Monday, July 9, 2007


I met JB in high school when we were both cast in the fall play. I was a freshman and he was a sophomore.

JB was tall and very thin. He smoked Marlborough Lights. He was a fastidious dresser and hung all of his clothes on wooden hangers, organized by color. He always got all "A's". He took 4 years of Latin and two years of Greek. He hated any art created after the 18th century. When all the other boys were drawing rock stars and making bongs in art class, JB was sculpting delicate figurines of Louis XVI's court out of clay. He was a student prefect. He played classical piano and claimed he would have concertized if he weren't so, "high strung." He loved The Ramones. He enjoyed playing tennis on his court at home, but got out of attending P.E. class permanently with a doctor's note that said he was allergic to grass. He liked gin and cocaine. He was temperamental, spoiled, stuck-up, a pain in the ass, every teacher's pet, and one of the most popular kids in school.

After a few too many G&T's, JB's devoted mother, Livia, would recount the time she brought JB to a child psychologist to test his academic aptitude. They assured her that not only was he very intelligent, "they told me he just LOVED little girls." JB's reticent father, Jim, was a Deacon of the Bel Air Episcopal church, also attended by Ronald Reagan. Because of an undiagnosed stomach disorder, Jim ate only plain, boiled vegetables. JB was certain he had been adopted.

JB was deadly serious and at the same time everything he ever said was a put-on. He grew up in an especially exclusive section of Brentwood, across the street from OJ Simpson's house. After Nicole Brown was stabbed to death, JB liked to tell people she deserved it because she once yelled at him for riding his bike recklessly in the street. He was joking, but not entirely. JB was The Bad Seed with a heart.

I once found JB lounging in bed with my boyfriend's mother, an aging soap opera actress. They were drinking sherry and weeping as they watched re-runs of Brideshead Revisited in the middle of the afternoon. Mothers loved JB. Especially my mother. And JB loved Trudy.

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