Friday, February 10, 2017

My Life as a Phone Psychic, Part Two, Chapters 17-18.... weird Trump moment.

I'm inserting the entire novel as a PDF here...

I wrote this novel in 2012, based on an earlier play by the same name....!

And then for those of you who have been reading since the beginning, here's PART TWO, CHAPTERS 17 and 18.

Chapter Seventeen
            David is not happy. He is in the hotel lobby with Jones and a few members of the Private Security force he had hired to keep Lily safe. Lily walks in with Officer Dominguez.
            “David!” she shouts.
            “Lily!” he cries. “Oh my god.” he runs to her, holds her, squeezes her tight. She lets him hold her ever tighter. She kisses his cheek.
            “I’m sorry to bring you any pain,” she says, “I went away. And then I woke up. It was the last time. I promise.”
            Jones puts his hand on her shoulder.
            “You woke up while you went away?” he smiles. “That’s great! That’s progress!”
            “How did you go away? The bodyguard… he was outside the door the entire time.” David searches her eyes for understanding.
            “You didn’t tell my mother, did you?” she asks.
            “No, Jones wouldn’t let me… yet.”
            “I was only gone a few short hours,” Lily says.
            “Two days,” David says.
            “Oh.” She is very surprised.
            “When did you wake up? At what point?” Jones asks.
            “A few hours ago, on the beach in Santa Monica. Two days!?”
            She finds herself disappointed that she was gone that long, and that no one found her even though they were looking, because she now wonders where she was. She feels great distress at David’s obvious pain.         
            “I am so sorry, David,” she says, “I hope the show isn’t angry…”
            “They don’t know,” Jones says, “I told him you would be back before taping… you cut it close, girl, and we were about to call the police because…”
            “Because I have to be at the studio soon,” she says, filling in the blanks.
            David holds her against him again.
            “I won’t leave your side,” he promises.
            “It’s okay. I found out where I go,” she says. “And I broke the pattern.”
            “Where do you go, then?”
            “To the beach.”
            David nods.
            “I’ll not leave your side until we get this cleared up.”
            “Cleared up?”
            “It’s time we see doctors about this, Lily,” David says.
            Lily does not like the sound of this. Doctor diagnose mental disorders for which they prescribe medication, which she fears. She shakes her head, no.
            “Maybe you should think about it,” Jones says.
            “Then I will lose my skill and you will lose a show,” she says, not veiling her threat. “Give me a chance to prove that it will never happen again. Never. I swear.”
            David holds her, leans his cheek against hers.
            “I don’t care about the show,” he whispers in her ear.
            Lily’s heart stops for a moment.
            “You don’t?” she asks. David pulls back.
            Shakes his head.
            Looks into
            Lily’s eyes.
            “Not compared to you,” he whispers.
            She holds his gaze.
            “Think about it,” he says.
            Jones looks away. He is uncomfortable.
            “Okay,” she says. “For you. I’ll think about it.”

Chapter Eighteen
            Harley is rushing around, nervous, excited. There is yet another new makeup artist, a girl, Deanna. She is very shy and smiles a lot, too. Harley likes her. She likes this show. She loves Lily. Everyone on this show is nice, or is definitely getting nicer. Harley smiles, realizing, she’s been getting nicer, too, since working on this show. And she likes it. She spies the shirt she was looking for.
You’ll Be
            The show is becoming something of its own entity: like the unpredictable but ever flowing running water of a river. Lily’s channel is the water, and her body is the water bed. The audience and the callers and the guests and the executives are rocks on the floor of the river and Lily’s voice runs over them, smoothly polishing them, until one day, after time and after time and after time, the water will have washed them all away. Lily would like to say David is the river bed, but the river bed is actually beyond all their understanding.
Lily thinks of her homeless friends and feels them feeling her. She doubts herself. She wonders if they exist.
            David is wearing a suit jacket over jeans. Lily likes the way the jeans fit around his butt, the pockets riding low. He turns and smiles at her, all joyful dimples. Dimples.
            “And finally, Lily,” he says, walking toward her… the stage lights dim and there is a spot on David, following him as he grows closer and closer. Now, their two spotlights have joined as one.
            “Yes, David?” Her heart beats faster at the nearness of him and what no one else- or maybe everyone else- knows about the energy between them…
            “One last special guest. DONALD TRUMP!”
            The crowd erupts in applause, and a few “boos.”
            Lily is truly surprised that he is on the show, but then again, she is at a point in the process of working in Hollywood wherein, as much as everything is a surprise, nothing is a surprise.
            Donald Trump enters from behind stage while the audience cheers.
            “Lily, I have only one question for you,” he says, his shoulders pulsing back and forth in confidence. Lily wonders if that is a nervous tic or if he was once a boxer.
            “What are my winning lottery numbers for this evening’s Super Lotto?”
            Lily laughs.
            “What about any of this show has told you I could predict lottery numbers?”
            “You predicted sports scores.”
            She hesitates.
            The clock ticks.
            “I lay no claim to this,” she says…
            The sound of the clock ticking resounds within her and speaks from the inside equation of the clock ticking, almost as if she were turning the combination of a lock to the rhythm of the seconds of time falling away.
            “17, 34, 42, 12, 5.”
            “And the winning Super Lotto number?”
            “Lily?” David is asking. Suddenly the numbers are appearing across a screen that has come down and she laughs.
            “The Super Lotto Number is 11.”
            “We’ll see, Lily,” Donald begins, and she knows what’s coming and it takes everything in her not to groan… “Or…”
            The audience actually chimes in
            “You’re fired!”
            Lily smiles and nod. David laughs. And sighs big.
            Then Lily laughs.
            And David laughs.
            And Donald laughs.
            And suddenly they are all laughing, almost uncontrollably, the audience, David, Lily, Donald, the PAs, the producers, everyone, almost like some strange scene out of a fun house, wild, crazy laughter….
            “And we’ll see you next week!” David is announcing as the room seems to be spinning and they have all gone into the fun house, and everyone is changing shapes and heads are widening and narrowing and looking rather like squash.
The Greatest
            Donald Trump walks up to Lily after the show. He has a true question in his heart, but he will never go look at it…
            “Great to meet you, Lily. Any stock tips?”
            Lily quickly reads him.
            “You know more than everyone else on the planet about money… when you’re out of your ego,” she says. “Why ask me about stocks!?”
            He laughs.
            “Yes, but that’s so rare. Besides, I don’t go for that new age ego stuff.” His accent makes it sound like rayuh.
            Lily smiles pleasantly.
            “A pleasure meeting you,” she says.
            They shake hands and Mr. Trump walks away.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Squeezed into a Diamond. Dreams. A Day in the Life.

This morning I woke up and it was so peaceful and quiet in my apartment, and that meant, in my neighborhood as well, it was eerie. I live smack dab in the middle of a very busy neighborhood of Los Angeles where there is always something going on at every and any hour of the day.

3 am? *Somebody* (Saudi princes, I have heard) likes to race down W 3rd Street, which is fifty steps from my apartment door. Lamborghinis unencumbered by those pesky pedestrians.

7 am? Construction, delivery trucks.

1 pm? Everyone in the universe wants to have a freakin' green juice or a smoothie across the street.

7 pm? Dinner time! Cocktails.

11 pm? The hot nightclub across the street plays house music except on... is it Thursdays when they play some awful 80s pop? I mean fun 80s. Ahem. Right. Okay.

Anyway so this morning it was so quiet and it reminded me of something from childhood. But what? I could think of only moments: being awake before anyone else, a quiet house, just a large old clock ticking in the living room, me sitting in front of it, listening to the inner ring of silence, waiting, waiting...

And then I was awake. And it was time to get going. And look at Facebook and see that my childhood friend had a huge birthday party in a hall somewhere in our small hometown, probably the VFW, with a huge sheet cake and a band and I couldn't help but feel like, out here in Los Angeles, this city of angels, a new person, a satellite who has left Mission Control forever and loves the space, loves the stars, never wants to go back.... was somehow missing something, some parallel reality, some other life in which I would have been at the party... maybe two or three little ones of my own grabbing away at my pant legs, runny noses and ruddy cheeks, "mama, mama," these make believe peanuts at once life-sucking vampire brats and yet the most beautiful angels in all the world... and I kept thinking to myself, what is this life? What is this life? What is this? Life? What? Is this life?

Yes. Yes it is. Indeed, yesterday was a great day in terms of what I personally love in life. I got up, I had a meeting with a showrunner about one of my projects, I walked a little dog I love, I went to an audition to sing and nailed it- the singing, I mean, whether or not I nailed the audition is up to the people holding the auditions- I talked with a producer friend about making my web series in Chicago, I had a Skype date with a best friend, I got an email about another audition and studied Kentucky dialects for the dialogue. I had posted about my script with Carlo getting I think its 7th or 8th placement on Facebook and added a picture of me at 7, braids and huge glasses, and said something like, "If this girl doesn't give up on her dreams, neither should you." And a lot of my childhood friends are like, well into their lives, and said sweet things. And this asshole friend of Carlo's commented I was an ugly kid. It was weird. But I never liked that guy anyway. Carlo wouldn't let me unfriend him and I thought, well, I posted that picture on purpose.

And then I thought,

why do we make everything so hard in life?

I mean, yesterday was an awesome day, but I let one comment by one guy I don't even like have meaning? Why? Not why like, oh dear God the humanity, but like, why as in what is the point?

Why do humans always force obstacles whether or not they need to?

And then I thought of nature, and how nature pushes up against itself (and therefore so do we, for we are nature, we are part of nature, and we have our own collective nature, like it or not, definable or not), and I thought of this Rumi poem about the tanning acid of a leather worker, and how the soul is like the hide that is turned into a beautiful leather with the bitter tanning acid, and how life will work against that soul to make it beautiful. I thought of the Elisabeth Kubler Ross quote about the wind against the mountains. I thought, you know who is famous? Mountains. Like we know a few names from antiquity, sure- Jesus, Plato, etc. We know the villains [sic]. Harrod, Judas. Nero. But you know who is MORE famous? Mountains. Mountains are so famous that everyone outside of humanity knows them, too. Maybe Mount Everest doesn't know the Himalayas. Maybe they do. I don't know. I don't speak mountain. But in my dreams, I do. In a vision once at Prophecy Rock, a story for another time, a story I shared here before, I do.

And Mountain, the language, it isn't like, say, English, or Italian, or even Russian. It's so quiet that it becomes loud, and to speak it, you must surrender your mind of meaning and allow your body to open up to the mountain to receive it, and in the open receiving of that cool rock against your mind, you understand things that you can barely put into words...things that words are too small to express.

I woke up thinking other things, too. A friend of mine and I have been texting back and forth about "The Secret." I think the ideas presented in "The Secret" are alright, but people seem to have run with them and forgot they they were fully human, having fully human experiences. As if we are only supposed to be happy happy happy positive positive positive all the time. If that were true, we would have been made THAT way. It's like saying that if you want to be rich, tip more to prove you're abundant. But that only works if you are ALSO abundant in the secret thoughts beneath the consciousness... and by the way, I have plenty of clients in my day job who are among the wealthiest people on the planet who have never tipped me. So you tell me. But yes, it's better to choose that life is worth living, and full of love, I suppose, rather than to be a negative Nelly curmudgeon all the time, I mean, probably. So it's great to choose a positive mood, point of view, etc. But life is full of everything. No one escapes until the final escape. And I woke up wanting to write to my friend, "But why WOULDN'T you want all that life has to offer?" And then I sit here now, writing, angry, cranky, crabby, sad. Feeling blue for no reason, or maybe for reasons I'm not ready to face. And I think about sorrow and loss and the appeal of becoming a nun. Loneliness seems somehow easier to bear than heartbreak.

But my life is a beautiful necklace full of precious jewels. And I love them for more than the sparkle, but for their profundity. They were born deep in the earth, born of darkness and quiet and minor miracles involving just the right amounts of oxygen and certain other minerals and elements, and then wait to be discovered during the tumult of the tectonic shifting of the planet and the sifting and sifting and sifting of generations of dirt, while far above them, a thousand babies were born, cried, and passed unto that which we know not before yet these precious gems saw the light of day.