Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What does it take..

Our glasses were empty and the waitress still had not come to replenish our stores of temporary satisfaction. It was dark but I could still see, and the din was a complicated mix of laughter and droning from half a dozen tables and a few sofas strewn about the club. Men in currently fashionable shirts and women in flattering dresses mixed with the muscle heads and rocker scene stealers in jeans and pierced belly buttons. They all lay over the furniture like bull seals playing in the twilight on the ocean rocks.

There was no smoke, it was banned.

I missed that, but to hell with going outside and resuming my old death wish.

My bladder was as empty as the glasses I spied on the table, and Julie sat where I'd left her cross legged. Her hair was up. Her body was pointed at me but her attention was as departed as my previous flight to the bathroom. I stopped to admire the surroundings and the alcohol had started to activate my disregard for the flow of time and the way things operate around me. Things slowed down, it was nice.

Her profile was not perfect.

She could have used little less nose.

I mentally slapped myself for learning years of criticism from Drew. In this place I was not a casting director. She scanned the table to the right as I swam in her familiarity from across the room.

Those patrons to the right, arrayed around their table were the immaculate ones. A tall blonde norse warrior in a pin striped suit sat next to the shorter stocky guy with rolled up sleeves. Two women in small black dresses and ridiculously high shoes were anchored to each other in their booth, which was a cell without a fourth wall. Occasionally draped over the other, one woman was a picture of mirth laughing a little too loud. Her friend struggled in bitter solitude to suppress a bout of melancholy. They were taking of turns with a rolled up twenty dollar bill and the less than orderly lines of cocaine on the tabletop consumed them and their conversation with each inhalation.

Julie spotted me looking at them. She was previously fascinated with their display. All that trouble for a line of trouble. All this focused around a place to consume the rotting remains of vegetable matter in artistic glasses surrounded by people who were having a good time.

A good temporary time.

These people weren't my friends, even the ones I knew in the back weren't my friends.

Julie gave me a relieved smile that left me in a distinct amber glowed spotlight for a few seconds. I immediately remembered winter 1989 standing in the wings looking onstage watching an elegant pointy chinned blonde cascade over a silent leading man. Her breathing was the dog whistle pitched beginning of that way she'd work up a crescendo in a monologue. She burned through two or three pages of an expression of love for a man she didn't love and sure as hell I would not exhale until she'd finished her lines.

Actresses get me hard.

Our drinks were still not filled. This was substantial physical disparity between our table and the scene table with it's awkwardly arrayed white lines. In the darkness we saw only what we wanted to see, even the walls and the ceiling were obscured by the nightclub in what must be a horror show during the day time. I was sure that in the morning one could actually see that it was a prison.

Short term satisfaction was the drive of my life and that is for what most of us in the room felt a yearning. Tragically our search is one with no self awareness.

Was I alone in my amber glow of familiarity knowing that the woman at my table was the same one from nights of disaster and wine feasting on the improbability that I might just be in love with her in some hidden compartment in my emotions?

Mostly the search for the euphoric immediate buzz tended to kill connection to parts of me. Julie, Caitlin and the others, all except Estella. Or maybe except Julie also, and I was sad in the instant Estella crept back into my mind. I knew the lines of my mouth were slowly turning down because of the unconscious change in Julie's expression, we communicated my sadness without words.

When the fuck did I get so moody? Then alcohol is a depressant and somewhere in the universe that soul of Estella chooses to conjure her Baja beach and dance with me around the bonfire. However impossible that was physically, I could still be happy and sad at the same time. Julie heard my wordless communication and threw me a rope, she made a small wave gesture and I could drag myself back from that dark place into the newer corporeal dark place where our drinks were still empty.

Julie was still here unlike the others who, for some reason returned to the unknown back into the night. It was all my fault, but seeing her pixie shaped face and crossed legs and her joy at my presence I could believe that there was nothing I could do to make her leave. I'd been an asshole for fifteen years and she still sat alone in the club waiting for me.

The waitress was still in limbo somewhere outside of my periphery and I wondered what it took to get a drink in this place.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Julie sat catty corner to me in the booth, not quite intimate enough to be obvious but close enough to feel her presence. She put down her menu and leaned in towards me, making sure she caught my attention

"What happened to you?"

Julie was in her thirties, we'd met in our early twenties. She smelled great, her hair was perfect.

I briefly took up her stare, "Time happened."

She rolled her eyes to break the eye contact but returned to her intentioned focusing on me when she was sure I'd looked away.

"No, you gotta give me more than that"

Two seconds of awkward silence followed.

"What do you want to know?"

She had her teeth whitened recently, she'd had her nails done.

"I don't know, you pop up every now and then, I just think I have someone in my life I can rely on and you vanish. You know you're really bad at returning phone calls."

I don't think I'd ever been in this space with Julie and me sober before, there'd always been too much at stake. I knew I shouldn't but I had to ask the question.

"Was there an us?"


It was not the response I'd hoped for, it was contrary to her line of questioning. Her whole verbal offensive line was atypical, but incorrectly sensing that she'd fired an emotional broadside with that response she cut into my own thoughts on the negative response.

"actually that's not what I meant... yes Mr. obtuse, there was an us, there was you and me and err, you know, Vince."

We were on the way to discussing "us", fifteen years of maybe, fifteen years of unfulfilled potential, and fifteen years of unburst soap bubbles. Preservation mode kicked in, I was good at steering conversation, I was very manipulative, or maybe I have always just been a coward. I thought of Vince, her ex-husband and wondered.

"He was a good guy, where'd he go?"

Her mood deflated a little, her coat hanger shoulders slumped slightly and she looked over to the TV screen, the Angels were playing the Yankees but she wasn't really interested.

"Cheated, ejected."

I could really run away from her right now, put us back into the sometimes but never category and kill this line of conversation down the road to some form of belated commitment.

"oh, sorry."

She continued watching the baseball on the small screen across the room, or maybe she was just looking at the Treat Williams look-alike sitting at the booth under the TV eating quesadillas with his grandma or sugar-mama.

"Old news, he's working in Seattle now banished by shame."

I was still looking directly at her,

"Wasn't he from there?"

She didn't return the look immediately, but sighed and slowly dragged herself from the TV or Treat look-alike back to me.

"Why do you change the subject?"

I guess I'd missed some cue, sadness seeped out of her words like ivy covering a building in fast forward over twenty years.

"Sorry, I flow."

There might have been some anger in her response.

"you hide", she said.

Then again, most women in Hollywood are angry at something all of the time.

"Yes, true true."

She sat back in the seat, straightened her shoulders and pushed out her breasts. My eyes ducked down and then back up at her face. She caught it, but she'd always caught me.

"You've always hid from me, every time we get close you're nowhere to be seen the next day."

I sighed.

"We've always been running at different speeds."

I felt the start of my usual velvet hammer routine, the one I use to break it off with someone who was feeling a little too nesty with me. I didn't start the second verse, but gave her a silent space to fill in.

"Yeah, I suppose."

She continued studying the menu, reached over and grabbed my arm and asked,

"Are the enchiladas still good here?"

She knew if it was time for her and me that I was a nut to be cracked slowly. I love a woman with brains and game and the rest.

I responded, "Yup but it's definitely taco day for me."

She looked out for the waiter as if scanning for him would magically make him ready to come get our order. It still baffles me that some people eat in restaurants five times a week and still don't understand that putting the menu down on the table is the correct waiter calling signal.

Out of nowhere she gave me her serious concerned look.

"What happened to that Mexican princess you met in Baja?"

I definitely wasn't ready to talk about that topic, it was a knife in the stomach but I had distance from the whole affair so I remained as casual as ever.

"Oh baby, that's a long story... let's eat"

Thursday, August 03, 2006


It was the end of a bitch of a day.

Daniel had left the alternate script in Petra's office, I wanted to twist his head off and make him feel like the corpse he would be if his mistake was discovered.

"no doofus, tomorrow we're going with the coffee cup ending" I hoped my verbal assault was enough to make him keep his shit together for the next time he'd think about screwing up.

"Ok Jed, I messed up..."

He looked despondent, maybe I'd gone too far.

"Don't worry, I'll head over there and see if I can get Petra's PA to make us a dozen copies for the AM."

I pointed at arbitrary B-list star's trailer and looked Daniel in the eye.

"yeah, I know, I don't get it either" He looked even more nervous.

Arbitrary B-lister was in his trailer and hadn't surfaced in an hour, he needed to be out of there and last time I passed the front door I heard vomit noises coming from within.

"Get Sandy to wake him up or we're going to be paying a butt load of overtime to all these hacks"

"Ok Jed, got it"

"He has to go home, you got it? - get Sandy, ok?"

"Ok Jed, I got it"

I blindly turned away from him and headed over to Petra's office, Petra who would take a chainsaw to me if she found out just how my guy had destroyed two hours of production work. On the other hand, she can have her chainsaw fun, but in all fairness I kind of liked what came out of the screw-up even though most of us were confused, you know, art out of madness. Daniel was an accidental genius.

Stupid interns.

Or genius interns.

Daniel was a screw-up, but what he put together for us laid the seeds for something great that unfortunately due to guidelines, restrictions and union rules would never be seen.

I walked across the lot.

The proximity alert was way too late as I rounded a corner and bounced off someone. She recovered quickly, 5'9, slender blonde with her pixie like face done up like she was going on some audition, which she probably was.


Her eyes were the same color as mine.

Her hair was perfect.

The collision bounce was timid and we'd reacted quickly. Even after the recovery I still felt my hand brushing against hers, like we'd been elastically connected all along. Quite unconsciously I looked down over her white lycra-cotton tank top and felt the way it contoured under, around, and over her small breasts. Tracing up, the crew neck revealed she'd been tanning her shoulders, her collar bones defining the start of her neck.

I knew her, or at least I remember her.


Sigh, Julie the one that tormented me, my best friend forever.

Her pointy chin was the ledge that supported her thin lips. She was cute, but not classically beautiful. Her nostrils were maybe a little too large.

Her eyes were a gorgeous shade of blue, like the Mediterranean in July.

The collision was over, we'd bounced, but we were not recoiling. We had both rescinded the retreat order and held the closeness. She recognized me just as I recognized her, and at the start of that first breath after the faux disaster there were only two people in world that were in this moment with this level of return.

We stared into each others eyes remembering fifteen years ago, or was it twelve, or did she count to parties we'd strayed into and make it four? We lost touch, I turned into more of an asshole, and she got married or something.

She always had a damn boyfriend.

I realized I was holding my breath and my heart was beating a million beats to the sound of some yet undiscovered African tribal war drums.

The corners of her mouth subtly turned up, and her teeth appeared. Her eyes refreshed and the brightness inside upped the intensity.

I breathed out and she followed.

Quietly and with no sense of anxiousness she opened her mouth.

"Hi, how are you?"

I clenched my teeth and then returned her smile. I took another breath and held her gaze. I tried to remember the last time Julie and I had shared a moment or a space.

"Fine...", I held the sentence in mid-air and the next half a second reminded me that we'd never had anything, but often and for a long time I'd wanted more from her.

"How are you?"

She gave me her knowing smile.


We stood for another minute in silence, and I'm sure she had a million things to say but as surely I was, she was standing there before me drinking in my presence in a way that I'd never seen her do before.

I knew her.

I knew her very well.

She knew me.

We'd experimented with tequila before.

She had aligned my first row of coke.

Julie was here, so much time had passed and I'd put her to back room of my mind and she was the first element in my back room that refused to be put away. I'd ignored her memory out of necessity for so long, it was just the way things were.

Her smile turned to a grin and she raised and eyebrow and motioned with her head to follow her, and I did.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fuck games

"You're very mouthy so ye are"

Alana got out of the jeep and walked around the front. I watched her and her perfectly poised catwalk saunter and in my best fake nasty tone responded.

"You don't know when to shutup"

I also got out of the jeep walked over the driveway to my front door. Nobody else was home since I live alone. I unlocked and pocketed my keys as the front door swung open. I looked around and there she was she standing before me, slightly shorter, a lot prettier, her hips poised, her shoulders back, and an obstinate smirk on her face. She had her bag shouldered so the strap bisected her cleavage trapping her t-shirt tight against her separating her breasts.

As I moved my gaze from her tits to her eyes she started up her abuse engine again.

"You really should learn to treat a lady with a bit more resp...."

I reached forward and pinched her left nipple and with shocking speed, and a little smile, she slapped me hard across the face. It stung, it was one of those resonant moments that hung in the air like Jordan punching through the defensive line. In the half second that followed she was so incredibly pleased with herself she was beaming with victory.

I bent over and wrapped and arm around under ass and picked her and her bag up over my shoulder and carried her into the house.

"There's no pleasing you is there?"

She wasn't heavy, she wasn't struggling over than fake little fist taps on my back.

"Put me down ya bastard"

"no, you need to be taught a lesson."

I was heading to my bedroom across the living room, she'd never been here before.

"And you're quite the man to do it aren't you?"

As I got to the bed I leaned forward and used gravity to unsling her from my shoulder. I carried her weight just over the top of the covers and dropped her on her back. Her ass caught her fall and as her head hit the mattress her long red hair spread out over the covers and she looked up at me with an expression that was two parts shock, three parts amazement, and one part kid in a candy store.

I stood there for a second and admired her long legs in her jeans stretched out over the bed, and her arms still extended out to either side from the fall, and her t-shirt just lifted high enough to expose her abdominals and clearly pale torso, she didn't have a fat problem.

She waved her arm towards me, rotated her hand and extended her finger. Rolling the digit back she gave me the come hither gesture and with an exhale asked.

"can you help me with something?"

I moved forward and on my hands and knees hovered over her body as her hand retreated back to the side.

"I certainly hope so".

She braced her right arm flat against the bed and flexed her left arm bringing it in a strong arc out of nowhere landing the palm of her hand flat against my cheek. It was hard hit, a hit borne from a history of maybe a dozen brothers beating her in child's play over her twenty five years.

She was quick. She was quicker than I ever expected, but she didn't move.

"Are ya gaan fuck me hard or am I going to have to slap you again?"

She didn't really need an answer, but the slap felt good.

In my own momentary confusion, all I had to respond with was, "What?"

Actually I was shocked, she was bringing me her game, she was leading this and my manly arrogance was far to thickheaded to acknowledge it. Her green eyes were burning hot Celtic burn marks into my retinas. She had a manic excited smile on her face and her knees somehow raised between my legs and her thigh was rubbing itself against my stiffening penis.

In the next two seconds while I was going through my own database of pre-fuck games, trying to reestablish my rightful place of supremacy over this game I started, her right hand materialized behind my head and grabbed a chunk of hair pulling my whole head back.

"Boy, you better fuck me like a man and now or you're really gaan get it."