Burn, Bridge, Burn

Recently, I went to an LA entertainment event. Some big shots in the industry were speaking, and several non-big shots/wanna-be big shots were in attendance, hoping that some of the big-shotness would rub off on them. I was invited by a friend, who said, “hey, you’re a blogger, maybe one of your Tweets could be turned into a show, like that Shit My Dad Says dude.” I appreciated her insanely unrealistic optimism; but also somehow knew that Tweets like “Got up at 3PM today, last nightuuurrgghstftf” was not about to get me a sitcom starring William Shatner. But the promise of free wine and snax mix lured me anyway.

It was all very high school, but the revenge of the nerds version. The panel of speakers stayed near the front, hipster glasses, skinny cords and premium water bottles galore, refusing to interact, whilst the beautiful, broke actors roamed the floor, eyes gleaming, smiling a little too brightly, trying to snag a VP of Development or two. Me, I stayed near the snax mix. Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of one of the speakers and grabbed my friend’s arm.
“Hey, that’s Jose Schmoe.”
“You know him? He’s the, uh–” she scanned her program. “…Vice President of Entertainment at ABCDEFG Network.”
“Really?!? HIM?”
“Yeah! Hey, you should go talk to him!!! OMG, this could be your big break!”
“Yeah, nope.” I turned back to the comfort of pretzel sticks and over-salted peanuts.
“Tell ya lata.”
Later, as the panel spoke and made dumb inside jokes and felt very good about themselves, I thought about the last time I had seen Joe Schmoe, years ago. We were at a rock show. I was bored and he was resentful.
“I can see you’re not having a good time. You didn’t have to come with me.”
“No, it’s fine! This band’s good! I’m just–tired. Long week.”
I sucked on my Bud and studied the crowd. Mostly unwashed Silverlakers. One guy, though, stood out. Kinda longish, shaggy hair, wearing a leather jacket that could have been featured in an Indiana Jones movie – cheesy as hell, but somehow this dude made it werk. He looked at me and smiled. I smiled back. Then, some skinny hipsters tried and failed to start a mosh pit. He caught my eye again and laughed. I laughed back. Joe Schmoe was not amused.
“You know that guy?”
“Uh, what are you talking about?”
“That guy. The one you keep making eyes at. He’s looking at you right now. You know him?”
“Uh, no, no I don’t…although, uh…he looks kinda familiar, I may know him from somewhere?”
Joe snorted and rolled his eyes. “Yeah, whatever. You can go talk to him if you want. It’s not like you’re here with me, like on a date or anything. You made that very clear.”
“Joe, I’m not talking to him. You’re my friend. I’m here with you.”
Joe was momentarily mollified. But not for long.
Two beers later me and Indiana Jones are now talking and flirting openly. He playfully pinches my butt as Joe storms up.
“So. Ariel. I’m leaving. You said you were tired before, so if you want me to take you home…”
“Oh, you know what? I really like this, uh, this band, so I think I’m gonna stay. It’s a really good show! I’m so glad we went. But yeah, if you’re tired, maybe you should go home…”
“So. You gonna go home with this guy?”
“What? No! No, I’ll just cab it or something. Don’t worry. Thanks Joe. OKBye. So Indiana, you were saying how you used to believe dragonflies could sew up your lips?”

I did go home with that guy. And it was totally lame. He lived with his mom. Most of the action occurred in his tiny vintage Mercedes Convertible, and the convertible part was broken so I froze my ass off and scared his mom’s neighbors.

And that was the last time I saw Joe Schmoe. Until this night. Did I go up to him afterwards, re-introduce myself, hope that he would perhaps have forgiven and forgotten?

I grabbed the last of the snax mix, dumped it into my purse and high-tailed it outta there before he saw me. I may be broke, a failure in the entertainment world, working a dead-end job and a future cat lady, but at least I have my pride.

Leave a Reply