Sky Blue

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.””

“Smoke?”

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.

“Hollywood.”

“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.”

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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?”
“Aquaman.”
“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.”

Meet Sky Blue

Goofy Jared was acting like typical Jared and teasing his new girlfriend Sky as they dressed for a group-dinner date. “They are going to shit when they hear how we met.” he joked.

“No! I’ll be the one who craps my pants if you tell that story!” Sky shouted.

She was sitting beside him on their bed lacing up boots she thought she might wear with the crochet-tunic dress she bought off of Etsy last week.  So far the outfit was choice but she needed to get to the long mirror and spin around a few times before she settled on it for the night.  Tonight is sort of a big deal, the first time she’ll meet Jared’s closest friends.  She has to look good without looking like she’s trying too hard.  A handmade original might do the trick. If she could get the shoes right.

“Aw, come on.” Jared needled her in the side.

“No!”

Sky is a petite little thing but what she lacks in size, she makes up for in personality.  She has a boisterous laugh and an even bigger sense of humor.  Self-deprecating in the most genial ways.  Jared carries her everywhere, in his arms, on his back.  She sucks her thumb and bats her big black eyes at him.  He eats it up.  She’s a bit mod with a dash of boho.  Thick black bob hair cut wild with curls and energy.  Chunky reading glasses.  Even chunkier shoes.  Her hands are childlike but her nails are always painted something weird or wild and she wears heavy rings on each finger and a stack of bands on both thumbs.  She’s vintage Betty Boop, even has a white puppy named Bimbo, but she loathes heels and tight dresses.

Jared climbed on top of Sky and she leaned back on the bed while he straddled her.  Her laces slipped through her hands and her boot crashed to the floor. “But it’s a cute story!” he whined.  Jared tried to convince Sky that his friends would have a little fun with the story and thats a good thing.  Sky can take a joke and they might like her even more when they see how well she plays with others.  Sky wasn’t convinced.  There’d be enough opportunity to be funny. She didn’t need to preplan a punchline.

“You’re crazy. I’m not going to walk in to some celebrity laden ass kiss fest as the girl you met at a meet and greet.  Hello, fly-by-night-chick-Jared-fucks-until-his-real-leading-lady-Lupita-finishes-filming-Star-Wars, nice to meet you.  Nooooo thank you.”

Jared sulked.  “I don’t have ass kiss friends.”

“You mean you actually have friends? Like real people with real jobs?”

“They don’t have real jobs but they’re real people.” he joked “It’ll be funny.”

“You deaf?  I said no. I’m not a punchline.”

The tone changed from playful to serious and Jared climbed off of her and stood by the edge of the bed.

“I’m not a fangirl.” Sky declared as she too stood up and then walked across the room to her full-length mirror.  The dress looked fabulous.  Her makeup was flawless but she wasn’t sold on the one boot she had already put on.  This dress needed something light-brown leather that hit just below the knee.  She had on an ankle boot.

“But you are…”

“Only if you tell them.”

“Fine.  Ok. Where did we meet then?” A defeated Jared asked Sky.

“LAs Best Bookstore.  I showed you where the self-help section is located.”

Jared laughed “Self-help?”

“Yeah.  You needed a book called How Not to Fuck Up the Best Relationship You Ever Had by Seymour Butz.”

Jared pulled Sky in to his arms and crushed her with a hug “God, I love you.” he sighed.

“Stop that.” she commanded “I told you you’re not allowed to tell me that until we’ve been together at least a month.”

“A month?”

“Yep and you’ve got two weeks to go mister!”