Cold Open, A Tale of Modern Hollywood // Chapter 10. The Luau
[AUTHOR’S NOTE: I KNOW THAT I’VE NAME DROPPED AT LOT IN THIS BOOK. C’MON, THIS IS HOLLYWOOD… HOWEVER! I ALSO WROTE SPEAKING PARTS FOR 2 REAL-LIFE PEOPLE: THE ROCKER IN THIS CHAPTER AND, FOR HISTORICAL ACCURACY, ELLEN DEGENERES IN CHAPTER 13.]
Two hours later as the sun was slowly setting into the ocean and twilight was beginning to settle on the hills above Malibu they turned off the Pacific Coast Highway toward Leslie Braverman’s estate.
“I think I’d better warn you,” Teddy said. “Braverman’s parties have really changed since the last one we went to together.”
“How could they get any wilder?” said Nina. “The night we were here Dennis Hopper drove a motorcycle into the swimming pool.”
“We-ell, not wilder. But bigger. A lot bigger.”
“What do you mean?”
Nina thought no more about Teddy’s remark until some minutes later when she saw ahead of them what appeared to be flames about halfway up the hill.
“Teddy, my God!” she exclaimed. “It’s the house, it’s on fire!”
Teddy laughed. “Oh, that’s right, I didn’t tell you about the torches.”
“Torches? What torches?”
“He’s got torches at the luau now. And some other new features.”
As they neared the end of the road and approached the entrance to Braverman’s home Nina saw what Teddy was talking about. To the left and right of the iron gate were two enormous blazing torches held aloft by two gigantic statues of Polynesian tiki gods. The effect was overwhelming.
The double iron gate was thrown open wide but a uniformed security guard wearing a lei and carrying a walkie-talkie was obviously checking out the arrivals. He peered into their car and when he recognized Teddy he waved him in.
As Teddy slowly drove up the brick driveway toward the front door Nina noticed that it was lined on both sides by more blazing torches, miniatures of those at the gate.
Then she asked, “Do you hear jungle drums?”
Teddy shrugged, but as they approached the front of the palatial house she could make out what…