Evening at the Cryo-Crystal Circus Hotel: Excerpt from Men Undressed: Women Writers and the Male
By Rachel Resnick
October 03, 2011
Fuck me with a leather-clad fist, I was one focused dude. After seven days, seven nights, and forty-nine twilights, I wrote finis, printed Blood Wedding Redux, and slapped the binder shut. I, Chip, raging sex addict, fuck-up and canyon stud, had managed to play shut-in for one whole week. The entire time I channeled Lorca by way of Kubrick in a cinematic lovefest. Brought that project to the twentieth dimension. I couldn’t wait to see my fiancée, Zoe, the whip-smart femme fatale P.I. with the vice-grip pussy.
Only—what do you know? The night I wrapped the screenplay, Zoe was busy, searching for clues for that damn case of hers in a stack of files on the epileptic catamite Dakota, the lying stripper. On her own deadline. “I’m sorry, Chipolaki. You go celebrate. Opa! You deserve it.”
Yes, I did. Didn’t I. Opa ropa dopa. Dakota Stinkota. I’m sick of Dakota. I hoped Dakota’s fake tits exploded.
Zoe didn’t understand how big a deal this was because—well, ’cuz I hadn’t exactly told her. I couldn’t expect her to drop everything. But I was still kinduv sore. Hadn’t even shagged in a week. A week! I know, I know. Chip the baby. His majesty the infant. Shaking his pink baby fists at the world. Whatever. It was an eternity.
Buzzed from finishing the script, ready for a real drink or two, or a few, restless and a tad irritated, a touch horny, I drove Lightning into Santa Monica before sunset and hit the posh Cryo-Crystal Circus Hotel right on the beachfront.
This would make it all right.
Neo-mod architecture, prolly by the same guy who did the landmark Randy’s Donut with some help from Gaudi, the Cryo-Crystal or Triple C as it was known, was novelty itself. A giant refrigerator, seven stories high, built from sleek burnished steel. There was even a simulated fridge-glow bleeding diffuse light from the building seams. Visible at night. But somehow it all worked. Maybe it was the proximity to the world-famous pier, the way the pier’s carnival lights glanced off the fridge’s polished sides, mixed with the moonlight and building glow. Maybe it was the perfect geometry of the architecture. The calculus of home appliances writ large.
The place came to life at night. I wanted to be there before. Ready. Braced for the magic. Let someone else do the conjuring tonight. I was spent.
From the beach entrance to the hotel, when dark fell, light-reflected waves stippled the gleaming steel façade and gave the illusion the Triple C was a ship. A luxury liner. About to drift from its sandy moorings. Kind of like the fabricated islands the Extropians dreamed of, where they would thaw when the time came, reanimate, and throw wild future-tastic rebirth parties. Extropians ran the joint. Rumor was they were backed by some secret celebrity or celebrities. The Extros were all about moving upward, onward, forward, starward, skyward—no negative thoughts allowed! Their philosophy was eerily shot through with Nietzschean zing, but most people ignored that. Cryonics was their bag. Freeze your head, then defrost when ready. Like a take ’n’ bake pizza. Attach a fresh young body. And party!
All this combined to make the Triple C wildly wacky. Super-popular. And pricey. But unlike the Shanghai, which was off-limits to mere mortals for the most part, this place was yours for the freezing—if you had the dough.
Just what I needed. I cracked open the Log at a stoplight, scribbled quickly. At the Triple C. Goals: Keep the faith. Stay true to love. Luxuriate in the flush of nailing a deadline before it vanishes. Freeze this moment of fiery creation. Melt in the moment. I stuffed the Log back in my jeans. Tore through the green light.
Parked Lightning in a free parking lot only locals know about and walked into the hotel with my old swagger. Twitched my pecs. Winked at a few hotties out on the town, leggy in their cheap but sexy Steve Madden shoes and saucy sundresses. Vacant, hungry eyes met mine. Lips were licked, smacked. Stray hair tucked suggestively behind responsive ears. I smiled but didn’t stray from the path, the image of Zoe blazing in the brain, upper and lower. I was a new man, about to be the next hot thing in Hollywood. That would solve a whole lot of problems, from career to cash flow. Blood Wedding would happen. Had to. Keep the focus. Stay true.
Up the carpeted steps, past flickering fireplaces, early eve clusters of schmoozers, awkward blind dates, superficial hustles, Persian party animals. Past the frozen heads. Past the cryo-waitresses with their silver uniforms and neck tattoos—dotted lines with the words CUT HERE and an inked pair of mini scissors. Straight for the window seats so I could watch the sunset and the lights prick up on the pier Ferris wheel, and contemplate my imminent change of fortune. I was in such a rush I didn’t even hear my name called out, until a hand clutched my pant leg and yelled, “Chip!”
Then this same voice spiraled back down in volume to the sultriest whisper this side of the Chee-Zee celluloid, one I knew all too well. “Why don’t you come join us?”
Go-Go. Go-Go clad all in leopard. Leopard halter—no bra—leopard skirt hugging her hips so tight it looked painted on and maybe was: I flashed on that hot chick in the film Creamaster, Aimee Mullins, the one with the fake legs below the knees, costumed up like a cheetah, bare-chested, painted in cheetah fur, wearing her spring-sprong metal legs with hoofs on the tips—manimal allure. What Go-Go had going for her but sans the sexy amputee thing. Go-Go’s animal was all instinct, and all woman. Clutchable, fleshy, full and ripe—those creamy, flesh-lush thighs stretching out under the skirt, barely parted, same as her lips, in whispery wet invitation. I almost just shoved a hand up her skirt right there at the table, lost for a second in memories of the red rosebud I knew was stitched deep in her inner thigh, when I heard Zoe’s voice in my head, quiet and sad. S’agapo. I love you.
Saved by the bell. Fidelity vow intact. At least for that moment.
Clearly the sex addiction wasn’t tamed. The beast just had been lurking in the basement, jaws lathered with foam. Starving. Waiting patiently for a chance to rush the door. To wake. Now the chains rattled. The beast was roused. The whole basement shook with its roar.
“Siddown and join us, amigo.” A familiar voice. One that echoed, sawed, sent shivers. Cuban-flavored. Everything was in slow motion. Viscous in the twilight of the low-lit hotel bar. I swung my head with difficulty away from Go-Go’s lushness and saw a dashing old Latino guy sitting right next to Go-Go. Where’d he come from?
A thickly rolled Romeo y Julieta clenched between his lips. Stinking of Old Havana. Fat old Latino guy. Barrel-chested with long legs. Crisp white guayabera shirt. Rolls of dough spilling over his natty dark trousers. Porky jowls, thick head of hair still. Salt and pepper. A checkered cap pulled jauntily over his ancient skull. Wrinkles wreathing a sardonic, fleshy grin. Something about him was familiar. Maybe he was a musician. Or a friend of her lately deceased moneybags hubby. I was thinking Buena Vista Social Club.
I stuck my hand out. “Chip. Pleased to meet you, sir.”
The Cuban guy ignored my hand, puffed more smoke. This time directly in my face. I glanced at Go-Go, like, what’d I do wrong? She was trying to look stricken, but giggles were bursting out all over her pretty painted face. “It’s Red!” she burst out. “Isn’t it amazing? That’s Buster Ortale for you.”
Buster Ortale. The Oscar-winning special effects wizard. I heard about celebrities getting disguised by him just for a night on the town. Especially if they had a need for lower profile than usual. Like Red.
Go-Go leaned over and gave Red a wet smooch on his Cubanized lips.
“Pretty good, huh? Even gotcha with the accent,” Red aka Fat Cuban Fuck said, grinning mischievously. “Fooled ya! Sucker.”
“One born every minute,” I said with some irritation. I didn’t like looking stupid. Plus, I guess I was surprised to see Go-Go and Red together. I hadn’t seen the two of them in the same space since that fateful decadent night that set this whole summer chapter into motion. When I first took up with Go-Go again, and saw Red after the ten year dis. I was even more surprised to feel something like—was it jealousy? A pricked ego? But I was in love! Zeta Orion Epsilon. Zoroaster Oracle Eggplant. Zee Oh Ee. The only one for me.
“So you nailed the grand ole opus?” Red asked, eyes gleaming. “The heat is on. We gotta move. You hear the news today?”
Go-Go clapped her hands. A silvery I.D. bracelet flashed in the glowy light. “Tell us you’ve finished!”
“Indeed I have,” I said, chest puffing, head growing, mastodon in my pocket thawing and swelling. I was a regular dirigible. Air-bloated and inflatable. Afloat.
“Well ain’t that swell. Sit, sit,” said Red, patting the seat next to Go-Go, so we would flank her.
“Don’t mind if I do,” said I, and sat. Let the games begin.
We three in the Ultra-Deluxe-Extra-Extro booth, set up privately from the club/bar scene but able to see all. The three of us sunk into iridescent softness, surrounded by silver cushions. Our own frozen head—a middle-aged man with buzz-cut salt-and-pepper hair, blue eyes, and a worried brow—cased in thickly ice-frosted glass against a personalized diorama with painted backdrop of a private jet, fake plastic palms framing the head; the whole display gently tracklit and set into the wall behind the booth, overlooking our revelry.
The chatter flowed easily. The vibe cozy, sociable, intimate, teasing. It was like we all three had been best buds for years. We talked sports, exploding coyotes, disappearing tribes, butt implants, asshole bleaching, psychic hotline addictions, the merits of ear candles, and other sundry topics. One frozen drink led to another. And another. Time passed pleasantly. Glasses clinked, swirled. Drained.
“Bring on the extropiates!” Red said into the booth vid-phone. Our waifish waitress in the silver baby-doll uniform, sporting an elegant swan neck and shaved head, the better to show off her personal tat, a purple-inked zipper, appeared seconds later. She set down three large glasses filled with clear liquid; multicolored glow cubes floating on the chrome table.
“On the house and extra dosed,” she said, batting her blue frosted lids, nodding toward Go-Go. “Since you’re one of us now.”
The waitress jutted out her hand. Up and forward. Go-Go met hers. They entwined fingers. Then they both swooped their arms together, hands clasped, up, up and away, skyward, pumped them high and said “Yo!” in the ritual Extropian greeting.
“One of us, one of us,” Go-Go whispered excitedly, extending her wrist so we could see the glittering cryo-bracelet. The one the parameds would see when they came to get her should something happen. Something fatal. And would know, and call the Cryo-meds. Who would come instead, lop off her head, freeze it, and save the glory of Go-Go for the Future Par-tay. Paintings, interpretations by various fine artists of the Future Parties, grace all the interior walls. Near us a raucous one in day-glo acrylic by none other than Ringo. The Extropian movement was growing.
“You’re so L.A.,” Red said.
“Yeah, and you’re so Jersey,” she flung back. “You’re a thug.”
“Only someone from here would go for cryo,” Red said. Turned to me. “Don’t you agree? Chip’s not from here either, Go.” Sounded scarily close to Zo. I did a double take. Red was staring at me. I breathed deep. “Would you freeze your head?”
“I’d freeze my family jewels! Now that’s the real ice. Fuck diamonds. Fuck heads.”
Everyone laughed. Whatever it was, was iced over for now.
We raised our glasses of extropiates. To Blood Wedding!
“To getting sick-rich and sick-sex!”
“To the three of us!” we all cried out and drained our drinks. Instantly, with snake venom speed, the hotel bar scene, the bubbling surging crowd, turned on, tuned in, and dropped outside inn. Melting sparks skirts, glow sticks, flashing body blinx a blur of candy colors. Opa! Happy happy!
“Let’s gear up!” said Go-Go, rifling through the goodies in the complimentary inflatable bowl. She handed me a strand of tiny lights.
I pushed them away. “I’m no X-mas tree.”
“They’re lobe strobes, silly.” She clicked on the power, threaded the lights through my baby dreads. Giggled.
“And you, my Cuban mystery man, how ’bout this?” She handed him the belly light, grinning evilly. “For your Communist paunch.”
Red smiled thinly, clicked the light on, and stuck the blue disc on his forehead.
“And this, babycakes, is for you,” said Red mock-gallantly. Offering Go-Go the Glowing Bloody Mouth.
“How totally random!” she said with delight, clicking on the mouth and popping it into hers. The effect was grotesquely charming. The punchy red light beaming cheery gore in the center of her face.
“I want to be white trash when I grow up,” she said. “Dolly Parton. My hero.”
“What, slinging quotations are we? Our sexy airhead gone scholar thanks to drugs?”
Go-Go ducked her head shyly, cutting her eyes at me. I glanced up, looked above her, and thought I saw the frozen head—barely visible behind thick frost—pucker its blue lips. These extropiates rocked. My tundra Popsicle strained to stand at attention. Liquid mercury slithered through my rousable veins. With each drink, Go-Go seemed to inch closer, until—how did that happen?—she was on my lap, and Red was sitting in her chair. I didn’t know whose leg was touching whose.
“More frozen daiquiris!” I called out, and frosty carafes magically appeared, lofted by slender pale arms in the dim light, reaching out to provide with generous flutters.
The weight of Go-Go on my lap. The Ferris wheel creaking around with its blurry spine of lights. The crowd pulsing. Red praising the play. Me, sinking into a hazy stupor. At one point, Go-Go reaching down for my hands, placing them on her soft, pliant breasts.
“Remember when you saw these bare the first time?” She pressed them closer. “You said you had a spiritual experience.” She giggled, and Red smiled enigmatically. But I did not. Something snapped, maybe the extropiates turned. Maybe the trip went bad. All I know is I heard Zoe’s voice in my head—Skílos! Dog!—even though all I wanted to do was take Go-Go right there, the bitch. I snatched my hands away from Go-Go’s dreamy tits. The beast growled. The mighty iceberg in my jeans creaked, groaned, shifted.
“I thought you said Red was only good for one go-round,” I snarled. Lashing out. Leopard tipsy, hostile. Covering. “But here you are again. You and him. Together at last.”
In answer, Red poured another round of drinks. And Go-Go purred and slurred, “Relax, darling, relaxxxxxx,” while she settled her leopard-clad plush derrière in deeper to my lap, adjusting herself so her buttocks deftly straddled a raging caveman torch. I was in deep shit. I could snipe all I wanted. The truth glared.
“I don’t give a fuck anyway!” I said, merrily giving up decorum, forgetting my normal discretion. “I have a secret.”
Red’s eyes sharpened. Go-Go didn’t seem to notice. She was groping around my jeans with her new glow gloves.
“What’re you talking about?” Red leaned in closer, studied my face. I jostled Go-Go, squeezed her waist.
I shook my head, cheerfully slinging nopes left and right. “No can tell, Red. Mum’s the word. Zip the lip. Semper Fi.”
Red slammed down his glass. His saggy jowly Fat Cuban Fuck face hardened. But he didn’t say anything else. Go-Go jumped into the void, spoke rapidly. Lucid. “I’ve got us something special in my room. All of us.”
“You rented a room?” Forgetting in my daze this new Go-Go had millions.
“I’ve got a suite, silly,” she cooed. “What do you think? After the party, there’s the afterparty. Don’t you know. How many do we have, Red?”
Red slugged the rest of his glass down.
Go-Go splayed her fingers on the table, pushed back into me. “One highclass whore, two highclass whores, three highclass whores, at least one barely legal, one gigolo, two, one luscious transvestite, a handful of eager-to-please Extropians—aw hell, we’ve got a lineup!”
Go-Go sensed me pulling away. Her tone turned more wheedling. More urgent. Naked in its need. Ugly.
“Honey, Chip, you want an amputee? You want a juggsy? Some midget twat? Whatever, we’ll get you whatever you desire, long as we can all get our circus groove on tonight. Won’t you come up? We’re going to have a real party.”
During this speech, each word pelted me like the needles from a cold shower, sobering me instantly. Zoe. Stay true. Remember the secret vow of faithfulness. You already did the big work. You wrote the script. And it’s golden. Semper fidelis. Chip, Shit-for-brains. I shook Go-Go from my lap and stood up.
“Red, Go-Go, this has been real. But I’ve got to go. I can’t keep up with you two. This script took the stuffing outta me.” And before either Go-Go or Red could say a word, I threw down a wad of bills and ran like hell to get out of that hotel. Fast as I could. Long legs loping, threading past the thick pulsating glowing crowd, ignoring gasps, curses, kisses and even slaps when I knocked into people. I didn’t stop sprinting until I hit the street, where I took a huge gulp of air, then took off sprinting toward the lot. Not until I jumped in to Lightning, gunned the engine, and crested onto the Pacific Coast Highway did I begin to feel the panic subside.