UKArchive ID: 36258harry
Originally published on February 22, 2016 in Fiction
Sometimes we have to settle for less.
Marvin's Magic Door
By Harry Buschman
A life-size picture of Tiffany Blaize hung on the back of Marvin’s bedroom door, and when he closed it at night he would lie in bed and imagine she was standing there in the dim light of his bedside lamp. Yes! Standing right there in his bedroom watching him every minute.
Marvin had the hots for Tiffany Blaize.
And who could blame him? She was, indeed, the most perfectly manufactured woman in the world.
She had no natural gifts. She didn’t sing or dance. She couldn’t act – she couldn’t even walk down a runway to model clothes. She couldn’t do any of the things a girl must do to be a success in the entertainment business. But if you had to choose one thing she could do better than anyone else, you’d have to say she attended award ceremonies better than any girl alive. Show business awards ceremonies; yes – that was what she did best.
That’s where Marvin was going to see her in person tonight – at the Golden Globe Awards. There was a red carpet spread out at the entrance to the old Ed Sullivan theater and a breathless Master of Ceremonies rushed to open the door of every rented limo that pulled up to the curb. A man with a video camera on his shoulder followed him as the MC guided the arriving dignitaries to a little platform so they could stand head and shoulders above the crowd. The MC had a photographic memory and he knew every VERY IMPORTANT PERSON in show business.
So did Marvin, as a matter of fact – he was in the business too… in a way. He worked part time on a mixing console at MTV Studios. Marvin knew exactly when and where every award ceremony would be and where to stand and get close to the stars when they arrived. He had probably gotten closer to Tiffany Blaize at award ceremonies than any other living man had gotten to her in her bedroom. Marvin had seen in clear detail the tracery of her mascara, the tantalizing falseness of her eyebrows and the exquisite pencil work that made them unique. The color of her eyes – a striking chrome steel blue with a touch of green – very similar to the eyes of a basking shark.
Then there was her mouth. Her lacquered lips – a pale pink with a touch of lavender. She rarely smiled but her mouth was always slightly open to reveal her exquisite cosmetic teeth. Her hair was whiter than blonde and hung loosely down to her shoulders. She fiddled with it constantly – pushing it aside artfully with her hand, or tossing her head like an impatient palomino.
She wore loose gowns, low cut and silverish, undistinguished enough so that they never distracted the public eye from her face. Her face was the important thing and as she fielded questions from the MC that face was a symphony in obfuscation. It fielded inquiries concerning her love life and her film appearances, (which were few and far between). She seemed oblivious to where she was, what the occasion might be and blind to the existence of the MC asking her the questions he was told to ask. She was the epitome of the girl in the scallop shell in Botticelli’s, “Birth of Venus.”
To impress her this evening, Marvin wore a clean Tiffany Blaize sweat shirt and a pair of low rider jeans. He combed his hair from back to front and maintained a stylish two day stubble of beard. He topped, (or bottomed) off his ensemble with a pair of black Nike basketball shoes. He thought his wardrobe was unique, but actually he was dressed like everyone else.
Tonight Tiffany arrived in a white Lincoln Town Car, white with gold door handles – and a man was with her. It was Kid Spit, the rapper. Marvin was sure he read somewhere that she had split with Spit, and he was disappointed to see them back together again. Furthermore, the Kid was in full formal attire – a skin tight tuxedo, jet black sunglasses, (even though it was 10:30 PM) white sneakers and no tie.
But Tiffany was more ravishing than ever and the MC was at the door of the Town Car like a used car salesman.
Marvin watched her every move. How elegant she was as she gave the crowd the merest hint of a smile and the briefest wave of her hand. He marveled at her, shook his head in wonderment and thought to himself, how much more meaningful this was than sitting on his bed in his underwear looking at her picture on his bedroom door. He was overcome by a passion greater than anything he had ever experienced, and without realizing it, he stepped awkwardly over the velvet restraining rope and raised his arms. “Tiffany!” “Tiffany!” he cried. “It’s me, Marvin!” It never occurred to him that they had never met. He had lived so long with her picture on his bedroom door, he felt they were lovers.
He stood in this position for a moment, with his arms outstretched until two burly black defensive tackle types approached him from either side. He suddenly felt himself lifted off his feet – his legs pin-wheeling, being propelled smoothly, yet rapidly from the scene. He soon lost sight of Tiffany as the two men, with him between them disappeared in the alley between the Ed Sullivan Theater and Sharnhorst’s German Delicatessen.
The two men set him on his feet roughly and one of them growled, “Bend over.” Marvin didn’t think it would be wise to disobey, so he bent over.
The other defensive tackle kicked him. It was not just a kick, it was the kick of kicks – as powerful a kick as the kickoff at a professional football game – as powerful as a Tiger Woods 300 yard drive, or the home run swing of Barry Bonds.
Marvin cleared the ground by three feet and came perilously close to clearing the lid of the garbage dumpster outside the kitchen of Scharnhorst’s Delicatessen. He settled back to earth kneeling at the dumpster like a penitent at the communion rail.
“Have a nice day, chump,” the defensive tackle said.
The Chinese salad chef in the German delicatessen poked his head out the back door to see what the trouble was, and seeing Marvin on his knees, asked him if there was anything he could do.
Marvin replied “a-a-ack. a-a-ackack...”
The Chinaman shrugged and closed the door.
To Marvin it seemed that all his vital organs, reproductive as well as digestive were now relocated somewhere in his throat. There was some pain but not as much as he thought there should be, and since he couldn’t think of anything better to do, he decided to stand up. He tried his voice again. ... “a-a-ack. a-a-ackack...” was all that emerged. It emerged a full octave above his normal voice – that is, the voice he used to have. Walking was a problem also. His legs seemed to operate only from his knees down. His knees seemed joined together.
But he could stand, and he marveled at his ability to stand at all. Rather than spend the rest of the night standing in the alley between the delicatessen and the theater, he decided to head for home.
It was slow going, and crossing with baby steps the intersections of midtown streets of New York was terrifying – he couldn’t walk fast enough to make it across Seventh Avenue while the “Walk” sign was on. Horns blared at him before he was half way across. Marvin was oblivious
to it. He was lost in thought, chagrin and profoundly downhearted.
In spite of it all he was home almost before he realized it. He looked at the dull red brownstone facade of his four-story tenement and in his mind’s eye he pictured the four flights of stairs that would face him once he opened the vestibule door. He would make it. He was sure of it – one foot after the other – one agonizing step up the stairs one at a time. He remembered reading somewhere that steps are all the same – the treads are eight inches and the risers are seven and a half. He would keep that in mind and torment himself with that fact until he reached the fourth floor and stood before the door of his two room flat. When he got there he would reach in his side pocket for his key and open the door. He would step inside and close it behind him – he wouldn’t turn on the light – he didn’t have to, he could walk through his apartment in the dark without bumping into anything. He would walk into his bedroom and close the door behind him, and Tiffany would be standing there as if nothing had happened, and it would be like old times again.
Archived comments for Marvin's Magic Door
pdemitchell on 22-02-2016
Marvins Magic Door
A metaphor for the silver screen of life. We are born, kicked roundly in the groinal region for X number of years with a variety of hetero or homo-Blaizes on our bedroom doors, and we unceremoniously clog our pops. Well writ short, Harry, well writ. Paul