17 April 2013

An Encounter I Once Had

"How do you do it?" he asked.

I had to check behind me just to be sure I was the one he was talking to. But though people bustled past us, each intent on his and her purpose, it was clear the question was directed at me. I grimaced at the steeliness in his bright eyes, felt my back grow tense and my shoulders come up in semi-defensive measure. "I don't know," I said, sounding like a surly teenager. "It's not like I had any formal training. I just . . ." I waved my hands and his eyes darted to follow their motion as if I might conjure something on the spot, an explanation out of thin air, or maybe just a how-to manual.

"Yeah," I said, drawing the word out the way Gary Cole was so famous for doing, "that's not really . . ."

The eyes came back to my face, sharp and intent.

"What do you want?" I asked, my defensiveness returning.

"I want you. To make it happen. For me."

"Well, that might take a while," I said. "Depending on what you want. Like, an award or something?"

"Can you get me an Oscar?"

I shrugged.

"A knighthood?"

"Like, in five, ten years maybe." But God, the thought of being stuck with him that long made me want to shrink into a ball.

"What would I have to do?"

". . . I'd have to stay with you," I admitted reluctantly, "and you'd have to let me guide you in some ways."

"Like a manager?" he asked.

The word had more weight than I liked. "More like a muse," I told him.

"Great. When can you start?"

"I wasn't . . ."

"I'll have my people come pack your things."

I stood there, my mouth hanging open. My inability to make a sound effectively ended the conversation while simultaneously setting off the sequence of events that would end in at least one person drowning in a studio water tank and another being struck by lightning.

Hey, I'm not always proud of the work I do, but it's a living.

1 comment:

Melanie Schulz said...

Very well written.