We arrived at Numbers, the place on the Sunset strip for daddies and their boys. Quilted tufts of red pleather lined the luxurious booths that dotted the dim night spot. The place was built for high priced Hollywood hunk hustlers to ply their trade to the rich, well-heeled and oiled power brokers of Hollywood. David Geffen was rumored to have a private booth reserved there. I had been to Numbers before, having been introduced by my college guy pal Steed who lambasted me for my lack of understanding about the high price of USC tuition as mine was always paid for. “Some of didn’t have rich parents,” he would point out. I have to work for a living.” I lived vicariously through his high priced hustler routine as I eavesdropped on more than one occasion from the adjacent booth while he outlined on a cocktail napkin what it would ultimately cost his companion to elicit his services. He had the routine down to a science and would always call me the next day with tales of the wealth he had gained by setting high standards. When I waltzed into Numbers on the arms of Kylie flanked by the drunken Kingsley, I regarded that I was indeed noticed. Murmurs of “an all American boy,” could be heard as I walked to a rich red booth. I hopped up on the table and threw one leg over another in a kick-up-my-heels celebratory power gesture. I loved being young, gay and single and looked it in my pink jeans that everyone thought were made by Versace. A bright, polyester top bedecked with butterflies in baby blue hue contrasted with my tight pink painted on jeans. I had youth on my side and knew I was a commodity for the moment. I was the number one It girly boy of the minute in that Sunset Strip boy bordello. I was surrounded by some of the most gorgeous seemingly sophisticated men I had ever seen and none of them were within my grasp as we were all prey to the predators at large. Soon, I found myself scrunched into a lavish center booth nuzzled up next to an overweight, aging self-described Hollywood power broker named Dick after what he tried to see of me. The drinks flowed and my lightweight frame soon fell victim to the effects of too many fruity daiquiris that didn’t feature a hint of alcohol. I drank them down like Slurpees until my world was spinning. In a surreal dreamlike sequence of images, I flashed in and out of states of awareness. The graying geezer feeling me up underneath the table was clearly trying to impress me with tales of his affiliation with ToddA-O the groundbreaking wide screen film format developed in the 1950s by Elizabeth Taylor’s third husband Mike Todd before he perished in the crash of his plane lovingly christened Lucky Liz after his voluptuous wife with the violet eyes. Entranced at the prospect that I was sitting a degree or two shy of affiliating with Elizabeth Taylor, I let myself be wooed by this poster candidate for Viagra with one foot in the grave. I was old enough to be his grandson which would have made him a pedophile to my prepubescent prey if I was a handful younger. As the drinks clouded my judgment, I could feel myself growing under the pink Versace knockoffs. Something about being desired was a thrill. But then, I saw a would be buzz kill as a guy I had brought home to my dorm a few months prior suddenly spotted me and my hard-on being groped by the troll of Todd A-O fame. I was mortified that someone from my burgeoning fuck web should see me doing business like the type I prided myself at learning by the ropes in this working boy bar.“Glad to see you’re still in school", smiled this cute guy who had once climaxed all over my dorm bed. It was one of my earliest conquests having been brought home from an early night out in the Weho bars. I didn't quite know the rules of the male dominated makeout room when I had hosted the hottie who now mocked me from across the table. He took up a seat next to Kingsley and glared downward at the groping grip of the gray haired geezer who was trying his best to unsheathe my candy table-side. “What are you doing now?” I inquired half-heartedly as I feigned disinterest in a been-there-done-that kind of weariness. He launched into a litany reciting a slew of activities he purportedly did in the months since we had fucked in my student dorm room. “What am I doing now? What am I doing now?” he repeated in seething spurts of spittle. “I’ve been…da da deed ah dah tum."; but his words were a blur. All I could hear was the laughter spat by a drunken Kingsley who took great delight in the episode unfolding before him, what with the graying geezer groping me in between tales of Liz and Todd A-O and the mad like a hornet former boy toy of my early sexual half-life spewing swords like a snake into my space.
The name of the plane that killed Mike Todd was named Lucky Liz as in the way someone was getting lucky at my expense while I did my best turn as Butterfield 8, one of Liz’s best roles.