Spontaneous Idealists are creative, lively and open-minded persons. They are humorous and dispose of a contagious zest for life. Their enthusiasm and sparkling energy inspires others and sweeps them along. They enjoy being together with other people and often have an uncanny intuition for their motivations and potential.
Spontaneous Idealists are masters of communication and very amusing and gifted entertainers. Fun and variety are guaranteed when they are around. However, they are sometimes somewhat too impulsive in dealing with others and can hurt people without really meaning to do so, due to their direct and sometimes critical nature.
This personality type is a keen and alert observer; they miss nothing which is going on around them. In extreme cases, they tend to be oversensitive and exaggeratedly alert and are inwardly always ready to jump. Life for them is an exciting drama full of emotionality. However, they quickly become bored when things repeat themselves and too much detailed work and care is required. Their creativity, their imaginativeness and their originality become most noticeable when developing new projects and ideas - they then leave the meticulous implementation of the whole to others. On the whole, Spontaneous Idealists attach great value to their inner and outward independence and do not like accepting a subordinate role. They therefore have problems with hierarchies and authorities.
It was my turn to get the drinks. I found a bartender with a relatively short line, but of course at a festival, that means 10 deep. And the line was moving at a snail’s pace, but I did expect that. What I didn’t expect was to have company show up.
Without warning or sound, he snuck up and proceeded to stand right next to me, perfectly integrated, as if he had been there in line with me the whole time. I smelled him before I actually saw him, his distinctive musk filling my senses and jerking me alert. I turned my head to the right, and there he was, rocking back and forth on his heels, hands clasped in front of him, staring ahead with the blank stare one develops when mind-numbing experiences like standing in line shut down their brain activity. I cocked my head to one side trying to comprehend just exactly what the hell was happening.
He glanced over to look at me. “You look like a golden retriever when you do that.”
‘I am in LA, and I am standing on the hell mouth, thank you Joss Whedon,’ I thought to myself as my arms immediately flew across my chest and I took on my defensive posture.
“I can’t, I’m not blonde. By the way, stalk much?” The bother was present in my every syllable and intonation. This was the man that had just tried to get into my pants, and then had a toddler’s hissy fit when I rejected his advances. Knowing that I was going to see him tomorrow, I just wanted him to go away right now. To leave at least some of the portrait I had in my mind of the amazing artist and musician I thought he was, intact. I was beginning to understand what Mel had said about her past disappointments regarding celebrities.
“I wanted some water, and I was hoping that you might be ever so kind as to allow me to join you in line.” His tone was calm, smooth. There was even a hint of softness rounding out his words. I stared at him with a quizzical look on my face, not sure what to make of the current situation, or the person that was standing next to me. In an uncharacteristic moment, I was completely at a loss for words.
He turned to face me. “I also want to apologize for the way I left earlier. It was rude.”
If I had any control of my muscles, my jaw would have dropped to the ground in disbelief. Instead, I managed to breathe out, “Sure. Thanks. Alright.”
I looked ahead of us, and counted 4 people in line. Quickly calculating, I estimated that meant at least 10 minutes of standing there with him. Ten minutes. I had no clue what to do for the next 10 minutes that didn’t involve either ripping his clothes off or decking him. Not having any better reaction, I just faced forward, with my hands clasped in front of me, silent. He mirrored me, and the silence between us was even louder than the concert raging in the background.
Minutes passed, though I have no idea how many. He was the one to make the move to break the silence.
He looked at me and asked “So, do you live in LA?”
Hearing the genuineness in his voice and his attempt at lightning the mood (I hoped), I relaxed my posture and turned to face him. He had a soft smile on his face, no lewd or asshole intentions present. I was torn. He was one of the most talented musicians of our generation in my mind, and I so desperately didn’t want that jackass I met earlier to be the real him. In my mind there was a wrestling match as the angel and the devil on my respective shoulders duked it out on how I would respond to him. The devil won.
“No, I actually live in Texas.”
“So what brings you to LA?”
I started to laugh.
“What?” He asked.
“You do.” His brow furrowed with obvious confusion.
“Your listening event tomorrow. I’m going to be there. I came out early for the concert.” So much for my sneak attack.
The corner of his mouth curled into a shy and embarrassed smile. “So, I really did an asshole number then, huh?”
I stared at those beautiful blue eyes, trying desperately to discern if his sudden remorse was genuine. The angel and devil were back for round 2. The devil won again.
“I won’t hold it against you.” I smiled softly and I noticed that in my stance I had leaned towards him ever so slightly.
“Let me make it up to you. Tomorrow, make sure you come find me. I’ll arrange a private tour of the studio.” He turned and was back into his staring mode, but this time his eyes didn’t have that edge to them. They still bore into me, holding my attention, demanding it, but it was welcoming and inviting this time. The devil and angel went for round 3. This time the devil kicked the angel’s ass so bad, the match was called for the night.
“Thanks. I would really like that.” The shit eating grin across my face should have embarrassed the life out of me, if I had decided to actually retain any dignity at the moment. At the chance of going all ‘fan girl,’ I continued. “I’m actually very excited for tomorrow. I love your music, all of it, and I can’t wait to hear the new stuff, although honestly, I think anything you’ll do is going to be amazing.”
To my surprise, he broke out into a flat out smile. “Thanks. It’s going to be a blast tomorrow. We’ve been planning this for quite some time.”
“Knowing your reputation as a control freak, I can see that. But I also think you just do it so that your fans can have perfect experiences, and I respect that. A perfect song, perfect album, perfect concert, whatever you can do for them. And that’s remarkable.”
His smile softened and I could start to feel his magnetic pull rearing its ugly head. I stood there, biting my lip, silently willing us to close the space between. I couldn’t help but step towards him, until I was right next to him. He stood about 6 inches taller than me, and I gazed up at him. At the same time, both of us became aware of the emptiness to one side of us, as we were the next in line. He smiled softly at me again and approached the concession stand. I struggled to make my legs work, and I approached on his left side.
“Two waters, please. And…” He turned to me, indicating me to order.
“A third water, 2 Coors Lights, and 2 shots of Southern Comfort.” He was staring at me again in that not so comfortable way that was making my blood start to sing. I started to wonder if the SoCo was actually a good idea.
“Make it three shots, please,” he added.
I looked at him with a deep furrow in my brow. “You don’t drink.” It was both a question and a statement.
“True, I don’t usually drink, but why not?”
The cashier turned to get the drinks ready, slowly compiling our order onto the bar. Trying to get at least one or two of my wits back, I slid to the left away from him just a bit, gaining a slight distance between us. He noticed, and sharply stared at the gap between us that I had created. His eyes trailed up my leg, then suddenly stopped, his lips parting as he inhaled sharply.
Oh boy. He saw my tattoo.
His lips still parted, he turned his gaze up to meet my eyes. “What does that say on your leg?” He breathlessly whispered. His voice was thick with… something. I couldn’t tell if he was annoyed with me, turned on, pissed, or what. But there was definitely a strain as he tried to contain some emotion.
“My whole existence is flawed.” I responded back quietly, not wanting to add any more information or emotion to the situation. The lyrics decorated my leg just below my shorts line on the outside of my right thigh. Not quite hidden, but not quite visible. That tattoo had proven to be a formidable weapon in the past, and I hoped for the same luck here. I turned to see his reaction; this time I wanted to stare at and study him. I stayed perfectly still.
He closed his eyes and he swallowed hard. When he opened them again, they were a deep sapphire blue, on fire, and the sexiest thing I had ever seen in my life. My gaze moved from his eyes to his lips, and I had to forcibly stop imagining those lips trailing kisses all over my skin. We stood there like two statues in some kind of sexual staring contest, not moving a muscle.
“That will be $76.” The sound of the cashier’s voice swam through the vacuum between us caused by the sexual tension. Slowly Jared and I each turned to face the counter. Jared reached in his pocket, and at the same time I reached into mine.
“No, don’t. Please. Let me get this.”
I stopped going for my money, and nodded my appreciation to him. He pulled out a single $100 bill from his right front pocket and handed it to the cashier. He then reached for the drinks on the bar.
The cashier produced his change, and started to hand it to him as we both grabbed the rest of the drinks.
“No, keep it. Thanks.” She nodded to him, and he motioned me off to the side of the stand. We stopped at a little table set up by the side of a building and set down a few drinks.
“Thanks. You didn’t have to, but that was nice,” I said to him, not exactly sure of how I was trying to sound. Or how my words were actually coming out. Did I sound like an idiot?
“You’re welcome. I really am usually not that much of a dick.”
I laughed, and almost shot beer out of my nose. “Really? Then that’s your evil twin I’ve seen on all those interviews?” I cringed internally as my words came out harsher than I meant. I plastered a smirk across my face, hoping to let him know I was kidding around. When his eyes lit up and he started to chuckle, I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Yeah, I guess I can be. At times. Rarely.” He winked at me as he took a drink of water. Instantly I felt everything inside of me turn to mush, and I prayed to just remain standing and coherent around him. “But I can also be a really sweet guy. So, hopefully I’m not that bad.”
I lifted up my right foot and softly tapped him in the calf with my ankle. “You’re pretty okay so far,” I returned with a smile. I was starting to feel like a giddy school girl. God, this man was unreal! I mentally shook my head vigorously to clear it out, determined to regain my composure.
“So,” I said as I looked at him directly, setting down my beer. “Shot time. This I want to see.” I reached over and picked up one shot for me, handing one to him. He took it from my hand eagerly, which surprised me.
“Cheers,” he said as he motioned a toast with the little plastic cup.
I raised my cup, then brought it to my lips. Southern Comfort was one of my typical shots, as I had an affinity for whiskey. But I knew that most people, especially non-regular drinkers, couldn’t handle a straight shot of whiskey with grace. I was dying to see how this was going to turn out.
Staring right into each other’s eyes, we both took our shots together. I had to admit, he accepted my challenge like a man. The shot itself, however, was a different story. As my shot slid calmly down the back of my throat, I watched him take his, swallow, and then make the classic mistake of opening his mouth and breathing in. Instantly I knew the burn had hit his mouth and throat, possibly assaulting his esophagus as well. He coughed violently, leaning forward, and his eyes bugged out of his head.
Instant panic rushed through me. Holy shit – his voice!!!! This was the singer for 30 Seconds to Mars, they had a performance tomorrow, and I have just fucked up his throat with whiskey! Mentally I was beating the crap out of myself. I rushed over to him as he doubled over slightly, still coughing. I grabbed his upper arms and lowered myself to the level of his face, trying to stand him up straight.
“Good God, are you alright?!” He didn’t answer, but just stood up slowly. Without making a sound, he reached out and grabbed my waist with both hands, pulling me hard and tight to his body. I still had my hands on his arms, so we were in a sort of embrace now.
An absolute sneer spread across his lips as he wrapped his arms around my waist. “You know, I am an actor too,” he quipped, and the sneer spread to a full smile. The only thing I could do in response was to roll my eyes and look away to express my disgust. I did notice, however, that my arms had taken the opportunity to snake around his neck. I was so pissed at my body right now, and very very mad at my lower inhibitions. Although, I thought to myself, who could resist touching this man!!! My actions were perfectly within reason.
I turned back to meet his gaze. “You think you’re funny, don’t you?” I tried to sound pissed, but he looked so good, smelled so good, and felt so good that it was hopeless.
“No, I think I’m fucking hilarious. And I don’t take well to little girls trying to challenge me.” He looked straight into my eyes with that last line and his dagger like stare nearly knocked me over. If he hadn’t been holding me up, that is.
“Guess I’ll just have to try harder next time,” I tossed back at him, lowering my head and trying to pull off my sexiest pout.
“Does this mean I have something to look forward to tomorrow?” His sneer had returned.
“That’s for me to know, and you to find out.” I couldn’t help but think to myself that if this went on much longer, tomorrow would come around with me in his bed, and I would be powerless to stop it. Just then my saving grace rang out over the crowd.
“Jared! Where the fuck have you been?” Jamie jogged up to approach us.
Jared quickly pulled away from me and turned sharply to meet him. They exchanged a few words, more Jared than Jamie. The only thing I did hear Jamie saying was that Emma was pissed, and he was just the messenger. I laughed to myself. Ah, the drama of family dynamics.
Jared turned back towards me and closed the distance he had put between us. “Gotta go. But I look forward to continuing this tomorrow. Don’t let me down.”
“Back at you, Leto. I will see you tomorrow.” My eyes traced all of the features of his face, trying to drink in any and every last detail possible before he left my sight. God, he was so beautiful!!!
With a wink, he turned and left with Jamie. I leaned on the table trying to pull myself together. Grabbing the rest of the drinks, I headed back to find Mel.
When I got there, she was not pleased at having to do her shot alone, no matter who I had run into. But she did love the story, and together we thought of a way to put Mr. Jared Leto truly on his ass tomorrow.
As we danced the night away, I couldn’t help but notice that I truly felt free, light, and happy. My divorce was in process, but the legal proceedings had reopened all the wounds of the separation. Even if it was for only a night or two, I was so thankful to have a chance to escape.
It was beyond time for Deadmau5 to come on, if you asked me. We had been through so many other bands, everything but the one I wanted to see. In my boredom, I’d had one too many Jack & Cokes. Or maybe about 5 too many, who knew? But as I listened to the first few notes of Ghosts n Stuff, everything fell away into the music. The bass and the beat were hard in my ears, and I could feel the cadence reverberating up through the ground into my legs, moving them. My eyes were closed and the rhythm surrounded me like a dance partner’s arms, pulling me and swaying me to its command.
I was completely lost in moment enjoying it thoroughly. Everything I had to listen to everyday about controlling myself or pulling myself together was gone in those moments. I let myself go, and I was happy. I opened my eyes slightly and looked at Mel. She was dancing her ass off too, and having a great time. She opened her eyes and looked at me and smiled. Scooting over to me, she yelled in my ear, “You have an admirer. Left shoulder.”
I glanced over and there was a guy, about 20 or 25, watching me with wide eyes, a clenched jaw, and a definite bulge in his pants that was becoming very pronounced. I knew my dancing was sexy, but damn! It was a nice compliment, and at my age, I drank it up. For 37, I knew that I carried my age well; most people didn’t put me over 26. The grueling and constant workout regime I put myself through daily I knew had a large part in that. It was also the defining reason that at 37, I could still wear tiny leather shorts and get away with it.
I decided to have a little fun. I turned towards him and locked eyes with him for a few seconds while dancing, before turning away and turning up the sex factor. Running my hands over the ass of my leather shorts, I slowly spread my legs and descended to the ground, swinging my ass from side to side along the way. Once at the bottom, I ran my hands over my legs and then up the insides of my thighs, bringing my right hand into my sex and throwing my head back with my mouth gaping open. Bringing myself back to standing, I faced him and took my left hand across my neck while my right hand slowly drifted from my waist up my chest, rubbing and slightly squeezing my right breast. I ended still gyrating my hips to the music, with both arms over my head and my back arched, so that my shirt would come up and the skin of my stomach would be exposed. I opened my eyes and looked over for him. He was still there, staring as ever, however his jaw was now firmly planted on the ground as it hung in amazement. Yup, still got it, I thought to myself.
“Another one. Over your right shoulder this time,” Mel screamed into my ear. Wow! I was on fire tonight! Well, that was either the truth or the whiskey talking. But I was having so much fun with it, I didn’t care. With a confident flip of my head and my hips, I turned over my right shoulder to see who was watching me, and to my surprise, I locked eyes with him instantly.
He stood there calmly as ever, casual pose, leaning against one of the railings. He was completely devoid of any expression, except intensity. Every part of him, his eyes, his jaw, his hands, hell even his hat screamed intensity. His eyes bored into mine, and the breath escaped my body. He stared. That’s the only way I can describe it; he stared. He didn’t move, not a muscle, not a hair. He just fucking stared. And I was completely intimidated by it. For a second there I wasn’t sure if I was moving. Forcing myself to regain my senses, I turned around quickly to face Mel.
“You okay?” she yelled.
“I know who that is.”
“So do I….”
“That’s Jared Leto! I don’t know what to do!” I started to panic.
“Do what you’re good at! Dance!!!!”
She winked, and I giggled. She was right. And, Jack Daniels agreed with her; I needed to just have fun and dance. Dancing is what I’m great at, and damn it, I love this song!!! Closing my eyes, I found the beat again and let the hypnotic sounds flush over me and command my muscles, my skin, my heartbeat. The song rolled from hard pumping sounds to beautiful melodies, and I moved along with it, losing myself in every glorious second.
I opened my eyes, saw Mel smiling at me, and that gave a bit of confidence to really turn it on. God, I hadn’t danced this way or this hard in a long time. It was so much fun! I was in heaven, hearing the music around me, feeling the people around me, smelling the glorious night air. I was full on channeling my inner Jessica Alba, almost wishing I had a lasso. Forgetting who was behind me, I spun around, directly facing him. My head was down at first and I whipped it up with my long brown hair, letting my hair fall over my face and eyes.
I opened my eyes as my hair was escaping my vision. And there he still was, immoveable as ever. Still staring at me like a statue. This time I really had no clue what to do. My first thought was to dig down into the dirt and disappear. My second thought was to walk over to him and slap him across the face. Thankfully Mel came up behind me and started dancing with me, ending my deer in the headlights affliction. Her hips locked with mine in a slow motion. Her arm snaked across my waist while I looped one arm around her neck. We moved together, and I could feel more sets of eyes landing on our writhing bodies. She moved her lips up to my ear.
“Go say something to him.”
I turned to face her, confused.
“He’s staring like crazy. He likes what he sees. Go!! Now!!”
I had a mix of crazy emotions fighting inside me. I hadn’t realized Mel’s little show was for his sake, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I didn’t know if I wanted to be encouraging him, although it was the thing I wanted the most. My indecision flashed visibly across my face.
“Oh, shut up,” she yelled in my ear, as if my thoughts were loudly invading her mind. “Since you’ll see him tomorrow, wouldn’t it be fun to fuck with him tonight? Then just show up tomorrow and shock the shit out of him.” With her last sentence, I instantly gained the confidence of a thousand Delilahs. A game. I loved games, and she was right, this would be a good one. The alcohol was adding to the intensity of my feelings, and sure as hell to my courage, and I intended to put it to good use. She puckered a small kiss to me. I turned Mel to put her between him and I, and I snuck out of the dance area, making my way around to his right side.
I came up to him leaning on the rail at his right side. I had my chin in my left hand, and was staring at him dead on. I stared his profile, his skin, the shadow of his beard. I was amazed how the alabaster of his skin met perfectly and beautifully with the crisp black of his shirt. He had a jacket on, but I could still see his chest rise and fall with his breathing. Along with the whiskey, I was also completely intoxicated by him.
It took him about 4 seconds to realize I was there next to him. He glanced over slowly at first, then turned fully to face me.
“I’m honestly impressed,” was all he said.
“Thanks. Just wanted to ask you something. If you’re going to stare at a girl like that, why not come and just dance with her?”
“I don’t dance.”
“You know, I think I knew that about you.”
“Yes,” I paused. Should I let him know I knew who he was? Yes, it wouldn’t be fair otherwise, I thought. “Somewhere, in some article, I remember reading that. Although, by your own admission, you have been known to dance. Though I don’t think anyone’s ever seen it for more than a few seconds.”
He laughed to himself.
“Well, since you know so much about me, I feel at a loss. What’s your name?”
“Kalia. People call me Kal.”
“Well Kal, it is a pleasure to meet you.” His blue eyes poured into mine, and I found myself turning to completely face him. I leaned into him, not even meaning to, just hypnotized by his smell, his presence, his everything.
“It’s a beautiful night,” he started.
“Yes, it is,” I said.
“You’re an amazing dancer.” He cooed.
“Thank you,” was all I could get out to say. I felt his hand slip up my hip and wrap around my waist to my lower back. Ever so slightly he pulled me to him.
“I’d love to see some more of your moves.” As he moved me closer to him, I felt my knees start to betray me and give out. I knew he wouldn’t make a move in public, not with so many cameras present. I knew his game would be to get me, or whatever girl caught his fancy, alone somewhere. I just didn’t expect it after four sentences.
Suddenly from the distance we heard, “Jared, there you are.”
Jared’s eyes flashed dark blue and black, and he dropped his hand from my waist. Turning, he said,
“Jamie. What do you want?”
I took the opportunity to put a little distance between him and I. Goodness, all the stories I had heard about this man; I hadn’t believed them. But they were true. He could charm the dress off a nun. Holy fuck!!!
I watched as he and Jamie had a few words with each other. Jared was not pleased, that was obvious, and I remembered the stories I had heard about him being a control freak. I knew that Mel was there looking out for me, and she would never let me do anything stupid, but I had to get away from this man’s sexual intoxication. He was completely too intense. There was no messing with him. He did the messing with, and he completely knew that. It was his element to be the predator, but I had no intention of being prey.
Finally, Jamie stepped back and Jared came back over to me.
“Sorry about that. Where were we?” His eyes twinkled and danced with desire and evil possibilities. “Oh yes, I believe we were talking about your dancing. Very remarkable. Enchanting, really.” He moved closer, closing the distance I had put between us.
I felt his arm starting to come around my waist to pull me to him. I took a quick step backwards.
“Thanks. I used to be a dancer.”
His eyes twinkled in an evil manner, “You used to be a dancer, hum?” he said with a smirk, raising one eyebrow suggestively. He stepped closer to me again.
Immediately the Jared intoxication drained out of me, and I stood straight up, glaring at him. “Are you calling me a stripper?”
“I used to be a dancer, Mr. Leto, but not that kind. Thank you very much.” I was so proud to have regained my senses.
“Sorry Kalia, that’s not what I meant. You did put on quite a show, though.” His tone was almost apologetic but I wasn’t sure.
“Well, for the record, I have never been a stripper.” I tried to mask my ‘oops’ face with an ‘I’m pissed at you’ face once I realized where he had derived his little misconception. I am actually very good at dancing like a stripper.
“I’m sorry. You really are a very good dancer. It’s impossible not to watch you. You’re captivating, mesmerizing.” With every word he ever so subtly closed the distance between us, never moving too fast as to be noticed, stalking as the perfect predator he was. I was trapped in those blue eyes yet again.
I could feel myself letting my guard down. Maybe he wasn’t the snake in the grass I thought earlier. Just then my subconscious snapped to and hit me on the back of the head with a baseball bat. Wait, yes he is. My head was swimming in a cloud, a Jared Leto blue eyed sex god cloud of confusion. Holy shit! He was good. Scary good.
Jamie came up a second time and whispered something into Jared’s ear.
Jared put his hand on my arm, caressing it ever so softly. “They tell me I have to go now. But I have an idea. Why don’t you come with me? And we’ll finish this conversation away from all the noise, away from all the people.”
“Sorry Jared, but no.” I straightened up to step away from him.
His hand dropped off my arm as if it was lava. “Fine.” He turned on his heel, and in a second he was gone.
“Really?!?!” I cried into the space he left behind him.
I turned back to the railing and put my hands on my head in exasperation. Good fucking God!! This was the man I had flown 1,500 miles to see!? This was the leader of my favorite band?! What a dick!!
Mel came up to the railing and lifted my chin up with her hand.
“I have Southern Comfort,” she sang.
I opened my eyes and smiled at her. I had known her for 2 years, since I signed with Harper, but in the last six months, she had become my best friend, my confident, and my most trusted companion. I would be nothing without her in my life right now.
“You always know just the right thing to say, Mel. Thanks.”
“I didn’t hear what happened, but I can guess from watching you two. Sleazy come on?”
“Ugh! The sleaziest! But, as gorgeous as that man is, I have no doubt someone’s panties will be dropping for him tonight.” I picked up my shot and a thought came to my mind.
“Probably in a bathroom somewhere, the skank. I hope she gives him crabs.” We both fell into a fit of giggles. Hey, I never said I was mature.
I was glad that Mel had asked me to come out to CA before the big meeting. I needed the release, the escape, the pure enjoyment that this weekend was bound to be. I still couldn’t believe that I had won a ticket to the 30 Seconds to Mars private listen for their upcoming album; I could barely contain my excitement the entire flight here. An evening with one of my favorite bands plus one sick ass music festival, and this weekend had the makings of something legendary. Monday would be back to reality, back to work, but I wanted this weekend to be all fantasy.
Cochella was an annual tradition in CA, and it was heralded as one of the most eclectic music festivals around. The crisp April evening was the perfect backdrop for the outdoor event. I had dressed in layers, wearing black leather shorts, combat boots, a camisole, t-shirt with the arms cut out, and a flannel button down over that. Mel was into the boho look at the moment, and she had a prairie skirt with boots, a tank top, and a sweater. I teased her that all she needed was to weave flowers in her hair. She jokingly snarked back that Eddie Vedder wanted his look back.
Mel was most excited about the Deftones, but for me it was Deadmau5. As much as I wanted to hate Wes for having changed my musical tastes, I really did like the music he had introduced me to. As I stood there in line to get into the festival, I found myself reminiscing about the happier days of our marriage. When he and I shared the same outlook on life. When he hadn’t wanted to shut us away from everything, from every experience, and from the world in general. When his disdain for the human race could be contained and didn’t drive him to turn into a hermit. I wished silently that he could be here with me, enjoying and experiencing all the new wonderful things that had come into my life. I was so sad that I hadn’t been able to share the last 2 years with him. The glossy look in my eyes and my slight sigh gave my reminiscing away.
“Hey – snap to it. Back to earth. No daydreaming.” Mel snapped her fingers in front of my face pulling me out of my trance.
“Because there is just so much to do right here, right now, standing in this line,” I quipped back sarcastically.
“Hey, this is California. There’s like 900 million people that live here. Standing in line and waiting in traffic are what we do best.”
“And why, exactly, do you want me to move out here?” Melody Dawn Carter is my publishing house’s rising star of an agent. As such, she gets the “juicy” authors, as she puts it, including myself. New writers, cutting edge, and slightly left of mainstream type of work was her specialty. She had a knack for making the general public feel that they just had to experience her clients’ work, regardless of what they ever thought about it before.
She had taken my first two novels to critical and commercial success, which I considered to be no smaller of a task than the parting of the Red Sea was. I had developed a taste for writing historical subculture and alternative history, which at this time was probably the most saturated market in literature. Still, she found a way to take my sad stories and make them symbolic of the plight of the everyday man. Her spin tactics were nothing short of legendary.
I was still writing my third book, and she already had the literary world panting and salivating expectantly. “No pressure, right?” I anxiously thought to myself.
Harper Collins has 2 main offices, one in LA and one in NY. I live in Dallas, TX. The separation was taxing with the travel necessary to see Mel and my editor, but it was important to me to be close to my daughter. I was willing to travel as needed for work, but being away from Aviana was out of the question. Mel was pushing me to set up a dual residence in LA, rather than living in a hotel every time I was out west, which was a lot. It had been the main topic of conversation for the entire commute from my LA to Palm Springs. Mel was convinced she could concoct a reason that I would latch onto about why I needed to be living in LA, and her pursuit was relentless. I noted to myself that if her pushiness was representative of the passion with which she sold my books, I was never letting her go as my agent.
My phone chimed and cut the silence.
“Oh look Mel, Teddy has posted another episode of ‘Melody Set Me Free’!” Teddy is James Franco’s family nickname, and he still used it in his inner circle, after he became an actor and writer. Mel was also his agent, and as she had such a longstanding relationship with him, she referred to him this way. I did just because she once introduced him to me as that. It made me blush to think that I called him by his nickname, not knowing the guy at all. Secretly, I hoped I could somehow somewhere be in a situation that I could use that little name dropping tidbit. But, in LA, everyone knows someone, so it had been a wash.
One of Teddy’s pet projects was a sitcom style internet show starring a pushy, domineering, over the top aspiring singer, and I teased her relentlessly that it was his portrayal of her. He had never admitted that the character was based on her, but the personality fit, and he had “accidentally” incorporated so many of Mel’s mannerisms into the character, that it was glaringly obvious. I knew it got to her, since every time she met with him, he irritated her to the point of incoherent ranting. I found it simply hilarious that he always walked out of every meeting cool and collected with the most triumphant look on his face, while she was a babbling pissed off mess. As if every exploded nerve of hers, every pulsing vein, were little trophies set up on his mantle.
She teased me relentlessly about my celeb-crush on him and how I would always seem to schedule my meetings with her right before his, guaranteeing a run in. What can I say? Guilty. Running into him at Mel’s office did always make for happy thoughts. And sure enough, his chiseled features, toned physique, and electrifying smile did somehow make their way into my current story. Nothing like drawing inspiration from real life.
“I don’t know why you are obsessed with him. He’s not even that good of a writer. And I’m not so sure about his acting either.”
“Blasphemy,” I joke, pretending to look mortified.
“You haven’t been subjected to reading every thought and random contemplation that crosses his mind. Seriously, at least you grasp the concept of continuity. Reading Teddy’s work is like looking into his head for 30 minutes and watching thoughts just fall out at random. And they’re not even good thoughts. It’s like wading through a sea of shit just to find one pearl.”
My mind latched onto her comment of looking into his head, and I caught myself in a daydream once again. Being able to see how James Franco thinks, to understand what makes him tick. That thought may be pure torture for Mel, but it was so intriguing to me. True, there were his Adonis-like qualities to be attracted to, but his intellect was actually the most alluring part for me. That smart and gorgeous to boot. My mind started to wander into X-rated territory as I remembered pictures I’d seen of him without his shirt. Lost in my fantasy, I softly bit my bottom lip as my mind traveled through the progression of removing his clothes slowly but deliberately.
“Oh god, you’re fantasizing about him, aren’t you?” The tone of disgust was ever so pronounced in her voice.
“Yes. Yes, I am,” I said with a purposeful and short snap. “I’m sorry that you are the only woman in LA that has decided to repeatedly turn him down, but I would jump at the chance, if offered. Come on, don’t you want to know what he’s like in bed?”
“First of all, there is no way his advances are honest. He just does it to piss me off. Secondly, that’s how people know you don’t live here. If you did, you’d have slept with enough of these celebrities to know they’re not all they’re cracked up to be. So, based on past disappointment, I have to stand firm on my ‘no’ that I do not want to find out what he is like in bed.”
I hoped to myself that she wasn’t completely right. I was entering that critical part of the writing process where proximity to my publishing house was going to be mandatory. Right now, I could control my schedule and make several visits instead of longer ones, but that would soon change. Knowing that, I clung to one of the things (the only thing, I thought sometimes) that the city had going for it, this promised of wild abandon. Of the possibility to fulfill a fantasy that wouldn’t be possible in any other city. Because LA was that magical. The city of angels. Filled with artists, dreamers, mortals, and those that are more than we mere humans could ever dream to be.
Then I remembered that LA is just a city, and I am just a dreamer. At least the line was moving finally and we were making our way into the concert.