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Issue 10 - A Journal of Letters and Life
Courtney Cox's Asshole
by Jill Soloway

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I can't come anymore.
     I also can't stand my pink nail polish. It's called Baby. I got it at the Vietnamese place, Crazy Lady Nails, but it's fuckin' frosty and I hate fuckin' frosty. I also hate when I get the ugly old lady manicurist. It's bad enough to pay someone to work their hands through the vile parts of your feet. At least if she's young you can pretend she's your Asian bi-curious girlfriend.
     I used to be able to cum. I figured out how when I was eighteen, in the bathtub, under running water, and that was that. Then I went out with Adam somebody Jew in college for like, ever, and we lived in the patchouli- and lentil-scented hippie co-op and made love on his futon every day, right after Food Science 134. But he was a big believer in feminism and all soft in the middle, so I never really got turned on when we'd do it. He did have a nice rag wool sweater though.
     That's when I started making up these stories in my head, like little index cards I could flip through until I found one that would make me come. You know, your grade school principal is taking pictures of the whole thing for the internet, or there's a hundred fat Armenian men watching. The usual stuff.
     It's very common. My friend Donna Lazarus has to think of being tied to a tree and she's the daughter of a slave owner and a big oily naked black man is doing her and her Dad is running toward them to capture the slave, but the slave is so turned on that fucking her is even more important than his freedom. I forget what else, something involving a woman in a kerchief yelling about cornbread burning on the stove.
     Anway, the second I was out the door from the manicure place, I drove home, rubbed the polish off with remover and checked my voice mail. There were four messages about Courtney Cox's asshole.
     I'm Courtney Cox's personal assistant. Or I guess I should say Courtney Cox-Arquette. That's all I've been doing lately, trying to get her stationery and rubber stamps caught up with her recent fabulous wedding and new name. She totally freaks when a piece of mail comes marked to Courtney Cox instead of Courtney Cox-Arquette, like it's my fault, and didn't I send these people godforsaken change of address cards. I tried to explain to her about mailing lists, how they grow and snake through computers all over the world. But she just cries and cries.
     Anyway, she's out of town at this retreat called Tree of Life where for twenty thousand dollars, you totally definitely for sure get to see God. They also give you enemas. So I was finally supposed to get a little me-time, but now this whole ass debacle has taken over. I don't know how it started, but there's a rumor going around Hollywood that Courtney Cox bleaches her asshole.
     Let me clarify. The idea is that she goes to some Ruski waxing bitch in Beverly Hills, and they swab bleach on the tiny, puckered door to her back room, and slowly, the skin there turns a delightful light pink, like the girls in the magazines, instead of doo-doo brown, as most assholes are, from years of misuse. Something tells me I could use a good bleaching myself. Luckily, I'm not that kind of person.
     Anyway, the phone calls are beyond insane. The Enquirer, The Star, Cosmopolitan. They all want to know where this thing can be done, if it's safe, and if it's fair to attribute it to Courtney the way the landing-strip bikini wax has always been Pamela Lee's. I guess genital grooming trends need a star's endorsement if they're really gonna take off.
     Now normally, I don't deal with press. I'm usually all about dry cleaning drop-offs, or I go to Neddy Crocker, the guy who bakes marijuana cookies, and pick up three dozen for David, who is basically high from the second he wakes up. I even know for a fact that sometimes he gets up in the middle of the night for a bong hit. Courtney told me once when she couldn't find anyone else to talk to.
     Courtney's PR lady, who usually would deal with this, went to Guangzhou to buy a Chinese daughter. I tried to call her to find out what I'm supposed to say to the press, but it's like they don't have phones there or something. So I have to wait till she comes back. Courtney told me they kill girl babies in China. So they're pretty easy to adopt. That thought should depress me, but it doesn't. That depresses me.
     Plus the whole thing about not coming.
     Anyway, I'm too fat to come in LA. In any other city, I'd be fine, I might even be the pretty girl, but in LA, I'm so huge I'm invisible. I'm only talking like ten pounds overweight, but standing next to Courtney, I'm the white Nell Carter. Seriously, I'm Florida Evans, and I'm just riddled with necks.
     I mean, when I was only working for her part time, I could come and come aplenty, but ever since I went full time and the ass issue ensued, it's like, nada. It's like I'm all out of Rolodex cards. I keep trying to use the old ones from before, but none of them work. Even the people in my fantasies look bored. All the fat Armenian men just shrug at me (eh), their soft cocks all in a row.
     It's been two months and I still haven't had an orgasm. Courtney came back and she didn't find God. She did have a three-day long diarrhea bout because she had written tofu-intolerant on her intake card but they got her confused with Lara Flynn Boyle, who happened to be there the same week and has a wicked egg allergy. So now Courtney's suing the Tree of Life and she's got me on the internet looking for people who were burned by Coyote, the charismatic culty dude who runs the place.
     I found a lady in Pacoima who says that when Coyote was a literary agent and his name was Marc Weinrib, he had sex with her twelve-year-old daughter. But that's all there was. Courtney yelled at me and told me I should learn how to use the internet. I told her I would go to the library.
     Instead, I went to Fancy Lady Nails and chose Bubble, but it was way too magenta. I'm all about a trend, but please, the 80's? I mean, Hall and Oates? Maneater?
      After the manicure, I bought remover and cotton balls and wiped everything off in my car. Then I went to my twelve-step meeting for celebrity personal assistants. Step one is admitting to yourself that you are powerless over your celebrity.
     I met a guy there. His name is Grant and he's Jackie the Joke Man's West Coast assistant. After the meeting we went out for Iced Blendeds. He told me he'd been thinking about what my pussy tasted like ever since I shared on the topic of shanger during the meeting. For those who've never been to a Personal Assistants in Recovery meeting, shanger is that nasty place between shame and anger.
     So he said that thing at the Coffee Bean and then we were in his West Hollywood studio in like, minutes. I know you're supposed to make a guy wait, hell, get a real date out of him, maybe get a fucking balloon bouquet. Come to think of it he didn't even pay for my ice blended. But it didn't matter. I needed to touch some human flesh… and get my fingers through some of that crispy gel in his hair to break it up.
     Before I knew it, I really got into it. Sure, I needed to supplement the action with some of my Rolodex cards. I stumbled upon one of my old classics--pretending in my head like it was the 1800s and women didn't have the right to vote. It usually worked wonders for me to concentrate on not voting and not being allowed to vote and listening to all the men talk about their votes and knowing I was too stupid to vote.
     And then, Deedle-eedle-ee-ee-ee-ee.
     It was the sound of my cell phone, Oriental, which I chose to be original, but then it turned out everyone in my peer group had programmed Oriental. I guess it's kind of zeitgeisty to think Orientals are funny. The same thing happened when I got an orange face for my phone. I had to go all the way back to the phone store the very next day and exchange it for kelly green. Oh no! I was thinking about the color of Nokia phone faces instead of my orgasm! Poor Grant was down there working away like a gopher and my brain had gotten away from me again.
     "Just relax," Grant said, but his face was still in me, so I couldn't hear him, so I said, "What?" which is always a mood killer. That's one I gotta remember--never say "What?" during sex. Always better to guess wrong than to say "What?"
     Grant kept going at it, but then Grant's phone rang, and without even looking up, he murmured "Fuckin' Joke Man" into my pussy. He pulled his Nokia out of his back pocket. Silver. How embarrassingly last year. He turned it off, but, no matter. The incoming waves were now heading back out to sea.
     I knew she was going to be mad, and boy, was I right. The second she heard the key in the door, she started yelling. It had something to do with, why did I have to pick the most expensive dry cleaner in the Palisades, and that if I was a decent assistant I would learn how to use the Dryel home dry cleaning system of products, and goddamn, it was written in the contract that I was only to use the downstairs guest bathroom, and that she knew I had been in her bathroom, because the toilet seat was still hot, and then she stormed out.
     And in that moment, it was so clear that standing alone in her foyer, I spoke the words aloud: I am Courtney Cox's asshole.
     It was time to leave. For good measure, I waited for David to get home, and let him fuck me from behind for like, fifteen minutes. He had been telling me forever that Courtney didn't like sex, and that he was so hot for me, and that if I would let him he'd love to ride me like a horse. This seemed as good a time as any.
     I still didn't come. I mean, duh. When he was finished, he took a bong hit before he even pulled out. Then I went to Lovely Lady Nails. I picked out Cherries on Fire. It's like the color of the last day of your period.
     Oh my god. I just found this. I can't believe who I was in LA. I live in Eugene, Oregon now. In Oregon I am pretty again. In Oregon I am considered on the slender side, even though I lost no weight.
     In Oregon I met a man, a few days after getting here. His name is Frank Shankman and he's an industrial engineer.
     I told him I hadn't had an orgasm in eight months, and he was happy to help me try. When we first had sex I told him that I was imagining that he was some guy my parents left in charge of me, and I was like, fifteen, and they put all their trust in him, and so on, and blah blah.
     Then he told me sh-sh-sh, and not to think of any stories and just to think about him loving me and see if I could come. So I tried and I tried not to think of any stories and just be. I tried so hard I turned myself inside out. Every time I almost came the orgasm ended up disappearing before I even got to it, like a bubble popping. He said we'd try again later. And we did. And finally, about a month later, I came.
     I wish the end of this story could be that I came like a gentle flower, opening to the light of the love of Frank Shankman in a little green house in Eugene. But the end of the story is that I finally came up with a new one, starring Gerard Toops, my high school gym teacher, and he's wearing grey polyester Sansabelt shorts and we're in the equipment closet and some cheerleader type accidentally walks in and just stands there and points, yelling, "Gross!"
     I haven't told Frank that this is what I'm thinking about. I let him think it's love. I don't think it matters. And, oh yeah, this, too: In Oregon, I don't get my nails done. I do them myself, every so often, but most of the time, I just don't care.

(First published in Zyzzyva)

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