GRAPES.

She was laying on a chaise lounge eating grapes, pretending always that they were old fat men. The whole thing to me seemed to be an experiment in dramatic lighting, each fold and curve of her figure lit and dazzling before my eyes. From my chair in the far corner I asked her questions. "Have you ever done anything with your fame that youíre ashamed of?"

She laughed. "Sure. Hasnít everyone? I mean, havenít you?"

I blushed deeply. "Once I yelled at boy who tried to take a picture of me. That was the worst. I couldnít get over it, you know. He was a fan."

She chuckled only as a movie star can chuckle, then sat up and came over to me. "Poor thing," she said, and patted my head. "You really need to utilize your fame. I have done bad things." She settled back into her seat and lit a cigarette. "Bad things."

She sighed deeply and quickly, as if she were thinking hard. "I just donít know if I should tell you." She said teasingly. "Oh, what the hell, it really doesnít matter, does it? I can trust you, right?"

I nodded silently and gulped. "Why, sure you can."

She laid with her head on the pillow and her eyes looking towards the ceiling. "Well, I was in this town, this shitty little town somewhere in Arkansas. A real hell, you know?" she sighed. "Well, anyway. We were on location for some damn movie I did during the whole independent buzz about two years ago. We got brought in by helicopter and when I got off the damn thing there had to be 100 people sitting there just waiting for a glance. It was pathetic, and I mean that. But you know, they ate it up." She smiled and laughed. "So they had us set up in this little Holiday Inn or something, I mean the best dig in town if you can believe. Honestly, it was hell. Snack machines and a tiny heated pool. I was stuck up in my room. I swear I drank a whole bottle of Smirnoff that night. I just canít stand little watering holes like that place." She smiled. "So, I was pretty drunk you could say, and this place had a little bar down by the lobby, big place for the locals or whatever. Very unimpressive.

Well, it got to be around midnight so I went down there to that bar. I had brought some damn model boy along with me, but he was passed out upstairs in his underwear." She exhaled a heavy stream of smoke and laughed. "And there at the bar was this kid, just covered in my merchandise. It was quite a trip. So I saunter up to this boy, he looked to be around seventeen. Very gawkish, but you know, cute that way." She looked over at me as if she expected some kind of reply. "Well, anyway. He had these big old eyes and a very thin looking head. It was kind of pathetic. Whatever. So I started talking to this kid-." She let out a ring of smoke and stuck her finger through the middle and laughed. "Very suave I was, but of course it all seems like that on a bottle of vodka." The lights above her illuminated the curves of her face. "I mean, of course he was nearly in love with me already I can imagine. In fact he was telling me how he had been in that little crowd to see me. He was awfully good with words. Very sincere, very romantic. I decided I was going to play up to this character. I decided Iíd let him have his little foolish romantic heartís desire."

I gulped in my chair and leaned forward. "You didnít seduce this fellow, did you?" I asked, quite seriously.

She put her little hand on her forehead, and exploded into laughter. I sighed in relief. "Of course I did." She said. "Look, I was drunk, I was bored, and I was in Arkansas. It was a pretty pathetic night. But of course this kid didnít think so. I mean, I can just imagine the poetry heís writing. Lost love, sudden passion, whatever." She laughed a silent, personal laugh, and moaned. "Oh boy, how sad."

I started to talk, but she stopped me. "I know what you are going to say. Did I have sex with him? Yes, yes I did. And Iíll spare you the details."

"I can imagine." I said, rolling my eyes in plain wonder.

"Oh it wasnít all that bad. Clumsy, boring maybe. But not all that bad. I told him I wanted to see all this apparent memorabilia he had, you know, of myself. So he takes me over to his house, and we sneak in the window. Just like a bunch of teenagers. I mean, the room was a mess, yearbooks and dirty laundry. It was really kind of cute. But let me tell you, for futureís sake. If you ever get into a situation like this, make sure you go back to your own place. Itís not good to be fooling around with a child when a poster of you is on the closet door. Honestly, itís a bit disturbing."

I sat up in my chair. "You pick the funniest things to be disturbed by." I retorted, slightly disgusted.

"Look, that kid got the night of his life and we all know it. Heíll remember that forever. I was just having some fun. Of course, I did have to break his heart."

"You did what?"

"Well, I got up that morning pretty early. That kid had talked forever and I got pretty sick of it after a bit, so I just went to sleep. I got up pretty early, as I had said, and went back over to the hotel. Iím getting my makeup done for the shots and the boy barges in, followed by all my security guards and everything. And Iím just rolling my eyes and pretending that Iíve never heard of him at all. So they grab his arms and throw him out, as simple as that. We just sat and watched and laughed. That night Iím coming back to the place to pack and heís sitting outside the side door, looking all dejected. He sees me, and Iím just rolling my eyes while heís talking about how hurt he is and asking why Iím ignoring what we had together or whatever the hell. It was all very Shakespearean." She sighed. "So, I grabbed the little shit by the arm and told him it was a one night deal. Itís like I said- everyone in Hollywood is a slut." She sighed and put her arms over her face. "Except you of course." I donít know what his problem was, itís just sex."
Silently I wondered how one could look so beautiful from the outside, and be so ugly on the inside. It seemed as if beauty had corrupted her. She smiled and ate another grape.