LIES I HAVE TOLD: THE KING AND I

by Keef Rutledge on February 22, 2012

I was lucky enough to meet Yul Brynner once, just after he’d finished Westworld. I was working as a bellhop at a fancy Hollywood hotel, and I had to fight the other bellhops for the opportunity to take Mr. Brynner’s room service up to him. I wheeled in trays of lobsters, caviar, and champagne, worth more than a year’s salary as a bellhop. Brynner was wearing a silk robe, and two nude ladies were draped across him. He grinned and beckoned. I spent the rest of the night coaxing buttery lobster meat from carapaces and flinging it all over the writhing bodies of Yul and his ladies. At the end of the night Mr. Brynner, sated and glistening, turned to me and told me that I could have whatever was left. I left at 7 AM, my uniform butter-stained beyond any dry cleaner’s capability to repair, knowing I would be fired, my pockets stuffed with body-temperature lobster meat and the massive tip that Yul had given me. I lived off that tip and that meat for three months, unemployed and in recovery.

(Keef Rutledge lives in Austin and can be seen at www.keef.org.)

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