by Larry Brody
NOTE FROM LB:
No Navajo Dog today, just good old-fashioned showbiz, circa 1990. The following soliloquy came from my head, but it’s made up of bits and pieces from all too many women I knew back in the day.
Actors’ wives! Not all that unlike doctors’ wives now that I think about it.
So it goes.
The Actor’s Wife
Happiness to me? A series for my husband,
A firm commitment, twenty-two on the air. I
Came from nothing, but now that we’re here
I’ve learned you’ve got to spend. Everything
Is appearances, which means a good house,
A good car, clothes to kill. That way, they
Think you’re successful, and they want you
In on the deal. My husband’s been acting
For fifteen years. He’s had the lead in two
Series and half a dozen feature films. A
Million dollars safely in the bank, although
That doesn’t give much interest. He wanted
To inspire kids the way the stars of his day
Inspired him. “See?” they seemed to say. “You
Can rise above your beginnings. You can be more
Than your parents and your neighbors believe.
Life can be good. It’s okay not to fit in.”
I didn’t fit in either, but I had no talent,
And no real looks before the surgery I’m
Not admitting I’ve had. So I had to latch onto
Someone who could take me away from
Restaurant hostessing, and executive fantasies.
Love? I love my husband, sure. When I see him
On the screen I get all wiggly inside. When the
Photographers close in on us at a premiere, and
I turn on my smile I can even pretend they’re
Interested in me. Some people really do like
Me too. For myself, I mean. There was that
Aging star at the benefit last night, couldn’t
Take his eyes off my breasts. And he’s seen a
Lot of them, believe me. I gave him that same
Photographers’ smile, and you should’ve seen
His grin. No, he didn’t talk to me. Didn’t need to.
We’d had all the communication we could
Without touching. All that was left was his hands
On me, mine on him, lips, tongues, and grinding.
And, to tell you the truth, that really isn’t my thing.
The men need it so much more than we, and
I’m content with the power the promise of it
Brings. If my husband was hornier,
We’d probably be doing much better,
Because he’d have to listen to me.
What did I want, when I was a kid? Not to be the
Consort, that’s for sure. Not to stand next to the
Star, and be cut out of the picture when it’s published.
I wanted to be famous. I wanted to show up at,
Say, a ballpark—Dodger Stadium, why not?
And have every eye turn to watch me. To hear my
Name whispered by fifty thousand lips, so they
Missed the batter’s home run.
My husband wanted to encourage, to give. Me,
I just wanted to get out. Sometimes I wonder why
We’re together. He gives me the house, and the
Fantasy that I’m no longer in real life. But what do
I give him? An illusion to sit beside? Or is it the
Way I mother, and make his failures all right?
If he had a series, I could respect him again,
But ’til then I’ve got my job. No, no, not one with a
Salary. I make friends with the wives
Of the power, so they’ll tell their husbands
What a good couple we are. Nobody buys an
Actor they—or their wives— don’t like.
Tonight’s Thanksgiving, and I’m real excited.
We’re going over to a producer’s house. Last
Year there was no reason to talk to him, but
Now he’s got a series on the air, and maybe
We can swing a guest shot.
It’ll be a nice family Thanksgiving, too bad we
Can’t bring the kids. Oh no, they’d mess up
everything. They’ve just plain gotten too wild.
I remember when I could be wild.
Do I ever wish I could be about something?
No, no, I don’t think so. Leave that for my husband.
Leave that for the fool with a dream.
Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.