Part I can be found here.
For the second time in less than twenty minutes his concentration was broken by loud honking. A woman driving a red Toyota Rav-4 was gesturing angrily at him. Jimmy snorted and made a point of waiting for the light to turn red and then gunned it through the intersection, narrowly making it before the light turned red.
It wasn’t the most mature way of handling things, but it was better than giving her the old middle fingered salute, or so he rationalized to himself. He was a bit of a superstitious man and was more than a little nervous about how the past few hours leading to the meeting had been going. It wasn’t like he had walked under a ladder or had a black cat cross his path either.
It just a sick, empty feeling in the pit of his stomach. Fear and insecurity that he wasn’t quite good enough, that this meeting wasn’t a real meeting. They didn’t agree to see him because his script was that good. No, they did so because he had called in a few favors from some friends and the string pulling had worked out.
At least that was what that little voice inside his head was muttering. His anxiety about the meeting was responsible for him waking up two solid hours before the alarm was supposed to go off. For a short while he lay in bed and tried to fall back asleep. “C’mon buddy, another 30 minutes of shut eye will help,” went his silent plea.
It was more than frustrating. The night before he had anticipated having trouble finding his way to dreamland so he had made a point of running an extra five miles. The idea was to fill himself up with an exercise induced endorphin rush that would block out all negative thoughts and in turn allow his tired but happy body to shut down.
Smart move. Good try. But it didn’t work. Instead of lying in bed dreaming about how successful he was going to be he was staring at the computer screen trying to tweak things one more time. Two hours later he forced himself to shut off the computer and made his way back to bed. Six hours o sleep was plenty. All he had to do sleep until the alarm went off. That shouldn’t be so hard.
Except it was.
Alone in bed he rolled around and tried to convince his mind to turn off so that his body could get some more rest. “We’re a team. You and me, body and brain. Brain shuts down so that body can sleep and then tomorrow we go kick some ass.”
But it hadn’t worked. In the morning he cursed and swore that if there was a way to punish his brain for keeping him up, he’d do it. For a moment he visualized pulling the whole thing out of his head so that he could punt it like a football. It was a ridiculous thought, but it was worth a stupid chuckle.
Since he was wide awake he figured that he might as well get up and try to be productive. That thought made him smile. An old girlfriend had told him that she was goal oriented and that she wanted every day to be a productive day.
He always responded by telling her that they were a good match because he wanted to be productive too, reproductive. It was a dumb joke, but for a long time it had worked out quite nicely. It was one of those silly jokes that couples laugh about until they reached the point at which they realized that they no longer liked each other.
No one ever really knew when that point was. They just knew that the things their partner did weren’t cute or funny any longer. Now they were at best irritating and at worst infuriating.
For a moment he wondered what ever had happened to her. He supposed that he still had her phone number and wondered what would happen if he called up out of the blue and asked her if she felt like being reproductive. It was a crazy, kind of cockamamie idea. The kind of thing that would probably result in her hanging up or laughing at him.
But it also served as a good distraction. And maybe, just maybe she might say yes. The idea was worth mulling over for a while.
That was one of Jimmy’s things. He liked to mull things over for a while. Used in conjunction with “I’ll think about it” it was code for “I don’t want to answer the question.”
He never had made that call. Instead he had decided to fill the time before the meeting by working in the yard of his house. It was a valiant effort, even if it had fallen short. Too much nervous energy to focus had left him puttering around and forced him out of the house and into the car.
Which is how he had found himself at the beach. The rhythmic pounding of the surf had always helped him to unwind. Last night as he had fought to fall asleep he had seriously considered driving down the water’s edge to sleep. Had it not been for his fear of being arrested he probably would have.
No matter. Now he was in the car and on his way. All he had to do was convince people who were told a thousand times a day that they were holding the script for the next Oscar winner that his really was.
He had been playing around with sort of a tagline for it. “What would you say if I told you that you were the source of my greatest joy and my greatest sorrow.”
Not to play on stereotypes, but he hoped like hell that there were a couple of women in the meeting. The overall script was something that was designed to appeal to both men and women, but first he had to get it approved and in his mind women were an easier sell.
Just a block away from his destination he visualized the meeting. Maybe he’d get down on one knee, take her hand and say the tag line. If he delivered it well and made eye contact he just might make her feel something. That was the trick, if he could make them feel the passion then he could make this work.