I don’t need Siri to tell me how to get to Shiba Maerten’s house. I can see her stilted glass house on the ridge because shit rolls uphill in Los Angeles.  Her house is not as private as someone constantly stalked by paparazzi might desire. Years of attention has institutionalized Shiba Maerten and she needs to live in a Panapticon.

I swoop around Shiba’s block, checking for papparazi until I’m sure it’s clear. You got to be careful about being a “caregiver” in Hollywood. I know the guy that sold Kurt Cobain his last shot. To this day he wears a hood to get around because people accost him in the street and put needles in his vegan wraps, shit like that. 

I dismount the bike and sneak from shadow to shadow until I find her security gate open. Once inside the privacy fence of Shiba’s compound I make my way up the stairs cut into the steep front lawn as Stevie Nicks sings, “Gold Dust Woman” from hidden speakers. The stairs are flanked with iceplant, driftwood, antique green glass buoys, cold drippy candle remnants, wreaths of cigarette butts jammed in an ashtray under the porch, empty wine bottles and several red cups rolling around in the evening breeze. 

The lights of the house cut the fog rolling in from the west dazzles me when the stairs end abruptly at Shiba’s front door. Curtains have been thrown back so I can see inside.  Ms. Maertin has placed an antique leaded mirror on the dresser outside of her bathroom door, so the reflection angles into the shower. As there’s nowhere else to look, I happen to see Shiba’s pink taffy nipples frescoed behind the roiling steam as she rubs herself all over with one of those loofah sponges, the kind with the wierd nubs all over it.  

I’m struck flat footed, dumb. A gentle breeze nearly blows me back down the stairs.  My movement makes Shiba turn the shower off.  Busted. Now what? I go through all the modern pervert shaming horrors that await me: ousted on twitter as a peeping tom, falling so low that I won’t even be able to sell drugs anymore.

I go through all the modern pervert shaming horrors that await me: ousted on twitter as a peeping tom, falling so low that I won’t even be able to sell drugs anymore.

“Rulers make bad lovers, better put your kingdom up for sale,” Fleetwood Mac drifts up from the iceplant to hip me to the fact that the mirror and the tits is a game. Shiba Maerten shines famous tits on mortals, renders them into pillars of quivering salt. Next I’m supposed to knock on the door so she can watch me try to act like I didn’t see her naked. 

I don’t have enough class to play her game. So, I light a cigarette and fiddle with the phone. But there’s nothing in the phone good as Shiba Martin tits when she flounces out of the shower, pale skin flushed from that hot, hot steam. Shiba traces her body with a downy white towel, slowly, making sure to dry the places that I preferred she leave wet. I drool so hard my cigarette hisses out as Shiba dabs behind her knee. 

Finally, I’m able to knock on the door, three unimpeachable raps, like a cop. Shiba jumps in a dumbshow of surprise which might have passed in a child’s acting class. She skips to her closet, puts a white silk robe, then comes to the door, smiling, pushing wet hair out of her eyes.

“Oh my bad… hate to interrupt your... bath.” I’m nervous, confused, short of breath. 

“Shower. Oh no, it’s fine, darling, I called you, you know,” Shiba says in her precious British accent, drying behind her ears, braille of goosebumps around her nipples. 

“Do come in,” she coos, brushing her hair back with a big red comb. In my opinion Shiba’s interior decorator was a little too “on the nose” with the vintage Serge Gainsbourg movie poster for “Cannabis” and huge lava lamp goobing away on an honest to god mirror table. 

I flop on the shabby chic couch and try to page through French Vogue nonchalantly as I place three bags of white powder between us. 

 “Is this any good?” she asks. 

Hyperventilation has made me unsure of what she means, but murmur assent, “Yes. Good,” as Shiba throws a handful of cash at me.

“How’s the writing coming?”  Shiba inquires around the hair tie in her mouth as she piles shimmering blonde hair on her head into a knot. 

Usually, I answer, “not so good if I’m still selling drugs”, but it would be the wrong thing to say now.  So, I tell her about how my agent has big big things in the works. How the movies I wrote are still getting thumbs up and the book deal, too. Not to mention the magazine bullshit. Shiba nods knowingly as she takes a lighter and rocks it back and forth, pulverizing the cocaine in the bag.         

“Writers are so cool,” Shiba lies, “Will you write something for me one day?” 

“We’d have to talk to my agent,” is the nicest way I can think of to say no.

Shiba removes the hair tie from her mouth and wraps her hair away in a neat little bun. She knows my agent. Hollywood is a small town.             

“Does Marty get you good work?”

You can tell a lot about someone by how wack up their dust. Shiba mashes it up fine with the round part of a lighter then stretches a gram in one continuous line across a mirror table, about a foot long, because she’s been down since the age of twelve. 

“The only job Marty has ever gotten or given anybody was at the CAA circle jerk.” I tell her as she rolls a post it note to make a straw.

 Shiba laughs at the memory of CAA circle jerks as she bends to do the rail. The silk of her kimono lifts to expose the bottom of her ass cheeks as she ducks. She steers her purple tube to follow the last grains of cocaine and a divot of labia peeks from the alabaster of her thighs. 

I know it seems that this type of shit happens all the time to a guy like me. But the reality is that cocaine is usually less about sex and more about crapping.

Shiba turns and hands me the straw, “Want some?”

I stammered that I had my own, and I’d hate to take any of hers. 

Shiba waves the purple post straw at me.

“No, I insist you take it.”  

I was armed with the clarity of hard drugs, which divined that Shiba Maertin was hitting on me.

And so I did, I bowed to the powder, inhaled the dust. And it slapped me like a rogue wave of cold shorebreak. When I returned to sentience, choking and sputtering, I was armed with the clarity of hard drugs, which divined that Shiba Maertin was hitting on me.

“Is that all you are going to do, love?” 

As I bent to hork another inch of dust Shiba let the robe fall. Whoops. And then I took something else from her, too.  

Not very long after, Shiba Maertin, movie star and artist, sensitive to the quality of my pleasure, stopped to ask me if I wanted to come in her mouth or her ass. 

But, I came in her hand before the answer could be articulated. So, I guess we’ll never know. 

Later, we lay on the overstuffed bed, by the window above the pulsing grids of city below, watching helicopters spin on needled spotlights, eruptions of red brakes bleeding out from the blue siren pulsing under the marine layer. 

Shiba demanded, “Isn’t it beautiful?”  

I‘ve stood on the Beverly Hill people’s balconies, pissed in their hot tubs, and listened to them, every one, ask the same thing, in the same voce sotto. I almost told her straight,- as someone who lives down there, “No. Shiba. All that glitters, isn’t even glitter. It’s traffic, a baitball, a barrier. It’s the many hearted beast that drove you insane.”

But I notice Shiba’s combing hate paste out of her mink bed spread and decide to let her live the dream a little longer.