Monday, January 19, 2009

Rocco's Demise (Part 4)

Rocco lied to Mia. He outright lied, lied by omission and stretched the truth to get her to leave her pimping husband and her lavish lifestyle. She believed he was far wealthier than he was.

By the time my parents rekindled their friendship with Rocco he had sold his house and was renting an extremely posh apartment that was bigger than any house I've ever lived in. It was new construction, overlooked a canal and a bridge and was just off our city's fanciest street. The place was impressive and Mia moved right in. Together they decorated and bought furniture for their new home. Mia stopped working and spent her days at the most expensive pilates studio in town. When she wasn't at pilates, getting her nails done (she went twice a week for manicures and once for pedicures), getting her hair done or tanning she shopped. Every exclusive boutique in town knew her name. When she wasn't out shopping she shopped online. The girl did nothing but indulge herself. She couldn't even clean. They hired my parents' housekeeper to keep everything in the apartment tidy. Mia never lifted a finger unless it was to pull out Rocco's credit card.

Mia believed she had achieved every whore's dream. She was with a powerful billionaire, because that's what Rocco had led her to believe. She imagined herself as "Pretty Woman" come to life. They all want that, don't they? She thought the money would never run out. The truth was, it probably already had.

Rocco's divorce from Aurora set him back. He continued to support her in her own posh apartment on the beach, payed for her education, living expenses and gave her extra to spend. Out of everyone Aurora deserved it more than anyone because she had actually been with him for eight years and had been married to him for about seven. The money he gave her was court ordered. He gave Joan money to get rid of her, setting her up in Orlando and giving her money for some trade school she wanted to go to. Add to that his constant partying, shopping, whoring and eating and the money had dwindled considerably. Then he lost money on the sale of his house, which he said he wanted to get rid of because of bad memories. He and Aurora had built it together.

Business wasn't great either. Upon googling him, I discovered that Rocco had set up some corporations in his name, but to my knowledge (and I could be wrong) he didn't exactly have a "real" business. From my own peripheral observations I concluded that he made money by getting himself involved in a bunch of two bit schemes and most likely a lot of illegal activity. I repeat. I did not want to know and I still don't.

My sister and I were terrified of him. Both of us separately feared that one day he'd get pissed at our parents again and have his goons kidnap us and either hold us for ransom or murder us. I expressed my fear to my sister one day.

"Oh my God," she said, "I think the same exact thing."

I'm not making light of this. I watched my back a lot when Rocco was alive.

He and Mia started taking brief, sudden trips to Curacao. I thought they were going on vacation and suggested St. Lucia for next time.

"I got a friend in Curacao," Rocco told me.

He said he was going for business not vacation. What kind of business could he have had in Curacao?

Once, at his apartment I saw that he had also gone to Venezuela. I noticed some used boarding passes in a pile of papers. I dismissed it. It wasn't my concern.

For a few months, my parents and Rocco were as close as ever, which irritated me because he was there with Mia at every event. I came to despise this girl. I genuinely liked Aurora and Jade. Joan wasn't much of an issue because I think I was only around her maybe two or three times. Mia was a different story. She had a sneering smile and I knew the girl was a snake. I knew she was a manipulator and it annoyed me to no end to watch her taking and taking and taking without ever giving back. Aurora gave back some. So did Jade. I don't know about Joan, but Mia took shamelessly and had such an entitled attitude for such a young and undeserving girl. She was also shallow, unbelievably materialistic and vain. Did I mention stupid? She was stupid.

"Don't you get bored all day, never working or going to school or anything?" I once asked her.

"I don't know. I have to be available for Rocco when he needs to travel or go somewhere. I don't like working. I could never have, like, a job or something," she said.

"But aren't your days boring?"

"Maybe," she said, "But what else is there to do?"

"You've certainly had an interesting life. You could write."

"No, you do that. I can't."

"How about read?"

"I thought about it but then I was like, uggh, I'd have to hold up the book and all."

I am not making this up. This was an actual conversation. I am not kidding. I wondered what she did on planes. And how did this whore do pilates when she was too lazy to hold up a damned book? Maybe she entertained herself by gazing at her Tory Burch flats.

At one point I just stopped even trying to be nice to her. Whenever I was around her I made catty remarks in regard to her laziness, materialism and all around dumb-assedness, until my mother got mad at me and told me to leave her alone.

A month later my parents and Rocco had another big blow up and Rocco left town for Los Angeles, suddenly breaking the lease in his posh, waterfront apartment.

"Rocco's broke," my parents said.

He was in big trouble too. Apparently Rocco had some major legal problems. Additionally, he had screwed a lot of people out of a lot of money and had gotten other people in trouble too. He played a lot of mind games with people and for no real reason it seemed, except cruelty. He just enjoyed it. I won't get into the details here and most of the details I really don't know, but with my parents it came down to an issue of trust and repeatedly he had broken their trust and repeatedly they had given him more and more chances.

"I thought he just didn't know how to love," my mother said, "He never had a real family. I thought if I showed him what it was like to forgive and to stick by somebody that maybe he'd learn. I felt sorry for him, but in the end he just didn't know how to relate to people. He was a sick, sick man. Evil."

Through mutual friends we heard that Rocco and Mia got married. Rocco was in business out in LA with another guy, Theo, who my parents knew and he borrowed a huge sum of money from the Theo, whom Rocco had really conned.

A little while later Theo explained that Mia's shopping was really out of control. Unleashed onto Rodeo Drive she went completely wild, but Rocco was totally broke. He couldn't tell Mia to stop shopping (their whole relationship was based on her ability to shop after all) so Rocco went to Theo and begged him to pay his American Express bill until Rocco got on his feet again. Why Theo did this I will never know. Mia had spent over $70,000.00 within just a few weeks of being in town. Rocco then spent all of the money Theo had loaned him, supposedly for a business venture, on Mia.

One day Theo's wife Sara got fed up and confronted Mia, telling her that she needed to stop spending Theo's money.

"What are you talking about? It's Rocco's," Mia said.

Theo told us that his wife explained everything to Mia.

By then Rocco's problems were adding up. He faced years in prison for things he'd done. One of his business partners was already convicted and sentenced.

This was last Fall when my parents also suddenly decided to move to Los Angeles. They had nothing to do with Rocco, but he called and texted a lot. My dad ignored him.

Finally, last Christmas while I was visiting in California, Rocco convinced my parents to meet him in a hotel lobby. I didn't go and they were gone for a long time. When they came back they said Rocco had been crying and was making no sense. He'd always had a bad stutter, but now it seemed more pronounced. They said he was a mess. It was probably all the stress. The friendship ended permanently at that point and Rocco was no longer a part of their lives. The meeting in the hotel was closure.

Last winter my dad told me he heard that Rocco was dying.

"They don't know what's wrong with him supposedly," he said.

No one believed it. We thought he was making it up to get sympathy or to get out of legal proceedings, but as the year went on people kept talking about it.

"Rocco has ALS," some said.

No one had seen him in months. He just disappeared. Last summer we heard that Mia had taken Rocco and put him in a nursing home in Texas where she was originally from.

A few days into our trip this Christmas my husband called and asked if we'd heard the news.

"Rocco died yesterday," he said.

I couldn't believe it. My husband had heard from a friend of my parents who was in town while we were away.

All of Rocco's friends were in Florida and Mia called everyone and told them not to come to the funeral. They were going to cremate him quickly, have a small service in Texas for her and then she was moving back to South Florida by Christmas. After New Year's they would have a "Celebration of Life" for everyone here.

I admit that I watch too much Dateline. I admit that my imagination is at times, out of control, but the first thing that came to mind is that Rocco wasn't really dead. If anyone in this world had the reason and the resources to fake his own death it was certainly Rocco Boccaforte. Maybe at this very moment his loud mouth is screaming orders at a waiter in Curacao for more rum in his daiquiri. Maybe he's in South America somewhere.

My other Dateline scenario is that Mia poisoned him, though she's probably too stupid.

Rocco supposedly had ALS, but a year ago when my parents met him in the hotel, aside from being an emotional wreck, Rocco was fine. I researched the disease and people often can live several years. Stephen Hawking has had ALS for 40 years. Usually it's five to ten years of decline before death. I read Tuesdays With Morrie. Morrie had ALS for a while before he had to quit teaching and start telling Mitch his life story. None of the literature that I read about the illness said that it can kill you in eleven months. Of course it's possible that he had it longer, but he never showed any symptoms. The only possible symptom was that he was crying at the hotel, but it was an emotional meeting, so it didn't seem unusual. Sometimes ALS patients can cry uncontrollably. I just have a nagging, pinching little gut feeling that something is up, that Rocco isn't dead or that he didn't really have ALS.

"No one credible ever saw the body," my dad's friend wrote in a recent email.

(Later I'll wrap up and let you know what happened to Rocco's ladies. That's a story in and of itself.)



9 comments:

Jen & Rob said...

oh man - long time, no post, due to google reader - I've been following closely for a long time...
This post struck me though. I'm 33 and my husband was diagnosed 1 year ago with ALS. While the average life span is 2-5 years there are those that go more quickly and those who last longer. It's a horrible/shitty disease and I hope that however horrible Rocco may have been that he didn't have it. If he did have bulbar onset ALS he could have gone really quickly. *sigh*

I love you, WL! :)

Q said...

I think that aside from some of your classics from the first iteration of Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds that this is my favorite series so far. I almost don't want it to end.

(Your sister's story was also right up there at the top - instant classic)

I was thinking about your stories yesterday while watching Rock of Love Bus. If it weren't for your blog, I would believe that these women could not and did not exist. And yet! They do! If you don't know what Rock of Love Bus is, check it out on VH1.com. You'll be horrified.

Anonymous said...

I am a long time reader of yours, never posted a comment before.

My father passed away almost 9 years ago from ALS. It is the WORST disease ever. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. My father was diagnosed Good Friday of 99 and passed away May of 00. The disease can spread quickly. ALS can take it's time depending on what it affects first. With my father it was his limbs. Thankfully his breathing was never affected.

I hope Rocco did not have ALS. If he did, I hope he passed peacefully.

Anonymous said...

As a whore, I could tell that a lot of us AREN'T seeking the pretty woman scenario.

And that most whores I met personally were actually intelligent and fascinating women trying to live a meaningful but financially comfortable life. But then, when it comes to people relationships, like can indeed attract like.

Rocco seemed to be looking for dumb pretty things. But I would hate for people to think that all whores are like that. And perhaps, it might be your location... I just don't live in areas or circles where gold-diggers reside, so at 26, I still have not seen one...

Thais

Wide Lawns said...

I hope you all don't think I'm making negative comments about ALS. You couldn't possibly think that right? I'm just saying that Mia's story to everyone was that he had ALS and that if there was anyone on this earth who had a reason to fake his own death and the resources to do it, it would be Rocco. To me, some of the story doesn't add up. Of course it's possible that he really was ill and if that's the case then obviously it's a very sad and tragic illness and I hope none of you would think I wished it on him. I had no reason to.

And Thais, I think it's the location. And if you are a prostitute, you should definitely move here if you're smart because you'd make a ton of money being that your competition is a pack of idiots. Conniving, manipulative, selfish and materialistic idiots, but still idiots.

Miss Kitty said...

Holy moly. Just when I think it can't get any more bizarre, it does.

FreshHell said...

Wow, what a story. And, you're such a great storyteller. I've commented here once or twice but simply had to say that. I'm neither a prostitute nor know anyone with ALS and didn't think you were poking fun. I don't think your writing would be half as compelling if you were doing that. Having lived in Virginia all my life in boring, average circles, this all seems unreal in many ways, like a tv show. Love your blog. Why aren't you published yet?

Anonymous said...

Sigh... I may be a smart prostitute, but I am also an idealistic prostitute. And unwilling to give up my "save the world" day job with great growth prospects for more money. I worked for several years to get to it.

Thais

Anonymous said...

My dad died from ALS 9 months after being diagnosed. He was 57. Love your peoples, people. They leave far sooner than you want them to.

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