Place: Mandrake Bar
Who: Matt, Me, and our younger freer child-less friend
Friend: "I actually have a new job with this crazy man."
Us: "What do you mean?"
Friend: "Well I'm his assistant-"
Us: "What do you mean assistant? What do you do?"
Friend: "Well he's starting this company, and I think he thinks that- I'm like his partner or something. He keeps saying 'we're starting this company from the ground up' - you would absolutely not believe the things that he says. Its--"
Us: "Wait, what do you DO?"
Friend: "I keep him company. I listen to him talk, basically."
Us: "You don't...work?"
Friend: "Well, he doesn't have any clients yet."
Us: "Oh. And so you just...listen to him talk?
Friend: "Pretty much."
Us: "About what?"
Friend: "Well, anything really. We'll stand in the middle of his apartment, and he'll just sort of point out where stuff should go, and then talk about himself. And then I'll sort of suggest we go out and get the stuff he wants, and then he decides not to go after all. That's sort of his thing- he'll have me make all these plans to go somewhere, and then at the last minute he decides not to."
Us: "Like where?"
Friend: "Well, you won't believe this. He had me make all these travel arrangements to Detroit. To see his family. And then he reconsiders. I have booked the whole thing. He's stroking his chin. And then says 'Nah. I can't do that. The unemployment in Detroit."
Friend: "Mm-mm. He says: 'Well, I can't just show up in Detroit, Mr successful-head-of-this-business-we're-starting-from-the-ground-up, doing so well, and just shove that in everyone's face. Not with the unemployment.'"
Us: (slack jawed)
Friend: "I think I have to write these things down."
Us: "Is he putting the moves on you?"
Friend: "No- no, he has a girlfriend. I went with him to help chose an engagement ring."
I remember before I met Matt, before we were parents, I seemed to myself now- so young. And somehow found myself in all sorts of weird situations, many with my friend Halina, that typified a certain kind of male-female dynamic. I don't mean dating wise necessarily. It would be in an audition, out to dinner, grabbing a Balance Bar off the shelf at a mini mart, sipping diet cokes at the Chateau Marmont, wherever. Its something that feels very Hollywood to me. Some guy with a dream and he wants someone (usually young and innocent) to witness his awesomeness. To be complicit in his dream. That might be the closest to reality it gets. Its something that I have a feeling I probably won't see first hand again. When you are toting a toddler around, you don't seem to have the innocence or the time to be the (sometimes paid) audience for all the little movies going on across this city.
My friend was still there. I could hear about it in stories.
I was a little melancholy as we drove home from the bar, figuring the math for how much to pay the babysitter. I pumped up the KIIS FM and watched the streetlights shoot past.