My Week with K — Part 2
When I arrived at his suite he was wearing only a robe, his hair was wild, and he had for him a terrified expression on his face which was really pale. The girl of the night was not to be seen which only raised my anxiety about what was going on here in the middle of the night..
I asked what the problem was and for his answer he opened his robe completely. Not something for the faint of heart, and definitely not for viewing at 1am. Again, still have the nightmares.
The problem was that K had taken some type of Viagra alternative at about 6pm and the reaction he was hoping for was not quick enough. Therefore at 630pm he had taken another one. Still nothing. Thinking this alternative was weaker than Viagra, he then proceeded to take several at once. He was unsure how many, but perhaps 4 or 5 more which were in addition to the original two. 7 hours after his first pill, he was still good to go as he proceeded to show me repeatedly as he never tied his robe again. (Thanks for sharing) He thought a depressant might work, but having none, he proceeded to quickly drink four or five tumblers of whiskey. Nothing happened and the matter was becoming more painful.
What made K call me was the girl’s suggestion that he call a doctor. He had no intention to call a doctor and instead wanted me to call and pretend I was suffering from the ailment. So, I called down to the concierge who wanted to know why I needed a doctor and if he could be of any help. He then wanted to know my affliction so he could direct me to a doctor who handled that type of case and was still available. Meanwhile I have K right next to me and I am inhaling his essence while he keeps asking me what the concierge and then doctor are saying. After I told the concierge I overdosed on Viagra he gave me the number of someone who could help. The number went to an answering service and so I had to leave a message explaining my problem and give my cell # because K did not want it coming to his hotel room.
So we waited. And waited. First standing, and then sitting. He went to check on the girl who I later saw. She was about mid twenties but no matter of darkness or makeup could hide the fact she had a hard life and being with K was not going to make it much smoother. We waited until 2am still without the problem going down so to speak. Finally the doctor calls and I have to pretend I am some hopped up Viagra freak who has had an erection for 8 hours. Meanwhile I again have K constantly asking what the doctor is saying. I am having trouble hearing and so turn to K and say the doctor thinks they may have to stick a needle in your dick and drain the blood. Seriously, the look on his face was priceless. Yes, those MasterCard commercials talk about priceless, but this one was the best. I will never see quite that look again in my life, but it really made the whole week worthwhile.
I let K off the hook and tell him it is possible but unlikely that a needle will soon be draining the blood from his member, and that the solution is actually five feet away. The ice bucket. I tell K to soak his private areas in ice and it should go down. He asks me to do it for him, and I tell him absolutely no way. He does make me stay though to make sure the remedy works and to take him to the doctor if it does not. He grabs a washcloth, fills it with ice and then proceeds to ice himself down. The first touch brings out a scream from him and the girl from the next room. She is dressed, takes one look at the situation and tells K she needs to go. For once, K is basically quiet and thanks her and she leaves. Within 15 minutes the swelling is down and K is back to normal.
Normal in this situation means blustery, arrogant and drunk. I tell him I will see him in the morning and leave.
The next morning I was exhausted, but K was actually looking healthy. It was amazing to me that he could drink as much as he did everyday and night and go through what he had the previous night and still look ready to do it all over again. Have I mentioned his breath? Toothbrush? Not so much. The breath was either coffee or liquor and when he had neither, I got a morning hello to end all morning hellos. By this point in the week I had already discovered this toe curling fact and so came prepared with coffee.
K begins to launch into a spiel about how he learned something from what happened the previous night and that he was going to have to reassess things. I assumed he meant that he would maybe cut back on the indulgences and just being so over the top. The situation was almost like a parody. It was something you had to see to believe. Instead what he said was something like he was going to have to explore this further.
Originally this day was supposed to be the last day he spent in the office and so arrangements had been made for lunch. People wanted to be with him, but most important in LA, be seen with him. This was a situation K thrived on. As disgusting as he could be in close quarters or in private, he was completely the opposite in public. Lunch was at The Ivy, and if you are not familiar with The Ivy, look back at my old posts and there is a description of it. The entire party was on the patio and K was charming and gracious and showed remarkable self-control when it came to his drinking. I realized later that this was about the only acting K did anymore and to him it was a performance. Most of the people in the group had not been with him all week and so this is what their image of K was. He played it perfectly and you could just see and feel his presence and knew right then how he had been such a huge star. He was portraying his own stereotype and it really was enthralling to watch. He was a star again, if only for a lunch.
The fun started after lunch on the way back to the office. On the way to lunch he had acquiesced, and had traveled with the powers to be in a limo. Now, however he was back in my car, and the drinking began immediately. Prior to lunch he had ordered me to buy his afternoon bottle of whiskey and to bring it with me in the car. By the time I sat down in the drivers seat, it was out of the bag, uncapped and the first swallow had gone down his throat.
The ride back was surreal. He basically replayed lunch out loud for me even though I was right there the whole time. After every sentence was a swallow of whiskey and by the time we got back to the office it was gone. He was flying now, and since he knew he was going to be back for one more day just wanted me to return him to the hotel, AFTER we stopped by the liquor store. In the morning one of the secretaries kept talking about sushi and tempura (she got a raise) and K was hooked. Japanese was on the menu that night and what do you know there was a lovely little place inside his hotel.
I was ecstatic to drop him off. A whole afternoon of his calls and molesting of the females in the office was not going to happen. Only one more day, and a trip to the airport and he was gone. What could go wrong? 2am phone calls are never good. It is generally when people stagger out of bars and drunk driving arrests made. I dread these calls because invariably someone is either in jail or needs a ride or both.
The noise on the other end of the phone was deafening and K’s voice was even louder. He always came close to yelling whenever he spoke on the phone and because it was so loud in his hotel room, this time his voice was reaching epic proportions. He needed me he said to come right over because there was an emergency and that since I had done so well last night, I should be able to help tonight. And on my way over I should pick up some booze as well. I told K everything would be closed and he screamed booze was needed and to use my imagination.
This week I am talking about happened a couple of years ago now and so I would probably not take this kind of abuse anymore. I say probably, because you just never know sometimes what you will do. Sometimes you just smile and play nice and sometimes you just choose to not represent that person anymore or not even start in the first place. If I could go back in time to the guy who got the 15 year old pregnant, I would probably choose not to represent him and when they came back the second time, I did say no. Anyway.
I ransacked the bar at my place and gathered up my liquor bottles. Somehow a bottle of brandy broke in the car and actually the smell was quite pleasant until it had a chance to soak into everything. When I got to the hotel, there was no valet around so I had to park my car on the street and then lug these grocery bags filled with liquor down the street while the smell of the brandy wafted off of me just like K and his whiskey.
I could hear the party while still IN the elevator. I cannot imagine anyone on K’s floor being happy about the noise, but he would have just told everyone off if they came to the door and the management was not going to call the police. The door was propped open with a shoe and when I walked in, the temperature was about 20 degrees warmer than the hallway and the smell of smoke was everywhere. There were about 10 people there. Six aging men in various stages of drunkenness and undress were there along with four women who were MUCH younger and who looked as if they might do this type of event for a living.
As I looked again at the men I recognized two of them immediately. One had been in a movie with K that I remembered and the other was someone whose presence floored me. (And really no matter the condition I saw him in, it was someone I had always wanted to meet. Even more A list than K. That person has passed away now, but I still remember seeing him there for the first time) I did not really comprehend what I was seeing because it was as if I stepped back twenty years before when they were all in their prime. That night they were definitely not in their prime and not suitable for film at all. The other men I did not recognize but they were all people from K’s past who were still in the business (although I did not know them) or had been.
The “emergency” was simply that the bartender the hotel had provided had gone home and they needed a replacement. Yes, that is right. K called me at 2am to have me come over and be a bartender. (And of course bring the liquor) Further, I was to be the chauffeur for the six men at the end of the night and whatever of the men chose to bring one of the young women home with them. Why should they call a cab when I was there to take them home. The fact that my car would be lucky to hold four of them at a time was irrelevant. One man even suggested I take him home in his car and then call a cab and come back to the hotel and repeat until everyone was home. Luckily no one really thought that was necessary except for him. I was actually just shocked that they were concerned about drunk driving.
So from 2am until about 4am I played bartender and then chauffeur. I also watched a bunch of old men grope, fondle, and make fools of themselves around women that were in some cases a third their age and also a third their size. It turned out that some people did not need a ride home because they did not have wives to go home to and so they just wanted to remain at the party with the booze and the ladies. When I came back from my last trip at about 430am or so, K, one of his cronies, and the “hero” were all sitting around in their boxers and t-shirts eating breakfast. Here were two screen legends eating plates of food with hardly any civility at all. Spilling it on themselves, swearing, telling stories and looking nothing like a screen legend while also saying how much the women had loved them that night. There were just such a range of emotions that night about what I was seeing and hearing.
I left shortly thereafter, and when I back to the hotel about 7am, K was there waiting, looking dapper in a fresh suit, but the rest of him was still K. We spent all that day together and at the end of the day I gave him a ride to the airport and made sure he was taken care of by someone from the airline. I then said goodbye and really never expected to hear from K again. This lasted about a week.
For the next year or so I was on K’s calling list about once every two weeks or so. The calls could come at any time of the day or night depending on where in the world K was and what he was doing. Now I was part of his stories. I am still on his call list, but now the calls are probably once every 4 or 5 months. I think when I changed my cell number one time he took it personal. Also he has other stories and other calling friends now. But when that phone rings and I hear him yelling at someone before he even says hello I kind of think about that week and how it is kind of a microcosm for all things Hollywood.
Everything is fake but at the same time everything is real and sometimes you really just want the illusion to remain and not peek behind the curtain and see the wizard or in this case a guy with fried egg yolk all over his clothes while he is smoking a cigar and drinking. That week was my first up close and intense look at the reality in Hollywood and I have shared with you other stories that just have reinforced that shattered image of it that I deal with on a daily basis.