Looking For A Sign (by Stephán Amery McKenzie)


Was it time for the prodigal son to return to Hollywood? My adopted home. Where the Hollywood Sign is a beacon that this is the place where anything can happen. I do not know, but I am back. And I was still looking for a sign. I figured as I wait for ‘this’ sign I would get back out there, into the social scene. Maybe make some new friends, maybe find love, or at least a lover to hold me over during the fast approaching holidays.

I fancy myself a chill, nonjudgmental, fun-loving, accepting guy when it comes to friendships. But my Buddhist mentality does not speak the same language as my overactive foreign-speaking libido. So even though an occasional face-plant or charity donation finds me in a bed that I would otherwise dub, “A Nightmare On Elm Street”, I pretty much stick to my sweet-spot, even if that means Juan Carlo (my pee-pee) does not get to dip its head into the sweet-spot.

So here I am, at this rendezvous. Let me paint you a picture:

It is full of dignitaries and debutantes, which is a fancy way of saying snobby Beverly Hills zip code douchebags and straw-thin wannabe models with snow remnants creating five o’clock shadows under their noses. While ducking and weaving high-levels of low-quality bullshit being slung through the air by overzealous fame-whoring party guests, I bump into this dude.  Literally, bump into him. He is manhandling the same bottled beer I am drinking. My inside voice says, “That is impossible unless he is drinking one from the six-pack I brought.” As we stare at each other my inside voice continues, “I thought I hid that shit well! Besides, who brings alcohol to a party but drinks someone else shit?” There are two answers to this question:

1)    Someone who brings cheap shitty alcohol so they do not look like a complete asshole
2)    Moochers who do not bring anything.

Either case, both Fuckheads I want nothing to do with.

Now this guy is good-looking. Well, the kind of good-looking where you have to tilt your head to the side, a lot. Then squint. And the moonlight has to light him or her perfectly. Oh, and you would have to be going through a rough patch, more like the “Dust Bowl” years of the thirties and fifties, which I am. Maybe I should clarify. At this shindig, the majority of the guests’ inner beauty could rival the drop-dead gorgeousness of the three witches in Macbeth, yet, their exterior magnificence would put most of the Miss Americas’ and People’s Sexiest Men of the Year to shame. So, this guy was not anywhere near ugly, though my description may sound like it. I guess when you are surrounded by visual perfection like the attendees at this party, the guy I bumped into, literally, falls into the category of Ugly-hot.

He has this massive scar down the left side of his face. I could tell you that at one point it probably made him look like Two-Face but now that it has healed it somewhat looks like someone tried to Superglue the two sides of his face together, but did not line it up right, or they ran out of glue before the job could be finished properly. He also has this BOOMING laugh that consumes all the air in the room. A laugh so penetrating, I could not tell if the other guests were annoyed, because of the constant disruption, or angry that he drew attention away from their ‘look at me’ cravings. As we continue to carry-on in a flirtatious, otherworldly bubble, I could not tell if I was jonesing off this guy because he was the antithesis of all the other blood-thirsty vampires in the room, or because Juan Carlo was perking up and trying to see who his new playdate might be.

The other thing that was perplexing about this guy, or at least my growing interest, innuendo intended, in him was his body. I tend to like men who are in shape. This does not mean abs, or that you need to show me your key ring with several workout facility memberships. He has the kind of body shape I like to call ‘Barely Balanced’. You know the statue of the blindfolded woman holding the scales that are almost balanced but one scale is slightly tilted to one side? That is his body. Let me put it another way. Let us say he decided not to work out for a week or two and ate two Double-Doubles with fries each week –he would be fat. But as long as he worked out at least twice a week and only ate one Double-Double sans the fries, he was… sexy. Or was that the sixth beer talking?

We transport ourselves to the kitchen, standing next to the refrigerator where we discover we each bought a six pack of the same beer and hid them in the fridge. Being the only two guests drinking beer—as everyone else pretentiously drown their noses in their obscenely large glasses of wine before sloshing the wine in their mouths and gurgling while it slid down their throats all the while pontificating about the grapes, how they preferred when human feet smashed them and that handcrafted barrels were better than mass-produced ones—I should have known it was a match made in lust.

​As you can probably guess, we transport ourselves to his house, more accurately his bedroom, which had a view of the Hollywood Sign. I am not normally one to kiss and tell, but since I have come this far, I will loosen these lips like I plan to loosen his…dang it! “Sorry, my mom is calling,” I am so embarrassed. “Is this an emergency? Then I will call you tomorrow, Mom,” I mumble, as I rush her off the phone. “Okay, where were we?” We quickly resume as if the phone call was an unregistered hiccup in the time continuum. So, I stand in front of this massive window overlooking the Hollywood Sign thinking, “How did I get here?” The silky hypnotic offerings of Barry Manilow’s “Could It Be Magic” seeps out of his Bose surround-sound system. The overhead lights patiently dim as soft sea-blue heart-shaped Hanukah-style lights flicker awake. The lights go all the way around, framing the window. I gaze out in wonder.

As it begins to feel I am eerily reenacting a scene out of a David Lynch movie, I feel his head pressed into my crotch and his hands massaging my lower back. And, as if he had been a prodigy at the Academy of David Blaine, my pants were resting at my ankles. Then, what was heading toward a plotline out of “Mulholland Drive” quickly u-turned into “The Brown Bunny”. I could not tell you if I was really seeing shooting stars or if it was the way he ravenously enveloped Juan Carlo that clouded my senses. Because I would swear in a court of law I never felt like a superstar the way I did as I was blown away watching the Hollywood Sign welcome me back, as it whispers, “Told you.”


                                                                dedicated to Bryce D. Dion    

                                                             May 7, 1976 - August 26, 2014