‘Third Time’s a Charm’ (lesfic)


The saying “Third Time’s a Charm” is used when describing keys. Try the first key. Try the second. And then boom…you’re in the house you’re perhaps dog sitting for. Which the little dog is super duper happy about as she’s practically crossing her little doggie legs she has to pee so bad. Could you imagine? As much as domesticated dogs have great lives when paired with the right owner in this incarnation they do suffer some minor inconveniences being at the whim of not choosing when they can and can’t go to the bathroom. So I’m taking this moment to honor all the little doggies out there to say, “You guys are killing it in the understanding and forgiveness department.” Picture a large audience giving a standing ovation to a group of golden retrievers on stage.

It can also be described in marriage when people marry multiple times and get it right on the third try, because as your discernment increases, so does your taste. Hopefully. In terms of discernment –  which sounds like the sequel to the movie Terms of Endearment  – but really it’s just a fun way for me to talk about discernment more. For instance, some people never stop eating Doritos. How did she pass? She was eating Doritos in the tub and then all the sudden she just croaked. As sad as the death is, it’s even sadder she never had the opportunity to experience the blessed jalapeño kettle potato chip. Those chips are fantastic! If she only knew.

Discernment ain’t for the stubborn of heart. Or in Elizabeth Taylor’s Case, she took third time’s a charm and multiplied it by 3. Well almost. She had 8 marriages, 7 husbands, marrying Richard Burton twice, mathematically proving if she just gave it one more go with him, it could have been the ole “Third Time’s A Charm”. What can I say, I’m a sucker for Hollywood History, and if it was taught in the school system I probably wouldn’t have fallen asleep most days in History class. I will say that my history teacher Mrs. Malone’s bowl cut did excite me and was the one thing that kept me up as it seemed to be getting shorter and shorter. It was almost becoming a little tiny sake bowl. If you are cutting your hair in a bowl cut you are obviously not taking yourself too seriously, and you’re definitely living life on the edge. No pun intended. So I guess you could say I’m a sucker for two things. Hollywood History and the Bowl Cut Haircut. If that makes me peculiar, so be it…Isn’t that what Hollywood is anyway? Just a bunch of odd ducks. Picture all the greats at the Oscars turning into ducks and making their acceptance speeches. Which if your listening Wes Anderson…sounds like your next film.

*** A fair warning there will be a lot of talk of fruit and sex in the next section so if you are small child or fruit phobic, I’d either stop reading or I’d encourage you to keep an open mind. Because both can be extremely good for your health when enjoyed mindfully.

Fantasy Segment

I was shooting a short film this weekend about a vegan restaurant where I play a waitress as art imitates life and you wouldn’t believe who was the director. Helen Hunt. I had waited on Helen twice before at a gorgeous vegan restaurant tucked away on the edge of Abbot Kinney. The first time I met her I almost fainted as I poured her filtered tap water. The second I had to do Kundalini breathing exercises before I approached her table and well, The Third Time’s A Charm.

Behind the blue I could feel her desire. It felt warm like a toasty bonfire in the woods of Virginia proving blue really is the warmest color.

She pretended that she forgot who I was at first so as not to add attention to the fact that I was not only her waitress but her waitress now in the shots she was setting and framing. Helen was wearing khaki drop crotch pants and a Japanese cream colored cotton t-shirt. Her boobs were a rare combination of hard and soft. Kind of like Frances McDormand. She shook my hand and said, “Hi, I”m Helen, whats your name?” “Mollie,” I replied. I figured it was senseless to say I knew who she was. I think it was safe to say Helen knew I knew but did she know that I knew that she wanted what she ended up wanting? Who knows as the subconscious is 95 percent of our thoughts and 5 % is conscious.

Seeing a woman operate a camera is very alluring, seeing Helen Hunt operate a camera is borderline soft porn.

Helen told me I would come camera left and we would block the scene. She put her arms on my shoulders and it felt like I’d imagine what most women want. Seeing a woman operate a camera is very alluring, seeing Helen Hunt operate a camera is borderline soft porn. After we finished shooting the scene in which I did a lot of improv and was making everyone laugh on set. Helen said, “okay guys that’s a wrap on Mollie”. Everyone cheered and then Helen whispered in my ear, “I wish you could shoot the rest of the scenes. Get my number from Sarah. Let’s go rollerblading in Glendale”. I looked at Helen and hugged her and then walked away saying, “Definitely, I want to see more of you”. Helen was wearing John Lennon shaped sunglasses of brown tortoise and blue frames. Behind the blue I could feel her desire. It felt warm like a toasty bonfire in the woods of Virginia proving blue really is the warmest color.

I’m not gonna lie. It was hard to go back to regular life after being in the presence of Helen for the day. But I had to get back to basics. I did my usual restorative yoga class Sunday morning with this sweet yoga guru named Paul who I imagine drives a Nissan Leaf and makes homemade spinach soup afterward with his wife Nancy. Then I went to the coffee shop next door, got an iced almond milk latte like one does post meeting Helen.

I people watched and saw simple pleasures like a daughter in her 30’s doing a crossword puzzle with her elder Israeli parents. There was also two toddlers talking on the pretend banana phones. “Are you there?” “I’m here” the 2 and half year old wearing a onesie replied adamantly. It got me thinking about the sweet connection of child and mother. How much I missed my own mom when she was healthy, which was so brief…but profound nonetheless. And I wondered if I should have one of my own, or adopt from Guatemala as I’ve always felt like that was a small calling on the banana phone for me.

I decided to head across the street to the local farmers market, to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables to increase my fertility chances and become whole with my soul again as prolific New York Times author Anthony William suggests in his book Medical Medium. As I sampled some fresh figs, my phone rang. It was an unknown number but the area code was from Culver City so it felt central and non threatening. “Hi, it’s Helen. I got your number from Sarah”. As the arrow of her voice pierced my heart my hands began to quiver. I dropped the fig and everything seemed to be playing in slow motion. Do I apologize to the local farmer or focus on being present with Helen? Then a hummingbird scooped up the fig and an elderly couple took photographs of the scene.

As it turns out, they were making a documentary on farmers markets, and all was well. “Helen, so good to hear from you. How was the rest of filming.?”

“It was good, I loved the project and the people. Listen I’m glad we met. What are you doing later tonight?”. Helen cut right to the chase which I really dug.

“Well I’m dog sitting by the beach for a lesbian who wanted to pull an Eat, Pray, Love and go to Italy, Bali, and India. I’m making a fruit salad. Want to come over for a bowl of fruit?”. I put my hand over my face thinking this was either the worst or best way to seduce a woman. (LONG PAUSE).

“Actually, that sounds like exactly what I need right now. Text me the address. How’s 8 sound?”

To be clear, I’d make any time work with Helen as she’s a goddess of scene study, hurricanes, and the closed mouth smile. After I finished up at the farmers market it started to rain…hard. I decided to play a little Sam Cooke, get snug as a bug, and work on compiling my photography book, Twins or Lesbains From Behind. I heard a knock on the door which more felt like a knock on my human heart.

Helen was soaking wet from the rain and was holding a dog toy. Sexy, talented, and thoughtful? Could Helen get any better?  I’m a little turned on given the romantic circumstances of rain, music, and no supervision. But my first instinct is to get her in some dry clothes and get her warm. She grabbed my face with her wet hands as if I a nut milk strainer. She started to take off her shirt and said,” let’s get in the shower.” Thank God I just made a fruit salad and not a hot meal so I didn’t have to feel like a resentful housewife.

We hopped in the shower and started to shampoo each other’s hair. I don’t know if it was the Eucalyptus steamer but Helen started to open up…as Helen tends to do. She told me she felt like she would die if she didn’t tell someone how she felt. That she kept having a recurring nightmare that she couldn’t escape the portrait with the man. That she was trapped inside. I held Helen as she wept in my arms in the shower. Its okay Helen. It’s 2018, you can escape. In fact, you will find out people will probably love you more. At Least the people that actually matter for your growth. Helen’s eyes that once look like caged birds turned into a beautiful combination of green and brown almost as if she drifted briefly in nature with Jane Goodall and the Chimps. I want to get to know her better before things become TOO sexual so I tell her about my fruit salad, upbringing, and how special I think she is. Green Juicy Grapes, Nectarines, and Plums.

You really weren’t expecting the plums, were you? Me either, but man were they fresh at the farmers market. I told her a story about my mom and how she’d walk into my dad’s office at renowned financial consulting firm, Merrill Lynch, some days dressed as a prostitute. Ahhh, those were the days. Whoever said nostalgia isn’t good for you never had a mother dress up as a prostitute for fun and visit the old man at the office. Helen saw my potential as a storyteller and our beginnings of a “fruitful” collaboration began to blossom.

It was simple, sensual and healing for both of us. Quite frankly it was the best sex I’ve had with anyone…In a bowl cut.

When she asked me if there was anything she could do. I told her to Pay It Forward so she put the fruit salad back in the fridge, smirked, and then spanked me. Which made me laugh. Helen seemed lighter. She said, “You know what I really want to do…I want to play truth or dare”. Which took me no talking into. We sat Indian style on the leather brown couch while Helen draped an Indigo blanket over her. She looked secure and happy. Helen being the pioneer that she is, asked first. “Truth or Dare?” I picked truth to set a nice pace for the game. “What is your biggest fear?” she asked.

“Ohh that’s a tough one. Probably a tie between finding a skunk on an easter egg hunt and being rejected by the person I fall in love with.” Then I started to laugh really hard to mask my obvious childhood wound. Helen was so tender and reminded me of an elephant in this moment. Conserving valuable resources like deep listening, kindness, and understanding. “Your turn,” I say. “Truth or Dare?”

She picked ‘dare,” which was almost as unexpected as Mad About You’s revival. I said, “okay, I dare you to cut your hair in a bowl cut”. She grabbed the leftover fruit from the fridge, fed me a kiwi and raspberry sandwich which I thought was a super creative pairing, and asked: “where are the scissors?”

I couldn’t believe Helen was game. I felt like the press was going to treat me like they treated Courtney Love when they found out about our shinanigans. She said, “I don’t care. I need a change. Something symbolic that I’m making a shift.”

As I cut Helen’s thin dirty blond hair and ran my fingers along her freshly trimmed bowl we began to laugh a little. Then really hard. She asked me to get on top of her and I of course could not say no to her. Who can say no to Helen? And the next thing you know we were making love under an indigo blanket. It was simple, sensual and healing for both of us. Quite frankly it was the best sex I’ve had with anyone…with a bowl cut.

Footnote: Helen and I have had a grounded and passionate love affair this past year. We ice skated over a frozen pond in Chicago for Thanksgiving while eating blood orange slices like a couple of teenagers in love. We got Turmeric lattes and made out under the Bean and laughed about how we were “SO L.A.” She’s become an abstract painter specializing in the square where one side is brightly illuminated. She calls it her coming out story, which makes me laugh but mostly I just can’t believe how seductive she can look in overalls and a white tank top.

She has a great sense of humor too which is of great value to me. Not just a pretty face. She’s become into marine life and is currently writing a film about A glass-bottomed boat that reveals undersea wonders. It’s like Narnia under the sea and it’s got loads of hidden themes on endangered species. I help her sometimes with research on the animal kingdom but mostly so I can steal a kiss from her warm lips.

Christmas was rather extraordinary as we ended up kissing under the mistletoe at George Clooney and Amal’s home in Lake Como. It was great to see her finally just be open in front of people in that way. And they really got a kick out of me and the bowl cut story. What a good night that was for all of us.

I’m happy to share Helen’s bowl cut grew out, and my career and self-love grew immensely as I sold my first screenplay. Helen and I decided it would be best to transition to friends. Turns out, she and Jodie Foster are just a tad more compatible. Jodie thanks me all the time for instigating the shift and sends me a set of handmade ceramic bowls that she makes in their home in Topanga Canyon every year for my birthday. I always keep fresh cut kiwi and raspberries in the fridge as a “fruitful reminder” of one of the most nourishing relationships of my life. So I guess you could say it’s been a full circle experience.

Growing up on a farm where it wasn’t okay to be who I was, I started to develop fantasies about older successful Hollywood Actresses. They were my window into emotions, sexuality, and freedom. And in my imagination, I thought it would be fun to experiment with them wanting a grounded experience that diverted from this big strange Hollywood world where they were maybe not able to be their true selves.

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