A film actor with career problems is trying to overcome anger issues. 1,986 words. Illustration by Thomas Warming.
I settled into the soft leather seat with a sigh. Nothing like a private jet. First class could not compare. Across the aisle, a group of reporters huddled around the latest superhero. What was the kid’s name? Jack or Jake. Strutting and flapping like hungry pigeons, the journalists darted in and out for a morsel. Better watch your step, Jake — they are just waiting for you to fuck up. God knows, they’d feasted off me for years. I’d been served up to them like an extra large pepperoni pizza tossed out of a passing car, then run over a few times and left for dead.
I had to be crazy for agreeing to this. The producer, Max, whose jet this was and who used to take my calls, had asked me to stop by his office for a chat. Just in case I mistakenly thought I could not sink any lower, I’d been asked to wait. I spent the time idly watching the studio parade pass by the large bank of windows in Max’s plush outer office. Writers, editors, directors. Leading men and women and their agents. A group of zombies. A lovely young starlet in cutoff denim shorts on a bicycle. This contained circumscribed world, more than several degrees removed from the gritty hole I’d climbed out of, had somehow always made the insistent, all too real messiness, more bearable.
“Kevin, sorry about that, I didn’t mean for you to have to wait.” Max was a small wiry man, balding and too tan. He threw up his hands and shrugged. “But you know how it is, right? Always crazy around here.”
Crossing the cavernous room, I took a seat on one of the overstuffed couches and sank into the feather down for several seconds before touching bottom. “No problem, Max, I know how it is.”
“I want to talk to you about the press junket, which you have so generously agreed to do.” Max sat at his massive Art Deco burl wood desk. It dwarfed him.
I nodded, a sense of unease slowly gripping my mid-section. “I’m all ears, Max.”