Alone

November 27, 2009
I stood in front of the coffee shop knowing what was going to happen.  I would wait in line for a minute, order my caramel macchiato, and sit down with Erin to go over the week's agenda. That was the general time line of events, nothing unusual ever happened here.
            There was nothing about my day that indicated it would be any different from all the other days. I took two steps in the door, and as usual I saw dozens of heads turn out of the corner of my eye. I walked over to the line, and modestly dismissed any suggestions that I move ahead. Daisy knew my order by heart (not that it is too complicated) so by the time I got up to the counter all I had to do was swipe my card, flash a smile, and grab my drink that was prepared in a more than timely manner.
            Erin walked in five minutes late, as expected, and declared a busy week. Two whole events and neither were considered a charity.  Since all the hype on my movie had died down (A great book made into a not-so-great film), I was not quite an actor in demand.  Our priority was getting my face out there. I was recognized, but not as a great actor.  I was popular, but not admired.  People knew who I was because I was in a movie, but they would never remember me. 
            This small time stuff with Erin wasn't working. I needed something big to get me out there. If I didn't land a new role soon I would have to use the rest of my money on college. I never wanted to resort to my backup plan, but what else could I do?
            Twenty minutes into our meeting Erin was babbling on about wardrobe for the events, but after the first ten minutes of our meetings I usually stopped listening.  You could only talk so much about so little, and Erin was not the most interesting girl in the world.  There were some good looking girls in the shop today, so I was anxious to get her out of there. “Erin, this week sounds great, why don't you take the rest of the day off to prepare for the next couple days?” 
            Erin left and I got two numbers, an aspiring actress and a freelance model. It was looking like a good day.
 
The model wanted to go out that night, so I took her out to dinner. As soon as we got to the restaurant it hit me that I should have made reservations. I asked for a table, but when they said they were booked I knew my celebrity power was fading. I hadn't been turned down a table anywhere in LA for months.  The model was much less interested in me after that.
            I called the actress the next day.  Turns out it was her agent's number, but I got the date anyway. Our Date wasn't until seven that night, so I had a good eight hours of day left to fill.
            I checked my e-mail. A script from Erin and my Mother asking for money were the only things in my inbox. The script was the unusual one. Since I moved from Portland to LA I've gotten e-mails from my mother about money. She's pulled every tactic in the book, from butt kissing to guilt tripping. It's gotten to the point where no one in my family even knows who I am anymore, but yet they still pretend to for their own benefit.
            The script turned out to be for a female part, so naturally I didn't qualify.  I sent a note back to Erin and forwarded the script to my date's agent in case she might be interested.
            I spent the rest of the day looking at colleges, ordering in for lunch, and working on publicity.  By the time six o’clock rolled around, I was ready (and early) for the date.  I spent 20 minutes looking for myself in tabloids, and then decided to go order a drink at the restaurant before she got there.  
 
The actress and I had a decent dinner. We spoke about our careers, and she admitted that she is a fan of my work. She told me it was an honor to be seen with me. I was flattered, and we ended up heading to the hot new club down on Rodeo. 
            I introduced her to some guys I knew in the VIP section, thinking it would further impress her.  That plan backfired, and the next thing I knew, I didn't have a date. It turns out there was a producer that liked her look, and he became her priority.
            A week and a half later I received a call from the actress. She apologized for us getting “separated” the other night, but wanted to thank me for helping her land the role as leading lady in that producer's new film. She was flying out to Australia to film in a couple weeks, but said she'd call me when she got back.  I didn't care really; it was just another chick blowing me off to get ahead in the industry. I stopped taking that personally around the tenth time it happened.
            A few months later I was surviving on a motorcycle endorsement and a role on a cheesy sitcom. No longer a big name celebrity, I was surprised to actually receive a call from the actress. Her movie had a huge amount of publicity, and she wanted ME to be her date to the LA premiere.  “I really like you, and I could never repay you enough for introducing me to Larry that night.  I'd like to start seeing you more often, I feel like we really hit it off.”
            I'd heard it all before from girls who had yet to make it in the industry, but someone who is coming out with such a big movie pretending that there is something between us other than business? That was interesting.  Of course I said I'd go with her, dating the hot new actress in Hollywood is definitely considered good publicity.  That night I ordered takeout and went over some of the details of the premiere.
            The actress and I had a great time at the premiere, and I was instantly a great celebrity again.  I decided to keep seeing her after that. We went on dozens of public dates and then she started staying the night.  We developed a bi-weekly routine, each of us ordering our favorite takeout, doing business with our publicists, and heading to bed around the same time.  She usually came over Wednesdays and Sundays for this, always leaving before 6:30am the next morning.  Fridays and Saturdays were reserved for clubs and events. 
            After a couple months of seeing the actress, we both started landing big roles.  We spent less time with each other, but we were getting major publicity for our new projects during our time apart.  Nothing was really too different though.  I would check into my hotel, order my favorite takeout, make some calls and head to bed.  I never called her during my time away; I knew what she was doing. What would we have to talk about?
            One day when the actress was away on business, I got a call from a woman claiming to be her mother.  She said her name was Judith, but I had never spoken to the actress about her family, so her name meant nothing to me.  I played along, after all-- usually after six months you meet your girlfriend's parents.  Judith was having trouble paying for her husband's medical bills, and was hoping to get some cash wired to her account from us. I told her I'd call her back and I never did.
            When the actress was back in town we did not see each other for a couple weeks. We were so busy that there wasn't really a point. Whenever we needed a date to an event, we could surely count on the other, but for the most part it was nice having my bed to myself. 
            One day, on the way to my coffee shop, I realized I hadn't seen the actress more than twice in the past month.  I walked past a newsstand covered in tabloids. I picked up a magazine and learned that we had “split”.  I paused for a moment, and wondered if there would be any cute girls in the coffee shop today.





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