Life has been more than a little intense the past few weeks, and therefore I never got around to posting last weeks excerpt. Today O’m going with an excerpt from Hanging From the High Wire
When we got back to the house it was so quiet that I was sure Gavin would be asleep, but he came wandering down the hallway, asking if we’d thought to buy any food while we were gone.
“Only cereal and milk because I need to do a real shopping tomorrow.”
“Cereal and wine?” he frowned.
“It’s a western delicacy,” Corky assured him. “You place a bowl of dry cereal on the table and nibble it like a snack while drinking your wine. It’s a big thing in all of the finest establishments.”
“Is it now?”
Gavin smiled at me and I smiled back, grateful to have Corky in our lives again to lighten up all that had become way too serious.
While Gavin opened the wine and poured us each a glass, I filled her in on what had so far gone down between Gavin and Sirri Bingington. Then I asked Gavin if the book had at least made sense as he had read further.
“Sadly, no,” he said.
“But it was her you were meeting with tonight, right?”
“And how’d that go?”
“Not real well,” he sighed, before taking a slow sip of wine.
“Take us through it from the beginning,” Corky told him. “First off, where did you meet?”
He glanced over at me before mumbling that he’d met her at her house.
“Uh oh!” Corky laughed, “Were advances made?”
“Advances may have been made.”
“What?” I shrieked.
“Don’t wake the children. It’s not as if I acknowledged them. I could be off my game here and imagining it all anyway. I’m really quite knackered.”
“Start at the beginning,” I told him.
Gavin sat across from Corky and I as we were curled up on the sofa. Taking another drink of wine, he sighed and said he’d asked to meet her in a more public location, but she’d guessed that he wished to discuss the book and she wanted privacy.
“I must say, at that point I was hopeful that this was another of her tests, and that what she had given me was a massive joke, although I couldn’t make sense of its sheer volume,” he told us. “She lives in the Bel Aire end of Beverly Glen Canyon, in a gated Mediterranean with manicured grounds. It’s quite the show place, you’d abhor it,” he smiled at me. “Pretentious as can be.”
“Alone?” Corky asked.
“Alone,” he confirmed.
“How old is she? She’s older than us right?” she asked.
“Does she look good? She’s pretty, isn’t she?”
“She’s alright I suppose,” he said
“Breathing and with ample bosoms then?” Corky laughed. “What was she wearing?”
“I don’t know, some sort of billowy thing. I think it was a long dress of some sort.”
“Meaning he couldn’t see past the bosoms,” she told me.
“Stop that. Do you want to hear what happened or not?” he asked.
“Sorry,” she laughed. “I’m just teasing you, go on.”
“Right, so she greeted me at the door and led me back to her study. She offered me a drink which I declined, and which she made anyway, telling me it was just in case. Then we sat on a sofa much like you are now, and her eyes sparked as she asked me to tell her what I’d thought of the book. She said she couldn’t wait to hear! Well, I breathed a sigh of relief didn’t I, because the smile on her face was so broad that it could only mean that she knew it was shit.”
“Oh no,” I moaned.
“Kelly, if you’d seen the smile you’d have thought the same,” he insisted.
“Don’t interrupt,” Corky said hitting my leg. “Go on,” she told Gavin.
“I told her I was going to be honest, and that I’d never read anything like it, which I suppose would have been fine if only I’d left it at that, but then I proceeded to let her know that I’d never been so bored in all my life.”
I cringed as Corky laughed, and asked what she’d had to say about that. Gavin cringed too and went to refill his glass.
“It was bloody miserable from that point on,” he sighed. “I said it was a joke, expecting her to say well of course it was, but instead she began weeping, and told me she’d spent months writing this, and nearly a year researching it beforehand. I couldn’t stop myself from asking her, researching what, strip clubs? Male prostitution? And I told her I was only guessing that that was what the book was meant to be about, because it was so lost in descriptive details that a plot of any substance was impossible to unearth. I really thought even then she’d begin to laugh Kel, I promise you I did.”
“Oh, God,” I groaned, wanting to laugh, but it wasn’t funny, at least to me, Corky though couldn’t stop laughing.
“Then what happened?” she asked, eager to hear more.
“I apologized, and said I wished I could tell her it was fantastic, but it’s not, and she told me to get out. I got up to leave and she followed me to the door, stopping me at the last moment to say that she couldn’t believe I was being so hurtful. I apologized again and said I was disappointed too, at which point she fell against me sobbing wildly. It was terribly awkward.”
“Terribly, terribly awkward,” Corky giggled. “God love you Brits! Go on,” she told him.
“I led her over to another couch in another room, desperately trying to come up with something positive to say, but I was coming up blank, when she told me that her previous agent hadn’t thought it was crap. However a moment later, she admitted she’d severed all ties with him because he’d told her it wasn’t commercial enough. And yes,” he said to me, “I told her that is because it is crap.”
“So that’s that, then,” I sighed.
“She’s said she’s going to take some time to reconsider, and that she has an idea for another novel, but she’ll have to consider if she’s up to showing me the outline or not. I’ve told her I’ll understand if she wants to part ways.”
“I’d think you’d be praying for it, if she’s half as bad as you say,” Corky said.
“She’s a huge name in the industry, I need her,” he sighed. “Scott said there had to be a catch that she was coming to an agency as small as mine. I should have known this was coming.”
“Scott is a giant shit if he told you that!” Corky exclaimed, and I agreed.
“You’re a great agent, Gavin, I know that, and the truth is, you didn’t tell her anything that she didn’t need to hear,” I said.
“She was our ticket, I was so sure.”
“I know,” I swallowed.
“There will be others,” Corky insisted.
Gavin said he was going to bed, and told us not to stay up all night, as was often our tradition. Corky and I finished our wine and I told her I wanted to hear what Scott had said on their drive from the airport.
“Apart from what the hell have you been telling people?” she laughed.
“Yes. I want all the details. Have you guys even spoken since you left?”
“Not unless you count the night I got drunk and wanted to hear his voice so bad that I prank called him with the old, is your dishwasher running, and told him he’d better catch it.”
“Did he know it was you?”
She just looked at me and laughed.
“We were together for almost five years, of course he knew it was me.”
“And you talked?”
“Oh God no. He said my name and I hung up and cried myself to sleep.”
“When was this?”
“About two months ago, when I was agonizing over sleeping with that guy.”
“The guy, Mark. I know I told you. He was going to back the show, or maybe he even did for awhile, I’m not sure. He looked like James Franco in that movie where he cut his arm off.”
“I remember you saying there was a guy hanging around who looked like James Franco, but you didn’t tell me you slept with him.”
“I didn’t in the end. I couldn’t. How stupid is that?”
“I guess we’ll never know.”
“He was a really good kisser,” she smiled, “But it was just too soon.”
“Which brings us back to Scott,” I said, unable to hold back a yawn.
“You’re tired and so am I. Lets save this discussion for tomorrow,” she suggested.
“Yeah, so am I in with Nick?”
“Either that or out here, whichever you prefer.”
“I’ll take Nick’s room with a real bed,” she said, and gave me a hug. “I’m glad I’m here,” she told me.