Before there was Kim there was Pam. And like many after her she went from the natural progression from actresses to amateur porn actress to novelist. Here’s an excerpt from the hot mess that was Pamela Anderson’s novel STAR. It first appeared on NERVE in 2004.
Star awoke with a start. She looked around, startled, a moment’s confusion, before remembering she was in her room at Peter’s. It was early and the gray light of an overcast L.A. morning seeped in around the drapes. It was a coastal layer, a local phenomenon that took away any sense of time. The light had the same quality whether it was seven a.m. or noon.
She’d been having an awful dream. Stuck in this long hallway, unable to find an open door, she just kept trying door after door as she made her way along the endless corridor that stretched on infinitely before her and behind her. As she continued frantically down the hallway, she was pursued by a hideous, mournful wailing, like ghosts from a bad horror movie.
As she lay in bed coming around, she became aware that she could still hear the strange wailing. Sleep left her completely as the adrenaline rush of terror seized her. She thought of calling the police, but what would she tell them? Peter? No, she didn’t want him over here. Her mom? She’d never hear the end of it, and there was nothing her mom could do from Florida.
She resolved to take the situation in hand and see for herself. Resolutely she tossed aside the covers and stepped from the bed. An old oversize, hooded sweatshirt lay across a nearby chair. She pulled it on so that she wouldn’t have to face the poltergeist in just the panties and camisole she had been sleeping in.
Cautiously she approached the door, the noise growing a bit louder with each step. She carefully eased the door open a crack; determining that the apparition was not in the sitting room, she rushed to grab the poker. Finding the fireplace tool heavy and unwieldy and figuring it was just big enough for the specter to seize from her and beat her to death with, she chose instead a really nasty-looking candlestick from the mantel. It was solid, she could get a good grip on it, and she’d never really liked it anyway.
The banshee wail rose to a new high and Star cried out softly, startled by the impending horror. If only she knew a priest to call. Feeling like Drew Barrymore in the opening scene of Scream, she eased toward the door to confront the awaiting ghoul. She grasped the doorknob firmly and, summoning all her courage, snatched the door open and drew back the awful candleholder, prepared to do her worst.
There was a moment of silence and Star breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that she’d had a narrow escape from her terrible fate when, suddenly, the caterwauling resumed in a new and more terrifying trip up and down the scale. Rather than paralyzing her, the fear swept her up and into a courageous charge. She thundered down the stairs in the direction of the hellish howling, stormed through the kitchen, and with the determination of the Marines and a bloodcurdling howl of her own, flung open the door and leaped inside.
Chaos and screams.
Dinga and a couple of the other household staff were terrified by Star’s shrieking intrusion into the laundry room and dispersed, the laundry they’d been folding flying through the air as they ran howling in all directions, out the back door, into the servants’ dining room and beyond. Of course, this only scared Star worse and she screamed louder, dropped the candlestick, and beat a hasty retreat back into the kitchen.
Star’s screaming brought a similar reaction from the staff who’d barricaded themselves in the butler’s pantry. And the staff’s bloodcurdling screams brought more screams from Star, who was trying to hide behind the cabinet door near where she’d collapsed, her legs unable or unwilling to support her any farther, and Dinga caught up with her.
“Miss Star, are you all right?” Dinga asked, breathless from the screaming and the running and just generally being frightened out of her wits.
“Oh my God, Dinga,” Star said, sitting on the tile floor and leaning against the cabinets. “You guys scared the hell out of me. What was that noise?”
“I can’t describe it,” Star said, still panting. “It was like a cat in the washing machine.”
“Lakmé,” Dinga answered with a little laugh.
“What is that? Some kind of religious rite?”
“It’s an opera by Delibes,” Dinga said, grinning. “We were practicing the ‘Flower Duet,’ though admittedly there were more than two of us. If we scared you, perhaps we need more practice.”
“No, it just sounded so eerie,” Star said, beginning to laugh at it all as the relief coursed through her. “Was it in your native language?”
That was all Dinga needed as she began to laugh too.
They had a good laugh together and the little troupe even reunited to give an encore performance for their audience of one. Star agreed that it was quite lovely when you knew what it was.
“What does it mean?” Star asked, applauding them.
“Well,” Dinga said thoughtfully as she put on the kettle for tea. “Literally, Mallika is pointing out the flowers and the swans to Lakmé, who is sad and worried. But, I think it means to enjoy the beauty of life while you can. The flowers bloom only for a short time.”
“’Gather ye rosebuds while ye may’?” Star asked.
“Exactly,” Dinga said, taking down the tea things and beginning the ritual. “I like that. Is it a poem or a song you know?”
“I don’t know,” Star said with a sad smile. “Just something my grandfather always used to say to me. Sorry about scaring you.”
“As am I,” Dinga said, seating the lid on the tea ball and dropping it into the teapot.
“Thanks for the song,” Star said over her shoulder as she left.
She tried to get back to sleep, but it was no use. The whole thing had only made her feel worse. She missed home; she missed her grandfather; she felt lost and alone. Who could she turn to? Depend on? She was scared of a lot more than just eerie noises. That she felt so on her own made her long for some sense of security, somewhere in her life.
She’d never really known the feeling of stability. Her parents were good to her, but they were as precarious as she was. Adam had come to be as much a threat as a source of comfort. And her friends usually depended on her to be the strong one.
She took a long shower and tried to celebrate all the good things in her life: the beautiful marble fittings of the enormous bathroom, the luxurious comforts of the house at her disposal, the wonderful bath stuff she’d gotten on her shopping trip with Peter, the little, secret dreams she’d never dared to hope would really come true, suddenly coming to life all around her.
She was going to be on the cover of Mann magazine. She was going on a date with Stormy from Hip-Hop Cops. She’d been on a date with Vince Piccolo . . . oops, too far. Her mantra crashed again and she was back to just feeling alone. As she made her way out to her favorite table by the pool with her bowl of granola and soy milk, the dark mood returned and she began the mantra again.
She took a bite and chewed ruminatively as she tried to bolster her spirits.
Mutley nuzzled at the hand in her lap and she reached out to stroke his head.
“Mutley,” she screamed, leaping to her feet so suddenly that she spilled the cereal, upset her chair, and frightened Mutley so badly that he began to bark ferociously at the offending chair. “Oh my God, it’s you,” she said, dropping to her knees and throwing her arms around his neck. Tears came and the two of them rolled around on the massive rocks that made up the jigsaw of the patio.
As she looked up from the cool stones where she lay with Mutley, she saw Peter standing under the arbor by the gate to the motor court. He had a deeply satisfied smile on his face as he watched Star and Mutley tumble around on the broad blue slabs of slate.
It was as if she saw him in a whole new way, as if he had magically been transformed into a whole new person. Perhaps what she could really see, or wanted so very much to see, was how much he cared for her. Not that he wanted something from her, but that he wanted to see to it that she was happy, that she was taken care of, that that was what he truly wanted. And in that instant, it made her love him.
Star bounded to where he stood by the gate, his arms folded, content. She leaped into his arms, almost knocking him off-balance; he was so unprepared for her sudden show of affection.
“You wonderful man,” she said, covering his face with dozens of little kisses. Mutley circled them, barking, demanding that he not be left out.
Peter only stood there with Star in his arms supporting her as she climbed over him. He was pleased — amazed even — by the outcome of such a simple act.
At last, Star’s celebration died down and she stopped. Leaning back from him while still in his arms, she looked into his eyes as they regarded one another in that moment as though for the first time.
“Thank you, you darling man,” Star said, stroking his face. “My heart’s desire. I don’t know how you knew, but you knew.”
“You see,” he said quietly. “I told you I got far more out of giving little gifts than it ever cost me. I’m just glad I got the chance to see you this happy. Thank you.”
She could resist him no more, and as she leaned into kiss him, somewhere inside the house Dinga and her ensemble again struck up the “Flower Duet” from Lakmé. Only this time it sounded more like the voices of angels.
Without another word, Peter carried her up the winding iron stairs that led to the balcony off her room. It was all he did to push the moment. As he sank with her onto the sofa in the little sitting room, she began to hurry through the things she knew would inflame him and move them on to more. But he stopped her each time she tried to rush.
As she tried to unbutton his shirt, he took and held her hand — not forcefully but lovingly. As she ground her body into his, he rolled them over so that they were just barely touching. Then he began to stroke her body all over, gently and with kisses.
Her frustration served as tinder to her excitement and she fought him for control. The more she fought, the more control she gave him. She dug her nails into his back and drew him to her, and he took her wrists and held them above her head against the mattress as he nipped at her T-shirt covered nipples. She raised her face hungrily to his and he buried his face in the nape of her neck, breathing into her ear with such intensity that it was like an electric current, running through her writhing body.
As she wound her legs around his waist and drew herself up to him in her excitement, he withdrew, sliding down to bury his face between her legs. And as his tongue made contact, she joined the soprano line of the “Flower Duet” echoing up from the floor below.
In the way that he had persisted in searching for presents to make her smile, he made love, seeking to bring her more and more pleasure. It was endless foreplay. It was the part of 9 1/2 Weeks that Adam never got. It was like torture, interminable, unendurable, exquisite torture as he searched her body, tasting, flicking, tickling, touching, to see how it made her react, acting on her like an apothecary’s full stock of aphrodisiacs. It took twenty minutes for him to remove her clothes, but that twenty minutes was better than most of the sex she’d ever had.
By the time he penetrated her, Star’s whole body ached for it as if she had no will left, no resistance, just complete and utter surrender. Even then, he took his time bringing her near, then pausing to draw her back from the abyss before driving her near the edge again. At last, when she thought she could stand it no longer, he sensed her readiness and followed her over. It seemed to last forever as the strained notes of the aria trailed up and concluded in concert with their own activity.
As the final notes rang out, the two fell gasping on Star’s still made but much disarranged bed.
“Wow,” Star said at last with a husky little laugh. “I never knew how much I liked opera.”