Steve Guttenberg: The Luckiest Man in Hollywood

"I think your girlfriend's going to like this story. I mean, who can be pissed off at a guy who goes downstairs to get his condoms?"

"Well, I'm smarter now. I just recently started getting a lot of sexy fan mail again, maybe because my movies are on cable so much. But I'm not tempted. I'm looking lo have a really strong relationship. I was very lonely after my divorce. I was so used to being around someone all the time. I was married for five years, and I believe that God took care of me, because I was able lo heal and gel better. I'm stronger, but I sure wouldn't want to go through anything like that again. When I get married the next time, it will be forever."

"It's a great song, but how many Hollywood marriages last?" I ask.

"I want a really balanced life. I'd love to have a great family. I came home the other day and I thought. Wouldn't it be great to have a family, to come home to a house that's full of kids? I've always been torn between being the playboy or being the home boy. My nature is to be a home boy. I got the chance to be a playboy, and it's very dangerous. I took at a lot of the guys who are playboys and they're 47, 48, 50. Isn't it stale? To me it was unfulfilling and disappointing. I have a theory about a soul coming to Los Angeles, especially to the film industry. Want to hear it?"

"You betcha."

"OK. Your soul is a beautiful white sheet, pure and fresh. You work in the movie business and someone says. 'Hey, this chick, she's totally loaded, why don't you fuck her?' So you do, and there's a little pop, and that's a hole breaking in your soul. And someone tells you a story, and asks you not to repeal it, but you go to a party and you tell the story because it makes you seem cool, and pop! Another hole in your soul. Or you tell someone you'll meet them for lunch at 2:30, and you walk in at 3:30. Pop. Or your secretary says, 'Your best buddy is on line one, but Don Simpson's on line two.' And you say, 'Fuck my buddy, how ya doin', Don?' Pop. pop, pop. You end up with a sheet that flows in the wind. It's not a soul anymore, it's the remnants of a soul. I have a theory about sex, too."

"My theory is that I don't respond to sex. I respond to making love. I have a glow about me after I make love. I feel full. I feel that that golden canister inside me has been just ladled with more gold, and it's shining, and it feels good, and I feel good about what I did, and I feel good about how I treated my partner, and I feel good about how I'm going to treat her, and I feel good about how I was. When you're in my position, you can have sex whenever you want, basically. But should that make you feel good? Whenever someone's coming on to me because of who I am. I have to remind myself that Alex Trebek could probably get them, too. They don't care about my soul. Because a lot of sex is built on a lie. 'I'm using you for sex, I want something from you, I want your body from you.' But it's not that clear-cut. One person is usually going to get hurt, because they're not using each other in the same way. Although, every once in a while, you have a mutual using."

"Those are the great times, huh?"

"No. I mean this. When I do that, that punctures holes in that beautiful canister, and my gold leaves me. And for the moment. I have that primal satisfaction, and maybe a little satisfaction of what I conquered, but in the long run. I don't fee! so good about it, and the next few days aren't good for me. I've finally learned this lesson. So, is it time to talk about the new films?"

"Actually," I say, glancing at my watch, "we've run out of time today. We could get together in a few days and talk about them."

"Sure," he says, "we could go surfing or take a walk on the beach or..."

"'Sieve," I say, looking right into his eyes, "what you really should do is invite me over to your house so I can see how you live."

"You think so?" he asks, looking none too sure.

"Absolutely," I tell him.

He writes the directions on a pad of paper and goes.

When I leave the hotel later that day. the doorman, who has never up until now acknowledged my existence, says, "Should I put his parking on your bill?"

"Whose?" I ask.

"Steve Guttenberg's," he says, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

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