Obo: OL

so many different stories

I get the low down on The Poet from this guy Kate has picked up. His name is Pablo, although he likes us to call him Paul... maybe because he "works" for this famous old English photographer who lives locally in a villa just south of town. The old guy is a friend of the Poet, and is probably a big reason why he chose El Obo for his movie.

Paul is from Puerto Rico, says Kate.
I played Rico, I say.
I know, man, says Paul. Missed the gig as I have no money then. Cheaters big in South America, man.
That really the name of your band? says Kate. Sounds like a motor cycle gang to me.
Yeah, the low riders like us, I say. Actually, it's The Cheetahs... but people like to call us Cheaters. We're cool with that.
Suppose it has a certain cachet, says Kate.
Understand you've actually met Cocteau, I say.
Yes, says Paul. You know him, yes?
Well no, I say. He never speaks to me.
I've never met him either, says Kate. Always work through his publicist.
My boss tell me all about him, says Paul. Tell me he's a genius.
Sure, I say. He paints, he sculpts, he kills his wife....

Paul looks surprised... grins, laughs. Looks like a young boy, a skinny sambista. Five years ago musta been diving off the wharf, going after coins and plugs thrown in the water by the tourists.

I love her movie, he says. She hot, man.
Paul knows what happened, says Kate.
I know what my boss tell me, says Paul.
Cecil, says Kate. His boss is Cecil you-know-who.
The guy you were telling me about, I say. Photographed Mick in Tangier.
Photographed The Stones, Grace Kelly, de Gaulle... everyone, says Kate. Great with a Rolli.
No more, says Paul. He mostly blind now.
Married? I say.

Paul smiles cryptically, looks someplace only he can see.

What really happened with Monsieur Cocteau's wife? says Kate. I've heard so many different stories.
The snuff movie, says Paul.
I don't believe that one, says Kate. Urban legend.
Kill her, put her body in a statue in his garden, says Paul.
Ridiculous, says Kate. That's from his movie, Blood of the Beast.
She run away with El Pele, says Paul.
I might believe that one, says Kate. Who wouldn't like a nice, warm flamenco singer?
What's the big deal, I say. They split, end of story.
No, amigo, she drown, end of story, says Paul.
Cocteau went crazy with grief, says Kate. She was his muse.
Right over there someplace, says Paul.
In the Atlantic? I say. Off Obo?
Yeah, man, says Paul. Out there.
Too weird, I say.

I'm thinking about the Poet standing in the watchtower looking out to sea, like the real movie is happening out there. Guess it is.

She with Kyprios in his yacht, says Paul. You know him? The Greek guy with the big bucks.
No, I say. Not my scene.
Why was she with him? says Kate.
I dunno, says Paul. Maybe she like sailing.
Come on, Paulito, says Kate. Don't be so cute.
Kate think Kyprios is her lover, says Paul.
She got a name, I say.
Domino, says Paul.
That's who she is in Beast, silly, says Kate.
She Domino to me, says Paul. She hot, hot.
Not anymore, I say.
It'll come to me, says Kate. Her real name.
So how did she drown? I say. Was it an accident?
There was a big, big storm, says Paul. Mister Cecil say she get taken by a wave.
That's convenient, says Kate. No witnesses, of course.

We're in the open part of the lobby with the vine and the canaries, which are cheeping away. Drinking Frankensteins, a very nice ale from Dusseldorf which the hotel seems to have in abundance. My tab, of course.

Kate leaves, as she's got to go shoot some stills for the Assistant Director or something.

You like being in the movies? says Paul.
Something to do, I say. Actually, it's real boring, man.
Are you loco? Boring?
Lotta standing around lookin' pretty is all.
Hey, I know. I do some modelling.
Mister Cecil?
Yeah. And Kate.
Yeah. Yesterday we do some nudes. Not boring, man.

I chuckle. That Kate is one sly dog.

Teach me some licks, man.
You play guitar, Paul?
I want to. I got a flamenco.
Not my thing.
Don't kid me, man. You're bossa... you can play anything. Better than Clapton.
Sure... yeah... better than.
Do me favor.
Introduce me to Naomi.
Hey, you want all my women?

It's that sort of kidding talk men get into.

What you think? She belong to the Poet? says Paul.
I dunno, I say. You know more about him than I do.
She is very like Domino. You kiss her yet?
Not in the script.
Tell me about your groupies.
I don't see them. They're invisible.
Invisible heh heh. Money for nothing, chicks for free... hey, you married?
You're worse than a journalist.
Sure... but better than a pimp, yes?
You kill me, manny. How come you're in Obo?
The old man likes it... six months here, six months Port of Spain.
Port of...
Trinidad, man. I work in a hotel.
So what do you do for the old man... besides model.
Drive him around... things. Cositas buenas.
Yeah? Must be nice. Money fer nuthin, chicks fer free.
's o.k. Not forever.
How come Mister Cecil didn't pull a part for you in his friend the Poet's movie?
I was in it. Got fired... they say I can't act.

Now I'm really laughing.

When Kate phone, say she can get you, they fire me.
What? I replaced you?
I'm nobody, man. Just a gigolo.

5. the eye of the unseen watcher »»