Randall took a deep breath, sighed and said, “go on.” He barely got the words out of his mouth before he added, “is she on Broadway?”
Dick began his narrative in a matter-of-fact monotone.
“Yes, she’s on Broadway, but not exactly where you would probably hope. She’s with The New York Theater Performance Group.”
Randall interrupted momentarily and almost tongue-in-cheek, asked, “is her name in lights?”
“You could say that,” Dick replied. “She’s headlining a play. A marquee reads…” He hesitated, cleared his throat and said, “are you sure you want to hear what I’m going to tell you?”
Randall said, “yes.”
Dick continued. “The play is called ‘Getting Intimate With Martine Monroe’. The marquee reads, ‘You’ll forget all about Marilyn, once you feast your eyes upon the provocative, captivating temptress, Martine’.”
“So, what does that mean?” Randall said, sounding confused. “Is it a play a little on the seedy side or is it…?” Dick said, “son, it’s exactly what you think it is. I don’t know any other way to put it. She’s a porn star, and from what I hear, and have seen, she’s a pretty good one.”
“You’ve seen the show?” Randall asked. “How does she look?” He quickly corrected the way the question sounded and asked, “does she look happy?” Again, trying to correct himself, he said, almost mumbling, “I just want to know if she looks like she’s enjoying what she’s doing.” Again, trying to reclaim some dignity, he said, “I guess there are no easy questions to ask about this kind of work. It would be sort of like asking a prostitute is she has fun doing what she does…or asking an addict if they like drugs.” Then he asked, “did she look high?”
Dick said, “that, I couldn’t say. Did she look like she was enjoying herself? Yes, she did, but I imagine she’s making a pretty penny for acting like she’s enjoying herself, and I will say that she looked like she knew what she was doing, high or not. This may be a little too personal, but was she promiscuous?”
Randall said, “No…at least not when I knew her. I’m not sure she had ever even been kissed. We didn’t have an intimate relationship.” Dick gingerly asked, “did you want one?” Randall said, “I hadn’t really given it much thought. I just knew she was headed down a dark path and I wanted to help her. I understood the constraints of the way she was raised, and I know that sometimes, privilege makes one…rebellious…shall we say? I also know that rebellion sometimes manifests itself in the shape of pills or liquid inside a needle, or powder sucked up a nose.”
“You know, son,” Dick said. “Almost daily, actors and actresses admit to popping a few pills or having a little snort to help them with the long hours and strenuous demands of their jobs. Now, I’m not saying it’s right. I just know it happens.”
“My question to you, is this,” he said. “Now that you have this information, what are you going to do with it?” Randall admitted that he had no idea.
After the call ended, he sat down and poured a glass of wine. The last time he had wine was when he and Martina were toasting Callie. Dick had a valid question, he thought. What was he going to do? Should he go to New York? And what would he do when he got there? Try to talk Martina into coming home? Try to talk her into forgoing her pornographic career?
He wasn’t her official advocate. He wasn’t her mentor in any sense. He wasn’t even sure that she considered him to be a friend. His past kept echoing. Someone had reached out to him. Someone had save him.
He finished his glass of wine, and made a decision.
To be continued__________