Credit

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. All rights reserved. Winner will receive an all-expense paid trip to Hollywood, California, where he or she will enjoy seven days of authentic movie magic. Working closely with a talented crew and award-winning director Carl Ingersdotter, the winner will learn exactly how a movie gets made, and even earn a spot in the credits!

“Can I yell ‘action?’”

“You can do whatever you want. You won the contest.”

No one had explained to Carl Ingersdotter exactly what the competition had been, but the powers that be had impressed upon him that an outsider on set would be great publicity. The man had probably opened the right bag of Cheetos, the right Dr. Pepper.

“This is a pretty good scene, but I feel like Georgio — big fan, by the way — needs to act a little bit more, you know what I mean?”

“A bit more what?”

“Just more.”

In the final cut, Georgio slaps his costar across her face, sending her flying. She looks to him with equal parts fear and contempt, and Georgio turns away, smoldering. He stares upward to the heavens, mournfully, and extends his palm upright, as though holding a skull.

“I did that,” A man tells his date over the frantic shushing behind them. “I made that happen.”

By the way she replies, “Mm-hmm,” he can tell she doesn’t believe him. As the credits roll and she stands up, he remains in place. “I’m going to show you my name.”

Carl Ingersdotter has his name all over everything: story, writing, design, directing, consulting. Surely someone else could get a measly Special Thanks.

“I must have missed it,” he says, as the woman, whoever she is, pulls him to his feet. He slaps her.

“Blame Ingersdotter,” he says. “It’s all his.”

#acting, #contempt, #creep, #deception, #discovery, #fear, #jealousy, #misogyny, #self-loathing, #show-business, #ugly

Mirror

Although her girlfriend was about to break up with her, Nancy smiled over the table. As long as they could maintain this expression, everything would be fine.

“I really like what you’ve done with your hair tonight,” she said.

“Thanks, I like yours, too.”

The resulting silence prompted them both to take sips of wine. Nancy held hers in her mouth just a second longer before swallowing, as she saw a flash of disapproval cross the face in front of her when they reached for their glasses simultaneously. “I’ve been thinking about what you said.”

She watched the smile grow limp, and tried to hoist it back with her own. “I’ve been thinking,” she repeated, “and I want whatever you want.”

They had had the same boring conversation last night, and had yelled at each other, “I only want to make you happy. What do you want? I want you to be happy!” Nancy couldn’t remember anymore which part of the conversation had been hers. It existed between them and belonged to neither.

“And I want whatever you want,” she heard again, and it played back between them and around them, at every table in the restaurant. Every couple made the same faithful promise, and Nancy repeated it. Hers was the only voice that didn’t sound fake.

#deception, #fractal, #mirror, #reflection, #relationships, #restaurant, #self-control, #self-importance, #wine