Colliding Worlds will return after I move or am more settled. Right now I’m choking under everything that has to be done and I have to do. I write really bad poetry that I don’t usually put in the blog. As a non-poet I feel a bit outnumbered on 3WW–so play if you write anything–and all bloggers usually do, unless the blog’s all pictures. Duh I am proud of my horrible poetry. I might…..
3WW can be found here.
Len would think about her at the oddest times: When he actually looked at the Hollywood sign, sometimes in the shower or when a 60’s star died. That last was happening with more frequency he thought without irony or awareness of age. He felt ageless. His doctors told him he was more fit than most 35 year olds. He still found it easy to meet new women. Bianca, his wife was a year younger than his youngest daughter.
Jayne had been a few classes above him in high school on Long Island. She had left for Hollywood immediately after graduating and was quickly cast as the ingenue then the lead in “B” movies. Jayne had been his best friend’s cousin’s best friend’s girl friend in high school so Len felt more than a little connection.
He contacted her immediately upon arriving in Hollywood. Like almost all women Jayne liked his looks. He only had to sleep with her three times before she introduced him to the director of her latest film. The rest as they say was history. Len’s name was changed from Leonard Abramowitz to Chase Arnold.
Chase Arnold quickly became an “A” list star. When he turned 40, he directed his first film. He became his own conglomarate. Len, as he was still called by his mother and close friends would see Jayne at parties, and studio events. Occasionally he would see her on late night TV or game shows. Jayne hadn’t survived the death of the studio as mentor and star maker.
Len didn’t feel guilty. A person did would he could to stay on top in Hollywood. He didn’t notice when he stopped seeing her at all.
Jayne’s always full breasts grew fuller. She began to look like Shelly Winter without the wit. Len heard that she was reclusive. He had no use for people who weren’t proactive.
Still he would wonder about her at the oddest times. As he grew older he even found himself thinking about getting in touch with her.
Going up the stairs to Jayne’s Hollywood apartment court was becoming too much for her. She was out of breath after the first seven stairs. Seven left to go. Melli watched Jayne struggle. When she realized that Jayne Brody was her next door neighbor she rented all of Jayne’s films. She hadn’t been prepared to realize that once Jayne wasn’t a scattered old lady with a bad word for everybody but a beautiful young talented actress.
It wasn’t hard to befriend Jayne. She needed people to get her groceries and take her to doctor’s appointments. Soon Meli grew tired of helping her. Jayne had nothing to offer. Meli thought of herself as a star of tomorrow. She would learn to play the game right. She didn’t need Jayne’s memories.
Another younger girl moved in the court and soon was escorting Jayne everywhere. Meli kept forgetting the girl’s name. Meli didn’t think she had the right look or manner to make it. Meli had been in Hollywood five years. She took many classes and supported herself by doing “under five’s” on soaps and night time series. Soon she would get a role with more than four lines. She was sure of it.
One afternoon as Meli was parking in Ralph’s parking lot, she almost backed into the next car. Apparently Jayne and the girl were coming out of the supermarket as Chase Arnold went in. She watched with deep envy as Jayne and Chase embraced. Jayne introduced him to the girl and Chase looked deeply interested.
Meli tried talking to Jayne and the girl. Jayne wouldn’t even say hello. The girl Shira Lopez was very sweet but never said more than “hi” or “bye.” They soon moved out of the court.
Meli heard that Chase Arnold was paying for Jayne to live in a condo in Santa Monica. Jayne’s old movies became celebrated. She was feted for the body of her work.
Shira had a role in Chase’s next movie. She was the star of the one after that.
“It wasn’t fair,” Meli thought, as she watched TV and ate chocolate. If she only could have stood talking to Jayne for a few months more, or realized that Shira’s exotic manner and sweet persona wasn’t an affection but real, she could have played Shira for Jayne’s friendship.
Meli stopped auditioning.She thought about killing Shira but couldn’t get near her.
She had been dead for days when her body was found. Jayne paid for Meli’s funeral.
Meli would have liked the words Jayne said about her. She wouldn’t have realized the words were taken from a part Jayne had lost to another young studio actress.
Chase could never do enough for Jayne. If it wasn’t for her he wouldn’t have met his sixth wife and love of his life, Shira.
This is dedicated to the memory of Suzanne Pleshette who wasn’t like Jayne at all. I worshipped her when I was a little girl and had to sneak around my mother to see her movies–and then she was Emily on The Bob Newhart Show. I’m probably the only woman in the world with a lifelong crush on Newhart