Part 3 of the autobiography of Bernard Schatz (L-15) “My Life as a Bastard” continues after some significant and extensive gaps. He said it was too painful to experience it all over again as it was put to paper. I believe him. But, I want to note that his avoidance of talking about his own pain never prevented him from creating painful or haunting expressions in his artwork. So, as I am thinking of some of these expressions, now I am struck by the visual effect of seeing these blank pages in his manuscript. He says he makes them a specific length to correspond to the estimated size of the content of those memories. And then it hits me that this is an artist’s intentional design of a “negative space.” I shall now be viewing his art, especially his Inter-Galactic Angels, and the negative spaces in the eyes of the raku sculptures of Angel ‘skulls,’ very differently now (these numbered #104 through #108 and one numbered #113 are good examples). It is this realization of the pain within the negative space that I now contrast with the beauty of the surrounding surfaces of his angels.
However painful some memories are to L-15, he has others that fall into the category of his whimsically teasing tendency. And that is where we go next with Part 3 of his lost autobiography.
HOW I LOST MY VIRGINITY
MY CARNAL CONNECTION WITH W.C. FIELDS
I was an extremely shy lad, and I also had a great fear of getting a lady pregnant and thereby being forced to assume the responsibilities of fatherhood at an early age and so I maintained my virginity as I approached my twentieth year.
It so happened that at the time (1950) I was taking a theater arts course at Los Angeles City College. It also happened that there was another theater arts student by the name of Jeffry G. (son of the director Ralph G.). Jeffrey was extremely handsome, stood about six foot thee, had huge shoulders, and was as swishing a queen as can be imagined. Jeffrey took a fancy to me (I was what can be described as a “pretty boy”) and lusted after my body.
He contrived all kinds of maneuvers to consummate a successful seduction even though I informed him at the start of our friendship that I had no inclinations toward the male gender. I recall one time he took me to a well known watering hole, the Bar of Music, located on Melrose Avenue, supplied me with an identification card that stated I was over the age of twenty one, and proceeded to order “boiler makers” for the two of us. After a number of them had been downed he took me fora drive up to the Hollywood Hills in his classic Cord convertible. He parked at an overlook that provided a beautiful panorama of Los Angeles with all its sparkling lights that was spread out before us.
As I was admiring the view Jeffrey suddenly groped my crotch and attempted to stick his tongue into my mouth. Pulling myself away I exclaimed: “Jeffery, you promised!” Jeffrey plighted his love for me and said he had to have my body, he could wait no longer, and pulled me toward him (he was very strong and I was somewhat under the influence). However, I managed to escape from his grasp, opened the car door, and ran around to the front of the car, Jeffrey following. For the next several minutes I ran around the car with Jeffery in (hot) pursuit. He said he would give me anything in exchange for experiencing my body. He said that the title for Cord was in the glove compartment and that he would immediately sign it over to me. He said He was wearing an expensive gold ring which he would take off and give to me if I would only submit to his desires.
I told him that if he didn’t stop all this nonsense that I would be forced to walk home. He finally cooled down, promised to behave, and drove me home. He then hit upon a different strategy (I figured this out later). He calculated that once I lost my virginity that he would have a better chance to consummate a physical relationship between the two of us. And so he started to look for a sexual partner for me.
The first person he selected was a lesbian friend of his. He told her that I was a virgin and asked her to please let me know her body (this was at a luncheon he had arranged for the three of us). She said no, she would not be interested in such a thing. Jeffrey pointed out that it would be no big deal and that he had done favors for her in the past. But she persisted in her refusal, so Jeffrey had to continue his search for a first time partner for me.
The next person that Jeffrey selected proved to be a success. Jeffrey was friends with one Carlotta Monte, the long time mistress of W.C. Fields. Jeffrey called me one day and told me that Carlotta would be pleased to help out a young virgin. Indeed when I called Carlotta she sounded very nice and pleasant and invited me over to her apartment. I found Carlotta to be just as nice (even nicer) in person. And so I lost my virginity, although sadly it did not turn out well for Jeffrey because the experience confirmed my belief that I was inclined toward an interest in the female gender and not that of the male.
But the exciting , almost spiritual thing about the adventure was something that came to mind years after the event. I have always been an admirer of W.C. Fields. It has dawned on me that we shared something of great intimacy and importance: the last carnal experience of W.C. Fields was in the same exact area where I had my first carnal experience. W.C. Fields and I will always share a strong common bond. When he and I meet in heaven some day we will have something to discuss. Come to think of it, Carlotta will probably be up there too….hmmm.
Now let’s jump ahead to what became monumental life experiences .
We will now discuss: MY THREE WIVES…
There are 42 pages of manuscript before it abruptly ends and we are on page 9 at this point. I will have to end here and consider how to continue with more timely segments. It is likely we will take on one wife at a time, but I will leave you with Bernard’s overly verbose title that covers the remaining pages through page 42:
MY THREE WIVES
MY ADVENTURES WITH THREE IDIOT MARRIAGE COUNSELORS DURING MY MARRIAGE TO WIFE NUMBER THREE
HOW DID THAT EVER HAPPEN TO ME?
I HAVE HEARD OF A “B–CH ON WHEELS” BUT NUMBER THREE WAS ON JET SKATES!