I hopped into Mickey’s midnight blue PT Cruiser ragtop after a smooth flight, as smooth as anyone can feel stuck in a middle seat in the back row for five hours. She called me a homo, screamed out the driver’s window that she loved cock, told me that she going to pee on the floor of the hotel lobby once we got there. I was home, all right.
When I checked in, they didn’t have my room ready. “Would you mind if we upgraded you to a one-bedroom suite?” Um, super no. When Mickey and I threw open the door, well, golly, it was spectacular. The foyer was large enough for a bachelor to comfortably live, the living room bigger than my apartment, the bedroom had a fainting couch, and a cavernous marble bathroom where I expected to find Julia soaking in a bubble bath.
“Holy shit, dude.” Mickey, never short of words, summed up my reaction nicely while I ran my hand across the vast walnut desk that was part of the bathroom, placed there, no doubt, when the need for emergency correspondence happens after a shower, the kind that can’t wait until you towel off and make it to the mahogany bureau in the living room.
Monday night after dinner some of my colleagues, all of whom were wearing vaginas, and I milled around the lobby when a tall Asian man entered through the door, galloped right up to me with a discomforting purpose, and handed me a wrapped package. “Please accept this with kindness,” he bowed, walking off without a moment’s pause.
The girls were excited with “Open it!”s and “What is it?”s and “That was weird”s. I peeled back the striped paper to reveal a sketchbook, each page a blank slate. Once they saw what it was, the tide turned into a chorus of “How come you got it?”s and “God, that is soweird!”s. I clutched the book until I went back to my room where I just stared at it for a while before nestling it back into my luggage.
Yesterday, the day of the event, I stood outside waiting for my charge to arrive. I’d already eaten breakfast, read the L.A. Times, heard about the white smoke, my opposable thumbs working overtime on my Blackberry. A spidery man rushed past me, snapping his fingers to one of the valet parking attendants. The man weighed about a hundred pounds, wore skintight jeans, and his hair was a large grim gray halo that made his head so large, he could have easily toppled over with a small gust. He turned toward me for a second, and only HR Giger could’ve designed that scowl. It was Larry King. He did a little skip before getting into his Cadillac, and sped away.
My celebrity showed up, showed the gathering why he was a star, why we paid him so much money, and he left. On the flight back to DC last night, I opened my bag and took out the sketchbook. I was too tired to disturb it. I left the pages the pristine blanks that I received. I held it and wondered who the Asian man might’ve been, why he thought I needed a book of empty pages, and what I could fill them with.
I drifted off to sleep until we landed, waking only to clutch the sketchbook from falling onto the floor as the wheels touched the ground.