Month: June 2014

Stress/Press Release

Right now there is nothing.  No outlet.  No pain.  Just oxygen and airplanes and screams and silence.  Lots of silence.  Inside my head, not on the street.  There’s a purpose behind the silence my friends. My self-imposed gag.  But you can’t stay silent.  You wont.  Would you?

I get it.  It’s nothing. Nothing but bullshit.  Piles of it. Semi-truck loads of it.  And you’re heaving it at me.

I don’t have the answers anymore; I plied him with them.  But he didn’t listen, and now all is lost.  He wont … listen. Never did.

We’re all being tested; and you’ve signed up to proctor.  Didn’t know that did you?  Alone in your bed, your iphone balanced on a pillow by your head.  You’re proctoring this.  I got your last tweet.  We’re failing you, friend.

Going to drop out.  Out of the race.  Out of this place.  Like dull coins in your memory box, the value still there. But no oxygen, no air.  Tarnished but true.  Never lost.  It’s what … we … must … do.

I feel his absence too, young friend, but he did this to himself.  I wont address it. I will just overcome it.  If you let me.  If you’re silent too.  Because thats what we need.  Dignity and silence.  Lots and lots of it.  Walk with me.  Walk away.  I no longer care and he never did.

There are days and there are nights.  There’s blackness and there is white.  You know nothing of either and we’re going to keep it that way.  Either you’re in or you’re out.  On board or below deck.  I don’t care either way.  The noose is around his neck not mine and I warned him.  I threw him a safety rope.  He chewed it like a rabid dog.  Broke free from his leash and look now, dear Echelon, at what he has done.

I tried kids, I tried.  I cried kids, I cried.  He’s empty inside.  Lost.  Angry.  Empty.  And he no longer cares.

I’ll bring you the magic, Tomo will too.  But that’s the very least of this, and it’s all we can do.



Have your affair here …

Jared was standing by the sink in his kitchen, tilting his cereal bowl to the side just a smidgeon so his spoon had access to the remaining almond milk soaked nuggets of granola.  A blueberry or two were hiding in there as well.  He scooped them up and gobbled them down.  As he devoured the last few bites he looked across the lawn at his privacy wall and wondered if it was time to have the ivy cut back again.  The vines were pretty but they were destroying the stucco.  Leaving mossy stains on his freshly painted compound.  He didn’t really need the wall or the gates anymore but this is Los Angeles, and hiding behind tall gates is tradition.

Jared’s mental to-do list received another line item and he tossed his spoon in to the sink and drank the dredges from the bowl instead.  Betrayed by his hands and their cumbersome movements, he felt like a child, but reminded himself he really has always been a messy eater.  And that made him smile.

Mary, his wife, bounced in to the room then with a stack of papers in her hand.

“You’re cheating on me with a girl named AnnaLynn now.” she said devilishly as she thrust the papers in his hands “She’s a few sammies short of a picnic but you should be used to that, right?” Mary winked and trotted out of the room down the hall back towards her home office.  He envied Mary’s energy.  Wished she’d leave some of her get-up-and-go with him instead of sucking what remains of his own energy out of him every time she trotted in and out of the room.  He braced himself on the kitchen counter.  Too much pressure on his left knee for too long.

Jared’s an old man now (yes, it happened in spite of the running joke that it never would).  Thick head of silver hair that’s long enough to tuck behind his ears but not long enough to make him look like an old fool.  Salt and pepper beard like a sailor or a keeper at an old Irish Inn.  Slight. Curved. Old.  Every year of his age manifests in his back and his hands.  His fingers curled.  His wrists a permanent ache.  His back bent.

Mary is considerably younger.  So very sprite – she chases the kids.  Entertains him.  Keeps the Leto name alive.  She’s a good woman.  Young lady really.  And he loves her dearly.  But she’s young.  He’s not.  Thirteen years ago it seemed like a good idea.  Now, well, she’s young and he’s not.

“AnnaLynn.”  Jared said aloud in the empty kitchen.  The name sounded familiar.  More than likely he met a hundred AnnaLynn’s in his life time.  He picked up the papers Mary had printed off for him and a little milk dripped from his chin on to the first page.  He smeared the first few words as he blotted the droplet with a shaky hand but what lay beneath grabbed his attention right off, he remembered this one.

Lately, Mary’s been delighting herself, and him to some extent, with fan fiction written years ago.  Titillating treasures from an era gone by.  Dirty.  Nasty even.  But fun all the same.  Fun now.  Probably would have horrified him back then.

This one he remembers clearly.  One of her first.  This fanatical girl who used to tweet him so often he began to recognize her moods. A nuisance.  A thorn in his side.  From the last phase of the Echelon.  Someone long gone from his life but not from this town.  She’s quite well-known around here.  He even read for her studio once.  The part wasn’t right for him, or maybe she had no control over casting.  He didn’t get cast.  This script writer who forgot to delete her past; or better yet, chose not to delete her past was in his kitchen again.  He remembered the round table interview after Variety ran the tease.  She just shrugged her shoulders and said (he would never forget) “he could sing too.”

Jared wondered more about her now than the stories Mary printed. He wondered if the gents in her screenplays were him in any way.  Not like a narcissist would, more like some sort of morbid curiosity.  Is he still her muse?



Complicated Cookie

I was walking in to the Gratitude Cafe and Jared Leto was walking out.  He glanced over his shoulder and caught me giving him the double take.  Our eyes locked for a moment.  And the world stopped spinning. We were in The Truman Show.  I was Nemo Nobody.  Stuck in between choices, where time doesn’t register, and life fails to move forward, but the lights are up and thank God I’m in full makeup.

Then I gasped because I was caught and I was embarrassed because I was caught. My cheeks flushed high pink, my nose scrunched up and my lips pouted all crooked like they do when I smirk. It wasn’t pretty.  But it was natural.  He nodded as if he understood everything I didn’t want to say.  Naturally.

Neither of us moved.  No one said a word. But loneliness has a calling card and we were quietly passing ours out. Right there on the sidewalk.  Like American psychos. A pointless exercise because I don’t have a name and everyone already knows Jared Fucking Leto.  And how to get to him.  Should he need catching.  We were so close, I didn’t need a net. Why was this happening?

This exchange between Jared and I, on the corner of what now and where do we go from here, ocurred just as a gust of wind blew up the block and tossed his long hair in to my face. I caught a tendril in my mouth. Like a baby bird. He was embarrassed. Like a small child.  He wrapped two fingers around the rogue hair, pulled it from my lips and tucked it behind his ear as he apologized for the intrusion.

He should have kissed me instead.

But life, a cyclical circus of clowns and bad costumes, cartwheeled in to the space between us. Dressed up like proper etiquette. Rules. Traps. Balloons and bad habits. Shyness. Expectations. Revelations. Frustrations. It was all too much. I took a step backward.  Stumbled over my heels.  He put a hand out to balance me.  It burnt my skin.

Once I was steady on my feet, he looked at his hand. Shocked. This was too much. So I forgave him for the hair thing and suggested he be on his way by looking at my feet instead of in to his soul.  He left the door open, you know, but I shut it and he shrugged his shoulders and blamed the weather for all of this.  It certainly wasn’t his fault.

I asked him if he was crazy and he said “sometimes.”  And I told him I was afflicted “most of the time.”  That quieted us both.  Made the space between us feel like miles.  He was Prefontaine again.  But I was the one trying to run away.

His phone vibrated in his breast pocket and that made me think about my cousin Maranatha’s cabin in Michigan  that vibrates from the nearby falls.  Such a quaint place that sits right beside a rock formation that looks an awful lot like a chocolate-chip cookie and it helped me to believe that what had happened between me and Jared was quite relevant.  Like that cookie-rock.  And not a mistake.  Like that cookie-rock.  Just a twist of fate.  Like that cookie-rock. A moment where the weather went crazy, not he nor I.

And then I remembered I wanted a cupcake and I had an email waiting for me so I turned on my heels to leave.  Before we parted, Jared looked at that same spot on the ground as I.  And I thought that it might mean something.  But my stomach growled and it became just another day and I went to the counter inside the Gratitude Cafe and ordered a Vegan Banana’s Foster Cupcake from a waitress named Betty who actually likes her job and Jared climbed inside a waiting car run on oil that was refined in Delaware City.  Worlds collided, once again, and I ignored the signs.

Just one cupcake for me because I needed to get back up the hill in front of my laptop before nightfall.  Sitting on my screen was an unopened email that might change my life.  One cupcake to get me through the opening then eventual reading of that email.  Getting published is a bitch.  Running in to Jared, that’s fate.

Fate follows me around you know.  Stalks me. Stalls me. Makes me stumble. Running me in to distractions right and left.  People I don’t need in my life consuming a window of time I’ll never get back.  When all I wanted was a fucking cupcake.

I’m sick of adjusting to the high altitude-like suffocation of the real world.  And I guess if we’re being honest, running in to Jared Leto takes my breath away too.  It has happened more than once. More than twice.  We have run ins all over the world.  I doubt he remembers me, but he always notices.  Gives my backside an extra glance.  Cleans his sunglasses with the end of his flannel then checks it out again. Runs a hand between his legs when I walk by his table by the Bar.  Presses the up when I’ve requested the down button in an elevator in the brown brick low rise on Houston.  He says he never forgets a face, but I think he has forgotten mine.

We’ve never said hello because I wont allow it.  Hello leads to goodbye and I never want to say that word to him.  Never want to suggest forever isn’t being written by a post modern quill scribbling on a napkin somewhere high in the sky on a 749A headed over the French Alps.

Clearly, I need the distraction a hell of a lot more than I need that fucking cupcake. So I’ll take what I can get, be it the winds of fate or a spot on the sidewalk because, well, haven’t you figured it out yet?

Tarac Trail

“That was rude.” Jared said after all the goodbyes and hugs were passed around and Jared’s friends went their separate ways.  Sky and Jared were waiting for Patrick to bring Sky’s Mini Cooper up from the Valet lot and Jared was fuming.

“What was rude?” Sky scanned her eyes up and down Alameda.


Sky responded incredulously “Me?”

“Yes.  You.” Jared answered as Patrick parked the Mini Cooper at the curb in front of them. Patrick had put the top down and turned on a classic rock radio station.  It was the perfect night for a ride in a convertible. That was a nice touch. But it was a wasted effort.  Jared wasn’t in the mood anymore.

Jared walked around the drivers side along with Sky and took the keys from Patrick. “I’m driving.” he ordered and Sky protested but then relented quickly when she realized Jared wasn’t about to back down.  She did have three shots and a whiskey-diet sloshing around inside her along with the Okonomiyaki after all.  

Jared tipped Patrick well and slid in the driver’s seat.  He adjusted the mirrors and the seat and shut off the radio.  Sky went around to her side and sulked her way in to the passenger seat.

They both fastened their safety belts and Jared drove them down Alameda in silence.  It was awkward and tense.  Sky leaned over to switch the radio back on and Jared grabbed her wrist tightly.  “No.” he said sternly.

“Are you kidding me?” Sky asked as she looked at him with one hand on the wheel, the other firmly clutching her wrist.  Her hand was quickly going numb.  “Fine.” she said and he released her wrist.

“You were very rude tonight.” he said again as he merged in to traffic on the 101.

Sky rolled down her window to drown out the sounds of his voice. “So?”

Jared rolled it back up and pressed the child lock.  “What do you mean ‘so’?”

Sky pressed the window control a few more times and then whined “I told you I didn’t want to meet anyone yet.”

“But you went.  That means you act right all night.  You embarrassed me.”  Jared slipped the convertible in between a Caddy and an Audi and crossed over the highway to the exit at Vermont Ave.

“Oh please.” Sky snarked.  Then “Where are we going?”

 “You think this is funny?”

Jared wound the Mini-Cooper up the hills behind Whitley Heights and Sky rolled her eyes thinking he was taking her to look-out-point.  “Your friends are a bunch of pretentious assholes.”  she announced.

“And you’re a cunt.”  Jared declared as he pulled the car off at Tarac Trail.

“Oh-ho-ho.” Sky sniveled.

“I’m not laughing.” Jared said as he put the car in park and shut it off.

“Where are we?” Sky asked as she looked around the deserted and dark trail.

“Look out point.” Jared chided.

“Funny.  Take me home.”

“No. Not until you say you’re sorry.”

“For what? You called me a cunt!”


“And take me home!”

“Take yourself home.” Jared said and he tossed her keys out the window into the dark brush and climbed out of the car. Sky jumped out of the car and scrambled over to where she thought the keys would have landed and searched in the dirt.

Jared walked down the trail in the dark and a few minutes later Sky shuffled after him.

“I can’t find the keys.” she announced.

“Not my problem.”

“Help me find the keys Jared!”


“I’m sorry.” she said too quickly.

“That’s not sincere.”

“I’m sooooorrrreeee.”

Jared turned around quickly and grabbed Sky by both elbows. “Like you mean it.” he said as he tightened his grip on her.  Sky’s feet lifted off the ground ever so slightly.  He was in control of her for a moment but only because he towered over her like a Falcon on a worm.  Sky’s balls were larger than her frame.  She looked in his eyes defiantly.  He stared back in to her soul.

She didn’t break the stare before saying  “Fuck you dude.  I’d rather walk.”

“Suit yourself.” he said and he released her.  He started to make his way down the darkened trail again and she came running after him, grabbing his sleeve and whining.

“We can’t just leave my car here!”

“We…” Jared snorted.


Jared stopped walking and turned again.  Sky was standing there.  The half-moon casting an amber glow on the pathway behind her.  She looked worried and frazzled and a bit drunk.

“I’m sorry.” she said.  “What can I do?  Too much to drink.” she blamed the alcohol and turned on her charm “But I am sorry.  Let me make it up to you?” she sauntered up to him and put her hands on his hips.  “You forgive me?” she asked as she batted her big black eyes.

“How do I know you mean it?”  he asked.

Sky slipped her fingertips inside Jared’s waist band and ran her pointer finger along the skin beneath his belt line. “I could…show you….how sorry I am.” she said as she cupped his package over his dark jeans with her other hand.

“Get off me.” Jared swatted her hand away.

Sky regrouped.  “Please just help me find my keys.  We can end this tonight but don’t leave me here, ok?”  Sky pushed a few tears out of her eyes left over from her Improv classes and Jared snorted.

“You forget I have an Oscar.” he sniffed.

“Fine.  Fuck you.  Go!” she shouted and she pushed him with all of her might.  He pushed her back ever so slightly  “Are you for real?”

“Here’s your fucking keys.”  Jared said dryly as he slipped them out of his pants pocket.

“Oh my god.  Why did you do that?” she asked as she tried to snatch the keys from his hand.

He held them a little bit out of her reach and responded  “Someone needs to teach you how to behave.”

“There are other ways to teach me a lesson than this Jared.  That was mean.”

“Oh?  What ‘other ways’?” he asked as they both walked back up to the Mini Cooper.

Sky looked around then grumbled “You could …spank me…for example.”

“Spank you?”

“You know.  Like a swat…on the butt.”

“Bare skin?”

“Bare skin.”

“You want me to spank you?”

“I want you to take me home.” Sky said “But if I’ve been bad…maybe I need to be punished first?” she slid up closer to him and put her hands back on his hips.  He looked down on her and thought about how much he’d like to teach her that lesson.  But she was too eager.  Too willing to take a paddling.  He thought of something else but then shook it off.  Too much.  Too soon.  And he really did think she was a cunt.

They got back to the Mini Cooper and Sky held out her hand for the keys. “I’m ok to drive now.” she said and thrust her hand in his face, palm out so he could place the keys inside her hand.

“How bad do you want these keys?”

“Give me them.”


“Give me them…please?”

“Doesn’t sound like you really want them to me.” Jared said and he jingled them above her head once again.

“Give me…my goddamn keys.  Please.”

“Beg for them.”

“Please?” she said softly.  “Pretty…please?”

“I’m not convinced.”

“This is going to go on all night isn’t it?”


“Until you get your way?”


Sky put her hands up to Jared and demanded “Pick me up.”


Sky shimmied out of her panties and handed him the lacy thong before making her request again “Pick me up you fucking asshole!”

Jared sniffed her panties.  Smelled like incense and nonsense.

Jared ran his hand up the outside of Sky’s silky thigh and across the underside of her bare ass cheek; her knit dressed bunched up in the crease of his elbow.  “Why should I do what you want me to do when you haven’t listened to me all night?”

“Because you want what I’ve got.”

“I could get what you’ve got on the hour every hour.  Try again.”

“Because…uh…”  Sky put her mouth on Jared’s and peppered his top lip with teeny kisses.

Jared picked up a speechless Sky and pinned her to the back of the Mini Cooper while she sucked on his bottom lip.  He ground his hips in to center and his belt buckle rubbed against her tender parts.

“I really do like you.” she said quietly “It’s just … I don’t share very well.”

Jared sighed when Sky’s hands slid beneath her to find his belt buckle.  He helped her undo his pants and let them fall to his knees.  His cock lazily rose to greet her and she smiled knowing she had some work cut out for her.

“You can spank me if you want.” she said.  Jared had a different idea.  He walked them both over to the front of the Mini Cooper and slammed Sky down on the hood.  He took both of her wrists in his hands and pinned her arms above her head.  She was so tiny he was able to hold both wrists in one of his enormous hands and with his free hand he pulled up her dress so he could bite her tits.  He chewed on her shoulder.  Nibbled her nipples.  Left hickies on her stomach then he was ready to enter her.  With her dress up around her neck and both breasts exposed to the night Jared pulled Sky down on the hood so he could shove his dick deep inside her.  Jared pounded his cock in to Sky’s pussy again and again and she loved it.  She shouted his name and howled through the night.

“You’ve been such a bad girl.” he said over and over as he thrust in to her tiny cunt.

“I’m bad.” she agreed as she moaned from the pain tinged pleasure he was delivering with each slam in to her.

“You’re a rude girl.”


“A cunt.”

“A dirty cunt.”

Jared clamped his free hand across her mouth.

“Shut up.” He said as he held her mouth shut tight.

After a few more pumps, Jared slid Sky off the hood, turned her around and ordered her back on the hood facing the opposite direction so she would be kneeling in front of him.  She obliged and smirked over her shoulder at him as she wiggled her ass back and forth.  She was at the perfect height for him now.  Creamy white ass high in the air.  Boots on.  Dressed pushed up towards her shoulders.

“Don’t scratch my car!” She warned and Jared clamped his hand back over her mouth.

“Didn’t I tell you to shut up?”

Sky licked the inside of Jared’s palm while it covered her mouth.

Jared slid his cock back inside of Sky’s itty bitty pussy, spit on his free hand let one of his fingers find then prepare her asshole.  He slid a spit covered finger in and out of her.  She gasped “ow ow ow” at first then leaned in to him as his finger plunged deeper.  She was moaning or mumbling something but he kept his hand over her mouth.  He didn’t want to hear what she was blabbering about but he was enjoying the wetness she kept depositing on his dick.  Once satisfied that her ass was primed he pulled out of her cunt and pushed himself inside her little asshole with one giant thrust, the juices from her pussy lubricating his entry.

Jared’s hand slid off her mouth as he got lost in the spongy feeling of Sky’s tight insides as it grasped hold of his cock.  He placed a hand on each hip bone and rocked her back and forth, up and down his shaft.  Within a few moments she took over and satisfied herself with a steady rhythm. Backing herself up on his shaft, rocking forward to release him.  She liked his dickhead popping out and slipping back in.  She moaned and took all of him over and over deep in to her asshole.  Down in the depths of her bowels.

Jared’s eyes were shut tight and the moon was on his back and the Mini Cooper rocked and before he knew it he pulled out of her.  Pushed her down off the hood of the car so she was on her knees in the dirt.  He wanted to finish in her mouth.

“Open.”  He demanded and she did and he covered her face and her lips and especially her tongue with three glorious spurts of thick cum.

Eventually he mumbled “You’re forgiven.” and handed Sky some napkins from her glove compartment.

“So can we go home now?” Sky asked.

“Yeah.” he said  “Where are the keys?”

I hate poetry …

I love you because you are kind.
I love you because you are weak.

I love your eyes, your lips and your nose.
The way they blink, pucker and scrunch.

I love that you control the world yet feel so insanely vulnerable.
I love your laughter.  Those carefully chosen smiles.

I love your brain and its restlessness.
Your empty arms and your tired heart.

And I love your voice when it cracks.
Your eyes when they are red.

I love your aching back and your broken nose.
Your calluses and your freckles.

The back of your knee and your suprasternal notch.
And because you know what those words mean.

I love your power and good intent.
Your imagination and your planning.

I love your false starts and your successes.
And the double take you made the day we met.

I love the sisters that you give me.
And the memories we’re making together.

The adventures.  The release.
The travel.   The distraction.

I love “my girls” just as much as I love you.

And I love the fantasy, the month of poetry
the fiction and the smut.

And last but not least:
baby … you sure can sing 😉

I love all of this and all of you.

So thank you my sweet sweet Jared
For letting me call you Eddie…
For being you and all that you do.
Your sacrifice of your privacy.
Your dreams and your light.

Thank you. Thank you.  Thank you.

P.S.  i love that when i can sleep it’s because i’m dreaming of you.



din din

The dynamic of the room was pleasant.  Jared’s friends were funny and solicitous.  Chatty.  Food was delicious.  Sky was having a decent time but for some reason she just couldn’t get in to it full heart.  Jared seemed quite pleased when he’d look over to Sky’s end of the table, toothy smile on his face, but there was way too much distance for her taste.  He belonged to everyone tonight and she was not pleased with that for one second.  When Jared winked at her after she told a particularly well received joke, she decided the night had been long enough.

“Excuse me?” she whispered to the waitress “Can I have a shot from the bar?”

“Of course, what would you like?”

“Something strong.”

“I will see what I can do.” the waitress said

“Thanks.” Sky sighed.

The rest of the table cackled at one of Benji’s dry jokes and Sky snickered as if she had heard the punchline too.

“And fucking – fucking – whats his face walks right the fuck in to the boom and I’m like ahhh! Your forehead cost us four hours!” and everyone snorted and someone slapped the table and someone else stomped the floor.  Sky rolled her eyes.

When the waitress returned with Sky’s shot no one but Jared noticed.  She downed it, thought about asking for another but instead excused herself and followed the waitress to the bar.

“Uppity assholes.” she mumbled to the bartender as she ordered a whiskey and diet.

“Not having a good time ma’am?”

Sky shrugged her shoulders and then panned around the empty restaurant.  No one was here but Jared’s group but their laughter and storytelling filled the place just fine.  Gave it ambience.  Happiness.  Sky was not amused.

Patrick was sitting by the front door so Sky strolled over to him, drink in hand.

“Hey Pat.”

“Hey Sky.””


Patrick looked around the restaurant to see if perhaps there was anything else he should be doing but then said  “Yeah, ok.”

They exited the restaurant together and Sky regaled Patrick of the night thus far.

“Everything is an inside joke.  Like they all have fucking umbilical cords leading from them to Jared’s nutsack.  It’s just so goddamn…incestuous.”  She tossed in a few fibs about pretension and snoot to help sell her version of events.  Patrick sighed on her behalf.


“So much potential, yet …they’re really fucking boring people.”

Patrick took a drag off of Sky’s cigarette but said nothing.

“It’s like oh hey look at me I’m so goddamn great ‘cuz I can get a line right after 42 takes.  And Patrick…” Sky put her hand on Patrick’s wrist for emphasis “He fucking winked at me! Winked! AT.ME!”

“Oh hell naw.” Patrick teased “How dare he.”

“Don’t tease.  That shit is just…yuck.  What are you, my Grandpa?  I mean..come on.”

Patrick grabbed Sky’s cigarette from her hand and pushed her shoulder so she’d turn around and see Jared at the door.

“Sky?” Jared asked sweetly from the door of the restaurant.  “There you are.  Everything ok?”  He walked up to Sky and immediately extended his hand to Patrick. “Hey man, I’m Jared.”

“Hi.” Patrick said as he looked at the floor.

Jared slid his hand on to the small of Sky’s back and nudged her forward just a teeny tiny bit. “Everyone’s saying their goodbyes … should we?”  and he nodded towards the restaurant.  “Would you like to join us …?”

“His name is Patrick.”

“Would you like to join us Patrick?”

Sky snorted and reached out for the cigarette one last time but Patrick saved her from herself and stomped it out.  He did his best to say not in front of him emphatically with his eyes.

“I’m working but thanks for the invite.”

“No sweat.” Jared said and he patted Patrick on the shoulder.  Bro-to-bro.

“Were you smoking? I didn’t know you smoked.” Jared asked casually as they walked back inside.  Sky didn’t answer him.  She just walked ahead of him a few paces back to the semi-private room.  When she entered her face lit up and she started chatting again.

“Sorry about that everyone.  Had to answer an important email.  Early call time tomorrow!”  Everyone nodded in understanding and Zoe started asking about the call.  Zoe is a stylist and a little bit familiar with some of Sky’s clients.  She was very complimentary and Sky was very fake in return.

Jared stood close by, half an ear on his conversation with Benji, the other (and all of his attention) on Zoe and Sky’s exchange.  He started to pick at a string hanging from the sleeve of his button down shirt, twisting it and pulling it. Smoothing it down then ripping it out of the hem all together as they conversed.

“Yeah.  I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be doing makeup.” Sky was saying “It’s just not fulfilling you know?”

“What about getting on a few sets?  Doing some theatrical stuff? That’d be a change of pace right? I know this guy doing a zombie series … I could slip your name by him if you want?”

“Oh I don’t know …this isn’t really my scene.  I think I might go back to school so I can get a real job.”

“Oh.”  Zoe took a sip of her water and stepped back from Sky.  She widened her eyes a little and passed Sky off to Jared who was just moving in to save Sky from putting her foot all the way down her own throat.

“Don’t like Zombies, eh?” he teased.

“Something like that.”

All the veggies you can eat

Sky handed the keys to her Mini-Cooper to the Valet with a wink. He kissed her cheek and promised to take good care of her ‘baby.’

“Thanks Patrick.” she said before joining Jared at the door to Shojin.

Patrick is an out of work actor Sky has known since her first week in L.A.  He lived above her in a one bedroom apartment shared by six guys.  She lived below in a two bedroom with eight girls.  Silver Lake Studios and Suites was a haven for the out of work trying to get work. The place looked like a tenement but it was safe.  Accepting of late payments as long as there were payments and blind to max occupancy.  The perfect place for people to migrate to after they blew their savings on an overpriced place with three palm trees out front and the word “villa” in the name. Someone was always in her courtyard back then, sitting on the edge of the broken fountain, singing or painting or reciting lines.  Wash was always hanging from a balcony, no money for the laundromat.

Sky wasn’t trying to be famous, she just liked the buzz and doing the girls’ makeup before auditions.  She made enough money to pay her eighth of the bills doing up the up and comers.  Her best friend, Sky’s polar opposite, a chick named Randee did their hair. The pretty-in Kansas sort that moved through the complex week in and week out sought Sky and Randee out to make them look like solid gold.  It was a really fun period of Sky’s life. The journey.  Now she does makeup for a few regular clients out of their homes.  Randee gets her gigs when she’s on set.  There are very few survivors left over from Sky’s tenure at the the apartment complex. Patrick is one of them that she talks to regularly and Randee is the other.

“After you.” Jared suggests as he holds the door to the restaurant open for Sky.
“Thank you kind Sir.” she teases.
“I think my group is in the back.” Jared advises the maitre de.

“This way.”

Jared and Sky follow the hostess to a semi-private room off of the main dinning area.  Most of the party had already arrived and were chatting with glasses of wine or water in their hands.  Sky didn’t like being late but she understood she was living on Leto time lately and that was one of the very few downsides of dating this man.

“Jared!” they all hooted as the hostess took Sky’s drink request.
“Heyyy.” he mumbled as he shook hands, patted backs and kissed cheeks.

“Benji, this is Sky…Sky…Benji”
“Zoe, this is Sky…”
“Sky…this is Palmer…”

“Hi everyone…Hi…Hi…Nice to meet you! Hi.”

“Should we sit?”
“Let’s sit….”
“Who’s missing?”
“Should we wait?”
“Naw lets sit, I got a text from him…girl trouble.”

And everyone laughed at the inside joke and parked themselves in random spots around the pre-set table.  Sky smiled and Jared pulled out a chair for her before taking one for himself down a few seats on the other side of the table.  These things are so fucking awkward.  Formal trying to mask itself as informal inside a semi-private room on Alameda.  And now she’s in the thick of it all alone.  Jared down by Zoe with one eye on Sky and the other on the menu.

Sky knew what he was up to.  He wanted her to shine not be a shadow. She was sort of appreciative of that but also sort of annoyed. She had no real interest in meeting his friends yet.  There wasn’t enough time spent being just the two of them yet to warrant a party of seven but here she was.  They seemed like relatively nice people. She’d hang but she’d punish him for this later for sure.  In order to talk to him all night, she’d have to talk to his friends or shout.  She could play this game well.  Her experience making small talk with dullards who wanted smokey eyes prepared her quite well for a room full of strangers.  She was up for the task.

“So … ” Zoe began.  “How’d you two meet?”  she said looking back and forth between Sky and Jared.

Sky would swear she saw a little pink rise up on Jared’s cheeks before he said “On line…” and then a breath later “at a book store.”