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Whorehouse of the Mind:  A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and the Space Program

By Victoria Looseleaf

August 16, 1977

To my way of thinking, his stomach is distended, but he's rich, a titled Jewish Austrian Englishman and he wants to publish my first novel.

Thrust away, in, out, pant, pant. I excuse myself to go to the bathroom and pop a percodan. He doesn't miss me because my girlfriend is also in the borrowed Bel Air bed, sucking away at his gristled cock.

Elvis Presley has just died and out of homage to him, I down the yellow pill. I never cared about Elvis when he was alive, though I remember thrilling somewhat at a supposedly solid gold bracelet my father gave me that he says he personally received from the Colonel. How this could have happened to a middle-class Jewish businessman in Cleveland has always remained a mystery to me, and, since the bracelet is long gone, the incident, too, remains a blur. What I can be sure of is that I cannot get pregnant and the longer I stay in this bathroom, the more time my girlfriend and the fat Lord can spend fucking each other and not me.

Thrust, thrust, in, out, pant, pant. It's hot, even though the air conditioning is on. There is a black liveried servant (does that model still exist today?-this is Bel Air, anything is possible) standing ready to freshen our drinks. Elvis is dead. Does this black man know? Would he care? I remember seeing Elvis drive a cherry red Stutz Bearcat on Doheny Drive one afternoon, pulling up next to me and smiling. He was definitely in his fat phase. Even the smile was overwrought, big.

I think I need another half a percodan. Damn those Endos. They're not scored, so I have to do it with my fingers, always making an uneven mess. Do I have my Swiss army knife?

In, out, thrust, thrust, pant, pant.

"Violet? Are you coming?" Gales of laughter from the big Bel Air bedroom, the big Brunschwig et Fils covered headboard. Chintz. Polished. Floral. Shades of forest green, fuschias, gold. Velvet drapes. A bit heavy for summer in Bel Air, I think. Always thinking.


There is a transistor radio in the bathroom. This is before Walkmans, before faxes and portable phones fucked up all the area codes. I turn it on. "Love me tender," Elvis is crooning, "Love me sweet." "Yea, yea, love me on the toilet seat," I nearly smile, trying to take a leak again. Get all those awful fluids out of me. Those English Austrian Jewish seeds dripping out of me like a broken garden hose.

I don't know much about love these days. Is that love in the borrowed Bel Air bedroom, a hologram spinning around that bears my likeness? Some sweat, some saliva, some hollow-sperm words.

I study myself in the gilt-framed mirror for two more songs. Just how long can they keep it up on those porthault sheets? Or rather, how long can the Lord keep it up? Surely he must be close to sixty years old. And not exactly a rank and file member of the Vic Tanny circuit, I'm sure. Doesn't he know what 400-threadcount cost? Of course he does. I want to put on more lipstick, but my hand is shaking. Maybe I will have my drink freshened. More vodka cranberry, thank you. At least my herpes (right buttock only, the result of a 1973 liaison with a long-haired rich kid at Berkeley) is dormant.

Always the polite and conscientious guest, I turn off the radio. I can't think about the King now, I've got a horny Lord to deal with.

"Violet, dear, a toast to your novel."

"If it's all right with you two," I say, finally exiting the bathroom, "I think I'll get dressed." I try to casually saunter through the beveled glass doors that lead to the pool (a hideous monument to some odd Roman period) and the site of my wrinkling clothes.

"Come and drink with us, baby. The night is young."

Ah, at last she speaks. The girlfriend (mine? his?). Tess. She can do something constructive with her mouth besides mimic a blow-up doll.

"Very funny, Tess, for three o'clock in the afternoon. Don't you have to be somewhere soon? Wasn't there some sort of appointment you had scheduled?"

She looks at me like I left the planet with Elvis then starts laughing like a choked-up hyena. (This is from my perspective, understand. From hers, I am certain she feels she is the epitome of decorum and Los Angeles hip.)

"The Lord has invited us to stay for tea, Vi. High tea." She looks at him, his face pallid, jowly, but obviously one that is still in the game. He nods like an overeager sheepdog, the type who can never get enough. He wipes his bushy brow with a silk hanky, still nodding, the bald head bobbing, the flaccid cock peeking, as if on cue, from under the ecru porthaults.


High tea. Scones, clotted cream, crumpets, the whole bit. Chopin seems to be coming through an overhead speaker. An early nocturne. Is it Horowitz? Cassadeseus? I had heard that the Lord was originally groomed to be a concert pianist. Until his teacher took him for a very long walk in the Vienna Woods (age 15) and told him he didn't have the chops (my words, not his) for a keyboard career. So he left Mozart-land shortly thereafter and found his niche in the world of publishing and princes. Good move, mate. Very good indeed. Or could this have been a Dirk Bogarde movie? No, in the Bogarde movie, his ego can't take such a blow, so he becomes the next best thing, a suicide. Tsk, tsk.

High tea. How high can a tea be? Not as high as me. Damn my English when I'm stoned. Not as high as I. Better.

I am about to say something (what I'm not sure), when he rings for the black servant.

Don't chastise me for sounding racist-this is precisely what happened: he rings for the black servant.

"Bring on the Limoges then," I muster, slipping into my Castelbajac cotton dirndl dress with the scalloped lace border, thinking that this is a helluva way to get a novel published.

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