18 December 2006

Mistress Eva is Dead


I knew this woman. I recently found out that she died. When Eva, my Eva, the one I now live with, first called me at my mother's house many years ago and my mother picked up the phone, my mother was most disappointed that she wasn't "Mistress Eva."

I met Mistress Eva when I lived in Los Angeles before moving to Hong Kong, I think around 1982 or so. I lived in the lower part of a duplex. One day I went upstairs at around 5pm to ask my neighbor a question. My neighbor, a witch who had coven meetings every full moon, wasn't home. But the front door was open and a tall blonde woman wearing a skintight black and purple leather body suit unzipped to about her belly button with, maybe, seven inch spike-heeled boots, was sitting on the sofa and drinking a Miller Hi-Life out of the bottle while listening to some sort of syrupy folk music.

I introduced myself. She introduced herself as Eva. She asked if I wanted a beer. I got a beer and sat on the sofa with her and we chatted about this, that and the other thing, mostly politics, art and music. I seem to recall that she liked John Irving and got annoyed with me when I said that he kept writing the same book over and over and over and I hoped that one day he'd feel like he got it right. I slowly worked the conversation around to what, exactly, it was that she did.

She whipped people, of course, and tormented them in various other ways as well. Mostly men, mostly powerful, rich men, but some women too. She didn't ever touch them, never. The closest she got to that was when something she was holding, like a whip or a cattle prod, touched them. And they certainly never touched her. And she charged a minimum of $300 per hour for this. She lived in New York and was visiting L.A. for the grand opening of a new dungeon in West Hollywood, and to visit some clients, and somehow or another she ended up staying with my upstairs neighbor.

So Mistress Eva and I became pals. Most days she'd get home from work and I'd be at home because I was writing and doing photography and worked out of my home, and she would more often than not change into jeans and a t-shirt and we'd get a bit drunk together and chat.

She finally invited my neighbor and I to the grand opening of the dungeon. It was on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. We walked in and were offered a tray with glasses of champagne, served by a middle-aged man in a French maid outfit. We wandered about the place, nibbling on canapes and sucking back champagne and good French wine and having casual conversations while all around us people were being whipped, sliced with razors, stuck in holes in the floor with only their heads poking out so that they could be more easily peed on, and any manner of other Sadeian sort of goings on, going on. Eva was too busy to talk much with us. At one point I brought her a white wine and a smoked salmon with creme fraiche and caper on toast, then briefly held her whip for her while she consumed them.

I lost track of Mistress Eva not long after that. But then a friend of hers, a beautiful crazy, brilliant Mexican filmmaker came to stay upstairs. One night I got a knock on my door at about 2am and it was Mistress Eva’s friend in tears. My upstairs neighbor had raped her, or tried to, or made very unwelcome advances, or something. I took her in. I gave her something to drink. I asked if she wanted to call the cops, take a shower, sit in a chair, whatever. She jumped my bones. We had about a one month fucked up, torrid affair that ended with my screaming at her when one night I was sick - 103 degree fever, throwing up, shaking and shivering sick - and we had a dinner date and I called to tell her that I couldn't make it. She showed up at my place a half hour later - she was no longer living upstairs - and practically tore down my door, stormed around my tiny little apartment demanding to know where I was keeping "the whore" and ended up scratching the hell out of me. She didn't believe that I was sick. Unfortunately I had already puked up everything I had in me, so I couldn't vomit on her to make her understand.

Then she went away and that was the last I ever saw or heard of her.

Until now. Many years passed. I’m now a guy with a website. You can see where this is going. So who do I get an email from out of the blue but Mistress Eva’s friend, the crazy, Mexican filmmaker. She is somewhere, I think in Mexico. She remembers me fondly. (I remember her fondly, with some reservations, too.) She remembers my "watery eyes" and thinks they had something to do with me being a Cancer, or is that a Gemini? (I think they must have had something to do with allergies.) Mistress Eva is dead, she writes, drowned in Mexico while making a film about a man with no arms. “She gave herself to [the sea], naked , free ... and stubborn. She was told the sea was too rough, she replied that she was an excellent swimmer.”

Once again, the wonders of the Internet. It is increasingly difficult to hide from one’s past. I’m not so sure I want to anyhow.


twolegsnotail said...

Dear Mr. Stone,
For some reason I decided last night to look up Eva on the net. I found the word "was" over and over and realised that she died. At first I thought she had staged a death to dodge debts or some such subterfuge was in the works but I now believe she really did drown. Where is her body? Has she been buried? I am so glad to read your small note on her. I met Eva waiting in line for tickets to see Tango Argentino in NYC in 1985. I worked at an Italian bank on the East side and I was on my lunch hour. If I remember correctly she did something very pushy and I liked it. We spoke that day and saw each other again the evening of the performance. She eas escorted by a young man, much younger than she, we 3 sat together. I remember at the end of the show (which had me in tears it was so utterly evocative and professionally performed) Eva spotted Susan Sontag with A. Liebovitz also in the audience. We 3 went to a nearby cafe for a spot of dinner after. Among other things Eva told me that her date was her slave, and she treated him like one. I cannot remember his name but he was her slave for quite a while until she bored with him or just gave up, or didn't have the time anymore. All of this was well before the dungeons and the apt. on 57th St. In fact she was living in a tiny rented studio on the 8th floor of the Hotel Wellington. I eventually got to know her quite well and even 'worked' with her sometimes but kept the day job at the bank. She loved to introduce me as a sort double life character. I have a lot of Eva stories. I loved her and she was a most endearing person. Of course all of the SM scene began to get on my nerves - just dealing with sex all of the time didn't (doesn't) interest me, but I did pass up an opportunity with her to go a certain way in life. I moved back to Europe, fed up with living badly in NYC - never enough money. She and I kept in touch for a while, into the 90's and then it just trickled off. She came to Swiss a couple of times for SM events and would always get me invitations and I'd always meet up with her - and there was Paris once with Belle du Jour, the famous Madame from NYC. The NYC parties and balls. Eva could make me laugh like nobody else, she was brilliant sometimes. Then there was the Eva afraid of death and unable to refuse a bagel for breakfast all the while complaining about her body and aging. I saw her cry a few times out of sheer frustration and I loved her frantic datebooks, phone calls, mad schedules, insouciant porn, the whole thing. I met her daughter of whom Eva was supremely proud. I also met the Mexican filmmaker you had a fling with. She and Eva were thick as thieves, sisters really. I believe that Eva's mother sort of ran things in Mexico...I know that Eva had 'issues' with her mother. I had no idea of the Russian angle, except that Eva let some shitty Russian characters use her studio in NYC once and they left her with an Enormous Phone Bill, shit chess playing bums. A couple of times she profoundly worried me, like the time she was being used by the FBI for some sort of entrapment purposes. I am serious, she didn't make this shit up, she didn't deal in falsehood. Eva I remember you, that funny stilted way of talking, your directness, your harmless obfuscations, the smell of your breath always blending with lipstick and leather. Your tanned skin, your cleavage. Mistress Eva is Dead? We miss you Eva.

twolegsnotail said...

An addendum:
For "Madame" Belle du Jour please read "Mistress", although there were more than just rumours as to what certain of her employees might have been paid for, I believe there was a raid of sorts, or the tip off of its eventuality.
More important: Eva, in my rush of emotion I left out your 'ubiquitous' item (we all have one): GRANNY SMITH'S. The apple of Eva's eye.