t wanna stop You’re driving me wild
I am so aroused I can’t hold it in
by the sight of that tight ass I am going to explode!
moving when you fuck. Thanks! I needed that.
Stella majored in drama when she began attending Magmaville Community College. In one of her classes, her instructor assigned the class to act out a moment in each student’s everyday life. For example, a student could pantomime brushing teeth, or a surfer would act out riding the waves. Stella, having lived with diabetes since she was 12, decided to go big. Drawing inspiration from Antonin Artaud’s The Theater and The Plague, she would act out the symptoms of an insulin reaction.
For the average college student, there were two primary ways of being. One was loud, rowdy, obnoxious, boorish, and brain dead. The other was hyper-intellectual, completely and utterly pretentious, and irretrievably supercillious. Stella knew exactly where she fit in…
With her old buddies from Magmaville High. There she knew she could draw from both worlds without enduring any more bullshit than what was obviously unavoidable.
During history class the students were to do a book report on a person who was famous in theater. At one point as she was hanging out at The Bauhaus Café, Punk Mother played her a copy of Bauhaus’ Burning From The Inside album. She was drawn from her thoughts by the 2nd track on the album. She asked Clay’s cousin Pearl Burke, who was tending the espresso machine at the moment, what the name of that track was. “Antonin Artaud” was Pearl’s reply. And upon Stella’s request she fetched the cd case so that Stella could take a closer look at the lyrics that were scrawled by the members of the band.
Intrigued, she began her research of Antonin Artaud’s life from there. Courtesy of Google she came across an essay written by one of her favorite authors, Anaïs Nin.
It was an account of the evening where she watched Antonin Artaud perform “The Theater and The Plague” at the schoolroom of the Sorbonne.
As she read the essay, describing the tortured portrayal of the plague and the audience’s reaction to Antonin’s performance, she concluded from Nin’s description that there was no difference between the agony endured during the bubonic plague and the plague that made its home inside of her body. But would there be a difference between the way the audience in the schoolroom of the Sorbonne reacted and the way the other members of her drama class would react to her portrayal of the agony inherent in diabetes mellitus? There was only one way to find out.
She somehow cajoled her mom into videotaping the performance during her acting class as part of the video montage she would eventually present during finals week. But even Janet Yossarian was floored by her eldest daughter’s performance.
It was just as Anaïs Nin would’ve described it were she alive and living in Magmaville and happened to be great friends of hers. Stella began by talking about her personal history with diabetes – the symptomology of high blood sugars and the need for insulin shots – leading up to her enactment of insulin overload. From there she began her intense performance.
To put it in Ms. Nin’s words;
“[Her} face was contorted in anguish, one could see the perspiration dampening [her] hair, [her] eyes dialated, [her] muscles became cramped, [her] fingers struggled to [escape the crawling numbness]. [She] made one feel the [palpitating heart, the trembling,] the fear, the fire [in her veins].
“[She] was in agony.
“[She] was screaming
“[She] was delerious.
“[She] was acting [her] own death…[her] own crucifixion.”
The class watched, shocked and horrified. A couple of students feigned bladder troubles and excused themselves to the restrooms. One portly type 2 diabetic in the class whispered to his companion, “Dude, I don’t know whether to throw her a bouqet of roses or one of my Tiger Bars!”
Some simply turned their attention to their notebooks, either scribing some critique of Stella’s intense performance or drawing silly stick figures.
Janet watched on terrified as she continued to tape the performance, and kept reminding herself, “It’s only an act this time…it’s only an act this time.” in an effort to blot out the urge to rescue her daughter.
And Stella continued “Until the last gasp.”
“[She] stayed on the floor.”
For the most part the rest of the class wasn’t as openly hostile as what was encountered by Antonin Artaud during his performance. In fact quite a few students came up to tell her of seeing their family members or friends with diabetes going through the same agony, the same symptoms of hypoglycemia, or of enduring the onset of an insulin attack themselves. One even shared the name and number of a facilitator of a local diabetes support group. The rest quietly dismissed it as a very eccentric and spastic performance.
As this was her final class of the day, although it was really all an act this time, Janet insisted on taking her daughter someplace where they could split a sandwich.
Stella felt fine, not even the slightest bit light-headed. But it disturbed her that the audience’s reaction wasn’t quite what she’d expected.
“At least the rest of the class was cool about it. The worst of it was you maybe scared the shit out of me and a couple of other kids in the class.” Janet consoled her daughter. “And as it happened I had to fight to keep from either rescuing you or bolting for the john myself.”
“That’s all well and good, but I didn’t expect anyone to relate to my performance at all.” Stella replied, shaking her head.
“You can look at this either one of two ways. One is that you’re a tremendously brilliant actress adept at performing your roles as if you’ve lived the life of the characters you may one day play. And then another way is to consider that what you just acted out is a lot more commonplace than you’d expected. In any case there’s tremendous potential for enlightenment in your performance and you’ll get through to more people than you’re giving yourself credit for.”
As comforting as Janet’s words were, Stella couldn’t help but ponder which was more disturbing: being made to feel like a freak of nature for having diabetes or being part of a crowd that would hail her as the new poster girl for diabetes management. Something about the latter option made her feel like the gold-digging bride in Tod Browning’s Freaks, calling to mind the wedding reception at the circus and all the sideshow freaks chanting “Gooba-Gabba, we accept you, one of us!!”
Either way she still felt unclean. Additionally, something inside of her made her want to yell at everyone, saying they’d all completely missed the point. Yet still an even stronger and wiser impulse within her retorted, “Ah, but suppose they did get the point?”
Jarvis was too hung over to go to his classes the morning after Stella’s performance art piece. So Stella had some alone time in the college cafeteria. Or she might have had if a certain gay kid, one Simon Webster, hadn’t invited himself to join her at the table where she sat.
And then he asked her, “So when were you diagnosed?”
So she told her story, saying “My parents sensed something wrong when I needed so many damned rest stops on our way to my grandmother’s house. Grandpa had died in an auto accident. Evidently he had a seizure brought on by hypoglycemia while he was driving.”
“God I’m sorry.” Simon said. He got a bit sad. “That’s so rough. I hate how these episodes just sneak up and kick ass like they do.”
“Me too.” Stella replied.
So Simon told his story about how he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at 17 years of age practically immediately after he was the target of a hate crime. Details to follow in a later chapter. When he finished, Stella couldn’t decide which was worse; not knowing what it was that caused her to have diabetes, or having it kicked right into you.
“So, were the bastards ever caught?”
“Well, yes. I went to court and testified, as did some other queers who were beaten damn near to death by these fascists. There were a lot of protests, all the other queers came out and raised a ruckus. Eventually the two of them got sent to prison, which is some comfort. Five years in juvenile hall was enough time for me to get out of Dodge and move in with my uncle Boris.
“Even so…every time I take my insulin, every time I do a finger jab, every insulin reaction…it’s like they’re still kicking the shit out of me. The only justice is the hope I have that they’re both just stupid enough to drop the soap!”
This last statement made Stella giggle wickedly. Nothing like the thought of some deserving assholes taking it right up the arse, she thought. So they became friends and Stella had since harbored the idea of at least making some interesting art with this guy.
At some point, Simon’s Uncle Boris threw a birthday party for Simon as soon as he turned 21. It was held at The Stud. Stella was invited, and was anxious to attend.
Somehow Boris managed to score a huge cake for the party. Simon gave his uncle a look like, “Dude, are you kidding me right now?!?” After all, Boris knew that Simon had diabetes.
But Boris just went on wiping the beer mugs and said with a shrug, “Hey, whatever, y’know…It’s your birthday. Besides, what’s the point of me helping you pay for your insulin shots if you can’t or won’t eat what you feel like eating even when you shoot up? Huh?”
And then he said, “Jesus Christ, I’ve never seen a more anal-retentive disease!”
So in the end Simon indulged and so did Stella. I mean, what difference does it make? Simon was gonna get lucky tonight all the same.
By the end of the party, Stella was just a bit too tipsy to try to walk all the way home from The Stud. Know how we can tell? She was beginning to slur her words as she prattled on about the pros of abnormality and the cons of normality. Somehow the conversation topic dealt with two very popular female singers. There was an apparent goody-two-shoes type of sweet-and-innocent girl-next-door singer named Brenda Spencer. This one prided herself on her country roots (* rolls eyes * ). And the other one – aptly named Esmerelda – was an arty and decadent diva who openly bragged about using recreational drugs and having sex with both men and women whether they were gay or straight. And she made it her life mission to be the kind of performer Iggy Pop would’ve been if he were a woman.
It was obvious which side Stella chose, in fact she made it abundantly clear where she stood. “Normal…” She slurred. “Normal, normal, normal…pfft! I like freaky people better. Why the fuck would anyone want to gang around a bunch of normal people anyway? At leas’ with freaks you know there’s a screw loose and they put their insanity to some good constructive yous and make something fun of all of it. Can ya say the same for some goddamned normal person?? Aw, hell no!! They bore ya outta yer skull at th’ best, an ya never know what kind of psycho bitch is lurking under all that so called innoffensive demeanor. They’re all sick and dangerous people, all of them!!”
At that point there was a lull in the demand for more booze, so Boris the bartender decided to carry Stella upstairs to the loft where he and Simon lived and invited their lovers. “C’mon, Stella honey! Let’s go sleep it off!” he said as he carried her upstairs.
“Aaah, these fuggin’ normal people…They can all suck my dick!!”
The next morning she woke up ready for the bathroom. Luckly for her she found the bathroom door unlocked. However there were two guys in the shower – evidently Boris was getting very lucky himself. “Fuck it, though,” Stella thought. She needed a crap and a piss in either order. Those guys can just go on shagging in the shower. Didn’t matter to her at this point.
So Stella was on the toilet and it took some time and a little effort to get everything out of her system. She wasn’t shy in the least, but she felt just a little bit constipated. Her grunts were audible enough to elicit chuckles from inside the shower.
Oh, and don’t assume Stella farts ambrosia, either.
“Oh honey…how about a courtesy flush at least!!!”
“Oh not yet, darling! We’re in the shower!!
“You’d rather suffocate than freeze?? Are you out of your mind?”
“Give me a break! I’m a sadist, not a masochist!”
“I know, that’s my point!”
Stella wasn’t even paying attention. At this point she discovered her period started. Luckily she remembered to take her purse to the bathroom with her. She put a fresh tampon inside of her and then she cleaned herself off.
She then flushed and closed the lid on the toilet. Something about the way the lid hit the sink struck Boris as having a highly opinionated ring to it. So he make this wisecrack like, “Yeah? I don’t blame ya!” He and his boy-toy roared with laughter as Stella washed her hands.
She didn’t feel low at the moment, so she went ahead with her first glucose test of the day. I’d describe the process once again, but I think I’ve made you all familiar enough with the procedure already…and to describe it yet again is getting rather tedious. So long story short she was about at 100 according to the reading on her meter.
She then packed her diabetes kit back into her purse and made her way out of the bathroom. She pretty much ignored all the commentary from Boris and his lover, deciding they were obviously being wiseguys and – thank God – they were at least clever.
On her way out, she spied a joint in the ashtray on the coffee table next to the sofa where she had crashed. She decided to help herself to a hit or two off of that before taking herself out to breakfast. Simon was in the kitchen getting himself some coffee. As she passed the joint to him, she invited him to join her, only to instead let herself be talked into staying and having brunch with him and his lover instead.
Now, how cute is Simon anyway? Well, cute enough to make Stella wish she was a gay guy so that she could blow off Jarvis for him. Or at the very least she wished that gay guys liked cunt.
A little more about Simon Webster…
Whatever his original haircolor used to be, it was now jet black with purple highlights, like Punk Mother’s. He had an angular face with deep hazel eyes and lips that were neither too thick nor too thin. He also had a tendency to dress rather impeccably, he was such a dandy.
He clearly liked to write and from what could be seen on the coffee table he was working on what looked like a novel of some sort. When he wrote, he used a quill pen which he fashioned out of a regular ball point pen. It had an ostrich feather that he had taped to its shaft, and he tied a blue satin ribbon and a gold satin ribbon around where the top of the pen ended and the feather continued.
This pen served a dual purpose for Simon; first and foremost as a writing tool. Second, but no less importantly, as a sex toy. Often, he and his lover would take turns ticking each other with it. Simon loved a good tickling. You could tickle him anywhere; back of the ear, the tips of his toes, his back, his ass, didn’t matter. Best foreplay ever.
Now, for all his effeminate mannerisms, he had a mind like a B-movie scriptwriter. How do we know, you ask, gentle reader? As Stella sat at the coffee table drinking her orange juice while waiting for Simon to finish making brunch, she noticed a couple of composition books. On the front of one of them was a title: The Diabetic Desperados.
“Am I allowed to read through these journals you’ve got here?” Stella asked.
“I don’t mind, but they’re not really journals, Stell’.” Simon replied. “I’m working on a story which I hope will become a movie. It’s about these two guys, and they both got diabetes. They’re both trying to keep that under control, but neither of them can seem to hold a job for very long. And the cost of their medication and supplies keep going up, and they can’t get any insurance. So they get fed up and turn to a life of crime.
“They go around and burglarize pharmacies, and rob convenience stores to get the money and supplies they need. That’s pretty much the synopsis of the plot.”
On that note Stella opened one of the books to a page. She began to read the part where one of the main characters just finished the last of some under-the-table gardening work. Upon collecting a meager amount of cash pay for that work he was told, “We’ll call you.” By that time the character felt a steady low coming on, so he heads downtown to get something to eat. And he’s walking around with a hand rake and his gardening gloves. He runs into his friend, who walks with him to some mini market in town. His friend notices the way he’s sweating, got that look on his face that suggests that something’s not quite right. Seeing the hand rake he says to the gardener, “That thing’s really starting to frighten me.”
Then the gardener turns to him and says, “Lissen, I need to get something to jack up my blood sugar levels real quick or else…it won’t be my blood that gets put to the test.”
Stella laughed through this part. She loved that last line and could very easily relate to it.
But getting back to that damned quill pen and its use as a sex toy. Right about the time that Boris carried Stella upstairs to crash her out on the sofa, Simon and his boy toy du jour – this was before Stella had hooked him up with Kyle – decided it was likewise time to go upstairs as well. Boris didn’t mind if his nephew brought a man home with him for the night. After all, it was his birthday.
So Stella was passed out, and at some point she thought she had a dream of watching Simon and his friend running around naked in the loft. She tried some lucid dreaming techniques she had read about in Patricia Garfields’s landmark novel Creative Dreaming, and imagined going back to the moment that brought on this spate of frolicking between these two boys. She saw Simon seated in his uncle’s easy chair with his quill pen, trying to write. Suddenly, his boy toy snatches his quill pen out of his hand. “Hey!” Simon shouted as he whirled around to face the kid. The guy’s got a glint in his eye as he turns the pen around in his hand and proceeds to tickle Simon in the face and neck.
“C’mon…cut it out, willya!!”
“Yeah, right!” The dude continued to tickle Simon.
Simon shielded himself with his arms from the feather on his own pen as his lover had at him.
“Hey buddy…you like that? Huh?”
Simon gasps and chuckles and orders him to stop, but he doesn’t really mean it. Then his lover backed away laughing, his body language taunted Simon, “You want this? Huh? Do you?” So Simon gave chase to this guy, and they ended up in his room and are soon making out. Then somehow Simon grabbed the pen back. Then he tickled his lover with it and is soon chased around the living room, both boys completely undressed.
Stella fell unconscious again, smiling at the sexy dream she just had.
But since she’s been awake for a little while, sipping her orange juice and reading what Simon had written in his composition books, she spied the quill pen that was still lying on the coffee table. Then she realized that she might not have actually slept at all that night, but simply lapsed in and out of consciousness.
Stella found herself interested in a particular character in the Diabetic Desperados story, one who seemed to be very much like Simon. In fact, this was what Simon had written about ______________.
“There were times when _____________ would get so goddamed fed up with always having to think about this goddamned disease all the time even tho his very life depended on that. So on those days when he was really in the mood to say ‘Fuck it!’ he would refuse to take any insulin. Then his sugars would skyrocket and he’d get extremely thirsty. That would make him literally drink his weight in liquids. Only a short time after that he would get frequent and often violent urges to urinate, (something about that idea gave Stella a fiercely erotic charge in her groin…she didn’t quite know why) which he would refuse for as long as he could stand it. Then when he couldn’t hold it in any more he would follow the cutest guy he sees into the men’s room and immediately assume the position in front of the urinal right next to that guy and brazenly initiate a pissing contest. While the two men were emptying out, and clearly both of them were about to get off on the relief of it, the cute guy looks from the corner of his eye right at ______________ and notices he’s got a switchblade knife clamped between his teeth and there’s also a glint in his eye as well. This was his way of saying, ‘Love me or hate me…
…But don’t fuck with me!”
Well, clearly Simon identifies most with this _____________ character; this impression would be as obvious to anyone reading these pages as it was to Stella. Simon seems to have a lot of repressed anger in him, just like Stella does, and it seems to show in his bladder fantasies. What Stella found particularly erotic was the feeling of carrying all that excess fluid inside of herself for as long as she could stand it…which struck her as odd considering she usually found the pressure unbearable.
Beyond that, she finds herself mediating on an image of Frankie Booth she saw online. It was a photo of him with his hand gliding down the front of his black leather trousers, and this was featured on the home page of his official online website.
The Magmaville Public Library offered free computer/internet access. Stella, Cannes and Pearl would often spend as much time as possible on the Magmaville Public Library computers looking up anything that had anything to do with Frankie Booth. They were particularly interested in photos and videos of Frankie fondling himself and gyrating wildly to his own music as he performs live. This was their porn, for the record. Frankie has a great butt and he knows how to use it.
The library has imposed a 30 minute time limit on computer usage. But that didn’t stop the girls from enjoying up to 90 minutes of Frankie. Each girl took turns at the computer, each using her own 30 minute allotment. That was plenty of time for these images of Frankie to sear their way into Stella’s memory.
She would often meditate on that image while holding her ever so demanding bladder and fondle herself to stave off the increasing pressure. And sometimes on the other hand she would simply meditate on the image itself even after she had relieved herself (“At long last…God!”) Either way, the sting of release would be exquisite. (Aahh!) She’d masterbate to that visualization for hours. It looked so damned erotic to her.
Simon confided the origins of that character’s potentially psychotic inclinations as his boy-toy (This was before Stella played the accidental Cupid and hooked him up with Kyle Chapman) washed the brunch dishes: “I’m not into that kind of fetish. Look, I’m scared to death to go into a public restroom without some kind of concealed weapon on my person. I’ve only been jumped about a bazillion times!!
“They won’t even let me take a piss in peace, f’crissakes!!” he protested, referring to the queer bashers who often got on his case. “I mean, what’s with that???”
Stella could only shake her head with empathy. There were too many horror stories of being harrassed and abused in public restrooms between the two of them. Cannes couldn’t always be there to protect her bigger sister, after all.
Speaking of bathrooms, let’s talk about a nice long bath…
The rain was coming down hard and heavy. There was no going out that night.
“Bebbeh, Ai’s steel hung over.” Jarvis wheedled into Stella’s voicemail. “Ai chess doan wanno see nobody tonight…”
Meh, just as well. He’s an ass when he’s drunk anyway…just like last night, Stella thought. But she’d rather not get into that again. She’d much rather draw a bath, light some candles, some patchouli and a nice little pipeful of sinsemilla…and listen to the rain patter down on the rooftop directly above her head. She desperately craved the sensuality inherent in such a moment…when everything is soaking wet.
Anway, she’d been thinking about Simon a lot, particularly the last time she’d been with him. So far, she’s the only girl she knows of that Simon has tried to have straight sex with. But…
“I’m sorry, Stell. I just can’t…” Simon shook his head as he pulled out of her. Stella couldn’t say anything. After all, he told her he was gay. She could only gaze at him, helpless at the mercy of her own lustful urges.
“Is there anything I can do?” She really felt sorry for the guy.
Simon let out a sigh and then offered, “Why don’t I do something for you?” With that he reached down to Stella’s snatch and…well…he snatched it, put it this way. He snatched it pretty good, too. Stella loved the feel of Simon’s grip on her pubes; firm without being brutal.
“Do you like that?” he asked as he gently massaged her groin. She let an affirmative moan escape from her lips. “Mmmuch better than nothing, Simon.”
Simon sighed again, “I know how that feels…going without.” Simon looked a little sad as he continued to rub Stella off. All Stella could do was lay back and enjoy it. As he stroked her she gazed at the walls of his bedroom. There were some huge posters towering over the bed. One such poster was a photo of Frankie Booth wearing nothing but a pair of ladies underpants onstage, which was taken when he performed in Leeds. His right thumb was hooked through the top and leg opening of these panties, pulling them down as if doing a strip tease for the audience, and his right hand held the microphone at groin level. There were two other posters on the wall; one was the famous promo poster for the movie Pulp Fiction with the photo of Uma Thurman on it. Another was the promo poster for the movie Blue Velvet featuring the likenesses of Dennis Hopper and Isabella Rossellini. There was only one window looking over the alleyway located next to The Stud, graced by curtains made of purple velvet with gold trim.
“At least he gave me something to daydream about.” Stella thought as she lay in the tub and let the scalding hot water caress her body. There was something very arousing about the way the bath water made love to Stella. They way it touched her body was warm and tender and gently yeilding. She would cup a little of the water in the palms of her hands and run it over her breasts just to keep them wet. She loved how her nude body looked when it was all naked and wet; she looked softer and more vulnerable. Somehow that turned her on to no end.
Yes, she was definetly wet and aching for release. She focused her ears on the pattering rain outside and began to mentally ruminate on how drenched the world outside was getting. “Super fucking drenched.” she thought over and over again like an erotic mantra. Her fingers reached for her mound and began to run through her curls as they waved through the bath water. She loved the way the water felt on her skin and on her breasts and on her groin. She loved the way it felt so much she kept her cunt under water while she stroked herself.
She wanted Simon all the more and she knew she couldn’t have him. The agony of that thought only intensified her arousal. The way he touched her felt so good, and he was considerate enough to get her off instead of wasting time ruminating on the possibility of impotency. That she found so refreshing. She didn’t find that very often in men…especially not with Jarvis, anyway.
“Stupid ass got into another stupid fight…It’s only right he should be hurting in the head for that…I don’t wanna go there…water, water, water, ahh…” Back to happy, soft, gentle, warm bath water thoughts she went. As she did she drew a deep sigh that seemed to well up from behind her pubes.
She was lying in the tub for quite awhile, not even caring how long she’d been in there, letting the bath water grow cooler. There was still some residual warmth from when she first ran the tap. Anyway, she didn’t want to get out. She didn’t want to be anywhere else. She just wanted to stay in the tub and let the water caress her, let it keep her voluptuous body all nice and wet and tender looking, skin all shiny…slippery…very slippery….pure sexy delight….
In addition to Drama class, Stella took art courses, including art appreciation. At one point, the art appreciation class was studying the life and works of Andy Warhol, and the instructor even brought in dvd copies of Andy’s films to show to the class. As she watched Lonesome Cowboys with the other art students, she began to think about how it might play out if Andy Warhol did a send-up of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. As fate would have it, one of her assignments for the drama class was to write and direct a Xmas play. She saw it as an opportunity to do Andy Warhol proud.
So she did a rewrite of A Christmas Carol, and auditioned some of her classmates to see who could do the best Edie Sedwick, the best Joe D’allesandro, the best Aldo Ray (never mind that Aldo never had anything to do with Warhol that I know of), the best Ondine, the best Holly Woodlawn, and the best Ultra Violet. And to top it all off, she wanted to videotape the whole thing. She borrowed one of her mother’s video cameras and began to videotape the rehearsals.
Now, here’s how she meant it to play out: “Little Joe” would be cast in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. “Edie” would play “Babs” Cratchet, “Aldo” would play Scrooge’s nephew Fred, “Ondine” would be Jacob Marley, “Holly Woodlawn” would be Mrs. Cratchet, and so on. Stella would direct and run the camera, and maybe even have a part as The Spirit of Xmas Past…and as such she would try to seduce the Spirit of Xmas Present…who would be played by “Lou Reed.’ So this parody had more in common with the Warhol/Morrisey collaborations than with “Sleep.”
With her cast assembled, she began rehearsals. Cannes was allowed to sit in and watch while they did the runs. She found it all very hilarious.
The camera began to roll, and the filming began with Stella announcing the title of the film. “Andy Warhol presents…Scrooge! Directed by Mrs. Andy Warhol!”
“Edie”: My God it’s cold in this office! Hey Scrooge! Can’t we throw another log in the fireplace or put on another pot of coffee or something?
“Joe”: I put a log on the fire an hour ago, forcrissakes!
“Edie”: Yeah, well it’s burned down to ash already, See? (She points to the fireplace)
“Joe”: Whaddya want me to do about it? It ain’t my fault if we had no rainy season this year.”
“Edie”: I want ya to throw another fucking log on the fire!! It’s freezing cold already!
“Joe”: Be reasonable. Do you think I can afford to throw a log on the fire every time ya harp about the cold? Face it, sister; firewood doesn’t come as cheap as you think. There aren’t enough rainforests in the whole world to warm up that iceberg of a heart of yours. (Leering) Look, I got a better idea. Let’s you and I go upstairs to my room. I’ll heat things up around here.
“Edie”: Ya gotta be kidding me, ya dirty old man, you! Lissen! I may be a woikin’ goil, but I ain’t that kind of a woikin’ goil!
“Aldo”: * Knocks on door. *
“Joe”: Will you listen to yourself? How can it be anything but cold in this office when you’re so fucking frigid all the time?
“Aldo”: (barging in) Hey, Merry Christmas, Everyone! (looks around) I hope I’m not interrupting anything!
“Edie”: I was just getting back to work.
“Joe”: Yeah, whaddya mean standing around making with the chit chat for? Time is money and you’re a waste of both!
“Aldo”: (sarcastically) Aw, now that’s real nice! Uncle Scrooge, why do you gotta be so mean to her, especially on Christmas Eve? And why is it so cold around here all the time?
“Joe”: Christmas Eve? So what? Why should I give a damn about Christmas anyway? Just because Jesus Christ was born in some manger that day doesn’t make it anything special. I have a birthday too, big deal. Who’s gonna make something of that?
“Aldo”: Look, this is just too much right here, Uncle Scrooge. That is really just too much. That’s no way to talk about Jesus. Why if I weren’t a gentleman, I’d let you have it right in that big black hole you call your mouth!
“Edie”: (Laughs right out loud)
“Joe”: You got your nerve coming around here telling me how to run my life and my business, threatening to do violence to me in my own office! Why don’t you take your Merry Xmas and stuff it where the sun don’t shine? Go on…beat it!
“Aldo”: Alright, I’m going already! Merry Christmas!!
“Joe”: Merry Christmas, My Ass!!! (Edie still guffaws!) Eyyy, you too! You’re fired, anyway!! Get the hell outta here! I’m sick of you already!!!
“Edie”: With pleasure! Hey, wait a minute! What about my severance pay??
“Aldo”: Forget it darling. Why doncha come and work for me instead? I’ll make it worth your while. (winking furiously)
“Edie”: Why not? It’s gotta beat the shit outta being locked in this freezer!
(“Edie” and “Aldo” leave, “Joe” slams the door on their asses)
“Joe”: T’chuh! Merry Christmas! Gimme a break! Another day where I don’t get any poontang! “Bah Humbug’s” too much a compliment for a crappy day like this!
“Ondine”: Well God, Scrooge! Maybe if you didn’t have such an attitude problem, you might have better luck with the women.
“Joe”: Hey, who said that? I thought I told you to get the fuck outta my office!
“Ondine”: Don’t you recognize me? I’m your old business partner Jacob Marley.
“Joe”: What the hell are you doing here? Aren’t you suppose to be dead and buried already?
Suddenly “Ondine” turns into Kent Neidermeyer and goes, “Cut! Cut! Cut!”
Stella retorts, “What do you mean, ‘Cut?’, Nerdermeyer?? I’m the director!! I’m the one who decides when it’s time to yell ‘Cut!’…not you!”
Kent replies, “Well, this Jacob Marley fits well with the original story. But wouldn’t it be funnier if I could be Bob Marley instead?”
At that Stella rolls her eyes and says, “ Forget it! Look, would you just stick with the script and quit ruining everything for a change?”
Kent: “Oh, I’m ruining everything?!?”
Then “Joe” becomes Kent’s best friend (at the time) Kyle Chapman and butts in; “Excuse me, Ms. Director lady, but who wrote this crap? “ He threw down the script. “I mean, are you kidding me? Paul Morrisey wasn’t this bad!”
Cannes had been laughing hard enough to damn near piss in her pants as Kyle threw down the script and stormed out. As he exited, he turned to the camera and yelled, “What the fuck are you laughing at?!?
She did, however manage to remedy the situation. Kent’s understudy, Simon, became the Ondine-as-Jacob-Marley to Kyle’s Little-Joe-as-Scrooge. But then their scene together somehow morphed into some kind of Yuletide Gay Porn, with “Scrooge” and “Marley” sharing some alone time before the other spirits of Xmas could have at him. With the deadline fast approaching, Stella decided to go with that. It wasn’t too far removed from the spirit of Andy Warhol after all.
She had to change the name of the movie, though. It was renamed Ebenezer’s Christmas Package.
However disasterous her attempt to parody A Christmas Carol inna Andy Warhol style turned
out to be, (the whole drama class thought it was so bad it’s funny, btw), it was clear that Stella wanted to grow and expand as an artist. As it was, she had some really good ideas that she’d love to see put to videotape.
For instance, take this entry in her diary of June 25th. It was no secret that Stella had more of a crush on this superstar pop singer Frankie Booth than she had on her lover Jarvis Gonzales, as she played his albums quite often while she worked on her scripts and class assignments.
“June 25th: I’d really love, love, love to try my hand at directing a music video of some of my favorite Frankie Booth songs…particularly ‘Party Me Down.’ That song could be even more of a huge hit than ‘The Big Flirt.’
“So here’s my idea. The video could take place in his bathroom, and I’d have Frankie in the shower, getting ready to go to a party or a nightclub or something. Suddenly, all of his friends come barging in with drinks and stuff, ready to party right there in the bathroom with him. The rationale for that is there’s no such thing as a party without Frankie Booth, and they couldn’t wait to get this party started. So they brought the party into his bathroom.
“Anyone else would probably be freaked out that all these people are blatantly invading his privacy when he’s all nude like he will be in the video. But Frankie’s a party animal, and he’s ready to boogie already. So I could have one of the guests bring in a boom box, and he starts playing ‘Party Me Down’. Everyone starts dancing and drinking to this song, and when the vocals on the song begin, Frankie will start singing into the hand-held showerhead, which he uses as a microphone. With all that hot water gushing all over his chest, that would be so sexy…”
A couple of additional scenes described in her entry included Pearl Burke sitting on the toilet and moving to the rhythm while she’s relieving herself. And also some guy gyrating his hips while he’s taking a piss. Another partygoer would be using the curling iron in her hair while she’s groovin to the beat. In short, bedlam in the bathroom.
“He’d have a pretty big bathroom in his house, being a huge superstar and all!”
No doubt about it; Stella was a drama queen and she knew it. And if she could just channel that energy by being part of a play, she’d be happy to have gotten that far. Many of the plays she starred in were small scale productions, and since these were volunteer endeavors they didn’t begin to feed the bulldog.
Job searches can be downright depressing, which only added to what Stella was going through attending classes, then coming home and dealing with other people’s concerns about her health. It’s been particularly ovewhelming, especially for someone as sensitive as Stella. Her parents weren’t as heavy handed about the whole diabetic food police as her grandmother often was, but even so there was this increasing need to guard her personal space from being encroached upon. This wasn’t an anti-parent thing, she just needs her space…just wanted to be by herself from time to time, to sort out her private thoughts.
Or at the very least not think at all.
So she began to hang out at The Bauhaus Café after her classes were done for the day
One afternoon she ordered a decaf cappuccino with soymilk at the counter, then sat down at one of the booths. She felt just a tad low, so she began a glucose test.
It was a slow afternoon, and the music caught Stella’s attention as she fed the strip. The tunes being aired over the speakers – which were usually always from the punk and post-punk era of the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s –struck Stella as having a certain sonic empathy that most popular music (with the possible exception of Grunge) lacked.
Punk Mother, who had taken Stella’s order, brought the decaf cappuccino to her just as the numbers on her meter came up: 89. Not bad, but still not a bad idea to injest a carbohydrate or two. Punk Mother saw the numbers as Stella set the meter down on the table. Curious, she asked Stella, “One or Two?”
Stella could only say, “Wha--?”
“Diabetes. Which type?”
“Eh, just curious…that’s all.” Then Punk Mother began to sense a need for solitude. “It’s cool; I don’t particularly care to think much less talk about it, either.”
As much as Stella wanted to be alone, somehow she sensed that this punked out proprietor was coping with a strain of diabetes not entirely different from her own. This came as something of a welcome relief to her. She continued the conversation with Punk Mother.
“It’s bad enough living with it, isn’t it. I wouldn’t mind it so much if it didn’t totally take over your life and control it like some little Hitler or something.”
“I hear ya, I hear ya.” Punk Mother agreed. “All these dumb things you’ve got to do to keep the damned sickness at bay…I’ve lost count of all the time I’ve felt like saying ‘fuck it!’ and just not deal with it anymore…which is suicide.”
“Yeah, and then the other side to that,” Stella added after taking a sip of her drink, “you get so used to regimenting yourself that you’ve forgotten how to be free and you just go on with the regimentation. And as I’ve gotten it when I was only 12, I really have no idea what it was like to be free. And that’s to say nothing of all these self-appointed diabetes cops that invade your circle of family and friends.”
The two ladies took a sigh break. Listening to the music for a minute, Punk Mother said, “Thank God for RocknRoll Rebellion.”
“Yeah, they really need to play this music on the radio instead of the drivel they play now!” Stella commented.
“Hoo boy, don’t get me started on that!”
“As if there isn’t enough sugar coating in all the food we eat! Does there have to be so much sugar coated music on top of all that?”
I don’t know if that means she’s suddenly gotten over Frankie Booth or not, although Booth has more in common with the likes of Iggy Pop than with – say – Donny Osmond as far as his approach to pop music goes. All I can tell you is that it was then that Stella and Punk Mother bonded over cappuccino, Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life, and a common disease represented by the glucose meter. I must say, for a couple of people who – due to their mutual medical condition – were often referred to as “Sweet People” (that is to say, people with way too much sugar in their blood), they were just as salty and gamey as any curmudgeon could be. The two became such friends that eventually Punk Mother thought of Stella when a couple of baristas moved on to greener pastures at some other place of business in Magmaville.