Self Acceptance…and the 4 Minute Stare

January 11, 2015

Today was supposed to be raining all day …. strange for Los Angeles……it seems to have rainied last night …I walked down through the remaining last Springs New Leaves….that have somehow clung on to the limbs all this time…..through the puddles….gawked at the “artificial grass” that still seems to be holding up Very well after more than a year…..

Entered a TOTALLY packed Idiot….at 11:30…..I thought there must be a futabol/soccer match on….alas no….

In today’s NYT style section is an article by Mandy Len Catron….that my niece-in-law (what a terrible expression…must find out the Catalan phrase) emailed me before my paper was delivered today….

Dr Aron…a psychologist….succeeded in making 2 strangers fall in love in his laboratory…..I gather he has 36 questions you pose…..and then you spend 4 minutes just staring at each other…..

She tried out the experiment with a university acquaintance…..at a bar….and then left to a bridge outside for the silent visual experience…..

Mandy says “staring into someone’s eyes for four silent minutes was one of the most thrilling and terrifying experiences of my life…(and she has “skied steep slopes and hung from a rock face by a short length of rope”)….I spent the first couple of minutes just trying to  breathe properly.  There was a lot of nervous smiling until eventually we settled in..”

she goes on “the real crux of the moment was not just that I was REALLY seeing someone, but that I was seeing someone REALLY seeing Me”

and Yes they did fall in love….

I think our next family get together we should pair up ………. just sit away from others and stare into each other eyes for 4 minutes….. to see if anything happens…

as usually when I am in the company like in a car….with someone I always feel I have to fill the space with talk….I mean it is sort of uncomfortable NOT to talk…..it would be a good experience…and with my family would bring us to nervous laughter or tears…at what we had not seen for years………………..

Junior was flipping eggs like crazy at the Idiot…I always sit at the kitchen bar that overlooks all those grills and smoking ovens…..he was busy….but seemed more aloof to me…..

maybe because the last time I went down there he said I looked awful (I was hungover from a party with Nabil and family)…..and I took offense….

.or maybe it is because after he told me his girlfriend makes him wear a ring on his betrothed finger…..so no other hussy gets him…

I asked WHAT did his girl friend do…..

“Nada”

….where upon I told him….I felt he should push her to do something other than watch the “Young And The Restless” all day….

he works 3 jobs…..

she does NADA!!!!

Whatever!!!!

Loving someone else comes First with Self Acceptance…..

Something I never had through all my Lovers….

Paul Millard ( we broke up twice…had a kite shop in Houston and Beverly Hills…the one at the end of the day I loved the Most…and wish …well I can’t…)

Tom Smythe…we lived in my first house in the Hills of Hollywood..on Hillside Avenue above the Hyatt…he had a Beyonce butt….that everyone seemed to love except me….

I did not  and STILL do not understand the attraction….

My house use to belong to the screen actress Madeline Carroll ……….overlooking Schwabs Drug store on Sunset Blvd….where the Sundance Cinema now is..

it cost me in 1973 $30,000….it was on two lots….with a crudely man made swimming pool on the second lot….(no filter system)……

it is now worth way over two  million…

Tom was a carpenter and did a lot of work on the house

Then there was Norman Spencer Graham…a  screen writer…we lived together for a year in N Hollywood….which I hated…as it was so far away from the action….of what is now West Hollywood……..

then I moved back in with Paul…..(who owned 4 adjoining properties that are now worth over 500 Million)…….until his alcoholism …I could not take…as he smothered me with his love and affection ( we were 20 years apart in age)……and this is way before AA or psychiatry  was “acceptable”….as from Saint Albans on to that day…you were looked down upon if you went to what now is so acceptable – a shrink  – now called a coach….

then there was Roger who I met right after i broke up with Paul in Houston…..as I could not stand his alcoholism.. ..

by the way Paul knew EVERYONE…as he had been an actor….

he knew Dorothy Parker and her husband Alan Campbell, Tennessee, Chris Isherwood and his lover Don Bachardy, the Fabulous artist Tony Duquette and his wonderful artistic wife Beegle who lived across the street from us on Keith…in the old Norma and Constance Talmadge screen stage…..

and Lord the Fabulous parties they gave there …with semi clad men holding torcheires on the stages from the reception area down to the grand ballrooom before the stage…..upon which marvelous actors were doing a Martha Graham type performance….

.he knew Lana Turner’s daugher Cheryl Crane who took the wrap for Lana’s murder of her gnagster boyfriend Johnny Stompanato…

was a close friend of Marion Davies…the Newspaper Magnate….William
Randoph Hearst’s mistress. about whom Orson Wells made “Citizen Kane”…..and man the stories he told me of her…..

Judy Garland smashed all the  mirrors in his NY apt when he told her he  could not marry her…

he left NYC for the West Coast to be under contract with MGM…was in the series “My Little Margie” with Gale Storm…….

then there was Roger Billingsley….who introduced me to weed….(I was a shy naive kid back then)…never forget the day “Ted” took us out in his no windowed  van…..to the Renaissance Faire…way out in the valley…

when I spilled out of the back door….the weed was SO STRONG…that I was physically imobile….I had to sit on a bale of hay….told them to go on….and when you are THAT stoned…..each second seems like an hour…..I joined them after it seems like 3 hours …..

Roger had been the designer for the Beverly Hills Hotel….and it was due to that position he got labor and fabric for his wonderful house at 8703 Ashcroft Avenue for free (he “borrowed it”)

when I met him with Ruth Ellen Taylor (she knew Paul but LOVED to stir up trouble)….. right after I got off the plane from leaving Paul in the dust of a cab….

as we pulled away from out apartment in  Houston…it was like that movie when you look back through the back window….to  you see your lover standing all alone……………

Of all my lovers Roger  introduced me to  the BEST SEX….he showed me Amyl

(for heart attacks…a glass vial in a mesh net…you cracked the vial…and inhaled…and were sent into delirium)

We had the MOST physical sex….knocked each other against walls…the floors….(thank God we lived in a house and not an apartment)…..

for some reason…I guess to “find” myself…I went to “Actualizations”…an EST type of experience….

one morning I awoke to find a man sleeping on the couch…that Roger had brought back from his night out before…

then there was the next day…I had gotten home before Roger late at night and had to be up early for Actualizations

…he awoke me saying “Suck MY COCK”……and accused me of having an affair with my uncle’s old lover Nicky Nichols…..he was floating on some weird drug….

I said NO…..and he started to slug my face…

….I tried to put my clothes on…

.grabbed a leather jacket…the old ones with the fringe on them….and ran out of the house to be encountered by a deadlocked gate…as I was scaling it….he grabbed the back of my jacket…saying NO….and he ripped the back off…

I called my wonderful (gay) Uncle Sumner who was playing bridge with friends…..he came over and was shocked by my bloody face…..and my tattered clothes….

That was the end of Roger for me….

he came into my shop on Sunset (Sunset Plaza) that  I owned with the wonderful Liz Nesser …her sister was the last  wife of Clark Gable…..(and man the stories I have there………………)  

he came in with his old lover Bruce…who always had the annoying habit of rattling change in his pocket…….we did not talk much….

He had AIDS….of which he died several months later…..

The one treasure he gave me in his Life….was the Friendship of the Wonderful designer Donna Shindell…then married to the actor  George Dicenzo…and previously married to Harvey Korman…..whom she was instrumental in Making the STAR he became with Carol Burnett………………

after Roger was Donald Heering…with whom I lived “Happily” for 10 years …or so I thought….until he feel for a guy who was illegally here…(nothing wrong with that at all)….a Nicaraguan….he met when we were at the Latin Drag bar “Plaza”…which is still going on La Brea….(hey Meg & Zach..we should try it when you come back)…..

he left me in front of the stage watching a performance…and left for the bathroom…well …after 30 minutes he had not come back…..so I went back…to find him lip locked with this guy….

well Scarlett THAT WAS IT!!!!!

and then there was Gil….whom I did not realize was sooo into drugs…..took him to London…and he got mad at me for taking him to a bar that closed at midnight as they did back then in the OLD City of London….

we went to another….he disappeared….I could not find him…but finally got tired of looking for him….(he told me later he was upstairs overlooking m restlessness….the center part of the room was open to the area above so one could look down from the balcony)…

when we got back to LA FINALLY….he got physically abusive and smashed a champagne in my face…..I had no idea of how people on drugs are….

THAT was IT!!!!

and I have NOT had a lover since………

back then I still had NOT know How to LOVE myself…………………

as the wonderful actress Anne Hathaway said in the NY Mag today….

“Self Acceptance……

If you’re not someone who has a natural and effortless love for yourself, it’s hard to let go of your desire to please other people, and that’s really not an ingredient for a happy Life.”

So now breathing on 70.. and Finally Loving myself….

and am Ready for that 4 minute stare…………………..

5 Responses to “Self Acceptance…and the 4 Minute Stare”

  1. Nice piece, Robby! The eyes have it! It has been said that “the danger in communication is to assume it occurred.” How much interpersonal (and intra-personal) information do we miss because we miss what the eyes are saying. The highest form of communication is “to hear what I am not saying.”

  2. Ron said

    Wow!! that’s all I can say…

  3. Dave said

    Rob.
    I did Actualizations in the 80s. It was out near Santa Monica in an office building – I think on Olympic. It was life changing – but only for a few weeks. We should talk about it!
    Dave

  4. Richard said

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Another fantastic article, my God man, you have had more lovers that I did–we can’t speak of all of them or we would sound promiscuous–and that certainly was not the case. Just having a good tie. Hugs R&R

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