Back at work a few days later, dressed like a reject from a local production of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” Judy, Levi noticed, sided up to him rather nervously.
“Levi,” she asked, “Have you ever heard of a website on the internet called Information Salon?”
“Never heard of it,” he said as he sorted little socks based on their pattern. He hated how either That Greg or This Judy had merchandised the department, with the socks hung with no regard to pattern, all the assorted styles mixed together without a reason.
“Well,” she said, as she meekly helped him undo what she and That Greg had done when the shipment came in during that week’s trip to Atlanta, “It’s this nasty website where nasty people go and—Levi? They write the nastiest things you’ve ever read. I mean, there’s this one thread about Evelyn Sommers. You know her, she’s one of the co-hosts on that show, The Chatter?”
“Is that the talk show with like seven panelists?”
“That’s the one.”
“Why does it take seven women to conduct a three-minute interview? Seriously. I can’t stand that show. Someone comes out and they each talk over one another and the guest can’t answer a question.”
“Well, one’s a conservative, and one’s a liberal, and one represents the working mom and—”
Levi interrupted her to say, “Well, they all should learn to shut up and not interrupt people while they’re talking. Anyway, what’s up with Evelyn Sommers?””
“Well, the posters at the Information Salon, they’re saying she’s had vaginal rejuvenation. And that something went wrong and now she’s had to have her vagina removed. I mean—have you ever heard of such a thing? Removing a vagina? How do you even do that?”
“What happened to her—”
“Some sort of infection, I guess. You know those vaginal rejuvenation places aren’t regulated so who knows who’s done what with those needles and shit they use.”
“I have no idea what they use,” Levi reminded her. “I barely know what a vagina is.” He held up his teddy bear when he said, ‘barely”.
“Well, apparently she’s getting her pussy amputated.”
“Pussy be gone,” Levi murmured, moving from the now-organized socks to the panties, boxers, and briefs the store sold for the teddy bears and dolls.
“Well, here’s the thing: This website has all these threads about all these different celebrities and—supposedly—the posters are insiders who know all sorts of things.”
Levi felt his head go light suddenly. “As in?” he asked tensely.
“As in. . .you might want to log on and read the thread about your boyfriend,” Judy said. “There’s some people there saying all kinds of nasty-ass things about him.”
“Like he had a vagina rejuvenation?”
“No, no. Nothing like that,” Judy said. “But someone claims they slept with him once and he has a Prince Harry on his. . .his manthing.”
Levi sighed with relief. “Okay, well, that person is a liar. Because, first, a piercing of the penis is called a Prince Albert, not a Prince Harry, and secondly, no, Damien has nothing like that. No piercings, no tattoos. Anywhere. I know. I’ve seen every part of him up close. What else do they say?”
“I think you just better read the thread, Levi. I don’t want to make you mad at me.”
“Did you write any of the posts about him?”
“I happen to recall you posting on the internet about how rude that Real Housewife of Sherman Oaks was. . .”
“That wasn’t on the Information Salon. That was on Twitter,” Judy clarified. “And she was—”
“What else did they say? I can’t look it up; I don’t look for any information on him from the internet because anyone can write anything there.”
“Well, some people say he’s a mess to work with and that’s why he doesn’t get a lot of work.”
Levi’s defenses made him roar at Judy as if she were the enemy. “He gets work! He’s slammed this entire year! He made four movies last year alone. He just had that Santa Claus movie—a hit!—and he has another film coming out this summer. He’s in Atlanta making a movie now and then he goes to Italy to film a movie that will be out next Spring. When he gets back from Italy, he’s taking on a Disney movie. Disney! And after that he has another movie already set to go. Those people don’t know anything. Don’t tell me any more. I’m getting very angry. Very! Angry!”
“This is why I didn’t want to say anything,” Judy said. “You just need to read the thread.”
“I don’t need to read lies!” Levi shouted.
A few hours later, Levi, steaming, sat outside the Runyon Canyon house, his laptop on a table overlooking the canyon and the Hollywood basin, screaming obscenities as he read incredible, false post after incredible, false post.
“I worked with Damien on that Santa Claus movie. I was a day extra and I can tell you that he is beyond rude. Totally into himself. Treats the extras like crap.”
“Fucking liar,” Levi thought. “I’ve seen him at work and he actually talks to the extras and treats them like they’re co-stars. And they aren’t! They’re human wallpaper. Who the fuck is this nobody?”
“He looks like he has Big Dick Face. Surely someone here has seen his cock. Is it cut or uncut?” another poster queried.
“Uncut,” another poster responded.
“Incorrect!”, Levi shouted. How the Hell were people allowed to post things like this?
“Didn’t he show his ass in a movie? Where are the dick pics?”
“There are none,” Levi growled. “And that was a stunt ass!”
“Look a little harder. There are pics of his dick all over the web,” came a reply.
“I’ve slept with him,” came a response later in the thread. “Circumcised. Long. Thick. Literally a dream cock. No hair on his ass but nice hair on his legs and chest. Uses a body double for nudity so, no, you never got to see him naked and you never will. He does not send dick pics but he will receive them. Really good in bed. Like fantastic.”
Levi felt like his own privacy was being invaded. How dare someone share something like that. Even flattering, it was too much. It was rude. Thoughtless. And, sadly, he thought. . .true. This person had indeed somehow known Damien and here they were, betraying him.
“He has a boyfriend now so I guess he’s off the market. But everyone knows he’s never off the market for long.”
Levi furiously typed a reply: “Fuck you.”
He stared at the words on-screen and realized that he should probably delete his post.
But when he tried, he realized that all one could do was anonymously post; there was no “Delete” option. Once it was posted, it was posted.
Levi’s “Fuck you” was going to live on eternally.
He called Damien and told him, “Full disclosure. I never should have gone to this web site but I did and–
“Oh, God. Was it Information Salon?”
“Yes,” Levi admitted in a small voice.
“Oh, Levi,” Damien said, comforting him. “I’m sorry. Don’t let them get to you.”
“Wait. How far down the thread did you read?”
“Um. . .I’m on R37. And I just typed a ‘Fuck you’ to them.”
“Oh. So you haven’t gotten to the part about you yet?”
“What?” Levi screamed so loud all of Los Angeles likely heard his fury. “They posted about me?”
“I just found out,” Damien told him. “Ssh. Breathe. I was going to tell you about it tonight on our call and—”
“What do they say about me?”
“Baby, Silly Monkey? Turn the computer or whatever you’re using off.”
“Damien—I’m a private citizen. They can’t be posting about me,” said Levi as he began furiously scrolling through the thread.
“They don’t mention you by name but it’s very mean and I don’t want you looking at it.”
But before Damien finished, there it was. And the poster was not anonymous.
It was signed, “Brad & Chad”.
“Holy fuck,” Levi whispered.
“Turn off the computer now,” Damien told him firmly. “I mean it. Turn. It. Off.”