- A true story though many names have been
“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.”
Franz Kafka“Every man and every womanhas a course, depending partly onthe self, and partly on theenvironment, which is naturaland necessary for each. Anyonewho is forced from his owncourse, either through notunderstanding himself, orthrough external opposition,comes into conﬂict with the orderof the universe, and suffersaccordingly.”Aleister Crowley⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️I ponder this excerpt frequentlyin quiet desperation while lookingout the window of myMalibu beachfront property. It isan excerpt by Aleister Crowley’s‘Magic; in theory and practice’I believe in magic. Or rather Ishould say, I believe that you canget anything you want. You beginwith intention, and then ride thathorse all the way to the KentuckyDerby. Things come together,people appear, andsynchronicities collide,combustible molecules form thatreduce alchemical base metalsinto gold, water into wine.And so it was, on that fateful day,way back in the late 70’s, whereanything went. My claim to famewas as a dancer on the Vegasstrip. A rocketeer, and my legsdid the talking. But where had itled me? I was living in a small 3bedroom house, Beverly Hillsadjacent, a single mother, with 3daughters to support. And I waspushing 40.! I’m sure I couldhave snagged some poorschmuck that would foot the billfor my current socio-economicstatus. But why? Why not thinkbig?!As I breezed through TheBeverly Hills Courier- a ﬂimsylittle magazine delivered to ourdoor, graciously elevating us tothe 90210 stratosphere, my eyesbegan to ﬁxate on a black andwhite blurb, a small photo of aman playing tennis at the veryexclusive hillcrest country club.Hmmmm…this might be thathorse…I was momentarilyinterrupted by a knock on thedoor, and hurtled back intoreality with my landlord’s requestfor the rent. He was a sleazy slickhaired Italian and seemed toinsinuate there were othermethods of payment. And he always showed up when the kidswere at school. I led him on, justenough to stall a week. I shut thedoor and picked up the phone.“Hillcrest country club? Yes, I’dlike to sign up for tennislessons.”!My gorgeous rocketeer legswere just hitting their ﬁnal stridebefore their long descent andthey went out with a bang, inthose tiny tennis skirts Ipurchased at Fila. It worked likea charm. I had Frank Nicklepants inthe palm of my hand.After a few weeks of dating Ipinpointed his weakness. Aweakness I would exploit untilthat rock was on my ﬁnger. Sex?No. He was past that stage andViagra hadn’t been invented yet.No, it was very simple. Cavemansimple. It was food. Food, adirect link to a man’s heart andstomach. And I knew just thelittle lady who would provide theservice. Her name was Patrice andshe owned a catering company inthe valley called Food for thought.Patrice was no ordinarychef. She was an artist of thehighest echelon. Her browniesalone could make a grown manwhimper if denied, and she had athirst for Hermes, an insatiableappetite for Georgio’s andTheodore’s. I knew she wouldchomp at the bit…and chomphard she did.
It started with cookies. Shecharged me $80 a batch,equivalent to $200 in today’smarket. It was a small price topay, and besides, now I had myown charge accounts, and cash,courtesy of Frank. Soon itescalated to breads-$90 for aloaf, Bastia, Tortes, mindblowing pies and cakes~ $1000 apop. Frank would ask me toentertain small dinner parties andI willingly obliged, with the helpof my very own Cyrano deBergerac. The cash and jewelsstarted rolling in~ a Cartiernecklace for this party, adiamond bracelet for that party.We hosted a dinner party onenight for Ted Kennedy and Frankintroduced me as not just the chefbut a true artist. Patrice haddelivered the goods early thatmorning and no one was thewiser.But slowly, as the romance beganto escalate, woven tightly in athick web of lies, my mind beganto unravel. It started with a closecall. Patrice’s husband Henry,delivering food early onemorning, tripped up the sprinklersystem and broke the clicker forthe garage. I had given explicitdirections for Henry to stash thefood in our 2nd freezer, knowingFrank could not possibly hear thegarage door open from ourupstairs bedroom. Frank ranoutside and demanded to knowwhat was going on, thinking Henrywas a thief. Henry stood there insoaking wet clothes withsprinklers splashing his face, andpiles of Tupperware at his feet.He explained that I had been“nice enough” to let his wife usethe freezer in the garage becausetheirs had broken down in themiddle of the night. That was aclose call. Then I found out that ahousekeeper had been stealingfrom me. I threatened to call thepolice and she said that if I calledthe police she would tell Mr.Nicklepants exactly who did thecooking in the house. So I let herstay, and continue to steal. Thefood kept coming, each dishmore exciting and exoticthan the last. Frank bought mydaughter a house, and soon I washearing those wedding bells.Things were ﬁnally coming tofruition. Everything I had set mymind on achieving. But there wasa problem. I was slowlybeginning to experience multiplepersonality disorder. My lieswere catching up with me.Someone at a dinner party wouldask me the recipe for something.I would become paralyzed,frozen, scared stiff. I wouldstutter that I didn’t recall andwould send it to them the nextday. And so began thememorization of every speckused in the cookies, cakes, thebread. I was an actress playingthe role of a lifetime and thesewere my lines. If I could justkeep it together until we weremarried, then I’d simply say “Idon’t feel like cooking, let’s goout.” One day Frank came homeand wondered why there weren’tany smells in the kitchen if I hadbeen cooking all day. So Iarranged for aromas to bedelivered, and brought home allthe cooking utensils I wouldneed. Then he wondered howthere was no trash. So I began tohave trash delivered, thewrappers from ingredients Patricehad used. I was living a doublelife and started to believe itmyself. I would tell Patrice howexhausted I was from cooking allday. And I believed it.The day ﬁnally came when Frankand I tied the knot, and I couldstop the shenanigans. But at whatcost? I would have to lie to Frankfor the rest of my life, and now Ihad grown to love this man. Iwanted our marriage to be pureand honest, but that wasimpossible now. It would bebased on lies, and those lies havekept me fragmented, all theseyears, split from myself, from mycenter.