Friday, July 06, 2018

Blind Item #16 - Elegant Degradation – A Himmmm Blind Item Story – Part 9

One name DID pop into my head as a good shot – if he's in town.  I told the Albanian about a Director pal of mine.  I paged him and his wife both.  In minutes, the phone rang.  It was TS, an A+list action director, with his wife present on the call too.  Since I'd introduced them years ago, I knew them both well enough not to be shy.  TS said "no problem, mate.  Just tell me how you want it and pay me back later."  What a God-send!  Unfortunately, they were both out of town.  His new action movie was slated to open that week (and judging from the result he may need the money worse than I did).  I thanked them, and fast ran out of options.

If we called any managers or agents it would be all over town by midnight.  No way in hell was I asking my Mother; and I never kept cash like that in my own house.  We discussed Western Union but that would mean transfers, records, and family back in New York.  We were still coming up about $20,000 short when Jess (the smart, lone female in the room) said the magic word:


I got it.  Ben and Duke got it too.  She was referring to the diamond Cartier necklace I'd gotten earlier for my birthday gift – which I'd asked Lemmy to hold for me at the Rainbow.  When Doc and I went outside.  I had simply forgotten to get it back from him.  If we could get hold of Lemmy now and get that necklace back? I was sure the Albanians would be happy to take it as a trade.  After all, Sara (a CPA) put the value in the five-figure range anyway.  I recall the note on the gift, and thinking then that I'd keep it forever.  Considering that these no-neck guys were not ASKING for the money, but demanding? Forever was short time.

"Wait – you know Lemmy? THE Lemmy? Lemmy from Motorhead?", like a stuttering parrot the Albanian boss chirped on and on.  "Yes, very well – he was just at my birthday party earlier".  The Albanians were shocked.  "We fuc%in LOVE Motorhead!" they all said.  "Wanna meet him?", I smiled.  "Hell yeah!", they all said.  "Call him up and tell him to bring a few sluts with him when he comes over!", they laughed.  I then explained to the guys that we'd have to go see Lem.  They shot that idea down fast. Cash only, Lemmy or no Lemmy….and there was less shot of Lemmy having 25K cash than of Doc having it.

We tried about 50 different ways to make this work, including signing over my car to the big guys.  Sadly, they were not looking to play "Showcase Showdown" and would accept only cash.  Period.  Our first two arrivals – Mr. Mountain and Mr. Truck, had long since exhausted their patience.  They must've sensed this not ending well because like buzzards circling? They stuck around to get theirs too.  In exasperation, I said we could go rob a store together.  Then Jess said: "With your luck? Your lawyers would be on vacation".



I explained to our thick-headed negotiators that I had a "special family attorney" I can call in "emergencies", even if it wasn't (yet) technically my emergency.  It was then that I explained to them why we needed a lawyer on call for family emergencies.  After explaining it the third time…slowly, the way you might to a drooling vegetable…the Albanian boss began to understand.  They also began to agree with us that this was how they'd get their cash tonight.  "I like this friend, Doc", said the nice Mr. drug dealer who turned to his two comrades.  "Maybe we kidnapped the wrong one?", and they laughed.

I turned to Duke and said, "Okay, if Jess drives to the ATM at the studio credit union and you drive Ben here to the ATM over at…"

Wait – what?

What did I just hear?

I turned to the three un-wise men.  They were not laughing.

"Excuse me, gentlemen", I said.  "I'm sorry but what did you mean by 'kidnap' exactly?", looking at the boss.  They never replied, nor explained, nor budged.  They stood there, stone faced.  I asked again, and did it with more urgency.  Still nothing.  Then, from out of the blue, Mr. Mountain says: "Relax…not yours.  Doc's."  I whipped around, and Doc was staring – silently – at a spot on the wall.

Like an embarrassed little child.  Scolded, ashamed to be exposed.  Gallon-sized tears in his eyes, and a quiet stream down both his cheeks…but not crying.

Mr. Mountain continued, "It's how things are done over a certain dollar amount. That was your pager, right?", he asked of the Albanians.  They shrugged.

Still, Doc said nothing.

My friend just hung his head, and said nothing.  At that moment I could see my friend's naked soul and hurt.  The nightmare he was caught in.  Powerless to do anything about it.  He had sold his soul; and the life of a loved one for a punched-ticket ride he was unable to stop.  Not just tonight.  Not just this time.  This obviously was not his first go through hell like this, even if it was ours.  Doc was dying of a disease of addiction, and his self-immolation was engulfing those he loved most.

It is something only an addict caught under the wheels of that bus can know.  And only those who love an addict caught inside the grinder can know the helplessness that pulls in two different directions.  Even with all the crap and trouble and money he was costing me – I still wanted to help my friend.  Maybe more than ever.  Just then he looked over at me with a look that said: "don't give up on me yet".  I just nodded up and down.  Friends don't give up on each other.  Especially when they're in the midst of the battle for their own lives.

Jess suggested we get down to business. 


yepthatsme said...


M said...

Ts = transformers = Michael Bay ... Movie bomb 'the rock' came out june 96

Dave said...

A+ list director of flop from summer 1996 who would say "mate": Peter Jackson, _The Frighteners_

M said...

nvm Bay was never married

Dahling said...

Wait! Let’s not gloss over this “special family attorney” comment....

OB said...

TS is Tony Scott. Flop: "The Fan"

LuLu said...

jezuz this is for real. it accurately coincides with his timeline.

Jennacheryl said...

Doc.... Charlie Sheen, been a nickname for he and others in many of his shows and movies. Plus the arrival came out a month bf independence day did. Internationally it did well nationally it tanked.


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