Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fedora!

So, after a few days of Abe being attentive, then the texts and phone calls withered out to barely anything . . . again. Sunday he didn't attempt communication at all, even when I sent a simple text to just call me. He didn't.

I suggested he was depressed, nothing.

Then I broke up with him . . . again.

Lame, I know. He said he would be the gaffer on my pilot and then he didn't return my partner, Lana's calls. So we fired him.

It all sucks. He turned to slop. I arranged to purchase some medicinal marijuana to help me with my impulsive need to communicate with ex-lovers. It helps a lot.

I showed up to a card game for a few fellow chicas chain smoking some Spirits, and we spoke about the postmortem of the relationship. Mind you, after breaking up with Abe, I hadn't heard from him in 5 days.

Chica #1, "I had a relationship just like that. The fucked up thing is that they show you everything you want and then yank it away."

Me, "Exactly." Abe and I had an epically sublime honeymoon period, where I fell in love with him, his mother, his father, his brother and his grandmother.

Chica #1, "He [her ex] disappeared for a few days. I called and asked, 'Are you safe?' He sends me back some one word answer days later and then I say, 'Ok, you're safe? Good. FUCK YOU!"

Essentially this is what happened to me. I threatened to contact Abe's mother about his whereabouts, because, honestly, I do worry. I've had a friend drown. I've had a friend fall down a staircase and into a coma for 6 days. Shit happens. But SHIT makes a lot more sense than cutting someone off you stick your dick in.

I am not sure if men fully understand that the worrying is not a signature of dependence or weakness, paranoia and neurosis. Rather, we have accepted them as family. Would they rather be intimate with a girl that didn't care about their whereabouts when communication stopped?

Luckily, I booked myself on a few jobs last week. I was in a re-creation for an Animal Planet show called, "I'm Alive" about animal attacks.

Tuesday, I showed up hung over from drinking way too much champagne the night before. It is great having friends.

They were shooting the re-creation in this empty studio that housed various hospital room type sets. It was empty and strange. I showed up under the influence of a little ganj and hit craft service for a cup of coffee. They pulled me right away into a scene, and I felt a pang of guilt for being stoned and hung over.

Never fear, I still knocked it out. They introduced me to the mother of the victim in the episode, who must have been in her 50s. They informed us we would be dining together in a scene when the mother suddenly gets the call from the hospital that her son was bitten by a poisonous snake.

The Stage Mother says, "Oh, it looks like we could be sisters."

My first reaction was, "WHAT THE FUCK? YOU COULD HAVE BIRTHED ME." But I nodded my head and smiled. I thought about how soon enough I will need a wheel barrel of make-up painted on my face and the little things- like suggesting you could be 15 years younger than you are- will keep me from drowning myself in a bathtub. Alone.

We sat down at the table. The crew was maybe 5 people, all young people around my age. The director was female and someone I could have easily been friends with.

I don't even think my face appeared on camera for the dining scene. The other actress at the table was the set designer, and she may have had more on screen time than me.

Again, never fear . . . they recycled me into another scene in the same episode as a patient in the hospital waiting room. I put on a sweater and pulled my hair down. They still tucked me away in a corner where I wasn't totally present on camera. Glamorous, I know. (by the way, I did not audition for this role, so I take none of this personally)

I sat in a faux waiting room with a few actors who invented injuries for themselves. One had a stomach ache, one a broken ankle. Two boys on the crew, ridiculously adorable and under the age of 30, were also positioned in the room to create the feeling that it was packed. One of the boys was bent over and created a very believable phlegm-like-hacking.

The other crew member offered him the set kleenex box, and the hacking 24 yr-old knocked it out of his hand on to the floor. They were playing off of each other in the way friends do, but kept straight. I am the only one that pretended to notice in the scene because a) I could not keep a straight face and b) I was so far in the corner it didn't matter what I did . . . I don't think.

I had decided to be my sister in a Mexican Community Hospital. My sister is a major germaphobe and is very skilled at the art of dirty looks. All the ones in my arsenal come from my Italian mother or my sister. It was an asset in Catholic School and, honestly, now in Hollywood.

I have a permanent wrinkle over my nose from all the looks of disgust Los Angeles inspired in me.

I pretended to be disgusted, repulsed, dirty looks to anyone that coughed. I covered my mouth, grabbed the one kleenex positioned out of the set kleenex box and held it to my nose. Anytime I had to laugh, I covered the whole lower half of my face like I was coughing.

Part of background acting, is talking without really saying anything. Some people are very good at it, they move their mouths like they are saying something- but they are not saying anything at all. I like to fuck with those people and say, equally quiet, "I can't hear you." In this case, there was no dialogue for the actors on the re-creation (or we would have to be union) and we could speak lowly and understand each other without interfering with the shoot.

They asked me to get up and go to the counter during the scene. I did, and kept saying the same thing, "Where are we? Mexico? How about some service?" No one played along with that one. The nurse at the counter was looking through a prop binder that had real pictures of bed sores. It was nasty. Bed sores that ate away at the flesh all the way to the bone.

She insisted on showing them to me throughout the scene, again, assuming I am not really on camera I looked through while covering my mouth and nose. Eventually, the one sleazy, older actor playing a doctor made it to the counter at the end of the scene.

He looked at me and said quietly, "Wow, we got a hottie here! How are you doing, sweetheart? Wanna get dinner?"

I said, "Since I finally have your attention, can we get more kleenex?"

And CUT!

I was released for the day. $50 for 3 hours of playing pretend. Awesome.

Wednesday and Thursday I was on a Bank of America commercial. No word from Abe. I got up at 4:30am to feed the animals, gave my psychotic foster dog (Cupcake, named either by someone who has a serious appreciation for irony, or had no clue what a psychotic mess she was) (I now call her The Cake) time to pee and play and then had everyone settled by 5am. Took a toke off the pipe and headed out to a recreation area in Inglewood. Inglewood isn't the best place in Los Angeles, you may have heard about it in various rap music. To think they had a recreation area was boggling.

When I arrived, the sun wasn't up yet. We parked and made a very long trek up a hill with various pieces of wardrobe for the commercial to select on set. I was in nice shoes and had not expected hiking, but I walk fast. My sister used to kick my legs if I didn't walk fast enough with her to and from school. I learned how to hustle on foot, even in Dock Martins that were a size too big.

It was a misty morning, so the only thing I could see in front of me was an actor in a suit with a wardrobe bag thrown over his shoulder. We were walking on a narrow cement trail straight up. I could hear his laborious breathing and kept walking to pass him. I heard some voices, but couldn't see anyone yet. I felt like a hand drawn character on the cover of a Shel Silverstein book. It was as if we were walking a penciled staircase to nowhere.

We got to the top and checked in. Then we were moved to a huge white tent, half was devoted to SAG (the actors union) and the other half was non-union . . . moi.

To join SAG you have to collect 3 vouchers, which are basically time cards. How do you get those vouchers? Well, the only way is if someone was booked on the gig as SAG doesn't show up, and you are able to convince the person controlling the vouchers if they will give you this person's voucher. Then you cross out their name and social security number, plug in your own and collect their pay.

The one consistent piece of advice I have always gotten on how to obtain a voucher is by giving the 2nd Assistant Director a hand job. Then I always ask, "But then how to men get the vouchers?" To which there is no specific answer. There is just this idea that girls should flash their tits, flirt and basically whore themselves to some sniveling kid wearing a walkie talkie in order to get in the same professional position as a man who simply asks for it. F-U-C-K Y-O-U-R-S-E-L-V-E-S

Once you obtain all three vouchers through luck and chance, then you have to pay a substantial amount for an initiation fee. We are talking around 2k.

Needless to say, I am non-union.

So we are told we have no coffee or breakfast waiting for us, while SAG and crew are made individual omelets by a chef. Oh, I kid you not.

For lunch, SAG had a separate craft service table with iced tea, four different proteins, fresh fruit and napkins. Non-Union had pasta, salad and water.

SAG had table cloths and waiters dropping by with chocolate cake for dessert.

Non-Union had particles of food stuck to the top of their folding tables and water from soccer coolers with no drinking cups.

I just ended up helping myself to the SAG table. What? Someone is going to ask to show my union card? Yeah, right.

So we were positioned on a large field which was amazing because you couldn't see any part of the city from where we were. It looked like it could easily have been the country side of a European country. So bizarre for this to be nestled in one of the poorest and more urban communities in Los Angeles.

We were positioned on lines that were hand painted on the grass, to form one large pi like symbol. The basic action was to stand up and sit down, forming a human wave or a domino effect with human bodies. Over the next two days, we would sit in around 20 different formations on this field that would later be put together in a composite to look like millions of people.

At one point, they had me stand in front of a green screen like a cut-out doll. They took a picture of me front and back in the same position, hands outstretched. Bank of America will always have my body to position as they like.

Everyone was complaining, as they always do, about standing up and sitting down. This douche bag we call Fedora (because he always wears a fedora hat to accessorize with his pot belly and coke fingernail) always refuses to listen to direction. He is standing up when he should be sitting down, or vice versa. It stalls production. Then around 11am he started just shouting out "WATER!" We all said, "SHUT UP, Fedora."

Personally, I was in a great place. I only need one toke to make the day a pleasant one. I laid in the grass and imagined all the poison in me leaking out into the soil. I felt the sunshine with that delicious, thin veil of sweat on my face. I even averaged about 3 naps a day.

I learned the trick was to sit very far in back, on the outer circle. Over half the time, they didn't ask us to stand up or sit down if we were so far back. So I laid back and felt my body levitate into a fuzzy cloud.

The Assistant Director would shout, "Break!" And I would open my eyes. The crew, a few bulky dudes on the side, would look at me and say, "Time to go to the bathroom or take a nap- oh, never mind. Resume." Yeah, like I feel guilty. They got a fucking latte this morning.

The whole beauty of this gig was minimum responsibility. I could analyze why my relationship dissolved while occasionally standing up and sitting down, like I did in Catholic Mass as a child. I cherish the time to reflect. Something I sacrificed over the last four years as an assistant.

So for two days, that's all we did. Fedora continued to be obnoxious. An older actress tried to lean her bags up against the union side of the tent early the next morning. Actress, "Can I put my bags here?" Production Assistant, "Are you SAG?" Actress, "WHAT?" PA, "ARE YOU SAG!?" Actress snaps, "Of course not, I would never be SAG."

She sounded so regal, as if double the pay and chocolate cake were way below her. Everyone was grouchy from a 13 1/2 hour day on Wednesday, and having to drag their asses back up this mountain less than 12 hours after we wrapped. I didn't care. I took another nap after some hot tea and fresh melon from the SAG table.

People quit after the first day. Replacements were brought in for the second day, among them some familiar faces, including Matt. No one was very social with me, probably because I was stoned. I tend to think quietly to myself.

I was still a skilled hiker; first to wardrobe dept, first to set, first to lunch, first to fill out the voucher at the end of the day- even if the call woke me from a deep slumber. As the day shook the magic out of my hair, people engaged me in conversation.

A black actor said to me (and yes this is as random as it sounds), "I want to impregnate a blond and not be responsible for the child." I said, "That's because that's what God wants you to do." He responded, "God REALLY wants me to do that."

Then he said, "Girls like you only want to smash (I guess the new slang for intercourse) with black guys to piss off your parents." I said, "I must admit, that does sound appealing." To which I punctuate every inter-racially sexual conversation with "Mmm . . . Obama latte."

A few boys were talking about how they were nice guys. I walked up with a handful of SAG potato chips (that were not stale, that's how I knew) and said, "Yeah, you nice guys all say the same things. 'Why did you have anal sex with the bad boys? Because they don't ask? I am nice so I don't get to have anal.' (I stuffed food in my mouth) What am I, serving sandwiches here?!"

Someone said, "TMI!" Give me a break.

Thursday night, Jaq was fired from her job. She called in shock. I was exhausted from the 26 hours on the mountain, so I told her I would go down and do laundry with her in Orange County the next day.

I did. We washed clothes and sat by the pool. She hated her job, but it nicks your ego to be thrown out of a position. I understood the shock combined with sudden relief when getting laid off by pricks you fucking despise.

Jaq is brilliant and confident. I draw from her pool of wisdom even though she is younger than me. "I am not a 9-5 type girl. I don't like alarms. I like to wake up to a sun beam on my face. When the birds go tweet tweet and the kids go, 'Oh My God!"

"That job did not meet my standards. I refuse to apply for a job where I am making less than 50." I said, "50 . . . thousand?" She nodded her head. "I am a USC grad."

We went out to Rubio's for lunch. I asked for a beer because I am unemployed and it was the middle of the day . . . and it was Mexican food. I told the cashier, "I am trying to break in my friend here to the unemployed lifestyle. So how about a Corona Light?"

He smiled and nodded his head, "She's lucky to have a friend like you."

I said, "Lead by example, I always say."

We sat down and spoke about sex, about careers, about the short and long term plans. Then she suddenly put down her plastic wear and said, "This burrito does not meet my standards. It is dry and where is the cheese? I paid 75 cents for cheese and I see no cheese in this burrito."

I fucking love her.

After finishing the laundry, I spent about 6 grueling minutes fishing out Abe's pajama pants from the bottom of all my folded laundry out of my large hamper bag. Jaq said, "Geez, maybe its best left at the bottom." The thing is Jaq lives 10 minutes from Abe, and to drive an hour down to Orange County and not confront my ex-lover about his despondence seemed . . . more depressing. It was rush hour anyway.

So I drove over and walked up to Abe in his garage, at his computer with the pajamas. Big smile, of course. OF COURSE he is happy to see me. He fucking loves me so what IS HIS ISSUE?

He asked what I was doing on this side of town, blah fucking blah.

We went to his bedroom to discuss our relationship for a miserable 40 minutes. He likes to repeat me but insert words like CONSTANTLY or ALWAYS, like I am some kind of needy bitch. I said, "Please stop saying I am asking for things all the time, when I am just asking for a phone call a day."

Saying this, I realize I can't make him call me once a day, and to suggest he needs to measure his affection to me everyday is kind of futile. He should want to call me. Well, when we are mad at each other, he doesn't want to call me. I said, "It doesn't matter. Even if we are arguing you call to say goodnight."

What am I going to do, twist his arm? Various things he said were:

"I think about you multiple times through out the day, but I don't have anything to say, so why should I call?"

"Thank you for introducing the word 'despondence' into my vocabulary. Now I can't get it out of my head." You're welcome.

"I thought you liked me."

"Are you going to cry? You look like you are." NO MOTHERFUCKER! I AM NOT GOING TO CRY! Of course, after that, I subconsciously put my sunglasses on.

"I think I am burning calories in this conversation."

"What can I do to fix this and make it better?" To which I said, "It's beyond the imagination." I gave him two chances to try again. He just runs out of steam. There is nothing I can say. He is going to have to get his shit in order and win me back. I didn't say that.

"When I visit you in Pasadena all I do is work on YOUR things. I feel like your employee." In fact, I remember asking him to stop cleaning and do something fun with me. This was one of the issues that sunk in 24 hours later when I realized, I didn't respond. I don't want him to be my employee, but what am I supposed to do? I work. I work all the time. That is my life as a struggling actress.

I do remember saying, "The fact that you feel responsible for anything is utterly amazing." That stung.

There were post-its on his desk with things he wanted to say to me during his week of silence like "You are whining like a child" or "You are right, Abe." To which I scribbled in, "GO FUCK YOURSELF" and "No you're not!"

I was so parched and tired from the conversation. I said, "Let's just put this to rest. The communication in this relationship is below my standards. We are in two different places." Thank you, Jaq for introducing THAT into my vocabulary.

He sat on his bed and complained about not eating right for the last week. His pale legs were kicking back and forth over the edge of his bed. I just wanted to put my hand over his knee.

He asked if he could buy me dinner. I declined, due to the aforementioned burrito. He asked if he could buy me a crystal at a local store, so I could wait out rush hour traffic. I agreed.

We went. This is something we have been trying to do throughout our courtship. He uses crystals to influence his energy. I never had an opinion about crystals before, but I can tell you when he puts his crystals in my hand, I feel heat and release. Combine that with oral sex and you redefine the concept of mind blowing orgasmS.

I never found the right crystal. One place was overpriced, a bunch were closed or out of business. One in Van Nuys just had too much negative bullshit; skulls, curses, witch crap.

It is only appropriate at this store, on this day, I see four crystals I would like to own. I am supposed to choose the one I wanted, but Abe's knowledge of crystals and how they correspond with energy is vital. I am drawn to the Amethyst, automatically. He said it was too powerful to start with. There are a few beauties in there, but none that gave me that warmth and release of his white crystal.

In the store, he put his hand on my back. I waited to see if I still felt that supernatural warmth from his touch. I did, a little. We would both get close to a display glass and catch each other's eyes, share a smile of physical attraction. My eyes would drift to his lips. He would stand closer to me.

He found a blue crystal pendant. I touched it then felt warm and woozy. I decided on that one. He bought me another crystal (citrine) pendant he thought I should have for positivity and protection. Together, it cost him over $50.

Then he insisted on washing my car. Really, all in all, a good break-up. The best.

I get annoyed with cleaning, especially when I am cold. I asked to hurry things along (he scrubbed my windows). He replied with, "I know you have to get back to the animals." That wasn't it. I was hoping he would seduce me, draw me back into the relationship with something. It felt like we were back anyway. I wanted a kiss, some reassurance, a gesture of faith and love. SOMETHING!

I didn't say anything.

We got back to his place, and he poured alkaline water (that he filters out of his bedroom closet) into various glass bottles for me to take home. Then he walked me to my car. He asked for a hug, and I fell on his shoulder with most of my weight, like a child. He said, "I am glad you came out."

I mumbled, "Me too."

He said, "Are you glad I did nice things for you?"

I mumbled, "Yeah."

His hands loosely gestured around my back when he spoke.

He said, "Anytime you want to call me and talk, I will be here. Anytime for anything."

I laughed/coughed/swallowed a sob of some kind I felt with no warning. I lifted my head up. I saw his eyes, crumpled in sweet regret. I looked at him just for a moment. My eyes were burning with tears, again without warning. I said, "Bye."

I walked to my car "Don't look back" . . . unlocked my door "Don't look back" and drove away . . . never looking back. He called and texted me a few times that night. He asked how I was, then said that he is ok for now, but will feel sad in a couple days. I asked him to call when he was ready for break up sex.

The next morning I texted, "Are U sad yet?" I still haven't heard back, and its been 2 days. That makes me so . . . incredibly . . . miserable.

I need your arms around me, I need to feel your touch.
I need your understanding, I need your love, so much.
You tell me that you love me so, you tell me that you care.
But when I need you, Baby . . .

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