My Other Half

When Cathy Seipp died in March of 2007, much of my world died with her. I dropped out of most writer gatherings, lost most of the connections I had around her, and sent my life in a different direction — towards becoming a teacher of Alexander Technique.

Cathy was my other half. We never discussed this directly but we knew it without spilling it out. That’s why we had so many fights because the connection was so intense and yet, because of circumstance, we could not cross the line from friendship to more. I often thought about taking it across the line but we never did. Never a kiss. Never an awkward conversation.

There was only one time I thought of Cathy in a sexual way — and it was the first time I went to her house. I think it was a Halloween party on a Saturday night and she dressed in some slinky bosomy number and it provoked carnal thoughts in me, even though I knew she was dying.

P.S. Daughter curates Cathy Seipp’s legacy.

PPS. I just consulted my appointment book to find the exact date (Oct. 25, 2003) I first went to Cathy’s house and saw her dressed as a cat:

Cathy Seipp, Cecile du Bois Host Halloween Party Saturday Night

I consulted Yahoo Maps for the directions but they seemed too complicated, requiring passage through four freeways. I figured I could find it by feel and ended up going several miles out of my way, calling Cathy on my cell phone, and finally guided in by a flashlight-wielding Harvey Seipp (Cathy’s father) just after 7PM.

I came as an Orthodox Jew, my yarmulke from the Israeli town of Sfat, and my tzitzit (fringes) down to my knees. They’re a big hit.

I see no reason for a Torah Jew to grovel before the goyim and the assimilated Jews, trying to dress and like one of them. I wear my superiority on my fringes.

Cathy (in a mouse outfit), her daughter Cecile (and some of her young friends), and Nancy Rommelman (dressed as a cat) looked particularly stunning. I felt instantly at home while munching on Nancy’s chocolate brownies. I almost asked her to sit on my lap but I figured I should put up a pious front, and besides, she got married and has a 14 year old daughter.

Cathy Seipp writes me:

I was a cat, not a mouse; Nancy was a cavewoman, not a cat; and why do you always say Roman “Gans?” Gross. Sounds like “glans.” Which isn’t that some sort of male organ or something? It’s Roman Genn, and he even has a good website now, You could also add that he drew “Cecile” a very good picture of Arafat on a balloon which she plans to take to Sunday school…. And you could write that David Finnigan has “The Big Lebowski” on DVD — yes, he owns it!

Cathy Seipp writes on her blog:

Luke had on a yarmulke and tzitzit, those long fringey things Orthodox Jewish men wear, which he doesn’t usually wear [LF: outside shirt]. He told everyone he has the longest and most impressive tzitzit south of Pico, but since I’ve never seen a man’s tzitzit up close before, I’ll just have to take his word for it. He was actually on good behavior, not like a few weeks ago when he’d drastically reduced the lithium and, as Emmanuelle put it in her French accent, was “unbear-r-r-r-able,” and I think he made a far better impression on my friend Greg Critser and his wife Antoinette than the last time he met them. But that was years before I myself had met Luke, and people say that he was far less socially acceptable in those days.

I had a long talk with the spirited redhead Jill Stewart (who only got where she is because of her looks and lack of fear in using them, according to her critics). I complained that I can’t write description. She says that’s not true. I describe women well.

Mickey Kaus came in an Al Gore mask that he only took off for a couple of seconds. He stayed in character most of the night. He put his hand on my shoulder and said he’d done some research into me and found out that I was a big hypocrite. Boy, that must’ve taken some digging. That Mickey is a regular LA Times investigative reporter.

Mickey, Jill and others left around 10PM for illustrator Eric Almendrahl’s party in North Hollywood.

Roman Glands, National Review illustrator from Russia, says the Richard Riordan issue of LA Examiner owes him $200.

Cecile eats squid in front of me, taunting me in a teenage manner reminiscent of David Poland.

Luke: “Do you hate yourself as a Jew?”

Cecile takes a crunch. “It’s not so bad. You should try it.”

Luke: “Why don’t you try heroin too? It’s not so bad. Just shoot it into your veins.”

Jill: “You’re giving weird advice tonight.”

Cathy: “Tonight? Why is tonight different from all other nights?”

Many goyim came to the party, some quite smart, like Greg Critser and his lovely wife Antoinette. The champagne glass is based on her.

Some revolutionaires stormed the barricades of Cathy’s house but we drove them away with harsh Jewish invective. They wanted to take Antoinette to the guillotine.

I sit near Rand Sindberg much of the night. I talk to Debbie Gendel’s husband Morgan. I must interview him. He’s not only a pretty face, a wonderful husband, and a lousy Jew, but an accomplished television screenwriter and producer.

Hey Morgan, please don’t back out of that interview offer because of that “lousy Jew” remark. It was meant as satire. I was poking fun of my own tendency towards self-righteousness and judgmentalism. It was a joke about the fleeting nature of religious and moral truth, and an acknowledgment of the universal nature of relativity.

Author David Rensin brings along his 13-year old son, who’s a fervent libertarian, has hair down to almost his waist, and fingernails painted black.

I call Moxie “Molly” after a pretty blonde I met on the Internet. Read her party report.

I drink five glasses of water. I don’t trust the kashrut in this place, except from Nancy, ’cause she’s so pious.

Cecile welcomes me into her room where all the kids are. She introduces me as a big deal. She gives me a tour of the house, including Cathy’s bedroom, which did not appear filled with erotic lingerie, but rather with books.

Harvey Seipp lives downstairs.

His friend David Crawley told me I wasted too much energy… And I was thinking, on what? Blogging? Pursuing women? Rooting for the Dallas Cowboys? No, he said religion. It was bunk.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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