Friday, October 28, 2016

Like Fried Baloney On A Wheat Cracker

When the receptionist ate lunch, an intern filled in as point of contact. Only once in awhile would active wildlife ride the elevators to Santa Monica Square's top floor and roam the Ixtlan/Illusion offices.  

One day this took the form of a guy selling memberships in an exclusive athletic club. 

I don't think I was rude. Agreeably deflecting. Trying to appear agreeable a task given my default mug draws heavily upon German ancestry. Sullen, to be polite. It is the face requiring examination of your papers, and a verifiable explanation of how long you plan on visiting East Berlin. And vhy. 

Poised on the industry outer rim I wasn't making a dime.  Like most schmucks volunteered into the ignoble orbit I worked part-time. There was a separation between those experiences. The glamour and the grime. The seal proved permeable. The only Hollywood entity that I spotted both places was Kevin Smith - the former, slouch deluxe on a waiting room couch pre-meeting; the latter, pushing baby Harley around Brentano's display tables.

Intrusion, collision, chocolate bar going into the peanut butter, I was riding a Brentano's register when to my utter horror Athletic Club Membership Guy made a purchase. 

We're talking probably three days separation from our last run-in. Simple pride prevented a reasonable acknowledgment that I worked at the bookstore and simply interned for Ixtlan. I wanted one-up on the guy. I denied our previous meeting even as I could feel a blush making me glow hot as charcoal briquets afternoon on Independence Day. The look the guy gave me was one of those over-the-top squint-eyed assessments people perform because they've seen that sort of thing on a screen and reactively apply it to their own life. Same thing happening today, the salesman might have whipped out his phone and snapped a picture of #thisdouche or just tweeted to followers about some pimpled pinhead with an unjustifiable ego.  

Other memorable production company receptionist incidents include speaking to Tom Cruise (for all of three seconds!), and feeling completely trapped by Brett Butler cold-calling the offices seeking consideration for the role of Martha Washington in a rumored George Washington-biopic. If she was high as fuck, her Southern charms softened any bumps as she roped me into her ride with the white rabbit.   

Throughout my life, when bored, even when not bored but listening to lecture or any kind of definable verbal ramble, I sketch. I'm listening. I'm paying attention. The sketching serves as pressure relief.  

One fill-in hour, Annie - Oliver's chief assistant - caught me working on a masterpiece. She didn't yell at me. Ixtlan staffers were calm and rational. The Illusion staff were the screamers. Annie suggested that I put the drawing aside and read a script or something, try and look more professional. I didn't point out that if they wanted professional perhaps they ought to be reimbursing me for my time on the front line. Once she was out of sight, I continued sketching until the ink dribble felt finished.

To this day, I have no idea what this motorcycle tough has against the goddamn freak hairs. Perhaps it owes something to dietary and olfactory issues.


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