Monday, February 9, 2009

Life After the Casting Couch? Initially, Just as Bad

I wish I could tell you that after my casting-couch ordeals, I immediately came to my senses and straightened out my life. But things aren't that simple. My life didn't change overnight. And, in fact, it initially got even stranger and even more embarrassing. Because my next relationship was with a semi-homeless man, who may or may not have been mentally challenged.

I met him at the Crenshaw Mall.

But before I describe how we met, let's talk about why I was in the mall in the first place.

I was in the mall because I practically lived in malls. My living situation with my 88-year-old great aunt had become so intolerable, my solution was to leave her house in the morning and stay gone until night. Malls were relatively quiet places where I could think, sit, read, write and just be. The little green hell house I lived in was a chaotic mess where I was monitored, insulted and pestered to death morning till night.

Living with my aunt meant dealing with an interesting cast of characters, starting with Great Aunt herself.

Every family has one person who represents glamor and success, and in my family, she was it. She was the well-to-do aunt who lived in Los Angeles and traveled the world and sent checks to my dad on holidays and special occasions. She had a Master's degree from the University of Michigan – a major feat for a black woman born in 1908. She was one of the first black school psychologists in the Los Angeles Unified School District. And last but not least, she was a natural blond with blue-green eyes. She could almost pass for white.

I'd met her on a few occasions. She had come to Detroit to visit once when I was in high school. Then, my last year in college, I came to Los Angeles to visit her on my spring break. To say I didn't know her well was an understatement. Especially after her husband's death, when she began to fall apart.

She'd been a closet alcoholic for decades. But outwardly, Great Aunt was a nice, prim, proper, well-dressed, middle-class, card-carrying member of the black bourgeoisie. And nice, prim, proper, well-dressed, middle-class, card-carrying members of the black bourgeoisie didn't have drinking problems. (That was reserved for those lower-class Negroes.)

Because she was a lady, Great Aunt didn't drink during the day. But 5 o'clock, like clockwork, the drinking would start. A glass or three of wine with dinner. Then a nightcap or 10 – hard liquor mixed with orange juice and a handful of peanuts. One after another, as many nightcaps as it took to make her pass out on her bed.

The problem was, she was starting to miss the bed and hit the floor.

The first time it happened, I had been with her less than two months. At 2 a.m., I was awakened by a sickening thud and found her in the hallway, lying in a pool of blood. A 9-1-1 call. Paramedics. An ambulance. Iodine and stitches in the emergency room.

Six months later, when I was emotionally raw from the casting couch and literally oozing slime, she fell again. This time, she busted her lip and scraped her arm.

And this time, I was accused of beating her.

(Semi-Homeless Diaries Part 1 of 12: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 | Lessons Learned 1-2: 1 2)

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2 comments:

jb said...

Hi Anita

Love your blog really it's funny and it's real. It has to be hard to live in L.A. trying to be an actor. I'm sure it's not what everyone thinks it is. I wanted to come by and thank you for the kind words, it made me happy knowing that I'm not alone out here in hurtsville my Ex fucked my life up hell.....yeah that was long but hey it's taken me this long.

I am going to read all your posts because I am pretty sure you have a good story being formed from this blog of yours. I hope you write a book for real and call it Don't be a Slut freaking awesome name for your blog beats mine by a mile.

Anyhoot please come by anytime all sluts walk on my side of the tracks....actually you know everyone needs a good slutty friend.

Huggs
JB

Cheron L. Hall said...

just...wow...

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