Maybe it was Eugene Mc Oregan…

I have a funny story. At first glance it would appear to be a story about me, or about me and a girl, but I think it is actually a story about Los Angeles.

There was a group of us sitting around drinking back at the old Beachwood House, debating the magazine headlines that were coming out in early 1999. People were compiling lists back then, lists that would suggest some kind of cosmic significance to the end of the decade, the century, the millenium. And we were talking about how right or wrong they all were.

The first part of the conversation contains a pretty infamous comment. You have to understand that this was the skankiest group of humans I have ever had the misfortune to spend time with. This is a group of people so completely dumb that one of the girls dropped out of school three weeks before graduation to move there, and so completely without scruples that you couldn’t set down a slice of pizza to take your turn at the pool table without the knowledge that your housemate would eat it.

I mean, we can laugh about it now, but at the time it was terrible.

My wife had just left me to shtump a busboy she had met at the Olive Pizza Kitchen Italian Garden of Eatin’ or some-such thing, and I was broke and depressed. As we sat around drinking, the guys were mostly good natured awesome guys that I am still friends with, but the girls were these horrible grizzled, old old old young things, preternaturally skinny from see-through liquor and stolen crushed up Ritalin. Girls who were underweight despite being about 30% body fat, girls whose tiny waists slid right down to tiny hips and flat asses, whose hollow cheeks and cavernous clavicles slid into breasts like small, wet, rolled up sweatsocks full of mud, willing to fuck, not snuggle or make love to, but fuck anything that had thirty extra dollars or a thirty inch waistband.

As I was broke and full figured, I was generally safe from these depressing vacuums of degredation.

On this night, as we discussed the most influential women of the last one hundred years, the girls in attendance were really off the chart. We tossed out Oprah and Eleanor Roosevelt and Indira Ghandi, and one of the girls, who was the embodiment of drunk and braless, burst forth with her vote. Stumbling she said, ‘No. No. Nono. Listen. No. Listen. It’s not… whoever. You have to say the first… you know… Eugene McGorigan, the first woman on the moon.’

The silence after that would have been filled by my friend Mac saying, ‘Oh, right right. I mean, I think you mean the woman on the shuttle who died. But yeah, totally. Except her name wasn’t Eugene, but I’m sure you knew that…’ except that Mac wasn’t there. I can’t describe it as a stunned silence, because we lost our ability to be stunned when we started finding girls O.D.ed on heroin in our yard.

That isn’t my favorite part of the story though. Twenty minutes later, that same girl, let’s call her ‘Idget’, was looking for more liquor and I told her we had already drunk everything in the house except the bottle of champagne left over from my wedding. I remember looking down at my hand, wondering when I would stop wearing the ring, and Idget looked at me with a real sadness in her eyes, a thirst to help me.

“Come with me,” she said, and led me into the kitchen. There was a brief silence from my pals, because I simply wasn’t the type to get a blowjob from a girl like this, but it seemed rude to refuse. Plus, I had a feeling that Idget knew exactly what to do as far as my genitals were concerned. “You need to forget her,” she said as she reached into the cabinet.

She pulled out the last bottle of Champagne and asked me to open it. I did, and she put the bottle right to her mouth and drank like a marathon runner about to collapse. Champagne spilled out of her mouth and covered the sliver thin tee shirt over her right breast. I honestly was about to put a stop to the whole thing when she lowered the bottle and offered it to me. I demured. She shrugged and before raising the bottle to her mouth said, ‘Seriously, you need to forget her,’ and left the kitchen.

Everyone I know knows the Eugene McGorrigan story. It’s the half hour afterwards that made me move to New York.