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Mr. Big Smile 

I have to take Grant, of all people, into the deal with the TV people

The next time Grant asks you to sniff his hand, I'd advise against it. We were at the Beverly Laurel Motor Hotel in West Hollywood (because you can get four rooms there in exchange for the one that was booked for me at the Beverly Hilton), and Grant was sitting on my bed, going on about how he plans on moving to Tijuana because so many Mexicans live there, "and I do love me some Mexican man meat," he laughed his big-smile laugh, and up went his hand to his face again. He just kept sniffing his hand.

"Why the hell are you sniffing your hand?" I asked.

"He's been doing that since he left the gay bar in Tijuana," Lary said. Lary, by the way, regrettably opted out of the impromptu vasectomy offered by a perfectly passable south-of-the-border clinic with hardly any E. coli encrusted on the surgical instruments or anything (probably), a move that confounded me, because it's just unlike Lary not to take advantage of an opportunity.

Anyway, now Grant refuses to wash his hand because he had it down the pants of a cute little Latin "love monkey" practically the whole time he was in Tijuana, or at least until Lary pried it loose and forced him to leave the gay bar. I can't see Lary ever being the voice of reason, but since he isn't gay I'm sure he got tired of being aggressively groped by those who were while he waited for Grant to finish soaking his hand in ball sacks. "Fags were jumping all over me," Lary complained. "I almost spilled my margarita."

"Smell my hand!" Grant demanded, shoving it in my face.

"Get the hell off my bed!" I shrieked, and shoved him to the floor. I tried to kick him out of my room but he kept spreading his arms out like a caught lobster so he couldn't fit through the doorway. "Smell my hand! Smell my hand!"

"Get out!" I wailed, but, horribly, he refused. So I turned around, balled up the bedspread and threw it on the balcony. Does he not know I once lived with my mother in a trailer two miles north of the Tijuana border? I've heard the stories! True, real-life actual stories, like the time my friend once caught crabs just by sitting in a booth at a Tijuana brothel drinking beer while waiting for his friend to finish fucking a hooker upstairs. I remember he said he didn't think it was fair that he caught crabs just for sitting in a booth and behaving, but back home he was having an affair with his next-door neighbor's girlfriend, which I wouldn't exactly call good behavior, and in the end he passed the crabs to her and it busted them both.

Also, there was the story, actually true, I swear, of the Texas college kid who went to a rough border town to party with his friends and ended up as human chum in a satanic ritual. They found his spinal cord in a cauldron, and that's about all they found. He'd nearly gotten away when they first grabbed him. He actually jumped out of the van and made a run for it, but I guess the sight of a bruised and beaten young man running down the street with his hands tied behind his back screaming for help was no cause for alarm to the people in those parts, as his abductors easily rounded him up and went about their business of cutting him into little pieces.

Anyway, that is not the point, as it seemed that Lary and Grant, along with Daniel, made it back safely from Tijuana, thank God. So I guess the point is this: Of the three meetings I had scheduled with Paramount and HBO, one of these guys was supposed to attend two with me, starting the next morning. That's right, Paramount had requested I pick one representative from this band of retarded blow monkeys to come in with me so they can "see the chemistry," so I've been thinking about how Daniel cuts his hair himself with toenail clippers (which might actually be a plus) and Lary is such an evil, fermented zimwad I'm certain he'd take hostages right after the introductions were made (another possible plus).

But of the four of us, Grant is the salesman. He can sell bloody Band-Aids to a germ-a-phobe, I swear. "Jesus God," I gasped as I realized that, of all the people I can choose to go in there with me to present my life's work -- just eight years of me opening an artery every week is all, just my latest hope of having any semblance of security now that my blue-collar day job is getting flushed by corporate pork and my house has been under contract four times and still sits there unsold is all -- of all the people I could pick to go in there with me, my best option is Grant. Grant! Mr. Salesman. Mr. Big Smile. Mr. Nut-Sack-Hand man. I put my head in my palms and tried to monitor my breathing.

Daniel, Grant and Lary had dissipated to the balcony, and I could hear them discussing the possibility of stealing the motel's big neon sign. As the sun set behind the Hollywood hills, they pointed out their favorite homes in the distance along Laurel Canyon as though these mansions were waiting there to be plucked like truffles from a giant chocolate box. Grant, of course, was sniffing his hand again. I can't believe I actually canceled my room at the Beverly Hilton to be with these bovines.

"Please wash your hand before tomorrow!" I begged.

Grant just held his hand aloft and laughed his big-smile laugh. "I ain't never washing it again!" he shouted.

Hollis Gillespie is the author of Confessions of a Recovering Slut and Other Love Stories and Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch.

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