Throw Down

12 Mar

“My writing partner’s a pussy – he’s a pussy.”

I listen, sitting across from Michael in Mike Zaidan’s L.A.perch. Michael and I have been writing scripts together for five years – me on the East Coast and him on the West.  A bottle of Jim Beam sits on the coffee table between us.

Jim Beam has less effect on my emotions than it does on Michael’s, although it’s no good for me either.

Mike Zaidan, a wooly-looking Lebanese, shakes his head. “No more hard stuff for you, Michael.”

I ask, “You really think I’m a pussy?”

Michael sticks out his chin: “Pussy.”

“Are you serious?”

“You’re a pussy.”

There’s some truth to what Michael is saying. I take a sip of whiskey, stalling for time.

I say, “Maybe I am a pussy. But I’m not going to uproot my family until we make a real sale.”

Michael, with a catch in his voice, on the edge of tears says, “Aw, Mark – you’re not a pussy.”

Minutes later he’s conked out on Mike’s couch, tangled up in a sheet as I eye the last inch in the bottle.



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