Quest for a Script
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"Hey, Mikey. How ya doin'? What can I do for ya today?"
"Stan, I need to talk to you. In person. You free this afternoon?"
"Ah geez, Mike." Mikey could hear his nervously rubbing the back of his neck. Was he about to say no? "Mikey, I'd love to, I really would, But-"
"But nothin', Stan, this is important."
"How important?" A-ha, there it was, the doubt nagging at the back of his mind, tingling sensation on the back of his neck. The line buzzed with the electricity emitting from Stan's almost quivering carcass.
"Important enough for me to throw one of those tantrums I'm famous for not having."
"So, lunch good for you?"
His second clean set of clothes in as many days. That kid was a bad influence. Maybe. Or perhaps almost getting killed yesterday had something to do with it. Mikey shrugged.
He was sitting out in the fresh air, with his back to the coffee house, obscured somewhat from view by a large green and red parasol. He ran his finger around the edge of the mug, watching Joe public rush by on the way to similar lunch dates, squinting to block out the Sun which filtered around the nearest buildings. There was a steady hum of chatter from the tables around him, and the clattering and clink of metal on ceramic added a certain melodic quality to the back ground noise. He'd been waiting all of twenty minutes, but the uncomfortable faux-metal garden chair was already eating away at the feeling in his butt.
I know it's hard to believe, but I haven't had a fucking drink in, what, best part of a day? Nearly twenty four friggin' hours. I feel like shit on toast.
Stan's fucking late. "Twelve thirty," I said. "Got a lot to talk about," I told him."
Fuck, that asshole. If he don't show-
Mikey's head snapped up, scattering his thoughts. Nobody called him that any more. Except, of course, if they were meeting him in a public place, and didn't want to draw undue attention.
He stood up, extending a roughened hand. "Stan 'The Man' Piper. Long time no see."
Stan shook his hand timidly, casting a mousy gaze around at the chintzy cafe.
"Was there a special significance for meeting you here, Mike?"
"I know it's not a patch on the up market establishments you're used to, Stan, but they serve great coffee." He motioned to a passing waiter, and ordered another.
Stan sat, primly wiping the chair first. "And, you're drinking it voluntarily?"
"Hey, when a drunk's off the booze, guaranteed he'll turn to the next best thing."
"Quite." Piper wrinkled his nose in distaste, as the steaming frothy sludge was set before him. He paused, waving the waiter away before continuing."What brought this on, anyway?"
"Stan, I hate my life."
He snorted, "I'd never have guessed. I thought the constantly pissed off look was the fashion these days."
"Exactly. But, I want to change that, Stan. Bottom line, I don't want to do any more action flicks."
This did not go down well. Stan had been about to sip his beverage, and was now wearing at least a mouthful of it down his otherwise crisp white shirt. He wiped fastidiously at it, with the napkin provided, succeeding only in spreading the stain. Mikey watched with amusement, recalling similar incidents, and waited for his agent to stop fussing.
"Now," said Stan, once he'd done as much damage as was possible. "Come again?"
"You heard me, Stan. At least for a while, I don't want any Action action."
"But, Mike...That's what you do."
Mikey shook his head, Stan could be a tough nut when he was playing the Ignorance card. "No. That's what everyone wants me to do. Stan, did you realise I'm getting old?"
Stan prodded his mug, gingerly, as if expecting it to lunge at him with the rest of its contents. He pushed it across the table, not taking his eyes from it. "We're all getting old, Mike."
"I'm getting too old to be dicking about with expolsive pyrotechnics. Did you know my stuntman is ten years my junior? Ten years, Stan."
"No buts. How many times I have to tell you? Look, if they come to you, turn 'em down. You're going to have to look for my next role." He took a gulp of his drink. "I want something serious, Stan. Something that I can be proud of. For me."
Stan rubbed at his brow, clicking his tongue.
"This is going to be hard, Mikey."
"I know, but it's what I want, Stan. It about time that was important."
He'd dug his heels in as much as he could, and he felt Stan's will bending beneath the strain.
"I can't promise anyone'll go for it, Mike. But, but I'll try."
So much for you can always count on me, huh? Jackass.
Oh, well, Mikey. The kid did say I should do it, I suppose. I really shouldn't rely on Prissy Piper. Not if I want some fucking results, anyway. Nope. Mikey gotta get some.
Mikey sat, ordering coffee long into the afternoon, caffienne detox to chase down the last vestiges of alcohol, and bludgeon them into submission with colossal fists of bitterness. The man he needed to approach next was working nights at any rate. Meaning, that not only would ten gallons of coffee-mud sober him up nicely, but that he'd still be awake to follow through on his plans.
He passed the time thinking about what he would say. For sure, it'd take more than the little plea he'd given Squirelly Stan. Hollywood didn't call him Nails because he gave manicures.
The waiters bustled around him, cleaning up as the lunchtime crowds subsided, attending to their daily duties just as if he wasn't there. Which was fine by Michel, and as long as he kept ordering drinks, he guessed that it was fine with their manager too. He reminded himself to leave a tip, more people should take a leaf out of their employee handbook.
The sun was racing across the pockmarked New York skyline, by the time Mikey found his feet, once again, pacing the pavements. He was heading home of course. He had a thank you email to write. His hands reached into his pocket, for the fresh packet of Camels. Light tar, he grimaced. Still, if he was going to do this, there was no point doing it half assed.
It was high time he grew up, which roughly translated spelled out quit drinking, quit smoking, quit swearing, quit whining.
Well, one step at a time, Kid. I'll get there eventually. Just gotta stick one thought in front of the other.
"Hey, Mr. Mack, I didn't know you were filming tonight."
Mikey rolled his eyes as he paid the cabbie, who was just as nosy and didn't get a tip.
"Nah, I'm here to see the big guy."
"Uh-huh," his voice was smeared with malicious satisfaction. " He know, does he?"
Security were anal retentive shitbags sometimes.
Mikey stuck on a broad grin, stepping out of the yellow cab."C'mon...it's a surprise."
The twenty something reached across the counter of his little entrance booth itching for the phone. "Let me just call-"
Mikey had him by his cheap nylon tie, right fist poised inches from the guards nose. "You really don't want to do that, Bud. It'd really piss me off. I hate it when people let the cat out of the bag too early."
It's not easy having a good time. Even smiling makes my face ache.- Frank N. Furter.
So, How Cool Is This? Part 28. So, How Cool Is This? Part 27. So, How Cool Is This? Part 25. So, How Cool Is This? Part 24. So, How Cool Is This? Part 23. So, How Cool Is This? Part 22. So, How Cool Is This? Part 21. So, How Cool Is This? Part 20. So, How Cool Is This? Part 18. So, How Cool Is This? Part 17.