Memory Motel: A Rock And Roll Fantasy, Part Four Section Twenty-One: A Week At The Memory Motel
30 – Clare
Did you ever read that book “The Descendants”? George Clooney was in the movie. Anyway, at the beginning they note that the weird thing about Hawaii is that it is other peoples vacations and tourists don’t quite get that people actually live here. For me, as an Hawaiian, I’m meant to be that chick outta a Presley movie but I’m more like Courtney Love. Hawaii needs hookers too, you know. And so while Hawaii is a home where other people holiday, Cannes is the same only I’m the tourist. Partially. I love Marianne. I am really lucky, I’ve heard so many horror stories about celebrity bosses but not only dow e dig each other physically but also, we get on very well. I do my job, that’s what I’m paid to do, all the donkey work, all the booking planes and landing drugs, and playing interference, but never ina belittled way and because we had sex together, Marianne never really acts in competition with me.
We’d come to Cannes for the Film Festival and it was unseasonably warm from the get go and just got warmer and we decided to hang out. No real plans. Marianne had a new film shooting in October, so I guess the feeling was while away the summer and then off to Portland Oregon in Mid-September. There are worse things for a coupla 24 year old girls to do. We weren’t looking for romance, though we were looking for and often got our kicks. I spied Mike and Blue first, they were gorgeous in that European, white shirt and pressed suit simplicity, and yet they didn’t have a gay vibe either. There was an ease in place, almost an arrogance and easygoing ness. And they had drugs and… they weren’t impressed. They liked us, sure, they knew who Marianne was, but they didn’t really care. The problem with civilians is you can’t talk to them, they are too in awe, they keep on looking at you as though they can’t believe they’re looking at you. By you what I mean is Marianne. Marianne who was all heart shape and lithe figure, who exuded richness. Sure we know that isn’t what she is, but nobody else does. They see in her a glamorousness up closeness that had nothing to d with her inner life.
And here is why we got on well right away with Mike and Blue: they saw her, here I can say my, inner life.
They were like the poster boys of how to pick up famous chicks. No secret smiles, no inner context weighing up who gets what, no adolescent hi jinx. Mike had the calm of a star in his own right, he expected things to come to him, and he did the minimum necessary to make his interest dignified. Blue, well Blue… Blue was like everything you wanted in a man without being a Saint about it: he had a gentleness that comes from not ever pushing. I have never felt less threatened by two men, but more sexually inclined. I’m transgender, but I am more likely to end up lesbian. Men hassle me too much, both sexes are needy but men are brutal about it. Sometimes.
But these guys weren’t brutal.
It went with the sex as well, all four of us as one, no jealousy, no weirdness, no judgement, it was like four becoming one, and no one higher than the other and if Blue was our leader he was our leader without even trying to be. He was our leader without actually leading us. It was his opennesss that opened us up.
I was so poor growing up, I was so poor it wasn;t funny, so poor I went hungry. That shit changes you, it makes you different then those around you. I said changes, but I guess that’s wrong because I was always poor. It was what I knew, and it was part of who I was and did what I needed to get money. My big brothers were both in gangs and when the oldest got shot and the other got stuck in jail, it was just Mom and me. I faked ID and worked at a strip club when I was 15, and graduated to escort before I hit 18. Easy money, kids stuff. I like the topless club more than escort but I didn’t mind escort either. The topless club was like a secret society of girls, if you see what I mean. It was like, we were all in it together, all doing the same stuff, all grinding and grilling, taking suckers for a ride, get the credit car, run it up.
Backstage was a little different.
You’d think they’d be a sisterhood of sorts and there was except when there wasn’t and there wasn’t one quite often. The fights were over marks and over money and, of course, over each other. Over me. Strippers were dykes, lots of them, at least. I was straight but there was this chick called Sherry, white, 25 years old, red haired, she looked tall, all legs and smile, and friendly but she was a tough chick and she was crazy about me. I wouldn’t touch her. Then one night she came around, I was probably sixteen plus at the time, a year into topless dancing, and I was backstage and some chick was helping me with my make up and Sherry stormed in and said. “Clare, wanna do a double? This guy is all AMEX Black, Black Jack Daniels. Wanna send the fuck to paradise.” I wasn’t a virgin, a coupla of my brothers friends, but no one I really liked, but I hadn’t gone with a girl yet and I hadn’t fucked for money. They didn’t like it in the club. A Double was nothing, we grinded a little and touched other up while he jerked off.
“What’s the tip?” I asked.
“A grand each for an hour,” she replied .
“Well, that will get your attention, won’t it? Sure, yeah. Cash?
“Let’s do it anyway.”
Sherry was in a silver bikini and heels, and I was in a mini skirt and bra and heels. And the guy looked as though his head was gonna fall off. He was married, in town for a convention, he had that real paid look: all rolex watches and cocaine sweats. We all did a coupla of lines and Sherry, who was talkative at the best of times, was talking really dirty, and not for him for me. She was touching me and whispering how hot I was and how much she wanted me. It wasn’t enough for Rolex. He wanted us to make out, like tongue kiss. I said no. He offered us a grand a piece. I still said no. Sherry said she’d give me her thou. I said yes.
So we made out and something clicked in me, I discovered I liked kissing girls.
Later that night, she paid me another grand took me to her place and we had sex. From then on I spent half my life with her fingers up me.
That was that. We were inseparable and the money began to really flow. We put our picture on Seeking Arrangement and we just went from their and Sherry really loved me. Loved me enough to be the first person to offer me a future. I took a course in make up and when Sherry went back to LA I joined her. My mom was up in arms about me leaving but I never much liked her. She never asked where all those dollars came from every night, did she? Fuck her.
I was eighteen in LA and we were working topless, some high end escort on the side, and I was getting the occasional gig doing makeup, and it took two years and a break up with Sherry, for me to get my next big break. My friend Daryl had graduated from escort to acting, and asked if I wanted to be her make up person. That was a great gig, it was like aces. It showed how much Daryl both liked and trusted me because while if anybody actually wanted to know Daryl’s future past, it wasn’t that difficult, still why trouble trouble?
It was my first taste of being an assistant, though a little low on the totem pole, it had perks galore. We spent our lives at nightclubs and in greenrooms. It was like royalty, a whole other world. Fucking pop stars and actors, taking drugs, always partying, always ready for work the next day. I was dating the lead singer of a Saddlecreek indie band but it wasn’t serious and I spent little time with him: it was like a conceptual boyfriend, and I was partying like crazy, a steady died of alcohol, ecstasy, speed and coke. It was a blast. Until it wasn’t. In late December 2024, I was at the end. One last party and I collapsed. I called Daryl and asked for some time off to detox. I was losing my looks, and I was looking my skills. I needed to stop. So I stopped. Lay in bed for one day, two days, sweating it out, all that poison losing my system. On the third day I got a call from Daryl’s assistants boyfriend. They’d been a car accident. They were all dead. Daryl and all the friends I usually hung out with. First I cried, and then I fucked the guy, and then he introduced me to Marianne, and I segued into her crew as her assistant.
Marianne was a little different.
From that very first night as we sat at the bar in a very loud club and knocked back shots, there was an affinity between us. We connected. But not as you might think, we fell into a pattern, she lead I followed. I knew of her of course, seen her in the big production movies and in the indies, seen her earlier than that on kids programs, and later, as the love interest. We were the same age, 22, and we were the same generation: there was something of the true millennium about us. Hell, we were born after 9-11. We were futurists, we were the future. And we were lovers, sexual compatriots. That first night was one long seduction, a collection of caresses and half-lingering moments. I’ve never been more lesbian in my life than I was that night. I wanted to have sex with this woman, I’d always found her sexy and I wanted her and I wasn’t sure, wasn’t absolutely completely on the money, but I thought maybe. We did coke till 8am when they kicked us out and we went to a diner on Sunset and had breakfast and more shots and more shots and finally back to Marianne’s place, a tony area, expensive, somewhere in the hills and she didn’t kiss me till we got inside her bedroom but she kissed me there.
That was 14 months ago and we were inseparable from that night on yet we weren’t inseparable lovers, we weren’t mutually exclusive at all, and, really what happened was Marianne hired me as her assistant and I took that osition very seriously, and the sex was on the side of that, yes we fucked most nights but we didn’t share a room. And we both went with other guys and when Marianne got called over for the Cannes Film festival, to do a little schmoozing for a SONY picture she was signed up for in October, I went with her.
We both noticed the guys at the same time and they had that aura about them, they looked not just hot but hot and cool with an edge and when we spoke to them, it was obvious and I can’t believe I am crying now as we say our goodbyes. Mike was arrogant, Blue was confident, both of them were kind, both of them had lived in eyes,a nd a certain gentleness about them, but Blue was one of those guys you never meet who just, you wanna be around him. If things we normal, I’d have eded yup with Mike. Mike had a toughness and a way of being very direct without aggressive. The guys were young, our age, but they didn’t act young. I guess we didn’t either.
We’d spent the day hiding from the rain and the next day the heatwave was dead so we didn’t go to the beach. We got in Blue’s car and drove to Monaco and then from the hills down to Monte Carlo, where we ate at an outdoor restaurant and teenage American tourists went gaga over Mariane. She took it in her stride, stood for some selfies, told her them she was on vacation, and got rid of them. In LA, fans could be a pain, but in the South of Europe, this sort of ultra rich area, much less so. Then we ran into this woman, Mike just smiled up at her, a smile I hadn’t seen before. Apparently, there had been some sort of car accident the other dy, neither of the guys had mentioned it. Mike picked up the woman’s child and hugged her, handed her to Blue. Blue just kissed it, and it seemed significant and I didn’t get the significance but it felt like there was something hidden I wasn’t aware of. The woman drew up a chair and joined us in a glass of wine and then she was gone, and Mike looked after her, wistfully, sort of like a shade of a hidden past neither of us was aware of. It brought a sort of sadness to the party and then Blue said, “We’re leaving tomorrow.” Not just Marianne and me, but Mike as well seemed surprised. “Vacations end, you know. It is sad but you will have to continue the summer without us.”
“Please don’t go,” Marianne said. “I am really happy and that isn’t easy for me.” I just nodded my head. “Why can’t we spend the summer, why can’t we spend our lives mixed together like this? Why does it need to end. Can’t we be like this forever?”
Blue just shook his head. “Don’t make such heavy weather, kid. We’ll meet again.”
“When?” I asked.
“When it is over.”
“What is over.”
Blue just stopped speaking and looked at us and I don’t know what I understood except I understood one thing, for sure. This conversation was over. Blue drove as the sunset behind us and we sat quietly, listening to 80s disco, and then, Mike picked up the Iphone, put on some jazz. I asked who it was. Johnny Harman and John Coltrane. I’d never heard of them but I would from now on, maybe I’d listen to nothing else but. I’d like to die to this music and I felt like I was dying. I lit a cigarette and suddenly we were all smoking and the mood was so 1950s, I felt like I’d time travelled. And I thought, whatever I remember about the last four days I’d remember this more and more. I could imagine myself daydreaming myself, when I’m old, a Grandmother, Great Grandmother, remembering having been so young and beautiful and solemn and heartbroken, I would never forget this wonderful ache of sound, Marlboro Red, the smooth ride, like floating on wheels, the quiet because we were all so sad. I could remember it all when I was 80 year years old. “It’s wonderful, wonderful…”
That night was so sad, less Blue who seemed cool but not unkind, but Marianne, Mike and me, we were quiet. We had sex and then stopped, went down to the hotel bar, and sat around drinking, no mood for the clubs, no mood for the cool night air, no mood even to talk really. Nothing to say. We slowly wandered out of the hotel zigzagging down backstreets till we found a bar, mostly empty, started drinking. There was a big piano and Mike sat behind it, started playing a melody, I didn’t recognize it but he kept on playing, and it was sad and quiet and he played it softly, and then he began to sing. They’d be leaving soon. We’d go home and sleep and when we awoke they’d be gone. But I’d always have that moment, Mike singing to us in an empty bar…
“She sang a song to me, stuck right in my brain
You’re just a memory of a love that used to be
You’re just a memory of a love that used to mean so
Much to me.”
After they left I looked up the song and with the shock of fear I realized Mike was Mick Jagger’s double. A young Mick Jagger but definitely, Mick Jagger. I ran into Marianne and showed her the picture of Mick in 1965. “His son,” Marianne claimed. “It must be his son.”
So we looked up Mick Jagger’s family on line and was shocked to realize that woman at the restaurant in Monte Carlo was Jagger’s daughter, and the little girl his Granddaughter. “But if it was Mick wouldn’t they recognize it as Mick?” I asked.
“That makes no sense. It isn’t Mick Jagger, for one thing he would be over 80 years old if he was alive and for another thing, he isn’t alive.”
“Then what, Marianne? How is this possible? It isn’t unless…”
Marianne began to laugh, not cruelly but really. “Darling, you don’t believe in God, where would you get ghosts from…”
“I don’t know, I don’t know but that was Mick Jagger…”
Marianne sat down next to me and help my hand between hers, and calmed me down. “I know you’re hurt, I’m hurt too. They were just two guys, just two guys who spent a week with us at the Memory Motel and now they’ve gone.”