Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Odd Couple

About a month ago, I introduced my friend Keeley into my blogs and her roommate Bobby in Matilda Rides Again ( . However, I was talking to a writer friend about them recently, and they informed me this dynamic duo needed their own blog.

Enter Keeley. She is a makeup artist and hairdresser who has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Originally graduated from NYU film, she is like a great many alumni from our sacred institution, brilliant at what she does but an otherwise maladjusted, somewhat entitled, art struck nutcase who will take the most dramatic route possible. After film school, Keeley discovered her talent for special effects makeup and this led to makeup in general. So she found a niche.

For years, Keeley subsisted as a successful makeup artist and has a lexicon of tales. She was successful, living in midtown after having struck a great deal in a luxury high rise. But all good things come to an end as the building was sold. Her rent got jacked up to market value. The place was spacious, and Keeley could have gotten a roommate or even moved to Queens where a guy she knows owns a building. However, she decided to fight the increase in a court of law.

Keeley is a Pacific Heights type of tenant, a nightmare for any landlord. Like the Michael Keaton character, this was not her first rodeo in eviction court. Keeley had lived rent free for a year in each of her previous domiciles as she battled her landlords. However, she had stayed in this particular place for nearly a decade without incident. Wanting to save money, Keeley reschooled herself on tort law and battled her landlord in court for two years. While part of me reviled her tactics, she was also a bit of an inspiration to become a complete dead beat.

Keeley fought the law, but the law won. So she was forcibly removed from her apartment by the marshal. Keeley went through a series of apartments. One was a swanky pad of an old friend on the Upper West Side where she basically had the first floor of their three floor duplex. Keeley got into an altercation with the daughter of the owner and her Puerto Rican pot smoker boyfriend, and there was alleged money laundering going on anyway. So the mother sold the place and Keeley was evicted. Then Keeley had a brief affair with an old Jewish fellow who had been successful in real estate, and she moved into his Yorkville apartment. Suspecting his maid was not in fact deaf but rather working as a spy for the government, Keeley got into a shoving match with her. An Occupy activist, Keeley insisted the government was sending spies, and this woman fit the profile. Once again, Keeley was thrown out.

Now Keeley found her way into the shelter system. A conspiracy theorist as we established, Keeley surmised from her findings that the government wanted to keep the homeless in their current state, and she also felt experiments were being conducted on her. Unwilling to be stepped on, Keeley decided to stage a revolution in the shelter. Keeley enlisted the help of two schizophrenics who believed Obama was following them, and an unmedicated bipolar woman who had delusions that she could read the minds of politicians on television. Add in the crack head who fancied herself a female Robespierre. Needless to say, they were all evicted from the shelter.

Homeless with no where to go, Keeley moved into a storage elevator in the facility her things were being kept in. She survived for two weeks by stealing food and using a friend’s shower. However, a storage elevator is no place to sleep. Keeley slipped and fell, and had to go to the hospital. Yes, she fractured her hip. Keeley, needing money and justice, attempted to use her legal skills to sue the facility. The case was thrown out of court. It was illegal for her to be sleeping there to begin with the judge said.

After getting out of the hospital and having her legal prowess humbled, Keeley needed a place to stay. In her desperation, she hit up my friend Nishu, the fairy Godfather and literal ring master of any and all uber eccentric New Yorkers. The Keeley drama, he decided, was too much for him to handle. Nishu was having drama of his own.

When he moved to America from India, Nishu had gone on a lease with a woman named Sandra in order to get a more favorable rent deal. A 35 year old who claimed she was 23, Sandra was his significant other on lease only. As per their agreement, Sandra could come and go as she pleased. Desperate for love, she dated racist Marines from, and one was even trying to join the KKK when he was discharged I believe. This ended when Sandra faked a pregnancy in order to keep him. Needless to say, Sandra had spiraled out of control, and her stalkers were now harassing Nishu.

To make matters worse, Nishu was still in his playboy phase and had a bad habit of dating web cam models and other women who took their clothes off for a living in various fashions. One had even tried to kill him with a steak knife and was led away in a straight jacket. So Nishu’s ladies and Sandra’s stalkers were starting to meet, and disaster was unfolding. He needed to move and quick. Nishu needed to start his new place off with no drama. That is when Bobby enters the picture.

Good old Bobby is a low budget porno producer. Cam girls star in his films when they are getting their start and going up, but also when the sex industry has beaten the crap out of them and they are headed downward. While he is an operation that is low tech, he fancies himself a Vivid Video director. Bobby had met Nishu in his wildling days long before Hedda came into the picture and laid down the law. At the time, Nishu had done computer work for Bobby. In exchange for the hard work, Bobby paid him well and fixed him up with some of the women that worked for him. These women all turned out to be very damaged as all porn stars are. Yes, Bobby fixed him up with the one who tried to kill him.

Bobby’s films do no pay well. As a result, many of his women must resort to exotic dancing and prostitution. They feel Bobby is only a mere step up on the ladder of XXX films. However, the naïve ones truly believe he is someone. Often in exchange for roles in badly written flicks, Bobby forces the women to have sex with him. For the record he is about 300 pounds, never bathes, has greasy brown hair, dawns dark To Catch a Predator glasses and wears a fanny pack. Most of the models cringe when they speak of their sexcapades with Bobby. But in his mind, Bobby is a sex tiger. In addition to being a boss who pays his undressed help in slimy quarters, Bobby never pays his assistants. I know, what a guy.

Nishu and the rest of all unanimously are skeeved out by Bobby. Hedda in recent times has also put her foot down.Yes Hedda, the female zookeeper who had caged the buck named Nishu and tamed him  This is because Bobby brings his old, weirdo friends to Nishu’s parties and they eat all the food, drink all the beer, and are so strange they scare the regulars away. So Bobby is that friend no one likes. However, the only reason Nishu has even kept talking to him is Bobby has a boat. We all party on the boat several times a summer, and we hang out on there until the sun comes up. So yes, we kind of use Bobby. Hey, when casting a play in hell you don’t get angels as actors. The boat is dirty because Bobby is a slob, so even that excuse gets old, though.

After some thought, Bobby agreed to take Keeley in. They agreed that because Keeley was destitute, she could not pay rent. However, in exchange for free living space, she would buy him food with her newly acquired EBT card and clean. This worked out because Bobby is a complete slob and Keeley is a neat freak. Bobby’s building is a co-op of sorts, so a person living there who is not on the lease could get him evicted. Right away, there was some confusion on the move in date. Keeley came, and Bobby was not home. He believed it was the next day, and was shooting a short with one of his models. Keeley, angered and confused, settled every dispute the way she always does. She called the cops. The cops arrived, and all was settled. Bobby narrowly managed to avoid getting evicted, and Keeley moved in.

About a month into her journey under Bobby’s roof, Keeley had her jewelry stolen by one of Bobby’s girls. Employed as the star in his latest flick, Cucumber Love, a bondage laced narrative where the leather clad lady shoves a cucumber up her derriere, she had taken Keeley’s expensive earrings, bracelets, and dresses. Nevermind that Keeley could have sold these things and have some money to live on. A girl has to have a few things I suppose. Anyway, to his credit Bobby came completely clean and was honest. Yes, the hooker stole her things. However, unlike Keeley this working girl had a job and she had to look good for the nightly clients. Bobby admitted that there might be plans to return the merchandise, but he was not sure.

Keeley was not taking any chances. After Bobby grudgingly gave her the address, Keeley arrived at the house of the John. Unlike Bobby’s house which pretends to be a place of ill-repute, this was an all out brothel. Jade, the name of the porn starlette/prostitute in question, saw Keeley coming and panicked. She had been wearing her dress all evening and had performed a job in it. In a flurry in a head already filled with many bad decisions, she threw off Keeley’s clothes hoping the angry woman would not notice. Furiously, Keeley pounded at the door. She wanted her things back. Jade decided to tap into the dim light bulb on her head for one more suggestion. So she answered the door stark naked, implants and all hoping to prove a point.

Keeley was determined. She made her way into the brothel and demanded her things back. Jade denied having them even though Keeley saw them out of the corner of her eye. That is when the John, an Italian greaser, stepped in and settled the dispute. Keeley got in his face, and he did what any man in his position would do, he pimp slapped her. When Keeley got home, she was angry and demanded Bobby get her things back. Bobby refused claiming he wasn’t responsible if his women stole her things or not. So Keeley did whatever she could to thwart the production of his porn films. This included calling the Department of Health.

Finally, Bobby was sick and tired of this. The two got into an all out shouting match in which Keeley tried to trip him. Angry, Bobby decked her. A frantic, panicked neighbor, an older woman called the cops. Bobby was taken away in handcuffs and spent the night in jail. Out of spite, not fear, Keeley pressed charges and filed a restraining order. Meanwhile, during Bobby’s night in jail, Jade returned with the jewelry and dresses. She said she thought they would make her more money, but failed to impress her gentlemen callers. Jade, wanting to be an ambassador of good will from the world’s oldest profession, told her she was sorry for the pimp slap. She explained Rocco was protective of his women.

Bobby got out of jail. There was no way he was going to make Keeley leave. Sure, she had gotten him arrested and now he had a court date. However, the free food and maid service had spoiled him. Keeley couldn’t leave either. She had no where to go. Periodically though, she would remind Bobby she had a restraining order and could kick him out at any time.

Bobby was at the end of his rope with Keeley, and attempted to enlist the help of Nishu and Hedda by-proxy. During a very tense, bizarre, and awkward brunch, Bobby begged Nishu to control Keeley.  Present during this occasion, Hedda was rather vocal about how Bobby made her skin crawl. Putting her foot down, she informed Nishu that Keeley had dug her own grave, and perhaps these two deserved each other. Putting the nail in the coffin of his life pre-domestic bliss, Hedda told him he was not to interfere anymore with this drama that was a mix between soap opera and psych ward gone wrong.

Meanwhile, Keeley and Bobby returned to getting along. Keeley came to regret her quick decision to get a restraining order, and wanted to drop the charges. The DA, who was a young jack that wanted his conviction rate up, kept pestering Keeley and refused to honor her request. They were given a court date for September 11th. So off those two went, wasting tax payer time and money.

As the court date loomed, Keeley used the restraining order as blackmail whenever Bobby didn’t honor her wishes. Bobby then got back at Keeley by doing things to annoy her. In the sweltering summer, as she slept, he would turn off the air conditioner and roast her out of bed. During this time, Keeley got a job as a makeup artist and began to get on her feet. She was having a check mailed to the house, and Bobby promised her that one piece of mail wouldn’t make his landlord suspicious. Bobby got his mail daily, and denied Keeley’s check had come. Keeley’s employers had proof they mailed it. Then Keeley had the suspicion that Bobby stole it. Thus she reminded him of the court date looming, and he returned the check. Then they made some roommate rules, Keeley could not halt production of his pornos and he could not steal her things, and neither could his girls. It was time for order.

As one would believe, the court date proved to be a disaster. The DA was angry that Keeley was living with Bobby despite the restraining order, and told her she was in violation herself. Keeley in turn explained neither one wanted to go to trial. The DA stated he didn’t understand. Keeley said they were getting along and the state needed to butt out of her business. The DA, self-righteous and straight out of law school, explained he took the upper hand against scummy men like Bobby, and no woman in his town would have a man like this. Keeley explained Bobby wasn’t her boyfriend or husband, but a friend who kindly took her in and this resulted in and this was a roommate fight gone wrong. The DA now was flabbergasted. With a mix of an axe to grind and still wanting to get his conviction rate up, his assigned this twosome another court date.

After this episode, there was more drama. Bobby’s ex Janae came to visit. Back in the day, Janae had been a live booth girl in Times Square. Her aspirations had been Playboy. However, her teeth were crooked and while her boob job turned out well, her face was kind of odd. So more or less, she had to settle for the back pages of Hustler where all the well-endowed marginal looking women go. Janae had worked for Bobby when she started, and for a while he had managed her. The two fell in love and started dating.

The relationship was a disaster because most women who work in the skin industry are insane as we established. However, Bobby still held a candle to Janae. While she had put her adult film and centerfold ambitions on the back burner, Janae had other dreams. The shapely red head from West Texas had gone to cosmetology school, and worked as a hair dresser in a high end salon but then was fired after burning a customer’s forehead with a curling iron. This was in combination with giving the woman the wrong hair color. Mind you this was an Upper East Side Salon.

So now Janae had her dreams set on being a screenwriter. She wrote a horrid drama about a woman from West Texas who becomes an adult video star. It’s fictional, Janae was never a star. Anyway, during a luncheon years ago, Keeley had tried to assist her. Janae informed Keeley she was nothing but ancillary and couldn’t have any input. The screenplay is collecting dust as it should be.

Bobby hoped to rekindle his flame with Janae, and all weekend made Keeley leave the house so he could have a chance. It didn’t work out. Janae wanted to use Bobby to fund her never released screenplay still not produced ten years later. When Keeley returned home, Janae had cooked all of her food. Apparently, Janae is a terrible cook and burnt the bottom of all of Keeley’s pans. It was late, and Keeley wanted to wait to do the dishes until the next day. Janae was not having it though.

She waited until Keely got home and reamed her out. Janae claimed because Bobby was spending so much time in court with her, he couldn’t produce her film and it was all her fault. Additionally, she made fun of her for being homeless and informed Keeley that she was everyone’s maid. In a move to be nasty and get the ultimate shot, Janae informed Keeley she gained weight since their last encounter. Ouch, them fighting words.

Angrily, Keeley snapped back and called her a has been porn supporting player. She also told her she had crooked teeth. Janae stepped forward, and Keeley was on the assault. A grudge match was about to go down when Bobby stepped in and stopped it. He separated the two, and ordered Janae to the bedroom. Bobby comforted Keeley, and Keeley confided in him that she was tired, in pain, and had cramps from her impending ladies days.

Bobby has this supply of oxycotin that he claims he got years ago after a car accident. While he claims he does not sell it, Nishu has expressed his doubts. This among other things is why many of us don’t associate with him unless we have to. Bobby, feeling pity upon his friend, gave her a 60 mil tablet. Now that’s a lot of opium in case you don’t know. Anyway, at first she felt woozy. Then she began violently vomiting until blood came up.

Bobby began to panic. What if she was accidentally overdosing? He debated taking her to the hospital, but he had a domestic violence charge hanging over his head. He didn’t want to be in court for an actual felony. Janae, seeing this, decided it was too much for her and bolted. Keeley didn’t overdose but instead just had a bad reaction. Then she admitted that this compounded with other drama and now she was due in court at the end of the month again with Bobby.

Keeley lamented her existence, and told us once she had done the makeup of Melissa Etheridge who hit on her. In the tirade, Keeley reflected on her encounter with the Sapphic sister, “I should have slept with Melissa Etheridge when I had the change. I should have let her munch my rug!!!”

As she was bemoaning her life, Bobby called. He needed her home early. During accidental near overdose, he had neglected to mention Janae had nearly destroyed the bathroom. Bobby, although he refused to help her when she could have become an overdose fatality, was trying to be sensitive to her needs. However, now she was fully recovered and he needed his domicile dusted. So off Keeley had to go, back to being Bobby’s belligerent butler.

He could kick her out. It’s his house, but alas, a maid you don’t have to have sex with is just too good. She could leave, but alas, free room and board with the adventure is a small price one has to pay in New York. Part of me wants them to get married, but then it would all make sense. Either way, these two give me a lot to write about so the little devil inside me wants the crazy train to keep careening off the tracks.

Until next time.

Cue Odd Couple Theme Song.

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