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Break On Through My Shaman Friend
Hell-O America, This Isn't The End
This true story began under the title of My Untold Short History With Oliver Stone. Please go to this link to read it: http://hubpages.com/entertainment/My_Untold_Short_History_with_Oliver-Stone
Part 2: The AntiChrist Returns to The City of Angels: http://hubpages.com/entertainment/The-Art-of-Silence-and-Genetic-Karma-Part-2
Part 3: Midnight Express Into The Lion's Den: http://hubpages.com/entertainment/The-447-Guest-House
Disclaimer: This blog is based on a true story and my recollection of events, to the best of my knowledge. To protect the privacy of certain individuals, some of the identities have been changed or are composites.
Baan Rim Pa Restaurant, Phuket, Thailand December 1992 - 7:11 PM
My back was turned to Oliver Stone and his entourage. Richard Rutowski was sitting at the table, but I don't remember where. Strangely, I remember exactly where Stone was sitting. He was at the head of the table, with his back to the wall. Alice, the headmaster of my children's small international school came up to me and wanted to introduce me to a few people who were sitting at a table near where I sat. The situation felt surreal. I played my part like a well trained puppy, and followed Alice, passing Stone's table. Eric remained at the bar drinking his Singha Thai beer.
The sun was setting, changing the lighting in the open air restaurant. In the background of what felt like my stage, I stared out at the ocean gaining calm and strength from the immensity of the sinking sun. My body was moving and I felt myself talking to friends and strangers, but I felt like an imposter. Someone playing Prisana, acting fine and confident and yet I was so far from fine. My confidence was real, but I felt as if my life was breaking apart, bit by bit and that the letter that I had written to Stone, was a cry for help. I had no idea how Rutowski or Stone could help me. I felt like a climber, who reaches out to find anything to hold on to, to help them to keep climbing, keep going. Any little handhold. Ultimately, the climber must help himself up the cliff face, but without those tiny handholds, the climb usually ends.
Eric - my husband - was the King. Eric means King in German. He sensed that he was losing me, but he didn't know how to save our marriage. We were still together, but since that first night with Richard in the bungalow, I knew another separation was imminent. I had promised myself that if I ever had another affair, that I would leave Eric. I was tired of lying to him and wanted both of us to have a chance at starting over.
I glanced back at Eric sitting at the bar by himself. He came here with me, knowing that Rutowski and Stone would be here. He did not know anything more about Richard. Had I even shared my letter to Stone with Eric? A double life is exhausting, which is why I wanted out. I wanted to live my truth and stop lying.
In my letter to Stone, I had asked him WHY he worked so hard at learning the truth? I knew that would hit home, because I sensed that he himself was lying. How could I know that about someone I had yet to even meet? Because all humans lie. They are taught to lie from an early age by society. Don't hurt other people's feelings. Don't tell Mom or Dad, this or that happened.
I'm not sure how I knew, but I also sensed that his marriage was in trouble. Only later would I learn that he indeed was going through a rough period with his wife Elizabeth, but I didn't know the details until I read about them years later in Riordan's biography on Stone.
I returned to my chair and felt someone staring at me. I turned and saw that it was Stone. Time stood still as I returned his gaze. It was as if that moment, he and I were both inside my Predator poem. Was he the wolf, or was I? Neither of us looked away for what seemed an eternity. I was speaking to him with my eyes, asking him to see me....to really see me. Seconds passed and the world vanished...completely. I was staring at a man. A stranger. No one else existed for those few seconds. Why? Why had I chosen him? Or had the Universe chosen him? Finally, I broke our spell turning back to my drink and the bar.
A few moments later, I felt someone behind me touching my hair gently. It was Stone. He was leaving and his entourage dutifully followed him. We said nothing to each other. I think enough had been said in those long seconds where neither one of us had looked away.
There is a scene in The Confession of Hector Ruiz-Hildalgo ~ A Novel by Silvio Valdez, that I would later read that reminded me of the feeling I had staring at Stone. I was breaking my rule. Do not stare at famous people, but it didn't matter because that night, he didn't feel famous. He felt more like someone I wanted to get closer too, but I wasn't sure exactly why.
The act could end. I exhaled, relieved to just be in the moment. Rutowski and Stone were gone - or so I thought. Tom's Laotian wife and I were having fun, teasing each other about men and how we ought to kill them. Just then, I turned around and was shocked to see Rutowski standing behind me. He had left the restaurant and returned to tell me that Stone wanted to meet with me. Why? I asked. His publicist had already told me that I couldn't interview him.
I knew why.
Perhaps he knew that I was acting out a scene, just for him and maybe it was entertaining. Maybe it turned him on. Wasn't that my purpose? I sometimes wondered. How many doors had flown open, based mostly on my long legs, brown eyes and sexy aura? How many men had told me how beautiful I was? When did I learn to use sex as a tool? I remember the moment I became aware of my own sexuality. I was 14 and was riding my bike back to Place Junior High School after our summer break. I was wearing shorts and my male classmates saw me and whistled. I didn't know who was whistling, but they were struck and just stared at me. Some even stopped in mid-stride to look at the stunner on the bicycle.
During my summer break between 8th and 9th grade, I had transformed into a young lady with breasts and long slender legs. The attention that I was getting was considerable, but it was that moment on the bicycle, that I felt the raw power of my sex appeal over these young men.
As I grew older, I learned more about the art of opening doors by using what the Universe had given me. How had I learned this art? From my Mom. I wasn't fully aware of how she had used her own sexuality until I was 30 and living back in Thailand again. Learning more about her past, I became aware of how she had combined her sexuality with her high degree of intelligence - a knock out dangerous combination.
Even now at age 78, she is still attracting men of all ages. Her Buddhist abbot Luang Phra Gowin, had told her when she was 52, that she would always attract men and to keep dancing. He gave her this advice, after her year long depression.
For over a year, she barely left her bedroom and only spoke when it was absolutely necessary. It was a long hard year. To see someone so vibrant retreat to what I called her shell stage, was heartbreaking. Finally, my older sister Marina talked her into seeing her beloved abbot, who was able to break her silent spell, simply by telling her to start going out again and dancing. She came out of her depression and back into the world again, but only started ballroom dancing 6 days a week, (about 5 years ago), to keep fit and for the socialization. I am certain dancing has saved her life. She was quite overweight when she started her exercise regiment of ballroom dancing nearly every day and quickly lost 40 lbs from dancing and eating less sticky rice and mango.
I can't remember what happened after the night at the Baan Rim Pa, or why I did not accept Rutowski's invitation to meet with Stone again. Maybe we were both too busy. The door had opened. I had succeeded, but what would be the point? I didn't want to have sex with Stone and I felt that would mainly be why he wanted to see me. Had Richard and I already had sex before the night at the Baan Rim Pa? Honestly, I can't remember. I remember I did give him a treat that first night at his Pansea bungalow. And that we had met a few times after that at his bungalow, but when did we first have sex? It must have been when he was in Phuket, but strange that I can't remember the first time.
After that night at the Baan Rim Pa, I didn't know what to do. I still wanted to interview Stone, but would he agree on my terms? Filming of Heaven and Earth in Phuket, was wrapping up. The next time that I saw Stone, would be a few days later in Bangkok.
* * *
The Regent Hotel, Bangkok, December 18, 1992
Shoes. I was in a hurry and trying to see Richard and get my shoes fixed. As I was walking through the lobby at the Regent Hotel, I saw a man who looked familiar. Could he possibly be a hash runner from the Phuket Hash House Harriers?
I was carrying my laptop on one shoulder and my shoes in a bag on my other arm. The man smiled at me and just as I was about to ask him if he was a hash runner, I realized it was Tommy Lee Jones. My mouth snapped shut and I smiled and walked past him unable to even utter a "hello".
One of the producers from Heaven and Earth, whom I had met at the cast party and later saw at the Baan Rim Pa, approached me and asked me what I was up to? I told him that I was fixing my shoes. He smiled and said, "Sure, you are." I showed him my shoes as proof and then out of the corner of my eye, I saw Stone and Richard walking across the lobby toward the elevators.
Tyger, Tyger burning bright
Inside Richard's room, we both collapsed on the bed. Richard reached for my bag, wondering what was inside. He discovered my shoes and a poetry book, Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake. I was an avid reader and Blake's collection of poems was one of my favorites. "You should read this book," Richard said, reaching over to his nightstand and handing me his copy of Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa, the founder of the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
I was stunned. It was the same book my guru Tony had given me when I was 15 and living in Denver.
In some ways, Richard reminded me of Tony. They both had studied Buddhism at length and Richard and Stone, I would later learn from Riordan's biography had made a pilgrimage to India together.
"Stone wants you to write your interview questions," Richard said. Again, I was surprised. Apparently, he was considering letting me interview him.
The next day, I met Richard at The Regent again with my list of 10 interview questions. The Foreign Correspondent's Club of Thailand (FCCT) had also asked me to contact Stone for a possible panel discussion about the filming of Heaven and Earth. I was directed to meet Azita Zendel, Oliver Stone's assistant at the time, in her hotel room. Azita opened her door and invited me into her room. I introduced myself and she warmly welcomed me saying, "I have your letter to Oliver right here," pointing to my 3 page letter that was laying on her bed.
I was stunned. Seeing my letter laying there to be filed away, made me extremely uneasy. I never told Stone that the letter was confidential, but the reality that it had been shared with his publicist and his assistant, and whomever wanted to read it sunk in deep. Whatever I had written was out and it was too late to retrieve it from the Universe. Therein lies the danger of sharing our thoughts, especially now when anything posted on the internet can be shared with a countless number of people, within a second.
A few of my friends, who have read this blog, have voiced their opinions good and bad on this subject. "Why are you writing this live?" asked my dear childhood friend Ruth, who recently visited me in Denver. She felt that my drafts should be private, until I had thoroughly edited the material. I told her that this story has been in my head for nearly 25 years and that I needed to just get it out there. I also wanted anyone who was interested to "watch" at their own leisure, the creation of a story LIVE.
Ruth use to work for NASA and has known me since I was 6 years old. She was my first friend when I moved to Denver from Thailand and could barely speak English. Her opinions are of great value to me, but we are vastly different in many ways and yet we are kindred souls and always will be. We share a deep love for poetry, Nature, the Universal Mysteries and the written word.
"I didn't want to hurt your feelings," she said. "But since you want my honest opinion, part of your blog felt like you were vomiting." I told her that I literally was vomiting that night when I started this story, a few minutes before seeing Stone again. "Why were you so sick?" she asked. I wondered this myself. I had only had one drink, so what was erupting so violently inside me that would make me have such a distressing physical reaction to seeing Stone?
I tried to explain my dilemma to her. "You know, there are parts of this story, that I will never be able to write," I said. "Why?" Ruth questioned. "Because when RIchard and Stone returned to Bangkok in 1997, the tables were completely turned. That entire night was so bizarre. Richard told me on the phone before we met at Spazzo, to act as if I had never met Stone. "He doesn't remember you, so I want to introduce you to him without the history that we had in 1992."
"He doesn't remember you."
In a way, the knowledge that I was so forgettable, unburdened me from my past and everything that I had sent to Stone. The original Rubicon letter (that was what I called my 3 page Confession), the Fed Ex package with random bits of information on the puzzle of my life in Thailand, that I had been trying to figure out for decades. Original pictures of President Nixon and the His Majesty the King of Thailand, that I had found in our 447 Guesthouse years prior. I had sent these pictures to him long before he made the movie Nixon. Newspaper clippings about drug lords and Generals whom had directly impacted my life. Thoughts on the Universe and The Aquarian Conspiracy.
I didn't know what to do with all the information that I had found, so after Stone left Thailand in 1993, I thought maybe he could make some sense out of it. IT being the enigmatic aspects of my life that had caught me in a whirlwind of question marks with few concrete answers.
Wasn't he the all powerful Stone after all? If anyone had the power to use the information wisely, certainly he did. It didn't matter to me what he did with it. Truly. For all I know, he never even looked at any of it. All of my numerous attempts to ask Stone, to either return it, acknowledge it, or throw it away, over the past decades had failed.
In fact, I had never had planned to share any of my more secret writings with Stone, nor the book that I was working on titled The Art of Silence and Genetic Karma. I only gave Richard a copy of the book, because he asked for it. After Richard read parts of my book, the next morning he said he had vomited. Neither of us knew if my book had made him ill, or if it was just a case of Bangkok belly.
"What if we steal your words?" Richard asked. "Steal them." I wrote him in a note. "It has all been written before."
At the time, I thought my book had no commercial value. It was unlike anything that I had ever seen, which had been my original goal. I was trying to reinvent how we communicate and tell our stories.
Eventually, my book was placed inside some box in Stone's Ixtlan office in Los Angeles.
Bangkok, Thailand - Spazzo's 1997 To be continued...
* * *
The pages below are the only pages of my book The Art of Silence and Genetic Karma, that I still have from the book that I was working on when I met Richard and Stone. More on that later. Rereading this book in process, I realize it is a disjointed mess.
Steve Rosse, the author that I had mentioned in Part 1 of this book, did end up reading and editing a few of my first drafts. His comments were extremely valuable in my rewrites, but his vision and mine are quite different. He was convinced that I couldn't have been at the cast party for Heaven and Earth, perhaps because he himself had not been there and he was actually working on the movie.
James Riordan, (whom I also mention in Part 1 - the author of the biography of Oliver Stone) confirmed via email last month, that I indeed had met him and Stone at the cast party for Heaven and Earth.
To be continued...
Break On Through To The Other Side
To Be Continued and Edited Soon!
A story within stories...."It's all a hustle," Richard Rutowski.