xxjane by alisa

The radio woke me, ‘Jane Says’ by Janes Addiction was playing which cracked me up, ‘...she starts to cry, she takes a swing, but, she can't hit!’ That song reminds me of the time I socked Joe and broke my hand. I sort of laughed thinking of that as I was getting dressed and left the house quite silently so I wouldn't wake my mother.

I put my car in neutral and let it roll backwards out of our steep driveway, pushed in the clutch and started rolling down the hill. Let her pick up some gravity then popped the clutch in second and spun a one-eighty in front of my neighbor, Anne. She was out picking up her paper. She waved.

She is my mother's best friend. Anne used to have a kid. I was pretty good friends with him. Went out with him actually; he died a couple years ago. Nick was his name. Nicky... got cakked by a drunk on his motorcycle. The guy did a U-turn in front of him and BAM. That was the end of Nicky. My mom thought I was traumatized so I had to go and see a shrink for a couple months. I went. About a year, really. It was alright I guess but I thought it was Anne who should have gone. She was a mess. She would come over and sit on the veranda with Mom and drink Johnny Walker.

I drove over to my boyfriend Joe's house and sat in the driveway gunning the engine so he would know I was there. Joe lives on Hawthorne, only a mile from us. It's a fabulously ritzy neighborhood we live in and it makes me want to make noise; especially at eight on Sunday morning. He came out looking sleepy and gorgeous, wearing a towel. ‘Why are you up so early?’ I took him back to his bedroom and made love; the reason I was up so early.

I've been seeing Joe for a long time. Almost a year, I guess. His mother Jackie hates me. She says it's because I'm Wild. But I know the real reason behind her resentment. It's because she doesn't like my mom. They went to school together in the eighties. They used to be in the same clique and smoked allot of pot, according to my mom. Mom says that Jackie is unstable. Who isn't? I avoid her. Who needs your boyfriends cracked out mother snooping around? Even if I am ‘Wild.’ That cracks me up.

We don't have to worry about Jackie waking up in the morning. She dances with wolves all night, if you know what I mean. Joe and I used to raid her stash but I don't like downers anymore. Grew out of it I guess. We fell asleep until eleven, then his alarm went off. I had a private laugh over that, Joe is so lazy. But I didn't say it because he hears it from his mother all the time.

He went to see if Jackie had left for work so we could walk around naked. I went into his bathroom. Joe has this fantastic, humongous, walk in shower and I love it.

Joe comes in smoking a joint. I don't know how he can smoke pot in the morning. It makes me paranoid, like I hate being inside my own head. Hate the way I think, it's weird. I quit smoking pot two years ago. Started smoking cigarettes instead, I just wanted something to smoke.
I don't know if I love Joe. Don't even begin to get judgmental, I'm only seventeen. Sometimes I adore him. Like this morning with his perfect body, kind of tired, exactly buffed, sliding into the shower with me; sudsing me up in a slow sumptuous lather. Did you ever notice that when you take a shower with a man parts of you get much cleaner than others?

Yea, for this moment, this cozy, steamy, mid-morning shower, I loved Joe like I occasionally do. It was nice. Then it was noon and I wanted to go to the beach and browse my favorite bookstore. Joe smokes another joint and starts to dress like a somnambulist. He takes out socks and a T-shirt and mentions the animation festival.

Yea, that could be fun. He kisses me...takes off my dress, my G-string, my bra....OK, sex again. I'm not as into it this time, I'm anxious to do something with my day but he wears me down. He is soft and hard and relentless. He holds my wrists, and altho' I could stop him I don't. He bites my neck, sort of rough, like I want. And he kisses my eyes, I love that. Caught unguarded for the moment, you feel the the rise, those seconds where you become an animal, forget everything else pertaining to your entire fucking life but your immediate pleasure; the ultimate selfish moment. So we kill another half an hour rolling around.

Then my phone goes off. ‘Hand me that, babe.’ I gnaw on his bicep as he digs for the phone from my clothes on the floor. I love Joe so much when we're in bed. Madly, completely, like a little baby only it doesn't last when we're apart. I worry about this. Makes me think I'm psycho but right now I am loving him, so it's OK.

I dial back. ‘Mom it's me. What's up?’ ‘Jane I thought you were going to wait for the Appraiser!’ Oh God. I had forgotten I was supposed to take this real-estate geek out to the beach complex. I covered. ‘I thought I was supposed to meet him at two?’ ‘He's been here fifteen minutes, you know weekends are impossible! Jesus Jane, get over here immediately!’

This is my perfect nightmare. I didn't want to do it again but now that we have I want to lay around for awhile and relax. Fuck. ‘Tell him I'll be there in five minutes.’ I started to dress. Yea...I forget things; that's a problem. I think I'll outgrow it.

I know it seems like a teenage rebellion thing but it's not. I love my mom. I'd do anything for her. We are more like sisters than Mother-Daughter. I just can't get into this sales thing, it's boring. I take these rich dorks out to the canyon and they either bitch about everything or love it. Either way, I just put on a cute face and agree with everything they say, then direct them to Mom for the hard sell. She's good. She's the master.

Joe is falling asleep, the bastard, and I'm jealous. I get dressed, give him a quick snuggle and split. (Sliding a very nice ninety out of Jackie's driveway - I just like her to know I was there.) I got home in 140 seconds, I timed it.

Mom was in the kitchen with the guy. ‘Jane, meet Richard Riker. This is my daughter, Jane.’ He shook my hand. ‘I've got a class in ten minutes, so I'm running. Sorry to dash like this. Jane you know where the keys are.’  And she was gone. We sort of looked at each other for a minute. ‘I'll just be a second,’ I said and went to get the condo keys.

The drive out to the beach was nice but I was feeling a little sorry for myself having to spend the afternoon doing this. Once we got there it was fun, `tho. Richard was really interesting. He told me he had just moved back to the states from London. He lived over there for a year so we had something in common to talk about. When he was done checking out the place, I figured I'd just blast off back to my place, drop him off, then catch the animation festival with Joe. But he asked me to lunch and I thought, why not?

We went to Garcia's on the wharf. I ordered a Bloody Mary when we sat down. I was kind of expecting him to say something about me being a minor but he was oblivious. He drank coffee. We had salads and shrimp cocktails. I started to tell him about Joe then didn't for some reason.

When we finished, I took him down to Small World Books. I love that bookstore, it's so cozy and comfortable. He asked me if I’d ever read James Joyce and I had to laugh. I was trying to get Joe to read ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ awhile ago and he just could not get into it at all. Richard told me that when he was young he loved Dylan Thomas. Which is cool but it made me stop a minute and think about how old he was. It was just the way he said it... ‘When I was young I remember reading Adventures in the Skin Trade, I loved that book.’ I poked a little fun at him and asked him just how ancient he was. ‘I'm forty.’ Five years older than my mom.

He bought me a copy of the Dylan Thomas book and we left.

 

I didn't want to come all the way out to the beach without at least dipping my toes in the dirty old Pacific so we strolled down to the water and took our shoes and socks off. It was nice. When I was driving home, I started to think of what it would be like to have sex with him. I wasn't planning on seducing him or anything but he struck me you know?  I mean, I meet a lot of people and I hardly ever like any of them. Richard seemed so vulnerable and sweet. And older.

There's something about the power of sex that is such a turn on. I don't mean that in a kinky or a sadistic way but power like chemistry, charisma, animal attraction, call it what you will. I remember being twelve and standing at the bus stop. A car of guys drove by and yelled out the window at me. It was the first time I realized that I was attractive to men as a sex object. Finally I was a woman, not a kid. It was weird. It bothers me now, the incessant cat calls and wolf whistles but it was a real eye opener then. I sort of experimented with it that year. How men reacted to me. It was invariably predictable. The more I learned about it, the more fun it was.

But I never did anything about it. My friends were having sex but I couldn't find the right moment. I wanted to do it, I even felt like I was the only one who was still a virgin; but I wanted my first time to be memorable. Anyway, I was thinking this as I drove home and when we pulled into the drive (I left six feet of rubber) I put my hand on Richards leg and told him I had a great time. He looked like he had been shot or slapped or something. He stammered ‘I had fun too Jane, uh, thanks for spending the day with me,’ and practically bolted out of my car.

That did it. I really wanted him then. I mean, it was so cute, how shy he was. I went in and flicked on the TV. I called Joe and his phone was off. I remember when I was seeing Nicky, back a couple years ago. I fell for this guy who was older than me. Steve.
We worked together on this job in Paris. I always love guys when I'm with them. It's so simple and easy. We're together; ‘I adore you,’ I say and I mean it. But then the job is over, you know and that's the end of it. Well not this particular time. He called, he wrote, he sent flowers and plane tickets. It's not that I was trying to dump him cold or be a tease but I had things to do. And it was kind of freakish the way he pursued me. And I was in love with Nicky.

Finally, he came out to see me and we had a scene. He called me a bitch and slapped me. He said that I had ruined his life and how could I do this to him. Why didn't I love him?  Didn't I realize our relationship was more than a fling?  He never met anyone like me, he couldn't live without me. Bla bla bla. I mean honestly dude, get a grip. Nightmare.

I think about him. I think about all my old lovers. I like them all. Even Steve, in a weird way. I don't hold grudges. How could you sleep with someone, share the most intimate part of your body and mind and then just cut them off without a backward glance? A backward thought?  I can't. But sometimes it gets too serious.

Guys I saw in London always looked at me as if I were an adult. I mean, literally. I was emancipated so I didn't have to deal with child labor laws, Dad ignored me and I lied to everyone. I made money, I was well traveled and street wise. But you know, I was still a kid. I guess they just didn't want to think about it. Or maybe I wouldn't let them. I can be awfully convincing. I could have put some guys in jail, that's for sure. I see this stuff about child abuse and I know it's serious and bla bla but for me, its like, just the opposite. I have all this guilt about all the men I've manipulated. The men I've totally used. Emotionally, sexually then waivers.

I'm different now. Technically I'm still a kid maybe but not in my head. I went through this phase where I really wanted men to want me. I wanted to see how far they would go to fuck me. Such a turn on. My shrink told me I was in denial over Nicky's death. That seemed pretty strange. She also told me I was angry at my father, which I agreed with.

‘Jane Says...’  My mind wanders. I go off into Jane Land and think about what might have been. What if I would have loved Steve in Paris the way he loved me? What if Nicky was still alive? What if Dad was still around? I wonder if they still love me. I wonder if they still want me. Sometimes I think of Nicky late at night and I can't sleep. I go into Mom's stash and swipe a couple sleeping pills to get over it. He told me he would always love me. He told me we would be old gangsta grandparents swinging on the porch when we were eighty, listening to Snoop and Massive Attack, telling our grandchildren about the Good `ol Days. I think about that. Nicky had the softest lips.

I didn't see Richard again for three days, then he stopped by to talk to Mom. I was on the phone with Joe. I told him I had to call him back and went into the kitchen where they were. Richard had papers for mom and she was reading over them. I sat down at the table and asked him how his week was going. ‘Fine thanks,’ he said. He looked at me casually so as not to alert my mother but I felt every thought. He wanted me. I suppose he thought he was hiding it, that subtle strip search. I found his card in her wallet later that afternoon. I called his house expecting voice mail but he answered.

‘Hi, it's Jane’
‘Hi.’
‘I've been thinking about you, what are you doing?’
‘Ah...nothing…’
‘Wanna go out?’

That's all it took, as expected. He told me he would come pick me up for lunch but I said I would meet him at his house. I got there about an hour later. It was in Nichols Canyon. I know this is going to seem sleazy but I totally seduced him. I put my arms around him and pressed my body against his. He didn't have a chance. He's a good lover. Different. I love having sex with a new guy for the first time. But after, I felt weird and took off. I told him I had a hair appointment. I drove around on Mulholland and chain smoked. Then my cell went off. It was Mom so I drove home.

‘Theresa called, she wants you to call her back.’ Theresa is my agent.
‘Joe called too.’ Then I felt guilty.
I called Theresa and got put on hold. I hung up. I figure she'll call when she gets off the line. Then I rang Joe. Jackie answered. I hate it when she picks up his phone. I mean, why does he have his own line if she is going to be all over it? I hung up on her.

I was on the kitchen phone and Mom sat there looking at me expectantly.
‘She wasn't in.’
‘Remember what we talked about.’
Yea yea, bla bla.

Mom and I have this little battle happening over my career. She want's me to finish school and go to college. She thinks I should stop print and the couture season and just do commercials and shit at home. I have to remind her that it was HER idea that I model in the first place. I was three years old my first job; as if it was my choice. Now I like it and I love Europe. I can't get that kind of work in LA and Mom absolutely refuses to let me live in New York. Dot. And I do have to see Dad sometime. He at least always acts happy to see me.

I see her point however about having a good career. The whole reason she got me into the business in the first place was so I could make Ivy money and go to a good college. Well, we go over and over it. I figure, I've got another three to five years before I'm too old to model anymore, then school. Mom is a spaz. It's fine for me to do middle school and High school with tutors and now suddenly I need college the minute I turn eighteen.

Then Theresa calls me back and it's an audition tomorrow for Toyota. I take the info. Perfect, a commercial in LA so we can put the discussion on hold. I go up to my room and take a shower; and I am thinking of Richard. I call him from the phone in my room, but I get his machine. I hang up. Then I have to laugh, because I've been hanging up all over the place.

I call Joe again and he picks up, finally.
‘Hi.’
‘Hi, did you just hang up on Jackie?’
‘No.’
‘Wanna go to Justin's for a barbecue?’
‘Yea.’
‘I'll come get you.’
‘K...Bye.’
‘Bye.’

Justin is Joe's friend and he is hysterical. His parents have a house in Malibu and he lives out there all summer. I can't believe they let him, he is so wild. A lot of my friends wreck shit; their parents' cars and houses. They go to concerts and get in fights, get wasted, get arrested. I never had that thing going with Mom. When Dad left, it was us against him and it made us really close. When we got out to Justin's there were about thirty people there. Everyone was doing X and I really wanted to but my face breaks out and I had that audition, so I skipped. Joe took some.

‘Rape me, my friend...’  Nirvana was blasting. Joe was dancing hippie, the gang was non-teligent. I walked out to the beach, the surf was high, deadly. I had all these ghastly geeky, sketch jones private eye, drug store novel thoughts ghosting around. I felt like crying suddenly. I get so stupid. Sometimes I think of him so severely, so horrid and awful. I don't know how two years has gone by. I don't know how I can be so alone. Beautiful Nicky, I miss you! Fucking leave me, fucking die. Bastard. So I sit on the beach and cry like a skitz. I don't know how it flashes over me. What sets this off?  Shit. All I know is I feel like dying too.

Nicky. I can see him he is so annoying. He is spraying me with their yard hose and I throw the plastic garbage can at him; we are ten. My mother catches us making out in her car; we are twelve. A couple years pass. Nick's birthday, he's fifteen, he gets a dirt bike and we went out to the point. I always wanted to have my first time with him. He knew it too I told him. He had hooked up with MG that year. At the time it was, like this big breakup. But we knew, deep down, it was us. It was destiny.

We got out to the point and half the school was there. They had a dozen bonfires and the stoners were night surfing. It was beautiful. We had burgers and smoked a ton of weed, drank some beer. Snagged a blanket off of Anthony and Sarah's truck, drifted off. Up on the cliff. We could see the fires and hear everyone slightly, softly. Nicky took off my clothing and kissed me, like he always kissed me. Only it was different. Like we knew we had been building up to this. Like we knew it was all practice and finally this was it. I thought it would hurt, but he kissed me so soft. And he went down on me forever. Not like the usual; you know...do me, do you, more urgently so that I was wanting him more than ever, more than I ever had. And he got on top of me, resting his weight on his arms. Someone was blasting ancient REM on the beach. I lost my virginity to 'Radio Free Europe.'  Then we laid there for awhile and he asked me if I still loved him. I laughed and said yes. Nicky always said the right thing.

'Jane, wake up.' And Joe is shaking me, I fell asleep in the hammock on the porch. He is still flying, so I drive home. I feel sad and desperate. We get back to his house at around four.

We go to his bedroom and make love. It's mellow, sweet and relaxed. I know he's still rolling and how great that feels, so I make it special. I can't get over this melancholy and I cry as we fuck. It's so demented but I can't stop. I don't make any noise and wipe the tears away so he doesn't know. I get up and take off quite quietly the next morning. Joe looks so sweet when he's sleeping. His eyelashes are really long, his skin is so soft. I felt like I really loved him then. I thought about how beautiful he is and how good he treats me.

I went to the audition and then called my therapist, Dr. Silverstein. She is cool, I haven't seen her in a million years and she's like, 'Is two o'clock alright?' I mean, I feel so fucked up that I can hardly think. I feel like I could pull an Elvis and soak up a years worth of downers in a weekend. I'm so fucking sad.

My shrink says that my sleeping with Richard was some Freudian, father bullshit and my dreams about Nicky are part of the healing process. Bla bla bla. I don't know what I expected exactly but it was something other than that. She asks if I love Joe. I say yes, I guess. Sometimes. I've figured that out by myself. So not much help and a hundred fifty less. Not that I care. And I wonder will I feel this way forever? I'm only seventeen.

 
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