Last week, I posted a series of six stories, five of which are fabrications, or, at least, not completely true in one way or the other — and ONE story is absolutely true.
Over the next few days I revealed the truth about the lies.
Lie #1: Helena Hann-Basquiat and the Tattoo of Parental Perturbation
Lie #2: Helena Hann-Basquiat’s Brush With Fame
Lie #3: Helena Hann-Basquiat and the Cast of Kick Ass
Lie #4: The Countess is Tyler Durden
Lie #5: The Missing Hann-Basquiat Sibling
Yesterday I began to tell you the truth about
And now, part two:
The car that pulled over was an avocado green Eldorado — I’ll never forget it, because the rest of this scene played out like something out of a movie — Sin City, perhaps — and the details are forever playing in the blooper reel of my memory. The driver pulled over and rolled down the passenger side window, and I had to bend down to poke my head in. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever worn stiletto heels, darlings, but they are pretty much engineered to make you look like a hooker. Bending over in them makes you thrust your ass in the air, and you can practically hear David Attenborough narrating your life like something out of a BBC special on the mating habits of the wild dilettante: Thrusting her magnificent hindquarters into the air and bending over to give full display of her ample cleavage, the dilettante signals to any male in the area her availability for mating.
They say if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck, then it must be a duck, and so apparently this guy thought that’s what I was — a working girl, that is — not a duck. So when he asked me if I wanted a ride, I reached for the handle cautiously, but when he followed the question up with a mention of not having much money, and how much for just a blowjob, I quickly backed away and shook my head and laughed nervously.
Apparently I hadn’t backed away fast enough, though, because we’d drawn the attention of the kind of car with blue and red lights on top. The green Eldorado pulled away with a screech of rubber on asphalt, leaving me shivering in the dust while a police officer approached me with a smirk and an unfriendly hello.
Shivering so badly my teeth were chattering, I tried to say hello, to ask for help, to explain what had happened, but instead, was told that I knew the routine, and to face the hood of the car and put my hands on it.
I wasn’t sure exactly what routine he thought I was so familiar with, but I recognized this from every vice cop show I’d ever seen, and I realized that I was about to be handcuffed. Usually it was about at this point in the show that the greasy cop would lean over while he was putting on the cuffs and whisper something suggestive into the hooker’s ear, like I bet you like that, huh?
Thankfully, I got no such treatment, and afterward I would have occasion to reflect on the details of my near incarceration and be a little disappointed, if you want to know the truth (and clearly you do, darlings, or you wouldn’t be reading this). I mean, really — wasn’t I worthy of a little bit of creepy, inappropriate leering and lust?
Once I was in the back of the patrol car, I tried earnestly but politely to explain what I was doing On The Strip at seven o’clock in the morning, dressed the way I was, and what my business was with Mr. Howmuchforjustablowjob. (I wonder if there was a Mrs. Howmuchforjustablowjob? Maybe even little Howmuchforjustablowjobs. God, what an embarrassing surname. I’d change it if I were them. But I digress, darlings — it’s what I do, so sue me). Considering that I’d been crying some, had slept in my car, and had been wearing far too much make up to begin with, I must have looked like I’d been up all night turning tricks, so I really couldn’t blame them.
They asked me for ID, and I reminded them firmly but politely (no, I’m being serious) that I had lost everything, but that if they would just be so kind to let me make a phone call, I could clear everything up.
They informed me firmly and perhaps a little less politely than I would have liked that I was being cited for solicitation, and that I would be allowed a phone call once I reached the station.
And then I started to cry, darlings. I’m not proud.
“Oh, come on,” Officer One sighed. “I’m sure this isn’t your first time, honey.”
Maybe it was his patronizing tone, maybe it was just the honey, but something inside me snapped.
“Stop the car!” I yelled. “Stop the car, or so help me god I will tell your partner what you whispered in my ear when you were putting these cuffs on me, you sick fuck!”
“Settle down, Miss,” Officer Two said sternly, and I shut up.
“Yeah, sorry about that,” I said, retracting my previous bout of melodrama and smiling a sheepish, disarming grin. I was exhausted to the point of mania, I now realize in retrospect. “That kind of thing usually works on TV, though, you know?”
Officer One started laughing. “What’s your name, honey?”
I sighed. “If I tell you, will you stop calling me honey? I fucking hate that.”
“Fair enough,” Officer One sighed.
“It’s Helena,” I said tiredly.
“Well, you seem like a smart girl, Helena,” Office One said in his best patronizing tone. “What are you doing turning tricks out here. Are you on drugs?”
I wanted to spit back that I was hardly a girl, and that if was going to peddle my flesh, it certainly wouldn’t be in this neighbourhood, and certainly not for drugs. Instead, I sighed and laughed.
“No good deed….” I began, and sighed again, and then tried to explain once more. “I was the designated driver! Do you understand? That means I wasn’t even drunk! I’m not supposed to be the one that ends up in the back of a police car at the end of the night — or, well, the next morning — you know what I mean!”
Officer One looked at me in the rear view mirror, and then at his partner, and began to laugh heartily and not without sympathy.
“What do you think?” Officer One asked his partner, who just shook his head in pity.
“Look, Miss…” Officer Two began.
“Helena,” I said indignantly, not enjoying being laughed at.
“Helena,” Officer Two amended. “We’d like to help you out — sounds like you’ve had a hell of a time…”
“You realize that you two are sort of part of that hell of a time, right?” I asked, pushed past the point of perturbance.
Officer Two blushed — I swear to god — and Officer One coughed and pulled the car over. For a brief instant I had visions of being pulled out of the car and violated like something out of a misogynistic porno — it had just been that kind of 24 hours — but instead, Officer One opened the door and asked me to hold out my hands so he could remove my handcuffs, and then apologized sincerely and asked if there was anything they could do to help.
“Well, my car is sitting back in that parking lot, but without my keys, I can’t do any of the things that I’m going to have to do today, like — well, I’d really like to put some actual clothes on, you know? So I’d say, if you could take me to my car dealership, not only can they confirm my identity for you, but they can give me a spare key — I lease, so, I’m sure they have a backup.”
And that’s just what they did, darlings. Those two nice boys in blue drove me to the administration office of the dealership I got my car from, all the while apologizing over and over again until I finally laughed at them and told them to shut up about it, and to just keep my name out of any reports, though I’m sure that I was the subject of much ridicule between them after I left their care. By the time we got to the leasing office, we were old friends, and I think Officer Two had even taken something of a shine to me, which I would have probably felt better about had I not been dressed like a fancy call girl.
“So, what did he whisper in your ear when he was putting the cuffs on?” Officer Two asked me, eliciting a dirty look from his partner.
“Hey, I never…” Officer One protested, and I laughed and winked at him.
“Don’t worry, darling,” I said cheekily. “It’ll be our little secret.”
They even laughed as I had some fun with the high school boys hanging outside the convenience store that was beside the leasing office. They happened to notice what was quite clearly a coked out hooker in the back of a police car, and began staring and leering.
I’ve never been one to miss out on an opportunity to vamp, darlings, and so I began blowing kisses and making obscene gestures, eliciting a response from the boys that almost made everything that had happened up to that point seem worth it. I nearly lost my head in the moment and went so far as to lick the glass, but then I remembered where I was, and reconsidered, as that would not only be unwise, but possibly dangerously unhygienic.
I could tell you the rest of the day, but really, the worst of it was over. I got my keys and several looks ranging from disgust to lust from the office staff at the leasing office, and I played it all cool, laughing my way through the questions about the police presence and my choice of wardrobe. It didn’t hurt that it was Hallowe’en, which, like love, covers a multitude of sins, apparently.
Once I got back to my car (to which the officers so obligingly drove me back) I drove to my sister Cheryl’s house to regroup and take care of what I needed to — calling my landlord, canceling my credit cards — boring business stuff that you don’t want to read about, darlings.
It wasn’t the first time I’d shown up on Cheryl’s doorstep, not even the first time I’d shown up with a story that involved the police, but it was the first time I’d shown up in gold hot pants and fishnets. There’s a first time for everything, I suppose.
Cheryl didn’t even bat an eye. She just took me in and made me breakfast. I remember Penny was there, too. The three of us sat around Cheryl and Ted’s table and ate banana and chocolate chip pancakes with mounds of butter and rivers of maple syrup, washing it down with gallons of strong coffee, the two of them laughing at me and making suggestions and insinuations of how I really got the cops to let me go. Cheryl was wearing this great terry and satin housecoat and had her hair up like she was some kind of
Robert Smith is a prominent proponent of the backcomb. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) THIS GUY!!!
Japanese geisha. She looked beautiful, and it’s how I’ll always remember her. Penny had rolled out of bed when she heard me come in, and looked like a female Robert Smith — her hair was standing up every which way, and I smiled, knowing that she hadn’t an ounce of self-consciousness. If she wanted to, she’d just leave it like that all day and call it her style.
I’ll always remember that morning. It was the last time the three of us sat around a table together. Not long after that, Ted and Cheryl had their accident and Penny came to live with me, and everything changed.
But for that moment — we were beautiful, and not yet broken.