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         William stood in front of his refrigerator. He was thinking it might be good to eat something. Something to soak up the vodka and orange juice, since he’d run out of orange juice a while ago. What was the opposite of a Virgin Screwdriver, anyway? A Loose Screw?

         In his refrigerator was a bottle of ketchup and on the door a bunch of packets of hot salsa from the taco place and more ketchup. Also in packets. There was a movie where Marlo Thomas had played a girl who was living on a shoestring in New York and she ate ketchup soup at an automat. Was it Marlo Thomas? He didn’t think he could face ketchup soup.

         In the other room, his cell phone played the theme from Super Mario Brothers and he bolted for it. Couldn’t find it, goddamn it, wait, under the armchair cushion. It was Richie. He didn’t want to talk to Richie. Richie wanted him to do crap. Richie didn’t really believe.

         There were people who did. He knew a producer he was going to remake Bonnie and Clyde—wait for it!—as a musical (pitch, Monty Python and the Holy Grail meets Sam Peckinpah.) When they’d talked, William had been great. Loose, intelligent, grown-up. The producer had talked to him eye to eye, like a grown-up. As if he was a real actor, not just the kid on that 80’s sitcom, the one everybody knew but nobody admitted watching.

         While he waited for her to call, he imagined himself as Barrow, bringing depth and understanding to the role. Transcending the role to show the tortured soul beneath the dumb hick exterior. Shiner shines in Bonnie & Clyde. Shiner comeback startling success. The Tony speech about how grateful he was for the opportunity.

         No call yet.

         William slumped down in his uncomfortable designer armchair. God, this place was so empty. Probably “Loft” was an ancient Navajo word meaning, “overpriced cave with view instead of furniture.” It was supposed to be chic, but looking back, it was probably just the decorator fattening her cost margins by not buying anything. Geez, she could at least have mixed in a lamp and a sofa or two. Come to think of it, the first thing the decorator had said to him was, “Didn’t you used to be on that show, the one with the cute kid? I never watched it, myself, but my sister used to love him!”

         That should have been a sign right there. When he got the Broadway job, he’d hire a new decorator and get this whole place redone.

         He stared at his cell phone. It beeped. Richie again. He ignored it.

         William turned on the TV news and made himself another vodka and orange juice. Easy on the OJ.




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