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January 31, 2003
The Iranian

Part 17

February 25
11:45 p.m.

I am sitting on the couch crying with laughter while Artie is narrating what in his opinion is the "flagrant lesbian subtext" in the movie Gone with the Wind.

-- "This is obviously a lesbian love story between Scarlet O'Hara and Melanie Wilkes... A Jennifer Tilly-Gina Gershon duo of the thirties. Just look at the plot line. Every move Scarlet makes is colored by Melanie's life path. Society cannot accept this love that does not dare speak its name. So what does she do? She marries Melanie's brother! Then, with him safely out of the way, she moves in with her! And the maiden aunt! Maiden aunt! Do you know what that means?"

-- "Don't tell me? A love triangle between Melanie, Scarlet and Aunt Pittipat?"

-- "Nooooo silly! Aunt Pittipat is an old lesbian! That's why the two hot young lesbian lovers can take refuge in her house, the only place where they can canoodle in peace, away from prying eyes... "

-- "Oookayyyy But what about Ashley Wilkes? All the scenes where Scarlett looks longingly at him?"

-- Nooo... It's Melanie she is looking at with those wistful eyes. I mean that Ashley! Just has to come back to war and meddle in their perfect little lesbian/feminist/communist collective farm in Tara, which Scarlet has single-handedly run with her butch biceps while Melanie is the femme taking care of cooking and cleaning."

-- "Lesbian/communist... what ?"

-- "These two have a bond all throughout the story that is unique. I mean Scarlet delivered Melanie's baby. Then she saved her life by carrying her through the war torn South. Then, they kill that renegade Yankee soldier and cover up their crime! What does Melanie do at the sight of Scarlet holding the soldier's bloody corpse? She takes off her nightgown! She's standing there in the nude in front of her lover, without shame. It's nothing that Scarlet hasn't seen before. Then later when Scarlet's reputation is ruined by neighborhood gossips, who stands by her and saves her? It's Melanie! Cause she knows there ain't a way in hell Scarlet is sleeping with her husband."

-- "Hahahahaha... Artie you're too much. So what about all of Scarlet's declarations of love to Ashley!"

-- "Puhleez that effeminate pansy of a man? She probably thought he was a woman all along... "

-- "And the reason she married Rhett? You're gonna tell me he was a woman in drag too?"

-- "See? Now you're getting it... "

-- "Sigh... Artie... stop... hehehehehe... Stop making me laugh while I am trying to drink my juice. I think I ėm gonna pass it through my nose! Hehehehehe"

Chloe walks in on this sad, sad scene. Artie and I are both in our pajamas, me with my favorite Scooby Doo T-Shirt and matching socks, he with women's silk pajamas from Victoria's Secret.

Chloe sighs.

-- "You two are pathetic! Cooped up in here on Saturday Night watching old movies on PBS like two old ladies!"

-- "Hey!!!" exclaims Artie, "Who're you calling old?"

-- "Whatever!... Listen Naz, you can't mope around any longer. You've got to do something to get out of that funk! Soooo you broke up with your boyfriend so what? You think you're the first person to go through this?"

I roll my eyes and look at her menacingly:

-- "Forget it Chloe! No more of your interesting blind dates. I did you a favor once and I learned my lesson... "

-- "Okay fine! Let's talk about your career then? How long has it been since you even went on an audition?"

I sheepishly look down. She may have a point there. I mean do I want to smell like oily fries and burger meat for the rest of my life?

Chloe smiles triumphantly.

-- "Good! Then it's settled. I'm taking you to see my manager tomorrow. It's high time you got your shit together."

February 26
5 p.m.

That was interesting. Chloe took me to "Ne' shant'e" (one name please, just like Madonna), her manager in West Hollywood. When did black people start going crazy with their name? I think to myself while looking at this attractive middle-aged woman with a fantastic blonde wig, lavender contact lenses and enough platinum chains, earrings and rings to make Queen Elizabeth jealous.

Ne'Shant'e is wearing a phone set, and is in the middle of an animated discussion when Chloe and I are led into her office.

-- "I'm tellin' you Josh... I've got your girl. She's got a great face, great ass, real exotic looking... What?... Yeah I'm telling you! She's 20, looks fifteen... Real ethnic you know whadda mean? A sista from da hood! ... Uh? What's that?... Hell yeah she knows how to hip hop... Dance, rap, sing, you name it... She's it... All right honey... All right I'll send her over right away... Okay bye... "

Ne'Shant'e finally looks up, and seems completely disinterested by what she sees.

-- "Sup Neshy?" Chloe chirps enthusiastically.

But "Neshy" does not have the time for frivolities like greetings.

-- "Where's the girl?"

-- "Right here!" Chloe says, grabbing my elbow and pushing me forward.

-- "WHAT?"

Neshy seems suddenly excited. But not in a good way.

-- "Fool! You told me she was ethnic? And you bring me Jessica Rabbit?"

Normally I would take this as a compliment given the cartoonish proportions of Ms. Rabbit but I have a feeling this is more a dig at my clownish red hair than my advantageous curves.

-- "Oh that?" Chloe giggles "Oh she can fix it. We'll just get her to dye her hair back to black."

Ne'Shant'e closes her eyes. I can almost swear I see little clouds of smoke escaping from her ears and a vein throbbing dangerously close on her forehead.

Chloe and I are both holding our breath. Finally the sphinx opens her eyes.

-- "Okay I gotta take this call. Go pick up the script at the receptionist's desk... "

Then, she points her finger at me:

-- "You! You're already on probation. I'm only keeping you on if I get positive feedback."

So that's it. I officially have a manager now. But before I can click my heels, the receptionist hands me the script. With horror, I read the description of my character: Teen-age girl from the hood. She knows how to break-dance, rap and has a tough ėtude. Preferably Black or Hispanic.

Good grief.


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