Mickey Rourke For a Day

10:50. Order a beer and a chaser in sleazy Eighth Avenue bar. "Even the most primitive societies have an innate respect for the insane," I quote from Mickey's Motorcycle Boy in Rumble Fish to the disinterested drunk sitting next to me.

11:00. Visit porn palace where for $20, a blonde bombshell admits--as Mickey Rourke makes Kim Basinger confess in 9 1/2 Weeks--that she's been "a Nosy Parker" and deserves a good spanking. She turns, lifts her skirt, and bends over, but the glass partition in the booth comes down suddenly, and I don't feel like giving her another $20 tip, so I leave.

11:15. Kick a car and briefly obstruct traffic just like Mickey Rourke does in Homeboy.

11:17. Call Andy Aaron, a freelance journalist, to threaten to kick his fucking head in if he ever fucks with me again. But he's not home.

11:21. Smoke 31st Marlboro. Throat getting kind of hoarse.

11:34. Take subway down to mean streets of Chinatown, where I run madly through the streets like Mickey Rourke does in Year of the Dragon.

11:37. Stop for lunch at Double Hey Rice Shop, but notice chickens hanging from windows and leave in a hurry. "I've got a thing about chickens," I tell the waiter, quoting from Angel Heart.

11:51. Report to U.S. Court House to see if there are any wise guys in the vicinity that I can hang out with or kiss on the cheeks like Mickey Rourke did during John Gotti's trial. But clerk says it's lunchtime.

11:59. Smoke 33rd Marlboro.

12:03. Visit OTB and hang out with Little Italy and Chinatown lowlifes.

12:17. Walk through streets of Little Italy arm in arm with a reasonably handsome male friend so we look like a pair of raging queens just like Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts do in The Pope of Greenwich Village.

12:19. My friend buys a sausage sandwich from a vendor, just like the safecracker does in Pope. "Hey, that stuff'll fucking kill you," I exclaim, yanking it from his lips and tossing it into the trash just like Mickey Rourke (Pope).

12:32. Spit on black guy's shoes just like Mickey Rourke does in Homeboy. Eighty-five-year-old derelict does not emerge from coma.

12:35. Sit on chopper outside Bowery eatery.

12:59. Visit "Fetish Fantasy Video" on Lower East Side in hope of finding a prostitute to recreate that 9 ½ Weeks scene. None here--perhaps prostitutes don't frequent these places--but since I'm here, what the hell: I watch a movie about English school girls who deserve, and receive, proper canings.

1:12. Wander past Hell's Angels clubhouse and smoke 40th Marlboro. Briefly toy with idea of going inside and striking up conversation with spiritual kinsmen, but then recall that I am not really a badass mother fucker like Mickey Rourke but a pussy magazine writer masquerading as a badass motherfucker. Decide to leave the Angels to their own devices and go fuck around with some women instead. Hey, every once in a while you've gotta roll the potato.

1:38. Visit apartment of female friend, and tear white blouse off her just like Mickey Rourke does to Kelly Lynch in Desperate Hours, then spray Perrier between her legs just like Mickey Rourke does to Kim Basinger in 9 1/2 Weeks. Next, I force her to kneel in front of me with her eyes shut as she sips a mouthful of Vicks Formula 44D cough syrup, just like Kim Basinger. I guzzle down the Perrier and finish my 43rd Marlboro, then kiss her passionately, forcing my tongue between her teeth.

"Kim Basinger once said that kissing Mickey Rourke was like kissing an ashtray," I tell my friend. "Is kissing me like kissing an ashtray?"

"No," she replies. "It's like kissing someone who's been smoking a lot of cigarettes." She pauses. "But then again, my mouth tastes like cough syrup."

2:25. Visit bombed-out bar on Lower East Side and nuzzle up to pathetic, female gin rummy. "They wanna own your ass, they wanna squeeze your balls, they wanna control you," I tell her, quoting from real-life Mickey Rourke interview. "I'll go fifty-fifty, but I won't kiss nobody's ass." She asks me to buy her a drink.

2:48. Intimidate the press by stopping off at Spy magazine and threatening to kick Editor Kurt Andersen's motherfucking face in if he ever fucks with me again. He giggles, apparently used to visits from people dressed like Mickey Rourke threatening to kick in his motherfucking face.

3:05. Set free a bag of goldfish in the Hudson River, just like Mickey Rourke intended to do in Rumble Fish.

3:12. Buy a cheap, temporary tattoo depicting a skull surrounded by a snake.

3:16. Put out 50th Marlboro with heel of my shoe.

3:23. Stop off at cheap dive on Second Avenue and tell bar tender, "A man is not a gentleman unless he knows how to mix a proper martini" (Desperate Hours).

3:27. Using Mickey Rourke's Snagglepuss accent from Barfly, I tell the lowlife sitting next to me: "Some people never go crazy; what truly horrible lives they must lead."

3:48. Pick fight with drunk at corner of 12th Street and Avenue A. "You know, if I had a nickel for every time some piece of shit pointed a gun at me," I remark, quoting Mickey as Harley Davidson, "I'd be a rich man." The bum is not actually pointing a gun at me, but I jab him in the shoulder anyhow. "Catch you on the rebound, asshole."

4:08. Visit a cemetery just like Mickey does in Johnny Handsome.

4:23. Stop by a female friend's house and ask if she will wear a black-cat mask and panties and fuck a complete stranger while I watch just like Mickey Rourke does with Carre Otis in Wild Orchid. She politely declines.

4:38. Stub out 53rd Marlboro with the heel of my boot.

5:12. Stop by a Lower East Side church and say the brief prayer that Mickey Rourke recites in Harley Davidson: "Oh God, if you do exist, and you're up there watching from wherever it is you're watching from ... stay away from me."

5:23. Stagger into cheap dive on fringes of Little Italy and tell drunken scum sitting right next to me, "Your mother's cunt stinks like carpet cleaner" (Barfly). He doesn't confirm or deny it.

5:37. Briefly roll around in back alley outside bar (Barfly).

5:39. Remark to passerby: "Anybody can be a non-drunk; it takes a special talent to be a drunk" (Barfly).

5:59. Shoot some pool (Rumble Fish).

6:11. Stub out 59th Marlboro with heel of my boot.

6:17. Sprinkle tongue with raw sugar, followed by Coke chaser.

6:25. Emulating Mickey, who regularly has intermediaries do the talking for him in public, I ask a friend to go into a Pakistani deli and tell the clerk, "Mr. Queenan would like you to sell him a pack of Marlboros."

6:59. Visit Times Square dive and watch cruddy porn flick. Attempt to ream my cock through bottom of popcorn container the way Mickey Rourke does in Diner, but have no luck. Realize that '90s-era container has solid bottom, rather than folds that were popular in Diner era. Also realize that hot butter could scald my tumescent manhood anyway. Stub out 62nd Marlboro with heel of my boot.

7:12. Visit friend and complain about Spike Lee's movies causing Los Angeles riots. "I'd like to investigate his asshole with a baseball bat," I say, citing real-life Mickey Rourke interview on another subject.

7:28. Invite female friend to hit me in the face like Daryl Han nah does to Mickey Rourke in The Pope of Greenwich Village. She does. The fucking bitch.

7:43. Steal a Hershey bar from Times Square bodega the way Mickey used to when he was a down-at-the-heels actor struggling to make ends meet back in the '70s.

7:58. Grab a guy by the ear (A Prayer for the Dying).

8:15. Stub out 67th Marlboro with heel of my boot.

8:38. Drop by the home of a female friend in order to blindfold her, then ask if she would mind having ice cubes dripped all over her lips and chin (9 1/2 Weeks). She says this is no problem, but when she goes to the kitchen there is no ice in the refrigerator. I send her out to get some ice from a deli.

8:45. While she's out, I smash the refrigerator (Pope), shadow-box for 10 minutes (Homeboy), and call up her mother to ask what her daughter's favorite food is, just like Mickey Rourke does for Carre Otis in Wild Orchid. The woman's mother says she will need a day to think about it.

9:02. Friend returns with ice cubes that I refuse to pay for. I blindfold her, then drip ice all over her lips and chin. After I finish, she asks if I'm going to do anything with a riding crop (9 1/2 Weeks). I say I don't have one. As luck would have it, she does. I try it out. Smooth. "Dominatrices suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive use of the same muscles," my friend explains, mysteriously. "Look," I tell her, "you stay here and be Madonna, I've got to get back out on the streets and be Mickey Rourke."

9:27. Slosh down mouthful of sugar with Coke chaser, then stub out 73rd Marlboro with the heel of my boot.

9:58. Check into Sixth Avenue dive for a couple of Cokes and a mouthful of sugar. Strike up conversation with wino to my left. "I lost something a long time ago," I explain, quoting from Mickey Rourke's IRA terrorist in A Prayer for the Dying. "Everything ... everything got very black like dried blood, and something started to stink. And every day it got worse, sometimes so bad I couldn't get out of my bed. I sat there in the darkness like a wee, scared boy not being able to breathe or speak my name. I saw myself lying in the street dying, not wanting to die." Then the big windup: "Maybe there's something wrong with me." The wino keeps watching the Mets game.

10:23. Dog-tired of being Mickey Rourke, I chat up a Puerto Rican prostitute on Eighth Avenue and ask if she'll fondle a blonde girl's breasts just like the hooker does to Kim Basinger in 9 1/2 Weeks. She says she'll do it to her friend for $80, but I have to tip the blonde friend, too. I don't have $80, and besides, Mickey Rourke doesn't have to tip nobody.

11:15. Catch the train home, referring to numerous bag people, conductors and passengers as motherfuckers.

11:23. Shadowbox for 10 minutes in train bathroom, then light up 81st Marlboro in area clearly marked "No Smoking."

12:00. Arrive home exactly at midnight, stub out 82nd Marlboro with heel of my boot, pull off my jetblack sunglasses, and officially stop being Mickey Rourke.


Was being Mickey Rourke for a day the emotionally transcendent experience I had long expected it to be, the unforgettable event that would enable me to go to my grave in peace? Yes.

Getting to step on a bum's back, to wear sunglasses in a pulpit, to force a woman to kneel in front of me while I force-fed her Vicks Formula 44D cough syrup, and to threaten the press with serious physical harm are about as uplifting experiences as I have ever had, and I also enjoyed watching Ready, Willing and Anal. Oh, sure, there were disappointments--I never got to see a man strangle a man on his own penis the way Mickey Rourke does in Angel Heart, and I never got to see my girlfriend accidentally shoot herself with a pistol the way Mickey Rourke did with Carre Otis, and I never got to jam a sharpened steak knife between a person's fingers the way Mickey Rourke does in Desperate Hours--but on the whole I felt that I had accomplished what I had set out to accomplish. Within the parameters of Mickey Rourketude that I had delineated, I was satisfied that I had truly been Mickey Rourke for a day.

Did I learn anything from my day-long masquerade as one of the legends of the silver screen? Yes: being Mickey Rourke is a lot more physically demanding than I could possibly have imagined beforehand. Smoking 82 cigarettes when you've never smoked more than 25 in a single day in your entire life really leaves your nerves frazzled. Same deal with the five mouthfuls of sugar followed by Coke chasers. Moreover, your ankles get tired from stubbing out 82 cigarettes, and your jaws get tired from repetitive use of the muscles needed to form the word "motherfucker." But all in all, I came away from my Day of the Rourke feeling as emotionally sated as I have ever been in my life.

Still, by the time midnight arrived, I knew that it was time for me to start coming down, to enter an emotional decompression chamber, to start making the break from being Mickey Rourke. Otherwise, I'd be tying my wife to the chandelier with a rattlesnake whip and cold-cocking my little kids when they got up in the morning to go to school. I realized that it was vitally important for me to establish a clean break with the Mickey Rourke persona than I had inhabited for the past 19 hours. So I tearfully pulled off my Confederate flag headband. I yanked out my earring. I dragged off my black Guns N' Roses T-shirt. I took off my black boots. I stripped off my black jeans.

And then I took the first of four very long baths.


Joe Queenan is feeling better now.

Pages: 1 2