Literature In Los Angeles

GARY

In LITERARY FICTION on May 26, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Problem is, Gary was meant to be a girl.
At least, this is what his mother-to-be wished for.

She wanted a girl just to call her Gabry.

Of all her addictions, Brad’s Gabry had always been the most dangerous one.

She was sixteen and she had a plan.
One night, she ran away from home to go see him in Hollywood.
To meet him for the first time. To chain him for life.

Actually, she didn’t really need to run away from home:  the only person in that van in a Long Beach parking lot was her mother and, she wasn’t exactly in the mood for prohibitions.

She was lying on the old couch in front of the fuzzy TV, trying to smoke a cigarette that she was too knocked out to bring to her mouth.
She just looked somewhere else, somewhere really far away, somewhere Gary’s mother-to-be tried to reach when she went down on her knees, took the cigarette away from her incendiary fingers and whispered “…Mom, I’m leaving.

The blind throaty sound she got as a response was not even close to something that can lead to a runaway.

She slowly stepped out of their van, lit a cigarette in the loneliest of her nights and, as her golden hills were impatiently beating on the mud, her mouth was blowing to the dark sky her crave for a change.

The red car of her girlfriend finally appeared through that industrial jungle.

The freeways sped them up to the hills of fame and their fake IDs opened the doors of the entertainment boulevard.

By the time she made her way through the crowd to the front row, Brad was already on stage.

Brad.
He was rock.
He was punk.
He was God.

Somehow, Brad saw her too.
Somehow, she snuck from her private hell to his heavenly body.
Somehow, her hot, damned, undone fragility pierced his heart of lights.
Somehow, their rendezvous broke through the locked up gates of history like any other love story had done before.

He could never say no to her.
He couldn’t say no to the grip she had on his skin, to the mark she left on his lips and to all her desperate attempts to prove that, for once in her life, someone, someone like him, someone still able to experience life, really belonged to her.

Here Gary comes.
A boy was born.
But, Gabry was the name for a girl.
Gabry was the name of her song. Not really her song, as Brad wrote it before meeting her and never revealed for whom but, still, her song.

Gary is Gabry without the middle b, after all,” she thought.
That’s how she picked it as the name for her son and she seemed satisfied enough.

Brad, instead, seemed nothing but gone and… he actually was.
By the time he held Gary in his arms for the first time, he had been sent on a tour bus for his first world tour.

As time went by, Brad’s tour bus became a private jet and their home became a real home.
Not a crumbling van parked in a corner of hell but a brand new mansion in the Pacific Palisades.

But, Brad was never there; he was always far, on a rock ‘n’ roll stage somewhere.
He was being sent on another world tour and she was being sent home.
She was sent out of his way.
She was sent to the side, and she always felt alone.
Unfortunately, she was not completely alone:  she was with herself.

When Gary turned three, Brad had already toured Europe, Asia and America for the third time in a row.

Brad.
Something had mysteriously changed him.
Now, even when he was in LA, he felt more comfortable in a room at the Chateau Marmont rather than at home with his family.
God only knows why.

She went back to that first night she ran away from home to see him in that Hollywood club.
She became that girl again.
Difference is, now she had no hope.

She was spending her days under the sun, on the deck of their Palisades home.
She was waiting.
She didn’t know for what; she was just waiting.

She waited until her biggest trouble found her.
One day, he knocked on her door.
Unfortunately, Gary was behind that door too.

This unexpected loser, this unannounced wannabe, this inconsistent nothing, this solid nature’s failure was looking for a revenge on Brad through Gary’s mother’s loneliness’ door and he found it wide open.

She fell for him right away.
Not enough, she was also persuaded that he was the only love of her life and Brad had been only a passage to him: she started saying she had probably been attracted to Brad only by the similarities they obviously had, since they were brothers.

In order to boost her new wannabe’s self-esteem, which was clearly a bit down, she never refrain to express her new feelings for him in front of the audience in the house, that was always and only her little Gary.

Very soon, this wannabe felt like his time to make it big had come.
But, to make what, exactly?  To even come close to the fame of his brother in the music business was impossible.
So, he tried first painting, then surfing and, at last, acting.
The only positive feedback came from the closing credits he got for being interviewed in one of the many videos about his rockstar brother.

Until, one day, it came to his mind that he could succeed in the only thing Brad had failed: to give Gary’s mother the baby girl of her dreams, Gabry.

One night, as he was watching her asleep, he felt the right moment had come. 
By the time she came back from her hangover, she would find her dream come true.
By the time she came back from her hangover, his performance would be done irreversibly.

He took his thing out.
He made it hard.
He made it sharp.
Then, he undressed Gary and began the surgery.

Widow by Michael Hussar

“That was probably the work of someone who accidentally drank a little.
This is all Gary’s not-anymore-mother was able to tell the police, the social workers, the judges, the journalists and whomever showed up at her door with the same horrifying pictures and questions: “Could you please explain us who did this to your son?!”

“That was probably the work of someone who accidentally drank a little.”
She never had anything else to say.
To Gary, she never said anything at all.

Then, one day, she just hid all of her words under a grave of pills.

The wannabe instead, on his side, had a lot to say to the doctors who studied his chemical induced psychosis.
He was telling them that, if it was not for a few unlucky accidents (he was probably referring to the multiple and severe infections and traumas his attempt of sex change surgery on Gary caused him), that would have been the greatest art work of his life.
Though, he was blaming himself for the two beef steaks he took from the fridge as Gabry-to-be’s breast implants: they were not round-shaped enough.

At the time, Gary was six years old.
At the orphanage he was taken to, he was given a picture of his dad Brad, holding him in his arms in the bathtub of a hotel room.
His mother had taken that picture.

Gary.
The more he looks at that picture, the more he feels his mother is still there; holding that camera behind him, holding Brad’s heart, holding their family together.

The more he looks at that picture, the more illusions of compassion replace the torment of the carmine cuts on his white chest.

The more he looks at that picture, the more he turns his enormous girly eyes to you and says:
“Just call me Gabry. That’s the name my dad wrote on my destiny with a song a long long time ago….”

Story by Liliana Isella.

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