Three days of rehearsals and one performance. He could do it. He had done it before. He was a professional. In so far as his commitment to the craft. Twenty years in, at least, and still the day job at the nursing home paid the bills. He didn’t mind. He loved his job. He loved those sweet doddery old people and he always made a point to make them smile. Naturally he pocketed their strongest medications, all the nurses did and even traded amongst each other. But at night, for plays he’d signed up for, he was a star.
She did not feel like reviewing the play. But it was her job.
He loved the acting so much he maintained the fantasy he would ‘get somewhere someday’. His elastic plans stretched with the years where nothing changed. Unless you count the paunch, the thinning hair, the doughy skin. His hopes and beliefs were his only fuel to watch his weight, otherwise he’d be a whale, he giggled at himself in the mirror, wrapped in a towel and seeing an adoring audience in front of him, clapping, cheering. He bowed. The towel slipped to the floor.
After the show they met and went for a drink and a chat.
‘I’m sorry I talk so much,’ he said, winding down a near hour rant.
‘No problem,’ she replied, ‘I’m being paid.’
‘I was joking,’ she soothed.
He excused himself and she noticed him chatting too long with a waitress on his return.
He sat down and said, ’Do you like cocaine?’
‘I don’t know,’ she smiled, concealing her discomfort.
‘Sweetie,’ he unctuated, ‘Let’s go to my place and shoot up? And let’s bring that hot chick with us?’
‘Great,’ she lied.
‘Sweetie,’ he said, already sweating, ‘Don’t put this in your article.’
‘I wouldn’t dream of it,’ she said.
He left to negotiate with the waitress and she unobtrusively escaped. On her drive home he texted, ‘hwer u?’
She wrote back, ‘shooting stars.’
image by Marko Miladinović