Udo almost gets away “Showroom of Perfections”

26 05 2011


Renate, my new and fabulous journalist girl friend invites me to a very special lunch at “The Demel” – the oldest and most prestigious bakery in Vienna. It’s a place where politicians mingle with Burg-Theater actors and directors, powerful industry-types and politicians from the “other” party.

All I know about this place is that it is a hothouse of political intrigue, but since I’ve started to move around with Renate, there isn’t much that surprises me anymore.

The Demel is very exclusive, so much so, that the waitresses address the guests in the third person – a throwback to the times when Emperors ruled the Austrian/ Hungarian political empire.

I can’t help but roll my eyes and smirk when a pretty waitress in a starched black and white French maid uniform approaches us, curtsies and asks if she may bring us refreshments. It’s just too weird.

The owner of the Demel, Udo P. has been a familiar name to me since childhood. He was involved in all kinds of scandals and designed a line of sunglasses under the name Serge Something (I don’t remember) – the kind of prestige product we used to make fun of in art school. According to my art-and music buddies, he is a pretentious and misogynist asshole.

Now he is involved into another scandal, a really big one.

During the 70ies, he bought a boat, the “Lucona”, loaded it up with worthless scrap-metal and insured it as a Uranium Delivery Device. I don’t know all the details, since I spent the last few years going back and forth between Vienna and Los Angeles, but I know that the boat blew up in the middle of the Indian Ocean, killing six or seven of the crew onboard.

What at first looked like an innocent and very unlucky accident turns out to be an immense Insurity fraud– the boat was insured for 20 Millions. It doesn’t look good for Udo.

Even though he is stinking rich and has avoided prosecution and jail-time so far, now that another real ambitious journalist wrote a book about the Lucona, not even his political connections and friends in high places can get him out of this one. He’s supposed to appear in court in a few days.

Renate and Udo P. have been friends forever. She doesn’t believe that he committed what he is accused of.

And why am I here, you might ask?

Because he wants to finance a lingerie-line designed by me. Not because he knows anything about my work, except maybe the dresses I designed for some of his friends, but because Renate suggested it to him.

It all sounds fishy, considering the circumstances, and of course the fact, that an aging dude, offering to finance a “lingerie-line” raises every red flag – I mean, come on, a lingerie line of all things….

But his wealth and reputation as a famous connoisseur and supporter of all kinds of art, makes me hope that my red flags are just little flags, not signs I should pay attention to. I want to believe that this rich and nasty guy will give me a lot of money to design a line under my name, just because he’s so taken by my talent.

I mean, Renate would know, wouldn’t she? She assures me that Udo P. is innocent and really wants to invest into a company that for sure will make me famous and turn me into a success full designer and businesswomen.  So here I am, like a ditzy and excited clown, pretending I don’t know what a ruthless and dirty snob criminal he is.

Udo makes his entrance, surrounded by waitresses in way too short uniforms. He’s short, fat, and balding and – surprise! –  Immediately acts like a totally clueless player by grabbing my ass. Before I can slap his hand away, he laughs with an oily voice and snorts to Renate:

“ Just the right body for the sexy panties she’s going to design. Ask her to let me see what she’s wearing under that hot dress right now”

Renate puts her hand on his arm and places a little kiss on his stubbly cheek “Don’t scare her away, Udo. Have some manners. Here sit down.”

He grins and winks the waitress over.

“You lost a lot of weight, Udo.” Renate says, “I’m worried about you”

“You better be worried. Those assholes are having their day with me. Fucking judge…” he trails off. .

We eat real caviar and sample the famous “Demel” desserts, all served by curtsying waitresses that fall over themselves to serve Udo. He paws all of them and they giggle and come back for more.

Udo shoos us into a private room. Only us. Udo drinks and jokes and is trying to be charming and sweet, but he can’t fool us with his jumpiness and hollow eyes. This guy is scared.

Finally, he grabs my folder with sketches that I have worked on for a few weeks. He holds them up, one by one and grins.

“You have real talent. Those bras and garters are getting me all horned up”; he roars and fills himself another glass with the most expensive whiskey from a crystal glass decanter. Renate downs them down too.

“Come on, just one” she smiles, but I’m sticking to tea and coffee – I have to be back at the mental ward and the last thing I need is to return soused. I need my papers signed so I can leave that awful place.

The air in the luxurious room gets thicker by the minute. Udo smokes cigars and both of them get drunker and more stupid by the minute. I try to signal to Renate that we should leave, but she gestures me to wait.

“Be patient” she whispers. “He needs to get to know you before he sinks his money into this”

Of course, he hears that. He picks my sketches up again and lets them float to the floor one by one.

His glassy eyes rest on me for a long time, way too long. I bend down to pick up my sketches. He grabs my arm and leers:

“Not so fast, young lady.” He stretches out on the antique couch and points at my dress.

“Make yourself comfortable, you’re amongst friends and that tight dress looks anything but comfortable.”

“No, I’m totally fine” I stammer, “its stretch fabric, not uncomfortable at all”

He groans and turns to Renate:

“You like her, don’ t you?” He bursts out with an obscene sounding laugh “ Come on, I’ve known you for 20 years and I know when you’re hot for somebody”

I have to get out of here. Renate has been my best friend for the last six months and she has opened doors for me that I didn’t know existed. I’ve never seen her drunk.

“Of course, Udo. I wanna do her. Even more than you do, you pig”. She slurs.

“There we go, didn’t I say that I know you.”, he roars with spit flying out of his bluish lips “Why don’t you go for it? She sure is a better fuck than that Kaddafi dude you did.” He cracks up at his joke.

He fills another glass, fills it up to the rim and keeps pouring. 200$ whiskey spills on the impeccable Persian carpet. Renate catches the bottle and sets it down at a safe distance from him.

He stares me down while he slurps his drink.

“You have the hots for her too, I can tell. I’ve been around, girls like you always want to get down with a hot lady, am I right or am I right?” he slaps his thigh and spills most of his drink on the couch.

I like Renate a lot and during the nights we’ve spent together, ending in sleepovers in her bed with her hands on my hip, I’ve thought about it. But not like that, not in the presence of a drunk asshole who is about to go to prison for murder.

But then again, I’ve done worse for less.
“What do you have in mind?” I ask, as he carelessly tosses my sketches on a lavishly upholstered and most likely real Victorian chair. .

“Now, we’re talking” he laughs, “ First of all, take off that hot dress. I’ve seen enough of your design talent.”

He sneers off my blushed cheeks.

“Oh, I know you feel fat, oh yeah, I can always tell when a girl feels shitty about her size, but don’t worry, I’m into a little bit of flesh, not those boring bones on the bitches I have to deal with every day”.

This guy was married to Austrians most famous theater actress, a slim and gorgeous beauty. When I made a few dresses for her in my magical wine-cellar studio, I was blown away by her beauty and graceful, totally sweet and polite behavior towards me. How did she put up with this pig? I wonder. They have been divorced for years, I remind myself.

Renate moves closer to me. She starts to unzip my dress and her hands feel so comfortable and her touch is so soft and sweet.

Why not? I love her, don’t I? What’s there to lose? I think, when she starts to peel my stockings off.

“No!” Udo shrieks “Leave the stockings on. I like that”

Renate and me start to kiss, shy and tentatively at first, but then it gets to me. I haven’t had sex (not counting the prison guy fucks in the mental ward and honestly, they didn’t count as sex – that was boredom and a pity-fuck at best. I’m hungry for sex and love and Renate is the hottest women I have ever met.

I pull her skirt off and unbutton her blouse. We kiss and boy, can I tell you how incredible it is to kiss a woman like her?

It’s heaven. We are all over each other. I might even be in love with her – no, damn, I am in love with her. I’m crazy about her. We take it slow and explore every inch of each other’s skin.

So this is how good sex should feel like, I wonder.

I hear a familiar sound coming from Udo’s direction. I came up for air and notice that Udo has his fly open, working feverishly on his thing. The sound I recognize is the sound of a Polaroid camera. He shoots pictures while he masturbates.

“Hey, what the fuck do you think you’re doing? You could have at least asked,” I say.

“No big deal, you guys are so hot, I want to have something to dream about when I go to jail”

“Don’t worry” Renate purrs “He always takes pictures when he’s happy” and then she goes down on me. I forget the camera immediately.

So what, this poor fuck has pictures of us, who cares?

An eternity later, or maybe just half an hour – I can’t tell – Renate and me look at each other and smile. Than we start to laugh. We can’t stop.

“I wanted to do this the first time I saw you in this red leather jacket” she bursts out between fits of laughter.

“Me too” I say as I look around the room for my dress and my panties.

We dress each other and kiss again. Udo has slipped off the couch and lies on the floor, spread out like a stranded whale. Renate kicks him and he raises his head a little.

“That was fantastic, you two.” He mumbles.

Renate kicks him again.

“Wake up! We got to talk business now”

“Not now.” He slurs. But he lifts up my folder with the sketches and presses it to his chest. “This is going to happen. Watch me make it happen. Demel Lingerie. Isn’t that a great name? I mean, you know, Demel puff cakes and crème slices, hahahaha. Genius, just genius.”

He passes out again and Renate and me gingerly step over him on our way out. A concerned and eager waitress appears as soon as we open the door.

“Everything alright with Herr P? Will you need a taxi?”

“Yes, call one, please”, Renate orders her politely but stern. “Herr P. needs a rest, but check on him later”

The waitress curtsies again as she lets us out into a bright Sunday morning Vienna spring Sunday.

Renate and me sit in the cab holding hands. When we get to her house, she pays the driver and kisses me for a long time.

I get back to the hospital, sober, but I don’t feel my weight. I’m light and otherworldly happy.

“You got laid” my roommate comments when I slide into our institutional cell.

“I did, thank you very much” I sigh and turn my back to him as I lay down on my scratchy hospital cot.

On Monday morning, I’m back in my studio, still swaying from my love Sunday. I’m working on a dress for the restaurant owner next door when my father comes down the spiral stair case that connects my studio with the hair salon.

“Hi” I say, a little surprised “what brings you here on a Monday? Aren’t you in court?”

My father puts an envelope on my sewing table, without saying a word. This can’t be good. He always talks. I’ve never seen him do something without explaining what and why he did what he did.

I open the envelope. Out fall Polaroid pictures of Renate and me, half naked in various compromising positions and I choke. My father and me both look for a few minutes on this pornographic tableau of embarrassing evidence of my escapade. He scoops the pictures up and stuffs them back into the envelope. I am at a loss for words and so is he. It takes him a few moments to find his voice.

“I got this this morning. It looks like you had an exceptionally lovely time.” He sighs “Oh no, I don’t begrudge you your sexlife” he interrupts my attempt to deny everything. “The only problem, and no, it is not a problem after all” he laughs, “is that this Udo seems to believe that I am the judge who handles his case. He did his research alright, but there is another Judge Schmid”

“What are you talking about?” I say with my eyes on the ground.

“Those pictures came by messenger today with a note. ‘Your daughter has good taste. I hope you understand my concern that you would not be pleased to have pornographic pictures of your daughter with a slutty journalist all over the papers. I think you understand what I’m saying.’”

Now my father laughs so hard, he can barely get the last words out.

“I’m not the judge who handles his case. What a moron. What a stupid idiotic dupe he is. The other judge Schmid would have had his ass in a cell just for trying this dirty trick”

“So, you’re saying I was set up?” I gasp.

“Looks like it, kiddo. But from the look of this, I’d say she likes you. Maybe she didn’t know about this.”

He looks a t me pain stricken face. I’m still on shaky ground. The last thing my dad wants is to see me so upset that I go back to drugs. I’ve been doing so well. He pats my back and pulls me up.

“This Renate, she’s a real fire cracker. And she seems to have taken a real liking to you. Look at where you’re at” he points to my studio, the wine cellar walls, the fabric rolls and the board with orders stuck to it.

“You’ve got it made. You’re not going to be back where you where, even if you have to sit out a few more months at the hospital. She helped you get all this, but you are the one doing it. And besides” he grins “I would have done her too. No doubt about it.”

He picks my purse up and places the envelope inside.

“Those are great pictures. Keep them. Lets go have lunch at the Demel. Just kidding. Lets go to The Greek for Mousaka and coffee. For old time’s sake”

Udo P. flees the country that same day. He is found in Manila a few months later, emaciated and sick. He gets a six times life sentence and dies in prison after a heart transplant in 2001.

Several ex-ministers were eventually convicted over their involvement. The ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs was sentenced for forging documents authenticating the cargo. Two other ministers were dismissed for obstructing the investigations. The minister of Defense, shareholder in the Proksch firm, had given permission to deliver explosives to sabotage the ship and committed suicide when that became clear.

Renate disappears too. She calls me from India in 2002 and urges me to leave the US.

“They are after me. I know too much” she whispers. She says she has confidential information that George Bush planted 9/11 and that the CIA held her hostage in Virginia for a few months.

It could be true. She would be exactly the person to uncover something like this. I have not heard from her since.



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