Photos by Jeff Vespa/wireimage.comLast Friday—Good Friday—mysmall buttercup of a son asked me how Jesusdied.
My small buttercup of a son is 10 years old.
And so it occurs to me I may have neglected his religious education.
I wonder if it makes it better or worse that Thursday—Holy Thursday, the night of the LastSupper(which perhaps I'll mention to him, now that I think of it)—my small buttercup of a son met MarilynManson.
"Hi," Manson said to my boy. "I'm Manson."
"Hi," my boy said in his soft little voice. And then AndyDickcame up and started hitting my boy in the head, so I smacked his glasses off his face. Cue TheCrystals: and then he kissed me.
I put my hand on Andy Dick's face and pushed him away. "I'm really fucked-up," he told me perkily. "I'm looking for cocaine!"
"Let me know how that works out for you!" I told him, and then I puked.
I didn't actually puke right then: it was later, on our way home, when I told mygayto pull over, got out of the car and puked on someone's tree. Frankly, the tree had seen better days.
"That was four drinks on no dinner," I told my gay the next morning when he called to laugh at me. "Now imagine eight."
* * *
Eight was the magic number of shots of gin JaneDoehad been given, in addition to pot to smoke and beer to chug, the night the HaidlGanghad their playful way with her inert body. And the night before, on the way up to our fabulous Hollywood party where my boy met Marilyn Manson and I slapped the glasses off Andy Dick's face, my gay had said, "I don't understand why GregHaidland the other kids are gonna get serious jail time if they were all just playing around sexually."
"You didn't read any of our coverage, did you?" I accused. "You only read the Timesand Register!"
I told him about the defense neurologist I'd seen on the stand who kept inserting his talking point—that Jane Doe was conscious and so "knew" she was "with three males." He kept repeating it: "She knows she is with three males."
"She is fully capable of exercising reasonable judgment," he said when looking at a sliver of tape that apparently showed her moving hair from her face. "She is aware that she is with three males."
Before that, while watching a portion of tape in which Doe is drinking a beer—clearly beforeshe passed out, as she is drinkingabeer—the same neurologist kept repeating, "While she's drinking a beer, she is not comatose and not stuporous."
And then I told my gay about the day the jury came in with its mostly guilty verdicts. (They acquitted Haidl on assault with a deadly weapon—the famous pool cue—and hung on rape by intoxication; Haidl's posse, KeithSpannand KyleNachreiner, racked up a few more acquittals and hung juries on their respective thirds of the 27 counts).
I told him about Nachreiner, who'd spent most of the trial mad-dogging media and witnesses, crouching in the doorway to the restroom and sobbing before we ever went into the courtroom. I told him about Spann pushing into the courtroom a friend in a wheelchair; I'd thought it was to garner sympathy and didn't know that the friend, who looked like a teenage boy, was Spann's cancer-stricken—and grief-stricken—mother. I told him about how loud the cuffs were as the deputies snapped them on the boys' wrists after the verdicts, how they echoed for a long minute throughout the silent (except for the sobbing) room. I told him about the jury foreman, a 27-year-old guy with tats, a goatee, cut-off skate shorts and sunglasses on the back of his bald head, and how the one time I'd attended the trial before the verdicts, I'd heard him talking to other jurors about music, how all the bands he cited were intelligent, indie bands, and how I knew then that if the defense thought he was some kind of piggy, misogynist (hed) p.e.-listening thug because he had tats, they were going to be very surprised.
I told my gay that, yes, she was a tramp, and so were all of us at some point or other (at least any of us who are interesting), but that didn't mean the boys got to knock her out and insert a pool cue, a Snapplebottle, a juice can, and a lit cigarette into her vagina while she was unconscious. I told him about Dana Parsons' latest column in the LA Times,in which he said boys should take note of the handcuffs on the Haidl thugs but also warned, "To girls who think it's cool or necessary to engage in promiscuous sex, think of Jane Doe."
"Yeah," my gay said sheepishly. "I only read the coverage in the Timesand Register."
* * *
Not only did my son not know how Jesus died, and not only did I puke in front of him, and not only did I let Andy Dick get within 20 yards of him, but it was also a school night.
It was not my finest mothering hour.
But the party was an art opening for the luscious '70s photographic portraits of MickRock. The people were gorgeous and cultured and very polite (with the exception, as always, of Andy Dick). My boy has always been immersed in music and politics and the world's best goings-on. And like my parents before me, I've always erred on the side of telling my boy the truth about things and preparing him for adulthood. My boy, for the entirety of the Haidl conversation, had on his OldSchoolearmuffs, but he does know what rape is, so he can know when he's older that he's nottodoit.
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And when he asks about Jesus, I tell him what Jesus said about the poor and how we are to treat our neighbors and that Jesus was the greatest prophet who ever lived, but maybe didn't come back to life three days after the Romans crucified him, but that a lot of people believe he did. For Easter, we didn't go to Mass; we had a beautiful picnic at CommieMom's beach.
And I tell him no, he may not go to youth group with our really, really nice neighbor boys who are really, really nice, but their not believing in evolution is notacceptable, and I won't have him coming home from youth group believing Mommy's going to hell.
Hell comes after eight shots of Bombay.