A Word From Reverend Benjamin #11

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Holla Flock!

So many of you have been writing in and inquiring as to the well-being of our beloved patron saint, Beyoncé. She still hasn’t released a new album, and so many of you are worried. I understand. It’s upsetting since she’s such a masterful performer, we need her art to be inspired by — it’s divine, really, you know? Well, since Bey and I are such close friends, I can well understand why you’ve come to me with questioning moans. I don’t blame you for wanting to interfere with our close personal relationship. I’d wonder, too.

“WHY HASN’T SHE RELEASED AN ALBUM? WHY WON’T SHE TALK ABOUT IT!”

You’re constantly filling in my inbox with questions such as this, most of them poorly written, but your reverend forgives you this sin. Poor grammar usage is next to Satan, you know? Well, it’s time to tell the truth about the album. It’s all my fault. But, I’m not sorry about it. Let’s start from the beginning.

[Summer. 2013. Chateau Marmont Bar.]

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I’m moodily sipping on a sidecar, watching the half-dressed people parade around in the dim lighting, those poor girls trying to convince us that they’re having a good time, when in reality, we’re all miserable. Hollywood is truly the cesspool that generations of stars and filmmakers have led us to believe. As I poke at my salad and contemplate ordering a Singapore Sling, there’s a change in the atmosphere. I look up to the bouncer, a rather friendly man, and see Miley Cyrus walk by. Her hands are in the air, peace signs flashed with both sets of fingers, her tongue wagging about. Immediately, I’m thrilled, since she was one of the main people I hoped to see here in Hollywood. Her song, “Party in the USA” was such a grand inspiration to me, as you well know.

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She vanished almost at once into the dark. Curious, but not wanting to be rude, I choose not to follow. Instead, I scribble out on a napkin:  “Twerk off, midnight, pool, no entourages. –a fan and equal.” I give this to my waitress to take over to her and return to sipping my cocktail with a bit more enthusiasm. It wasn’t long before a return napkin was brought to me. “Ur on, nerd. MC.” Followed by her initials was a crudely drawn marijuana leaf. Pleased, I returned to my suite to practice my skills

Soon, midnight came around and there was nobody out there but the poolboy.

“Your usual gin and tonic, Mr. Phillips?” He asked, smilingly.

I nodded and gladly accepted the cocktail. I was halfway through when Miley appeared from behind the lushly shaded sidewalk, wrapped in her housecoat. “Hey, bro.”

“Miley.” I gulp down the rest of my drink.

She approaches me, hand extended. I grasp it and firmly shake. “You don’t know what you’re doing.”

“Maybe not,” I grin.

“You judge,” she points at the poolboy, who gulps nervously, but nods. “Anything, Miss Cyrus.”

“Call me Miley.”

“Yes, Mis– I mean, Miley.”

She hands her iPhone to the man and instructs him which song to play, after I agree to let her have her choice of music. Soon, the music is thumping throughout the grotto, lights from the balconies snapping on as we twerk like mad, whooping crowds congregating high above as they watch.

I’m twerking and twerking, really quite masterfully, but Miley is matching me twerk for twerk. It’s so intense, and I can see the anger and frustration on her face. To try and cause me to fail, she tries to twerk up on me (now you understand the inspiration for the VMAs), but I’m not having this. “I can’t stop.” She tells me.

“I won’t stop.” I reply.

“HA!” She says, and the beat drops even further, causing us to go into a crazy twerkathon.

Both of us are sweating bullets and about to collapse. She glares up at me, but there’s desperation in her eyes. I know that she’s breaking down. But so am I. “Truce?” She begs mid-twerk.

I consider her offer and smilingly agree.

We hug it out and have been inseparable ever since.

As you can well imagine, Bey was not amused. She was quite angry.

[Setting. Last Weekend. My lounge.]

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“Halo” goes off on my phone and I eagerly pick the phone up. I haven’t heard from Bey in some time, she’s been so busy with the tour and I’ve been working on my own projects and we haven’t had a chance to catch up.

“I saw the pictures.”

“What pictures?” I ask.

“You know the ones. You and Miley.”

“Oh,” I said slowly, recalling the after party I attended after her performance on SNL. “Did I look bad?”

Beyonce snorted. “You never look bad, Bee, but I think you’re drinking too much of Miley’s damn Koolaid.”

“To be honest, it’s more Everclear than Koolaid.”

“Don’t mock me.”

“I’m not.”

She was silent for too long and I became worried. “Solange!” she snaps off the phone, “Take Baby Blue. I’ve got a problem to deal with.”

Then back to me, she continued, her anger evident through the phone, “We are best friends, Bee. It’s always Bey and Bee. Nobody comes between us, not even Jay. Nobody. It’s you and me until the end of time.”

“Always.”

“And now I see you in all the magazines with Miley, twerking with Miley, defending Miley, singing with Miley, helping her choreograph her tour. What’s with this, Bee? What’s going on?”

“Nothing. She’s just a friend.”

“You can only have one friend, Bee.”

“Be fair.”

Quiet crying came from the headset. “Tell me I’m your best friend.”

“You know you are.”

“Say it!”

“Bey!” I exclaim in exasperation, but then a panic comes over me.  My iPad was ringing, it was a FaceTime call…it was Miley. “Shit,” I muttered.

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“What’s going on?”

“Nothing, Bey, nothing.”

The iPad continued to ring and unable to reach it, Bey finally caught ahold of the ringtone, “Wrecking Ball.”

An anguished scream could be heard coming from the phone, which I flung away from me in horror. “IS IT THAT BITCH? BEE? IS IT HER?”

“It’s nothing, I promise,” I shouted to the phone, while I whisper to the iPad “Hold on, Smiles, won’t be a second.”

“ARE YOU TALKING TO HER?”

“Erm…”

“Put that troll on.”

Miley sighed and put her pipe down, smoke escaping her nostrils, giving her the look of an annoyed dragon. “Sup, Beyoncé?”

I sat the phone in front of the iPad and looked on nervously.

“What do you think you’re doing with him, you twerking troll?”

Miley rolled her eyes dramatically. “We’re friends, Bey! I’m just bein’ Miley!”

“He’s mine!”

“Ben’s my friend, you know, don’t be so jelly.”

“Don’t come for me, girl.”

“I need his help. He’s the best twerker I’ve ever met. I’ve looked all over, but nobody does it like him. He has to go on tour with me.”

“OH NO HE DON’T!” Bey screams, the speaker rattling, “If he isn’t on tour with me singing, he ain’t going with you.”

“STOP IT, GIRLS! STOP IT!” I scream to them both, “I’m not just a piece of exceptionally talented and painfully handsome flesh! I’ve got a life of my own. I know that you both love me, and I adore you, but I’ve got to do my own things! I’m going to go help the boys in One Direction promote their new album!”

“I need you, though, Bee!” Bey sobbed, as Miley wept into her bong.

“I’ll call you later, Ben,” Miley said softly as Bey continue to sob into the phone.

“Bey,” I begin.

“Don’t,” she started. “I’m being ridiculous, I know it. But, I can’t just give you up. You’re mine, Bee, you’ll always be mine. Until you come to your senses and get your ass to Brooklyn, there’s not going to be an album. All those songs we recorded on the yacht…all those beautiful songs…well nobody’s gonna hear them, not even you! NOBODY IS GOING TO GET IT UNTIL YOU COME BACK TO ME!”

Then she hung up.

I’ve got my pride, flock, I can’t just let myself be owned by Bey, you know? I’m my own person! I’ve a flock to lead, I’ve got books to write, I’ve got to go to work. I just can’t be at her beck and call! Forgive me.

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