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And that was the last time… — By Michael

Michael

 

Let me tell you the last time someone conned me. I was 19 years old and I was a stupid 19. Somehow I ended up in London, wandering around the back streets of Piccadilly Circus. I see this gorgeous girl standing outside some strip club next to a sign that says “beer and a show £5.” Now this girl has got the thinnest smoothest legs I’ve ever seen. She could have been selling cancer in a pop can and I would have gone over to listen to the pitch.

“£5 pound for a beer and a show. That’s it?”, “That’s it,” she says. I give her a 5. She puts it in her purse and hands me a laminated white card and we go downstairs. She leads through a dimly lit lounge with a couch (occupied by some black guy with a girl on each arm)  and old woman behind a coat check, and into the next room. Then she asks me if I’m ready for the show.

In the next room there are dozens of couches and a stage with a single pole.  An even more beautiful woman comes up to me with my beer. This girl has straight blonde hair, gorgeous smile, and is only wearing black lingerie. She sits down next to me and starts asking me questions. Where I’m from, where I grew up, and she’s talking to me like I’m the most interesting person in the world. These days anytime anyone is that interested in me, I get suspicious, but 19 me kept yakking away.

After a couple of minutes, she stops me and says, the show will start as soon as I pay the bill. I hand her the white laminated card the other girl gave me, and blondie says, “No that’s for the show, I mean the bill.” I have no idea what she’s talking about but then she hands me the menu. She points to the bottom which says in fine print, Services of the companion £277. Everything comes to a screeching halt and I demand to talk to the manager (as if this were a respectable establishment).

I find myself back in the lounge arguing with the old lady behind the coat check. Blocking the stairs is the black guy from the couch, but now his arms are crossed, ready for any shit I’m going to pull.  Coat check lady is telling me the menu is clearly marked and that I have to pay for services. Normally I wouldn’t care, I’d just say “fuck you I don’t have any money.” But I had £500 on me for an… errand. That 500 needed to go where it was going. “If you don’t have any money, just open your wallet and show it to the camera.” I turn around and face the brother blocking my path. “You going to stop me if I leave?” and he comes back with “You wanna try me?”

So that’s when I pull out my cell phone. “Put that away. You can make calls down here.” the old lady commands.  And I know something’s up. “If you’re so sure the £277 charge is legit, why don’t I call the cops, they come down here, and if they say I owe you, I’ll pay.” Now I’m bluffing. Because that errand I was doing… well I still had some of the product on me. And believe me if the cops came down here, I’d be in a ton more trouble than she’d be.

She’s staring me right in the face and I’m staring right back. “We had a party of rich Arabs in here last night, they were more than happy to pay.” I spout back “I’m dialing 999. ” “I said put that away.” I can see the old lady making nods at the black guy, probably to grab the phone out of my hand. “I’m pressing send.”  Then curtly and with an air of superiority I hear “Get the fuck out!” And for some reason I reply with “Thank you.” And I bolt.

Now I’m outside making sure the black guy isn’t following me, heart racing, and I’m so fucking pissed at myself. All the little clues I should have seen are now painfully obvious. The cheap show, the black dude on the couch, the empty room.  And that’s when I decide right there, I’m not going to be a sucker for anyone ever again. That I would always been on the other end of it.  Couple of years later I see that old lady come into Vinney’s in New Jersey. Same woman, I swear to God. Right there right in front of me. So I… well that’s a story for another time.

—Michael
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Searching for Gambit – By Jack

Actually Ice Man was harder to find. But everyone wanted Gambit more.

 

When I was 10 years old, I was on a manhunt for Gambit. Part Toy Biz’s second series of X-Men action figures (pictured below.)

A roster of the dream.

A roster of the dream.

You could walk into any Toys ‘R’ Us, KB Toys, or Lone Star Comics and see on the shelf any of one those beloved action figures. Except Gambit (and Iceman, but his toy was stupid.) You see, much like the De Beers diamond cartel, toy companies intentionally withhold certain figures to create a demand. So when a box of X-Men figures shipped, its contents included plenty of Banshees, Forges, Saurons, and the three different versions of Wolverine. But the a Gambit figure might be only one per box, or even none at all.

So in order to conduct my manhunt, I called previously listed toy stores everyday for about 6 months. To this day I still have the Toys ‘R’ Us number memorized. Even though it’s been closed for about 10 years. My phone call went something like this.

Toys’R’Us Automated Phone: Thank you for calling Toys R Us. We are conveniently located on 5505 Arapaho Road. Across from the Preston Wood mall. Our hours today are from 9 am to 10 pm.  If you need help with–

Little Jack presses 0.

Toys’R’Us Representative: Thank you for calling Toys’R’Us how can I help you?

Little Jack: Um..I was wondering if you’ve gotten your shipment in for the day.

Toys’R’Us Representative: Is this Jack?

Little Jack: Yes.

Toys’R’Us Representative: What is it you’re looking for again? Power Rangers?

Little Jack: No, I’m looking for any shipments of the X-Men Series 2 action figures.

Toys’R’Us Representative: Hold on, let me check.

2-5 minutes later. 

Toys’R’Us Representative: We did, but didn’t get any Gambits.

And that’s what I did with my childhood when I wasn’t playing video games.

So why am I telling you about this? Well I’ve been out of a job for a few months now.  I’ll spare you the details of my rise and fall from the reality TV world, my adventures of the writers’ room of an unnamed but super mega awesome scripted TV show, and finally my depressing return to the restaurant frontier. I decided once and for all to do what it takes to get the office Production Assistant job that is so coveted by any and all aspiring TV writers.

Between Deadline, Below the Line, Che Equis’s Temp Diaries, and a few secret tracking boards, I’ve managed to compile a list of television pilots currently in either development or production. (See below).

Spreadsheet

This is just a sample of the document in my Google Drive. In actuality it spans over 100 pilots. And each day I update the list’s phone numbers, status, and then scan for who I have slated to contact for the day. Then I call.

Here’s how it goes down.

Production Intern/Assistant: Something Something Productions.

Adult Jack: Hi, I was calling to see if the production company of [insert show name] pilot has been set up yet.

Production Intern/Assistant: Oh I uh…I don’t think so. Try calling back in a month. (They always say a month).

Not the best answer in the world, but at least you can try them again.

or

Production Intern/Assistant: Yeah, here’s the production office number.

This is actually bad, because most likely if the production office is set up, then it is staffed up too. But still worth a shot.

or

Production Intern/Assistant: No not quite yet. Probably next week though.

That’s the answer you want!

Adult Jack: Great! Has a line producer or production coordinator been hired for the project.

Production Intern/Assistant: Yeah, actually.

Adult Jack: Wonderful. Might I be able to forward my resume to them for staffing?

And it goes from there. Then you have to check back.

So as you can see, I can’t help but feel the parallel between my adulthood and childhood. It’s a slug, but you gotta do it.  Sad fact: You know how I finally got the Gambit toy? My friend found one for me. Which sadly, despite my best efforts, is probably what I am going to need to actually land the job.

—Jack out.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in By Jack, Writing

 

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Fools and Fiends – By Jack

Steven just didn’t get people and it was painful for me to watch. He was raised by and still lived with his Christian grandparents. There is something about the ultra-religious that just doesn’t get how people relate. It didn’t help that his weight gave him a double chin and belly that draped over his belt.

I tried to be respectful and mature when he came talking to me about the latest movie trailers. But his inability to recognize my lack of interest forced me to often cut him off mid-sentence. The only thing worse than his movie rants were his awkward situational jokes. Jokes so cliché and predictable I felt like I was in a Garfield comic strip. Something akin to “Monday’s are just the worst” or “I’m dead without my coffee.” Feeble attempts to start conversation, that instead left you wanting to run away.

So despite my best efforts, I ended up bullying him from time to time. Nothing too terrible. Just a slight relapse into the middle school persona I was less than proud of. Sometimes I would send him on a coffee run to the far away Coffee Bean for the office (opposed to the across the street Starbucks) or pretend I was on a conference call, mouthing conversations into my speaker phone when I’d see him approaching (one of the advantages of a clear sliding glass door of my office.)

Today Kelly and I were getting drinks after work. Kelly was the production coordinator for Monster Car Concoctions.  I had had my eye on her since she was hired two months ago. Some girls are beautiful and some girls are cute. Kelly was the perfect mix, desirable yet sweet and approachable.  The way Belle from Beauty and the Beast was quirky, but sensitive and down-to-earth. Slowly, we had started to build a rapport.

See what I mean?

But I hadn’t had the directness to officially call our drinks a “date”, so before I knew it, half the office was joining us. I tried to make the best of my dashed expectations. What would Mack do? As Happy Hour turned to regular bar hours, I had managed to enjoy myself with other coworkers while at the same time joking and comfortably engaging with Kelly. But every time I started to achieve that level of undivided attention from her, Steven would pop in, “Hey guys, they serve California rolls, but it’s not real crab. Why are they charging 9 bucks for them?”

“I don’t know…I think it’s something you’ll have to ask them.” Kelly responded, more sincerely then I would have expected. To which Steven then proceeded to actually do. “Sometimes that guy just makes my spine crawl.” I finally came out with it.

“Steven? I think he’s cute and endearing.”

“Really? You want me to set you up with him? I bet he’s free this Saturday.”

“Stop it. He means well. And nicer than most of the people we work with. ”

“There’s just something that really puts me off about him.”

“Well you know what they say? When ever something annoys you in someone else, it’s usually because it reflects something in yourself that you don’t like.”

“Is that so? You get that from a cookie at Pei Wei?”

“I’m serious, we see what we don’t like in ourselves in others.”

Just as I was about to reply, Steven cut in with “They claim that even though their crab is made from white fish, they can ‘attest that their sushi chef’s expert craftsmanship’ is not only worthy of the price but ‘is actually priced at a discount.’ Coooome on!”

“That’s a tough one Steven, but it’s too rich for my blood. I had better settle up.” At that Kelly took her coat draped on her chair, sliding her slim and tender forearm into the first sleeve.

“Where are you going? The night’s still young.” I pleaded (trying to sound relaxed.)

“I’ve got that conference call at 6 am. Why does the network have to be on the east coast? But give me a call sometime, maybe we can finish that conversation.” She winked then went up to the bar to pay and left. I sunk into my chair and took a defeated gulp of my pilsner.

“Hey, hey, hey! I can see what’s happening there, you like Kelly!” Steven chimed in like he had finally seen the 3D image in one of those Magic Eye pictures. I rolled my eyes. I was starting to be too drunk to censor myself. “But Jack. You’re going about it all wrong.”

“And what should I be doing to go about it all right?” This should be good.

“You should treat her with respect…”

“Oh yeah?”

“…listen, make sure she knows you care for her…”

“My God, you’re sooo right Steven!”

“…and do you want to know the most important thing?”

“Please…hold on. Can I record this? I may need to review the more complicated points.” I pulled out my phone, it may be a good thing to send out in a mass email.

“By all means! You should subscribe to my Youtube page.”

I started laughing so hard it was hard for me to keep my phone steady. Steven felt like my monkey. Running to do anything I wanted. I couldn’t help but indulge in the power from time to time. I took a deep breath to record the upcoming monologue.

“I’ve been watching you for a while Jack. I see how you talk to Kelly. Trying to be her friend but at the same time trying to get close so you can make your move. And I have got to say that is wrong.”

“Wrong?”

“Yes. Wrong. She is a sweet girl, Jack. She deserves better than you. Don’t think I don’t know what you’re after.”

I put down my phone.

“Look, Steven.  I know your grandparents have given you some crazy values–”

“Jack, I see what you do–”

“Seriously Steven, that Christian stuff can rub people the wrong way–”

“I see everything, Jack.”

“You see, that’s what I’m talking about. It kinda comes of as creepy.”

“I see the filth you look at online.”

“Excuse me?”

“The pornography and the fornication. You view some unholy material, Jack.”

“Woah. What are you talking about?”

“I check up on you. It’s important. Micah 7:5, ‘Trust you not in a friend, put you not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of your mouth from–”

“What do you mean, you check up on me, Steven? What are you talking about specifically?”

“I am aware of your internet browsing history. And I have to say I was mortified–”

“How? Did you go on to my computer? It’s password protected.”

“Jack. Your name spelled backwards with your birthday isn’t a very original password.”

Suddenly everything went fast and slow at the same time. I struggled to fully acknowledge that this…buffoon…had had access to everything in my digital life.

“And Jack, you should also probably have different passwords for all your other websites and email…and banking.”

“Banking?”

“Oh yeah. And you should be much more diligent about filling out the security questions, otherwise someone else might do it for you. You’ll never guess what Chase thinks your mother’s maiden name is now.”

It suddenly became hard to breath…

 

To be continued…

 

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in By Jack

 

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Marty’s Half Dozen Chapter 5: The Bigger They Are… by Jill

Ralph had done it. His warning had been haunting me for over a week now. When someone says something that you know or fear deep down is true, their words infect you. “He’s angry.”

I’d never seen Marty angry for a micro second. But he had this thing about him. My father was a full on Orthodox Jew when he was growing up in Brooklyn. He was so Jewish that his parents sent him to a Yeshiva in Israel when he was 18. And my dad used to tell me about these Rabbis that, within 2 minutes of talking to you would know your fears and dreams and strengths and insecurities. Their level of sensitivity and insight, only surpassed by their wisdom, allowed them to instantly see into a person’s soul.

I knew Marty had this. Night after night random strangers would sit next to him and with in minutes they’d completely open up, pouring out their deepest problems and darkest secrets. Without missing a beat, Marty would pay them a compliment would light them up like a 5 year old getting the best Christmas gift of his childhood. I loved to watch him do it. Marty, giving someone the reassurance or compassion or whatever it was that person needed…like a psychologist with a cheat sheet. But always in the back of my mind, I wondered, what if he wanted to do the opposite. How easily he could decimate someone. 

Ralph didn’t mean angry like yelling at someone who cuts you off in traffic or even a bad temper.He meant the type of anger that’s vindictive and out of control. And that’s what terrified me. I had opened up to Marty so much. Where with most people, mere minutes gave Marty all he needed to bolster them, with me he had enough ammunition for an arsenal. I felt dangerously vulnerable. 

Every night since then, I prayed that Marty wouldn’t come in to Wild Child Wings. And for the week I was lucky. Until Thursday night. He had such a smile on his face. I hopped he would sit down in a booth where Jess could serve him. Or maybe next to Carolyn or Eddie as they debated the Republican agenda. 

But instead he walked right over to me, smacked the bar counter and asked,

“Jill, tonight I’m doing a full dozen! What’s Gus offering on the specials?”  

The golf ball in my throat thwarted my efforts to play it cool. There was no way I’d was going to get out the nightly wings specials, so I coughed. Then I coughed again. Then decided to go with it.

“Are you okay?”

I squinted and smiled and let out two more suppressed coughs, then held up my finger to signal “one moment” and walked into the bathroom hallway to get a hold myself. But what then? What was I going to do? Quit? It took me 6 months to get this job. Then another 3 months to learn all the ins and outs so I wasn’t a deer in the headlights every night.

I leaned against the wall and sank down to my knees. I wanted to be so much stronger than I was. The whole reason I moved to New York was to toughen up. I left with my tail between my legs, a failure, more lost than when I got there. But here I finally felt like I had done it. Found my voice, doing something I was good at and actually enjoyed. And one man, who I can’t stand up to, takes that all away…makes me realize that everything I had built was all an illusion. And he didn’t even have to try to take it from me. But then, I felt a warm hand on my shoulder.

Jill…I think it’s time you told me what your problem is with me.”

 To be continued…

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen, Restaurants

 

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Onward and Upward Higher! — By Jack

…Continued from the post below. “What do you mean ‘you don’t talk to me that way’? I’m your fuckin’ CEO!” Max’s yell could be heard from his office, echoing through the bullpen. Donald stepped out of his office out into the open. He was going to make a show of it.

“You don’t call my assistants ‘your bitches’, you don’t call my sound mixers ‘incompetent fuck wads’ and you don’t call me–” Donald announced as if he were nailing a reformation on to the post schedule’s cork board.

Max stomped out of his office like a bully who just received a weggie from a chess club champion. He teetered on the edge of cool composure in the face of anger and going atomic. Then he stared Donald down which shut him up mid sentence. He was literally face to face. Noses no more than an inch away from one another.

Donald was a husky man, not quite thick enough to be called fat. Long gray curly hair that went down his back, topped off with a baseball cap. Mutton chops and a bushy mustache. He wore jeans, sneakers and a Spurs jersey. He was a man who had been bullied before, but couldn’t resist fighting back. Max on the other hand was never used to the push back. It dumbfounded and infuriated him. He had an Ari Gold style to match the temperament. Finely pressed silk-like khakis, French cuffed dark red shirt, a class ring on one hand, a Rolex on the other. And always perfectly trimmed hair. Everyday it looked like he walked in with a fresh haircut.

Max pulled away. “You know what? I was wrong. You’re not a shit stain. You’re a monkey. You don’t think I haven’t talked to people. Your crew? The network? The clients on location? You showin’ up late. 12 hour shoots that last 16 hours. Receipts for $300 dinners your crew says they never had. Footage that barely resembles the episode pitch. Hell I got editors working round the clock to fix the shit you told the DP to shoot. Makes me wonder what the fuck you’re doing. Then my brother sends me this.”

He pulls his phone to show him a video.


“And all I can think of is, that reminds me of Donald. It must be all you fuckin’ do in that office of yours. Because sure as shit nothing else is getting done.”

Donald is fuming. But he has no comeback. He knows he’s fucked up. The only person people bitch about more than Max is Donald.

“You need me to finish out the series, Max.”

“You know, I don’t think I do. I’m so confident in how worthless you are, I think I’m going to have…”

Max peers around the bullpen. He starts wagging his finger as if he was playing eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Finally he stops dead on me.

“Jack.”

“Seaver? He was a PA like three months ago. ”

“And he cast your whole show. He knows more about the companies than you do.”

“You can’t be serious! Max, bud!”

“I’m not your bud. I’m also not your boss anymore. Clean out your office and get the fuck out.”

Then Max walked off pulling out his cellphone to watch the Youtube video again. “I love that fuckin’ monkey drinking his pee! I’m going to call this the Donald video from now on.”

Donald couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it. And neither could anyone else in the bullpen. Everyone was looking at me. Donald stood there for a second then finally turned to me and said, “Kid, you’ve no clue what you’re getting into. Good luck.”

–Jack Out

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in By Jack, Writing

 

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Upward and Onward — By Jack

Meant for bigger things.

Lazarus Motors just pulled out. The crew is scheduled to land in Michigan two hours from now. And I didn’t get the location release ahead of time.

For anyone unfamiliar with television production, this is bad…very very bad. Without that release, a legal document agreeing to let us film the yacht builder’s facility, $600 plane tickets per crew member (of which there are 7) and 3 nights of $150 per night hotel rooms (also per crew member and also non-refundable) totaling $7350 dollars, will go to waste. That doesn’t account for day rates or travel expenses of those crew members or equipment rented or baggage fees. And when the airline doesn’t have media rates, a truckload of film equipment equals a shit load of baggage fees.

Long story short. I am fucked.

Back up nine months ago. Suffering 2 months of unemployment destroyed all my New York savings. I took a deli counter job. I was serving a chocolate cream pie when I made a joke to a guy on his third martini. I honestly don’t know what the joke was, but before I knew it the guy offered me a job at his documentary production company.

“I like you kid. You remind me of a really good shit I once took.”  He handed me his business card which, I swear, was made out of aluminum. Embossed in big letters was the name Max Luxburg. If I could have crumpled it up, I would have. But instead I gave him call the next day.

Before I knew it I was sitting in a cubical of a loud and hectic bullpen. Walls and floors made of marble echoed the chaos like a basketball court. But for the first time in my adult life I had an email address with my name followed by a company and weekends off. It felt good.

I started out as a production assistant, but instead of copying papers and making lunch runs, I was instantly given a short web series to produce.

“Knock it out of the park, penis head.” Ever since I shaved my head, I found I liked the bald look. But Max made no reservations about phallic comparisons. “You’re from New York. You know how to get things done.” Then he got on his motorcycle and drove out the emergency exit from his office.

To be honest, producing the show, a collection of short segments about pet stores around Los Angeles wasn’t that hard. It mostly involved calling stores and shelters, trying to convince them were weren’t trying to make them look crazy or stupid (which we were)  and figuring out how to make a schedule work between them and our “avant- garde” host Doggie Dave.

Max continued to throw projects my way and I kept doing what needed to be done. So then he bumped me up to assistant producer on Fill My Grill, a show about customizing BBQ equipment with Richard Karn.

Then one day I was at my desk when I heard Max knock over a bowl of jelly beans. The clash echoed through out the whole office, as the usual chaos came to a silent halt. What followed was a yell of, “What do you mean ‘you don’t talk to me that way?'” Something was up and someone was getting fired.

To be continued…

–Jack Out (Also I won’t drag this out like Jill. I’ll update it in a few days.)

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in By Jack, Writing

 

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Marty’s Half Dozen Chapter 4: Part 2 — by Jill

Let's Dance!

Let’s Dance!

“Last call was fifteen minutes ago.” I told Ralph.

“That’s a shame. My waitress didn’t inform me. I’d hate to have to tell my good friend The Pearl about that.”

I glared. Ralph was mocking me about tattling to the owner. But I didn’t care. I wasn’t the scared newbie bartender he managed to intimidate into a panic from a few months ago.

“Awww c’mon. You still ain’t sore about that? Tell you what, I’ll buy you one. And good ol’ Solo Man can have one too!”

“I d-d-don’t want one.” Solomon insisted.

“Just shut up and take the free drink, fuck-stick.”

“I said get out.” I said, pulling Ralph’s bullying away from Solomon.

“No you didn’t.”

“Then I’m saying it now. Pay your tab and get out of here.”

“See the way she treats me Solo Man?” Ralph slapped Solomon on the shoulder. “Eh, you’re no fun. Fine I’ll get out of here.” Finally, he threw down his credit card. I ran it and slapped down his receipt and tossed the pen on top.

He picked up the pen, “But know you ain’t ever gonna be good with Marty ever again, right?”

His accurate perception of my distance from Marty made me pause. Either Ralph had gotten lucky and coincidentally stumbled upon my recent turn of events in his efforts to fuck with me. Or he was right.

As he signed the check, ” I mean, I’ll give it to the guy. He’s got a knack for cutting right to the heart of anyone sad enough to listen to him. And right there on the spot. Like a shrink with super powers. Solve the problems of your soul in seconds flat. I ain’t never seen anything like Marty in my whole life.”

“Glad you’re a fan” I said with arms folded.

“Yea, well that’s the rub. That’s a lot of power for someone to have over you. It’s scary if you think about it. I mean, it’s seems like a neat trick at first. Instant insight, like that. It’s why chumps go to fortune tellers and read horoscopes.  But when someone gets as close as he does? And that quickly? Feels like somethin’ ain’t quite right. Being that vulnerable that quick. 

“What do you want Ralph? You’re keeping me, to bitch about some old guy who got you thrown out of here months ag–?”

“He’s angry.” He said cutting me off.

There was a long breath.

I had expected any accusation Ralph would make to Marty’s character would be said with glee. But the way Ralph said it was…heavy. His eyes were terribly sad and his throat was both full and empty. 

But despite Ralph’s gloom, his comment offended every part of my body. Ralph and I locked eyes sharply, partly to access the truth, and partly from a searing need stare him down. To get him to take it back. The tension in the room was almost tangible. Solomon looked at the both of us, not making a move for fear it would trigger an explosion. But Ralphs eyes weren’t fighting me. There was an exhausted futility. Almost a frustrated surrender.  He was the one to break the eye lock by finishing his drink.

“I’m just sayin’ you–“

“Get out.”

“Hey I just think–“

“Get. Out!”

“Look, I’m sorry if–

“GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!”

“Jeeze calm down, will ya?”

I turned around and grabbed a fifth of Smirnoff Vokda and lobbed it at his forehead. It only hit him in the shoulder as he turned to shelter himself. As soon as he turned was met by two rocks glasses as my response.

“OKAY OKAY! I’m going, you crazy bitch.”

He put on his coat and walked to the door. I immediately locked the door behind him.

There was a long silence as I picked up and broken glass pieces. Solomon came over to help me. I wanted to tell him, he didn’t need to help, but I couldn’t speak. Not yet. Finally after sweeping the area, (with Solomon holding the dust pan), he broke the silence.

“Jill?”

“Yes, Solomon?”

“You okay?”

“Yea, I’m fine.”

Solomon reached into his wallet to pay for his one cider.

“Don’t worry about it. You helped me clean the place. That’s certainly worth a Strongbow.”

“Th-thanks.”

I walked him over to the door to let him out.

“Have a good night, Solomon.”

“Thanks, Jill…” But I could tell he had more to say.

“Wh–” he glanced down, then over, then down again, then finally back to me, “Wh-what did that g-guy mean? About Marty being an–angry?”

There was another beat of silence.

“I mean, we all get angry sometimes right?”

“Sure. That guy’s just a jerk.”

“Okay, good night.” He didn’t have the courage to press the question further.

But that wasn’t what Ralph meant at all. I couldn’t admit it to myself at that moment. It was too terrifying, but Ralph had nailed the very fear that was pushing me away from Marty. That the happy-go-lucky, live in the moment, appreciation for everything old man that had managed to penetrate past all my walls and see me at my weakest might, just maybe have it in him to exploit that vulnerability. “Angry” could have meant anything. But somehow, in the last few weeks I had found myself worried that Marty might have it in him to lash out and use it. I don’t know why I thought that he would. I’d never seen him lash out at anyone. And for weeks I would wonder why I would have such a reaction. It wouldn’t be for a few more months that I would learn the truth that I was so afraid of. 

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen

 

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