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Encounters With Lindsay

image by imp kerr

Lindsay Lohan no longer needs to do much. We say that we love her because she was a great actress once, because she was gorgeous, because Mean Girls, but we also love her (I love her) because we’re not allowed. Now she’s writ limitless, but she must have always been illicit. I never believed she was all that good before she was wild, couldn’t see her as that “girl next door.” I believe she was the girl at the end of the street. The girl your dad talked a little too long with, out mowing the lawn. The girl your mom would rather you didn’t see.

But everywhere Lindsay is to be seen. If you go to enough rooftops in New York or pool parties in Los Angeles or fashion parties in Paris, you will see Lindsay, and you will have a story about her, even if nothing happened, or if something did happen, you don’t know how.

***

Bright as a Nazi Lampshade
by Ryan O’Connell

I’ve seen Lindsay Lohan exactly three times, like a magic spell. Twice was at the Chateau Marmont, natch, and another time was at La Scala in Beverly Hills. I sat at a table next to her and Samantha Ronson and it was hilarious only because Samantha and I were wearing the same outfit.

All three IRL encounters were unremarkable. She didn’t offer me coke or steal money from me or try to run me over with her car. My best friend Carey, however, has another story.This gossip appears in TNI for Vol., available now – subscribe for $2

Somehow Carey got Lindsay’s cell number. I assume at a certain time, they were just handing that shit out at Marquee or something. So being a little prankster and diehard LiLo fan, Carey started texting Lindsay, asking her to meet up and rage at various locations. To her surprise, Lindsay actually responded.

While at Coachella, Carey texted her something like “What’s up, BB?” and Lindsay responded, “I’m @ jeremy scotts” and then proceeded to give her the full address of the party. Gee, when complete strangers text me asking for my whereabouts, I usually don’t send them a drop pin, but whatever! I guess LiLo gets so excited whenever her phone vibrates that she just can’t help herself.

So Carey rolls up to Jeremy Scott’s with an entourage and at first the security is like, “LOL, no, you’re not getting in!” but then Carey shows them the text exchange with Lindsay and they’re immediately granted access. Inside, Lindsay is running around the pool area in a pink sequin top with a white Chrome Hearts zip-up hoodie over it, a black miniskirt, and super-high pumps. She’s wasted, in that alleged way, and surrounded by a gaggle of gay men. Carey tries to discreetly snap a photo, thinking Lindsay’s so drunk she won’t notice the flash.

But Lindsay is never so drunk she doesn’t notice the flash.

She sees the camera, covers her face, and yells, “ARE YOU FUCKING RETARDED?” Speechless, Carey stands there like a queer in headlights until the Lohantourage storms away.

Later, I asked Carey if she felt embarrassed. She said if anyone else had asked her if she was “fucking retarded” at a Jeremy Scott party, she’d still be in a shame spiral. But from Lohan, it just felt, she said, amazing.

***

What a Trash, to Annihilate Each Decade
by Alison-Violet Mount

I was poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel for a young Hollywood party, surrounded everywhere by girls the size of Happy Meal toys. Pools as venues is something I’ve gotten used to, going to parties in L.A. and Miami, yet do not enjoy. There should be bridges, or raftsmen able to take you across, when you need to be on the other side.

Luckily for me, Lindsay was on my side of the pool. She teetered on white pleather comma of a chaise beside me. Her long blonde locks I describe as hay, with respect to her hair team; it seemed made to insulate her fragile shell.

When we made eye contact, I was close enough to her face to see that her lipstick was unintentionally smeared outside the lines. People around her pointed and whispered, as though she’d dropped from the sky. I felt warm from the heat generated around us, from all those stares. Beside her, I appeared to be somebody, until they stared again. I was glad when the mirage disappeared.

***

The Peanut-Crunching Crowd
by Mitchell Sunderland

I grew up with Lindsay Lohan. The Parent Trap offered me an alternate reality during my parent’s divorce; Mean Girls and Freaky Friday made me laugh while my mother abused drugs and George W. Bush fucked the country. Lindsay’s husky Long Island laugh lifted me right out of the aughts.

Magnified, then multiplied on screens, she seemed ever what my grandma called “a movie star.” But then, I did to her what I did to the girls I shopped at Claire’s with in high school: gave up when I graduated. Meanwhile, she slid from star to starlet.

But nobody replaced her. By Lindsay’s second DUI, the monoculture that would have allowed Miley Cyrus to overtake her, maybe, had shattered. LiLo was still a movie star, a star with no movies. When a friend gave me a ticket to her SNL “comeback performance” last March, I hoped I would see, somehow, a freckle-faced teenager with Bette Davis pluck.

Instead, walking into the NBC soundstage, I saw an emaciated child-woman in a red wig. Lindsay Lohan, in the flesh, was much less flesh than I’d imagined. Still, she looked alive. I watched confidently as she recited line after line to perfection.

When the cameras rolled, that Lindsay was gone, or else she’d saved all her mistakes for the live show. It didn’t matter. Lindsay, as comeback failure, made me escape my own underemployment and essay deadlines. did she reach Davis? No, but she gave me a 25-year-old Margo Channing it would take another 25 years to forget.

***

And I Eat Men Like Air
by Nate Freeman

It was March 2011 and I was at Don Hills for a movie premiere party. I walked up to my normal perch, a collection of couches in a nook beside the bar. Lindsay Lohan was there and she looked me dead in the eye. She said nothing. One of her handlers spoke for her.This gossip appears in TNI for Vol., available now – subscribe for $2

“This is for family only,” said the rail-skinny boy, gesturing to the others sitting on the couches. He meant Lindsay’s family, though the term was used casually. These people were not her blood family, nor her demented mother and father or her also-ran siblings, but her “family” in the Charles Manson sense of the word.

It being my job, I decided to get a quote from her. I asked her about her greatest career ambition. Another dead-eyed stare.

“To work with Oliver Stone,” she said. “And I’m gonna do whatever I have to do to get it. I’m committed.”

Some months later, during Fashion Week, she had not yet reached an Oliver Stone set, but she had scaled the Top of the Standard, and managed to score a primo booth in the Boom Boom Room. I watched as she hurled a drink at a photographer, spewing expletives, while nearby a woman fell on a table and began to bleed a few feet away. This dutiful reporter detailed the scene in pen and paper.

“You going to have to give that to me,” a voice said. It was a member of The Family, and he lunged for my notebook. A little skirmish ensued, but I escaped down the elevator of The Standard with notes still stuffed in my jacket pocket and left for Electric Room.

Unfortunately, Lohan had the same afterparty destination in mind. At Electric Room I kept some distance from The Family, but Lindsay caught a glance at me and started nudging a family member. Lindsay lifted a finger toward my face and shouted “You.”

A year later I began working at a daily tabloid’s gossip page, where I was put on the Lindsay beat by virtue of a marginal friendship with her gay best friend, *****. ***** is a photo blogger and party kid infatuated with Lindsay in every sense of the word. One day he woke up and found that through his constant devotion, he had achieved something of “assistant” status in The Family. Bravo, *****.

One night, I ran into him at Electric Room. He was straddling a couch. “I have big news,” he said. “Lindsay is going to move in with me in Tribeca. She’s moving to New York City. She’s right here. do you want to meet her?”

Lindsay was by herself, stabbing at a cell phone with her fingers, like most other girls in the place. She didn’t remember meeting me before and invited me to sit on the couch. We talked about her new movies. She was excited for The Canyons. Same for Liz & Dick. She then talked about Robert Altman, whom she called a mentor. She was a star of his final film.

Since moving to New York, Lindsay had done her damage—running over a guy, attacking a congressional aide, even strangling ***** over a ludicrous vodka-fueled dispute—but that night she seemed quietly excited, for her new movies and maybe a new life in New York, away from L.A. She looked healthy, even at some points sexy, like the girl who stole America’s heart so seemingly long ago. For those minutes, talking to her, she wasn’t a joke. She was a woman with a job. She didn’t have delusions of starring in an Oliver Stone film. She wasn’t throwing cocktails at cameramen. She just wanted to work.

And then I went and wrote the conversation up in the gossip page of a tabloid, the primary medium for all Lindsay-related knowledge—lots of it biased, cruel, or just false. I wrote the truth, but the tone was mean. I don’t feel bad. I want to work too.

***

These Are My Hands
by Annabel Thompson

Bungalow 8, London, 2010. I was at the bar talking to Nigel, the manager and, apparently, Lindsay’s London boy. She was in a corner booth with her usual cartoon-size bottle of alleged whatever, staring balefully at me. Still, I continued chatting, leaning close as one does in a noisy room. Later I passed her in the bathroom and, I guess, gave her a look “smug” enough to encourage her to corner me outside and scream obscenities inches from my face: “EVERYONE KNOWS HE’S MINE.”

I put my arms out in defense telling her to relax. She then swung her little hand across my right cheek.

It was so exciting I didn’t even notice her storming off. I turned to my surroundings, desperately hoping someone saw (or!!!!!!) documented the whole account. Alas, there was only one other witness.

Two years and several interactions passed. Each time Lindsay seemed to have completely forgotten me, and I didn’t remind her. Then, not long ago, I found myself sitting with her at the Boom Boom Room. She looked beautiful and more composed—especially seeing her interact with her younger brother and his friends. She spoke to them like a real older sister.

Later, however, a man approached the table and reached for her giant bottle. She snatched it back, cradling it away from him, with that familiar glare. When he left, she told everyone, clasping her hands around her neck, “HE TRIED TO CHOKE ME ONCE.”

She then took off her giant heels and began wiping her feet with napkins on the table.

***

Dying Is an Art, Like Everything Else
by S.

It was the Summer of 2009 when I first moved to the city. I went to the Jane Hotel with a few friends. I don’t know if you have been there, but the ladies room is pretty small, and the first thing you see is always a long-ass line. The next thing I saw was a girl cussing out another girl, hard. I look. It’s Lindsay Lohan! “Are you waiting?” I say. She says no. She’s still cussing out the girl, who—I think—took a camera photo of her. Finally, I come out of the stall. I say, in the extra-sober voice of the very drunk, that she should calm down.

And then Lindsay Lohan apologizes to me. Later, I see Lindsay not far from the bar, just sort of standing there, lost-like. I want to buy her a shot to be funny, and then I want to buy her a shot to be serious. I tell her so. “Thank you,” she says. “If I could, I would have a million shots.”

Lindsay was very blonde then, very frail. Someone else told me they’d seen her doing lines in the bathroom, right in the open, like it didn’t matter. I could see all the rumors being true. I thought about, what if my friend were acting such a fool? I would snatch her up and take her home. But Lindsay wasn’t my friend. When I left, she was alone.

***

A Miracle!

[Lindsay] and I made up.
Cat Marnell
In an email, September 26, 2012

***Send your thoughts to letters@thenewinquiry.com

Flesh, Bone, There Is Nothing There
by Sarah Nicole Prickett

But did I see Lindsay Lohan, if she didn’t see me? She had the eyes of a doll found in the attic. Her yellowing hair. Somebody was always holding her elbow, or her cigarette, in the dim cubist corners of the club. She had no reason to move. For hours.

She laughed, though. Lindsay didn’t talk much but she laughed. Was there any sound? It was too loud at Le Montana, in the middle of Paris Fashion Week, at this party for Purple.

The only thing I remember anyone saying is “do you masturbate to this magazine?” and even that I remember only ’cause Olivier Zahm’s friend, what’s his name, Andre, half-shouted it at me over his champagne. I became aware that only men were speaking to me at all, but I didn’t want to leave before Lindsay left.

I should have known that wasn’t possible. Lindsay was in Paris as creative director for Emanuel Ungaro, a title she held for that season and that season only. The show had been awful. There wasn’t one positive review. People kept coming up to her, and I knew by their no-good faces they were congratulating her. Maybe that’s why she was laughing. I know that’s what I hoped.

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