Too good to NOT be true; Confessions of a trouble-seeking gal. Suite 1652

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Editor’s Note: This is a true story. Names have been changed to protect the author and subject. “Violet” lives and works in L.A. “Liam Romero” is anyone’s guess…

It was a Friday afternoon in August.  I was riding my mustard-yellow vintage “Raleigh” bicycle down Franklin, less than a block away from home.  And then it hit me. No really, a car had hit me.  An old Chinese man failed to see me turning, plowing straight into me.  I flew through the air, clearing the handlebars, but not before one dug into my leg, leaving a 3-inch-wide bruise on my upper thigh.
People stopped, ambulances came, there was blood.  I hobbled away slighty scathed, embarking on a one month session of intense couch time with my laptop and DVDs.  That’s how I discovered Liam Romero.  I had picked up his art-house film at the Video Hut that week, and there was something mesmerizing about this actor by which I felt immediately compelled. I hadn’t had a crush on a celebrity since I was 13.  This was territory not unfamiliar, but more just kind of embarrassing. Over the next week I did some Google “research” on Liam.  I read articles about his insanity, narcissism and, God, his pictures were hot—I secretly set his personal website as my homepage.  His reputation as a douche bag made me hot.
I watched his other films, I followed his scandalous affair in the tabloids, and I fantasized that one day, yes, one day, I would meet him. He did exist. We could fall in love. Ahh, Liam. Mmm…

It was a sunny day in November. The kind that almost makes you believe it’s spring. I was back on my feet, working at a little breakfast nook in the L. Ron Hubbard District, otherwise known as Fountain and Catalina intersection, the Scientology Headquarters adjacent.
It was 10:46 a.m.
The restaurant was empty.  Breakfast rush had passed, and we were in the eye of a weekday storm, bracing ourselves for the doctors on their lunch breaks: tall OJ, green tea, can you put a rush on that?
I was out on the patio, killing time chatting up Edgar the busboy, when I saw a beautiful looking homeless person.  My eye caught his hair first.  It was really unkempt, but almost perfectly so. His gait was confident, his shirt blue.  He walked by and did a sort of double take. He had obviously never been here before, and was trying to find the place.
It was Liam Romero.
I rushed inside to continue watching him walk by. Suddenly he reached for the door, pushing it open, and stepped inside.
His ice-blue eyes pierced mine. I led him onto the patio and helped him find a table. He was meeting an old friend. The friend was running late.
“Can I get you anything besides water to drink?”
“Do you squeeze your orange juice fresh?”
“Every morning!” I said. Then I flexed for him.
“I was young 20 years ago,” he said wistfully.
“I can go squeeze you some. Right now.”
“Anything for you…”
And yes, I really said this.
As the kitchen staff is questioning my stability, I squeezed a half-pint glass of the freshest glass of OJ in Los Angeles. I began my procession back to his table.
His friend had arrived.
“Here you go,” I said. “Just squeezed.”
“Will you marry me?”
“I wish I could believe you, but every time that happens, I end up reading about what a slut she turns out to be on the internet.”
He gets bacon-cheddar grits and the salmon Benedict.  And I end up squeezing him another glass of orange juice.  And I don’t mind.
Later, as I set down the check, he pulls out his Black Amex: a sure sign that you’re loaded.  It weighs about 8 times that of a normal credit card and is made from metal.  It’s amazing.
I run the card, and when I return, he tells me to tip myself whatever I want so I can buy myself something pretty for the next time he comes to see me.
I coyly retort, “I’m going to leave it blank and you can tip me what you want.”
What he doesn’t know is underneath the credit card slip I’ve placed my business card featuring a picture of me in a library looking all slutty-librarian with glasses and a shhhhh-face. On the back, I wrote him a haiku.  The haiku read:
In vegas or in
The backseat of my new van:
Wanna get fresh-squeezed?
Then I watch him drive away in an amazing yellow vintage American Rambler.
4pm. Same day. Phone rings. Unknown number.
“Violet?  It’s Liam Romero.”
(SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!)
“So, listen.  Do you put out?
“Fuck yeah, I put out.”
We arrange to go for a “drive” in my van.  He will call me tonight.
Midnight rolls around, and I’m drunk.  I’ve kept my phone on me at the Regina Spektor concert in Hollywood, which ended fairly early, but no calls from Liam yet.  The girls and I head over to Johnny’s apartment for more drinks, and when we get there, I notice a missed call on my cell.
It’s the worst: an unknown number. Which obviously means it’s Liam. I spend the rest of my night kicking myself for blowing my big opportunity with him. We were gonna do it in my van, dammit!  How could I have missed his call?
I keep hope alive, though, and over the next few weeks, I continue to get mysterious missed calls from unknown numbers. It seems to happen every time I accidentally leave my phone in the car or at home. I’m making an effort to keep it on me at all times, but almost without fail I go somewhere without it and return to the missed call from the unknown number.
It’s been a month since the first encounter.  I’ve lost hope this will ever come to fruition. I go over to my next door neighbor’s apartment and watch some weird British mystery.  It’s dragging on, and I’m nodding off.  It ends, and I head back to my place. What do I see?
Oh, who called?
Violet, it’s Liam Romero.
Isn’t it odd he always refers to himself in by full name?
I’m at a friend’s dinner party, but give me a call back.
I write down his number—I finally have his number!—and muster all the balls I have, and dial.
He picks up.  I ask him if he wants me to pick him up in my van.  Instead, he suggests I come over to his hotel room.
Hotel room?
“Yeah, I live at the Roosevelt.”
He scoffs that I don’t know where that is.
“It’s on Hollywood Blvd.  You know where the In and Out on Sunset is?”
So classy.
It doesn’t stop me, though. Alright. Mission: Hotel Roosevelt. I have about an hour to meet him there. I’m freaking out.
I try to wake myself up and make myself look hot for Liam-fucking. I end up in tight jeans with a blue and brown striped tank top under a grey wife-beater, my cowboy boots, and a cardigan. It’s showtime.
The ride to the Roosevelt is surreal.  I notice parts of Hollywood I never knew existed.  Shops, neon signs, side streets.
By the time I park and get to the hotel, I’m not sure which way is up or down. I have a slight fear I’m being set up, but that can’t be. I just talked to him on the phone. It was definitely him.
I wait by the elevator for someone to get on in order to get to the penthouse suites. The corridors were grey, quiet, and plush. I followed them like a maze and make my way to his room: number 1652.
I knocked.
I tried to look casual.
But beautiful.
He pulled the door open.
And there he was. Faded blue v-neck t-shirt. Impeccably tousled hair. Liam. Romero.
We hug. WE HUG!
His suite was sparse.  In fact, the only things in it was an Armani catalogue, two day-planners, fancy bottled water, and Evian in a can. I wonder what it’s for… face? Hair?  Whatever it was, it worked.
We ventured to the couch overlooking South LA. It’s beautiful, all lights. He doesn’t seem to care.
He tells me all of a sudden that he thought I tricked him.
“You never called me back.”
“You never left a number to call you back!”
“I called you, like, 5 times.”
“I knew it was you!”
“You did?  How?”
“I just knew—all the missed calls from unknown numbers.  I just knew it was you.”
“But I left my number tonight.”
“Finally,” I winked.
He tells me he likes my stripes. Then he tells me he likes my socks, polka dots. He says he likes patterns. I’m starting to feel like I’m talking to a distracted child, and a very sleepy one. Or a heroin addict. They have a way of saying the most hair-brained yet charming things.
We’re slouched on his couch, talking about nothing, but it’s ok. It’s surprisingly mellow and comfortable. Then suddenly he gets up and walks to the bedroom. He flops down on the bed. I follow.
“Sorry I invited you over and I’m all tired…”
“It’s ok.”
“I feel like I should know you better to feel this comfortable with you. Close your eyes.”
“I’m gonna take my clothes off, but you have to close your eyes.”
So I do. And he does. Then he slides under the covers.
He tells me to go stand in front of the window, where the only light from outside is streaming in. He wants me to de-robe there.
“Whoa, no bra?” he asks.
I go back to the bed.
“Perky boobs, perky boobs…” he chants.
He sings in weird childlike repetition.
“You have old-timey boobs,” he says, touching them.
I have to laugh. What is going on?
After a brief fondling, he’s passed out cold. I sneak out of the bed to pee. In the bathroom is where I discover the canned Evian. Not even a tooth brush, just canned Evian.
I tiptoe out.
He’s awake.
“Shut that bathroom door!  The people next door smoke pot.”
I go back and shut it.
And we’re back in bed, and he’s asleep again.  I stare at his silken hair, like Jesus. Like Jesus in Armani on heroin.
I slept maybe a total of 1 hour, spread out in intervals.  It was like trying to sleep while you’re waiting for Santa Claus.  Sweaty, expectant, giddy.
I finally got up and dressed at an ungodly hour, right after sunrise. The room was stiflingly hot, and he was dead to the world.  I left a note and left.
The next day I had to shoot an episode of my friend’s show.  We were shooting in a parking lot just south of the Roosevelt.  Of course, his window was in plain view, just taunting me, overlooking us.  I wondered what he made of it all.  I didn’t really know what to make of it myself.
I was a little disappointed, honestly.  I was totally ready to get wild and crazy!  Famous guy!  Sluts, booze!
Whatever it was, whatever he was, it was as mystical as I had hoped. And different.
It’s two weeks later. I enter the Roosevelt lobby. My palms are sweating. I don’t belong here. I meander around until I find the concierge.
“Hi,” I say, “can you have this sent to room 1652?”
“Room 1652?  Sure.”
I hand over a 5” cube cardboard box.
The concierge and her friend smile in a have a nice day get out way.
I rush out of the hotel and don’t look back. I make it back to my van. I breathe. I look at my dash. The sticker from the navel orange is stuck there. I kept it as a souvenir. On the orange, with a black magic marker, I’d written one sentence: Wanna get fresh squeezed?

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