Amos introduced me to his sister Fruma on the lot at Universal the other day. She works in Property and she looks a lot like Amos. I mean, there is a family resemblance. Amos took off to dress a set and I asked Fruma if she would have lunch with me in the Universal canteen.
“Amos was telling me that he isn’t originally from Glendale,” I said to her, after we had sat down with our food. “Where’s the family home?”
“Hard to describe,” Fruma said. “A long way away.”
“Uh oh,” I said. “Don’t tell me.”
“I’m afraid so.”
“You’re on vacation too?”
“Not me. Every alien who comes here isn’t a tourist looking for fun, like Amos is.”
“To hear him tell it,” I said, “he’s been here a long time. You too?”
“You don’t expect beings from a superior galactic race to take a two-week vacation, do you?” she said. “Even the French do better than that.”
“Most of us don’t get born and die on our vacation.”
“One of our vacations seems like a lifetime to you,” she said, “but for us they’re all too short.”
“But you’re not here on vacation.”
“Do-gooders come here, too. Half the residents in many poor Indian and African villages are aliens just trying to help. Also, collectors come. From up there, Earth looks a lot like a garage sale – the kind where the folks can’t afford a table and they spread out everything they’ve got on the lawn. Or on the withered stubble and weeds next to rusted-out cars up on blocks, as the case may be.”
She saw that I had stopped eating and was frankly looking her over.
“Any alien who comes to this planet does so as a private citizen of the universe,” she said. “No government would bother with this dump. And, you’ve got to be willing to tolerate a whole lot of morons and half-wits down here. Just drive to work on the 101 every morning if you don’t believe me.”
“Would you have dinner with a moron?” I asked her. “I’ve never dated an alien before. I’m trying to imagine what that would be like. In the end, I mean.”
“When she’s in your bedroom,” Fruma said, “with only the little lamp by the bed turned on, and you disrobe her, if ‘disrobe’ can be transitive, you’ll discover an amazing thing.”
“Don’t keep me in suspense.”
“Every man has his likes, his preferences, his turn-ons. His partner’s hair color, the shape of her body, heavy or light, tall or short, white skin or brown or red or yellow. Smooth or pelted. A man likes the action rough or tender, with mom or a stranger or a whore or a lover, with a coating of leather or chocolate or silk, restrained or restraining, with whips or feathers, whatever. The amazing thing is, let’s say it’s you and me – when that moment comes, my nose, my lips, my breasts, my hips, my legs will be the nose, lips, breasts, hips, and legs of your dreams. So will my skin, my hair, and the way that I treat you.”
“How can that be? I’m looking at you right now, aren’t I? I can see what you look like, can’t I?”
After lunch we parted, but met up for dinner at Bossa Nova Brazilian on Sunset, and then had a few drinks at one of my favorite dives, and then went back to my place. In the bedroom, with just the little lamp on by the bed, it turned out that everything she said was true.