hammered-slotted-screw-hcs-01-11The receptionist desk at Hump magazine was of the glass block fishbowl variety.  It’s a popular design in Hollywood.  It gives even the most menial jobholder protection from the laymen off the street.  The receptionist will stand up and scare the hell out of you like a gun turret suddenly appearing over a castle wall.  “Hello, can I help you.”  She will say, when the underlying message is “Who the fuck do you think you are and what the fuck do you want?”  Then she’ll tell you to take a seat.  This is when she has you.  You sit down and you’ve shown your obedience.  Big mistake.  Now she can make you wait as long as she wants.  Your only recourse is to leave if you can’t take the domination.


Anticipating this textbook behavior, I called in advance so as I arrived I said, ” The editor is expecting me.”  Of course, the editor wasn’t expecting me exactly.  She was expecting a possibly huge ad campaign dressed down as a chick who didn’t care how much money she’s worth.



The receptionist led me through to the editor, Twyla Terany, with a smile and an offer of a coffee.  If I had been James Bond, the coffee would have meant sex.  If it were a Shakespeare play, the coffee would contain poison.  If it were a sitcom she would have spilled it on me before I reached the editor.  But it was none of those.  She was bluffing.  She had no intention of making me a cappuccino, now or latte.


Seated behind her desk, gabbing through a headset and acting incredibly important and not to be trifled with, sat Ms. Terany.  I suspected her family had once changed the name from its original form of Tyranny.  She motioned for me to be seated in her tastefully rich crème leather couch.  Her henchman asked me again if I would like anything and backed out of the room before I could think of a thing.  Twyla laughed loudly into her speaker and put on a convincing show of tough, shrewd businesswoman.


I just wanted to see her skirt and legs.  That would tell me how serious she was about food.  I tried to imagine from her seated position what she would order in a restaurant.  Her hair was swept to the side and styled meticulously as to give the appearance of naturally good hair.  She probably had it relaxed, straightened, conditioned, dyed, then added some curls to liven it up, when it was in fact, curly from birth.  She looked great though.  Her light brown shoulder length hair surrounded her classical face like a hard wood frame around some big colorful painting.  High cheekbones, well cared for teeth, and pretty smile when necessary all added to the successful, attractive executive profile.  She would order her salad without dressing, her fish without sauce and a Kettle One Cosmopolitan without triple sec.  She was a woman who enjoyed telling people to hold something back.  Anything.  Just so long as they had to adjust themselves for her.


It has to change a woman when they go from working in a cubical to having her own office with a swivel chair and headset.  Especially when that was her dream all along, to work her way up to Halogen lighting.  “I want a 360 degree view of my office.  I don’t want to hold my phone.  I want a person to guard my space and my availability.  I want someone other than myself, to answer the phone saying my name.  I want all this, and other stuff too, as I think of it.”


Twyla made the grand gesture of taking off her headset when her conversation ended.  “Hello.”  She hopped to her feet and took an elegant stroll around her desk to shake my hand.  “I’m Twyla.”


I stood to receive her suddenly radiant welcome.  Her shake was firm and left me wanting more of her Firm.  “Hi, Mitch.”  She said to me.   I told her my name was Mitch on the phone and her having believed me was now her issue.

I sat down and stayed seated knowing she would speak again eventually.  She walked back to her power chair and that’s when I got a chance to scrutinize her legs for signs of any food quirks I may have over-looked.  She had a high metabolism from eating clients all day long.  This girl didn’t care about real food.  She wanted blood and stylish bathroom fixtures.  She may never be at home to enjoy anything, but her house will always look good while she works.


“So,” she began, and I knew she was beginning because she smoothed down her desk as if it were wrinkled and moved several objects nearly centimeters from where they had been.  Obviously, Twyla was an obsessive compulsive, Type A personality, eating disordered insomniac, with an unusually high sex drive to work off her guilt.  I yearned to help her with the guilt problem.  “Have you read our Magazines?”

“Actually, I’ve only read one.”

“Really?  Curious.  Okay, let me guess.  Um, Glue?  No, uh, Fromage?  Oh, oh, I know, Diobolique?”

I almost thought she was kidding except that she appeared not to understand the need for humor.  Cash and orgasms made her laugh.  “No.  None of those in fact.  Would you like me to tell you?”

“I’m really keen to guess.”  She continued.  ”Handle Bars?  Or perhaps Hump?”

“Yes, Hump.  That’s the one.  You have more?”

“A few.”  She would have blushed, but there was no blood available for relocation.  “Hump, yes.  Great ads in that one.  Very classy.”

I tried to read her mind but she kept thinking about my torn jeans on her leather couch so it was throwing me.  She didn’t think I had enough money to advertise with her magazines.  That thought was coming through loud and clear or else I would have had a cappuccino on my coaster.

“I like your magazine.”  I decided to go for broke since she assumed I was anyway.  “I like its lack of viewpoint.”  I smiled wildly as if I were an eccentric genius who didn’t care what anyone thought of me.  It was a freeing character choice.

She froze.  Studied me.  She wanted a cigarette and thought her pencil tapping would satisfy that craving.  “I see.  Yes, well.  That is a trend, isn’t it?  Are you in advertising?  I mean, who do you work for exactly?”  Her honesty was hinged to finance.  I didn’t want to disturb that delicate balance by telling the truth.


“I’m sorry, I thought I told you my last name, it’s Getty.  I’m his grandchild actually.  But I have some interests beyond the merely philanthropic.”  I figured it would be most fun to baffle her with feelings of wealth envy.  Nothing clouds ones vision like old money.

“I’m so sorry for not recognizing you.  Your first name threw me.”

“We all have nicknames.   It slows the kidnappers.  I’m kind of the bisexual black sheep of the family.  I handle the parties, benefits, galas, concerts, and awards ceremonies.  It beats laying by the pool all day.”

“I second that emotion.”  She said breaking out her liquor cabinet stash.  “Would you to join me in a drink.”

“How big is the glass?”  I asked, assuming flirtation was inevitable now her pump was primed.  She laughed.  Granted, it was a robots chuckle that missed a beat while her main frame distinguished it as a joke.



She poured us a few drinks and delivered them herself.  “May I.”  She asked as she eyed a warm spot next to me.

“It’s your couch.”  I said, rich snot that I was becoming.

With her sexual torch held high, she began to move in.  I wasn’t sure what her motivation was beside visions of affluence and influence, but I was willing to learn by doing.  She didn’t say anything.  She smiled seductively and sipped her scotch.  I’m a pro when it comes to being uncomfortable, so I remained as quiet as she did.  She managed to moan a little and swirl her glass.  Her technique was lip sinking “straight-girl” in my ear, but I was pretty sure a straight chick would shake more.  No matter how sexy they are, they’re terrified by their own passion and it usually manifests itself in quivers, heavy sighs or clumsiness.  This woman was as smooth as a pressed butterfly.


The silence was uncomfortably exciting.  Each of us trying to force the others hand.  Affluent sex games.  We were both catching a warm buzz, but Twyla was cracking.  I could feel her getting restless.  She uncrossed her legs and stretched the left one out in front of me.  I looked at her tanned toned leg.  It took every finger I had not to touch it.  Not to gently place my hand on her skin and remember what a leg feels like.  Like wood?  No.  Like sand?  Nope.  Something soft?  Warmer.  I tried to remember my real objective in all of this.  Who was I and what was I there for?  I’m Mitch Getty, reporting for sex.  No.  Who am I?  I’m…I’m…I’m working.  Yeah, working for someone.  Oh yeah.  I remember.

“Look, Twyla, I have some other appointments to get to, so I’d really like to discuss your magazine?”

“Oh, yes.  Of course.”  She stayed where she was.  Even stretched the other leg.  Maybe she is an heir-fucker.  Is there such a thing?


A knock at the door startled us both, but she registered by being unfazed.  “Yes?”  She asked with the ease of a Friday afternoon Scotch drinker.

“I’m sorry to disturb you, Ms. Tearny, but Claire is here and insists it’s urgent.”  Twyla kept her composure with her as she excused herself, “I’ll just be a minute,” she explained to me as she left the office.

It was Claire in the other room.  Claire with red hair.  Claire, my exes ex.  Claire, who knocked me unconscious with her mere presence.  I couldn’t have heard them clearer if it were planned.

“What is it?”  Said Twyla curtly, “I’m in a very important meeting.”

“I don’t mean to interrupt your work, but why are you totally re-writing my column?  Why hire me and then write the fucking thing yourself.”  Claire said with her usual habit of punching on her curse words, forcing them to do two jobs at once.

“I asked you to tone it down.  The piece didn’t work for our advertisers.”  Twyla responded cooly and then continued, “I want you to keep the thing non-gender, can’t you do that?”

“Twyla, it’s a gay magazine!  If I wanted to sell out, I’d do it for money.”

Then I heard some whispering which sounded like Twyla sweet talking Claire.  A little sex appeal sprinkled on guilt, and an angry check writing finale.

This had settled it for me.  I wouldn’t even allow myself to have teenage-groping-floor sex with a woman who had less values than I have.  Twyla walked in as I prepared my big exit.  Big, in that I was preparing to exit at all.  It took guts.

“I’m so sorry, where were we?”  She adjusted her skirt lower, higher, she wasn’t sure which way she wanted it to go.

“Something came up.  I really have to go.  I’ll call you.”  I shook her hand and tried not to look back.  At her.  That woman.  The heat was too powerful.  In that weak sort of way.

“But wait,” she said with so much neediness in her tone that I was sure it surprised even her, “How will I reach you?”

I turned toward her and replied uncaringly, “You know how to whistle?”

That’s when she grabbed me by the arm and shocked my character choice right outta me.  She planted her lips on my mouth, pressing against them forcefully in an awkwardly erotic fashion.  I was stunned.  I have always wanted to be cool and calculating, but the truth is I have trouble feigning either.  I felt compelled to ask for her to have babies with me and move to Montauk.  Luckily, all I could think to say was, “Thanks.”

She took a step back from me allowing me to move freely.  I walked out the door.  Her girl didn’t even bother getting up from her fishbowl so I tossed her some invisible flakes and breezed out.