FICTION/CBLB: Reggie’s Stars, the internet’s “It Girls”
One of Reginald’s idols, photographer Irving Penn, who shot this photo of Kate Moss (To find out more about Reginald, read on…)
The following story, which will be serialized once a week on this blog, is FICTION. Though set within actual cultural set points of time and place, as one would find in historical fiction, no one character is based on anyone living or dead, but imaginary.
This is satire. I hope it’s a fun ride, which is my sole intention as the author.
This work is registered with the Writers’ Guild of America and is additionally protected. Law will prosecute any use of the following work without explicit permission by the author.
Piles of papers lined her desk. Kat glanced at them all, like testimonies to her existence, that which made her worthy of a New York life: Secret performance by Brooklyn band. Downtown magazine dinner. “It Girl” deejays party for new jeans line. Socialite spring tea with option for guest cameo in reality show. Invitation to a movie screening sponsored by LVMH. The last one tempted. LVMH always supplied some swell take away, like Louis Vuitton monogrammed make up cases and blush sticks worth a hundred bucks a pop.
But, never mind. Kat needed to concentrate on the task at hand, her first talk show guest, Reginald, an Englishman with a Swedish model mother.
Kat tucked one foot under her rear, her black leggings pinching where her thighs bulged. Nobody had ever glimpsed this god damned Swedish model mother–no sign of her on the internet, anywhere — though Reg had dropped a line about her existence several times.
Kat wondered if Swede model mamma also bulged through her leggings at seventysomething, an age that likely placed Reg at 46, although his last photography subject looked little past eighteen. His lens seemed to pluck her open, her wide glassy eyes, remade as artifacts from the shock of a free love fest held way before her time. Reginald infused new blood into the time warp, thus was his art.
Reginald had mastered some kind of vintage swinger vibe. Kat imagined that he set up a tripod and camera on the edge of a tub; asked the lanky girl to get in, lifted her legs spread eagle, one over each side, with enough bubbles to cover her cooch, with just her freezing tits staring at the lens. Then Reg set the timer and inserted his profile into the edge of the photo and his hand between her legs.
**CLICK READ MORE LINE BELOW TO CONTINUE READING…
Kat clicked on dozens of photos like these on his internet site, some in tubs, or on beds shaped like seashells with 1950’s pastel silk covers, or naked, sprawled on the grass in the English countryside. These were the ones where Reggie made his cameo.
“How now there, Mr. Sex?” Kat laughed to herself.
She knew the deal. All you had to do was ask people to debase themselves and nine out of ten would. In fact, most enjoy the attention, no matter the consequence.
“Why don’t you fuck Reggie?” Kat had suggested to one of her interns the previous year, before she had signed the deal to her talk show.
Kat felt that an intern of hers, fierce and nude on Reggie’s web, would mark a glorious collaborative promotional effort. Reggie gets off. The intern gets off. Reggie gets his artful cooch shot. And Kat gets a newly anointed “it girl” working for her.
This particular intern, a shy girl with a shag, demonstrated a keen sense of style, her berets cocked perfectly, always interpreted with snug fitted jackets. Kat picked her for her visual eccentricity. Still, she wilted at Kat’s prodding about Reggie.
“All that ballsy color on the outside, nothing on the inside.” Kat cackled to herself, but at the time she wanted to wring the girl’s neck.
The girl represented that rare one out of ten who could not seize a golden opportunity for the price of one fleeting shameful moment. Moreover, the mere second of shame would likely rest with the girl’s family, convinced of their pre sexual revolution values, as they died in boredom each day in the Midwest.
The only world that mattered centered around them, the “in crowd” that everyone followed. They were the vortex of the world. The same way the French taught in classrooms that Charles de Gaulle once ruled the earth, the global world sat at their feet, even quicker on computer screens. Even the Midwestern dolts, probably ingested photos of it kids in magazines, while they pissed in the john each morning before some 9 to 5 drone job.
Kat picked Reggie for the talk show because her association with him gave her credibility. He broke barriers, set new standards like she did. She had read the stats that his site got 200,000 hits day. Voyeurs, perverts, artists.
The guy didn’t even have a Facebook page. He didn’t need a Facebook page listing myriad friends, most he probably would not know. His hundreds of thousands of viewers clicked on his page daily to experience a particular female as he had. This was the intimate moment, shared, a chance to play along without having to relinquish the morning coffee next to you, the freshly buttered bagel, the dick in your hand.
“Welcome to the American dream, baby!” Except this one’s brought to you by an Englishman with continental roots, born of a hot Swede mamma, whom Kat had heard through the grapevine, had held infamous swing parties in Convent Garden.
Reggie did not know his father. Bring it up and he’d cross the room, kiss your neck if you were female or stick his tongue down your throat to shut you up faster.
Kat followed Reggie’s stars — the girls on his site– as she could. When she organized anything from a rock show to the launch of a line of aphrodisiac candles, she’d send that month’s pick a bag filled with products representing her clients: jeans, fragrance, cosmetics, limited edition sneakers signed by a gallery artist, and yoga class passes.
One of Reggie’s stars, a deejay poet named Theologie, let it slip.
Theologie, a wisp of a thing, could actually sit on her straight ironed platinum hair. If not for her illuminated locks, the two black holes of her eyes could drag you to the center of the earth. They could practically place spells.
“He told me once to consider him like Adam, the first man.” Theologie told Kat. “I think he was trying to appeal to my biblical family roots, but he did say that his mother told him, that to her, he was really her first man, the only man that mattered.”
Theologie quoted Reggie: “Three possibilities exist. I might have been spawned by one of three wondrous romantic encounters, one more beautiful than the next.”
These were the kind of lines Kat knew he used on the fresh ones, before they became stars. Most of Reggie’s stars suffered strange family backgrounds.
Kat pulled up the photos of Theologie on Reggie’s site. He had twisted her in so many ways, like a pretzel, on chairs, around his own limbs, the wild eyes, like deep caverns, bore forth from the screen. This girl had suffered way beyond any odd position she had been forced to take online.
The last day Theologie picked up some free clothes from Kat’s office, she pulled out a photo from her back pocket.
“I’ll show this to you.” She said to Kat and pinched the image between her thumb and forefinger, careful not to let go.
Kat glanced down at a photo a rotund man who took over both cushions of a love seat with the goose-flesh sidelining his shorts.
“What is this?” Kat asked.
Theologie slowly pulled back the photo and slipped it into her back jean pocket.
“It’s Reggie, twenty years ago.” She said. She was barely audible now.
“He gave that to you?” Kat asked, now reaching into her jacket for a cigarette to level herself. Part of her wanted to knock Theologie down and snatch the photo. Instead, she counted to herself backwards, as the doctor once taught her. This was the only coping strategy she had retained from the nut house.
“Ten, nine, eight….’
‘No.” Theologie grinned. Her voice was still soft, slightly mocking.
“I found it at his flat in London, on the floor in the back of a closet and I took it, in case I’d ever need it one day.”
“Why would you need it?” Kat asked. Kat’s mind was already ticking off the proximity of people who knew her when she had been put away.
“You never know!” Theologie laughed, as she picked up her bag of goods and made her way out the door of Kat’s office.