We signed the contract with the venue today. I’m not quite sure how to feel—elated, yes, but definitely apprehensive. Gary’s been so distracted lately. And when he looks at me sometimes it feels like I must be on another planet, or treading water far, far away.
And yet when he speaks to me it’s only in the most direct, immediate terms. Bossing me around, actually, one might call it. “Have you called Dramatist Services to see what’s taking so long with the paperwork?” “Where’s my latte?” “What’s the story on this meeting with Martin, is it happening?” As if I’m his assistant, not Christine. And Christine, well, you’d think she were my boss or something! The way his assistant takes that snippy tone with me whenever I ask her a question, as if twisting the knife a little further that it’s not me who pays her salary… well this time, guess what Christine, it just about is. And that begs another good question–why does Gary have an assistant and I don’t yet? Hmmmmm.
I guess it’s true what they say, mixing business with pleasure get’s messy. I’m beginning to think that we’re not actually producing a play, but a fingerpainting.
Sometimes I think he thinks he can just keep jerking me around. Like I’m a mailbox (or an ATM) he can visit when he’s looking for something. And then other times I see the poetry he creates on the stage and I know it’s all worth it. His insight into the human mind, into the human condition… that’s not something that can be taught.
And there I am, looking in from the outside.
But when the curtain falls and the cocktails are finished and the chorus boys have backed off for the evening, he comes home with me. And that’s the time nobody else can take away.
We didn’t have a very good Valentine’s Day this year, but since then it’s been getting better. We talked about the need to talk, and when I brought up the point that I felt like I spoke more to his assistant Christine than to him he seemed to really melt a little. Like he’d been so stressed out and frozen solid that it just took the tiniest crack to let the warmth flood in.
And then we went away skiing last weekend and that made up for everything. I’m a better skier than he is, and—not gonna lie—it was pretty great to beat him at something, for once! Oh, Gary. So many talents. Downhill is not one of them.
The rehearsal schedule is taking shape—I’ve been pretty proud of myself. Nothing like playing honorary stage manager and chief investor for a little while! Here’s hoping one of his deus ex machina-like investor schemes comes through.
So, I got the part. We start rehearsals in two weeks. Great. “Aaron, why so glum?” Glad you asked. I have an issue. And that issue’s name is Jerome. Yup. He got cast too. There must be some kinda second chance program involved here. Get this: he’s understudying me. What the heck?! Am I in some kinda poltergeist or something?! I mean really. Do they think that he can actually handle the work load? The only thing that he can handle are those stupid protein sandwiches he’s always shoveling down his gullet. I’m sorry. I sound bitter. I’m not. I just work so hard for what I have and it bugs me that people can just walk off the street and into this business with a certain look and be half as talented (in his case maybe less) and take the express lane to success. I ran into him on the street and he said that “he had some super sonic ideas” and “it’s gonna be better than Street Bitches Death Match.” What does that even mean? Actually, I DO know what that means: HE’S AN IDIOT. And all I can hear in my head is my dad’s voice — “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Well, Dad, you haven’t met Jerome.
Gary called today. I wonder what he wants. I worked on a show of his a few years back. One of the top five most incredible experiences of my life. I heard that he’s written another show, and I’ve always been booked so I haven’t been able to audition. Man, what I’d give to work with him again.
I think I’ve solved the Debbie Debacle. I’m just gonna write her a note. How’s this: “Dear Debbie, You’re hot. Yours, Aaron.”