Delusions of Grandeur
by Your Mind
One morning you woke up just like you always do, but you felt a little bit different. Maybe the tingle from your shampoo was on both sides of your head, or you realized that the new deodorant really was much better than that old brand--what was different didn't actually matter. What mattered was that everything was different.
Your shower left you extraordinarily clean. Looking in the mirror, you saw that everything was beautiful. Your eyes. Your hair. Even the nose that was such a problem for a while, yes, your nose was beautiful too. Just to make sure, you glanced down at your feet and found your toes to be free of athlete's foot and ingrown nails. Yes, it was a good day.
The person you slept with the night before (and, let's face it, the sex wasn't that great, but it was good to be having it again) sees you walk in the room all fresh and clean. They smile, possibly waiting for you to take your towel off for a quick peek, but maybe because they generally like you. But it doesn't matter to you because it is obvious who the most important person in the room is. And that person is (for the quickest possible, ooh, ooh, look at, wow, amazing did you see that) now putting on clothes.
"What are you doing today?" asks the person you slept with.
"I'm not sure," you say between bites of cereal. It's the good kind, the stuff your mom never would buy you when you were younger.
"Are you telling me that the most beautiful, famous, intelligent, amazing person in the world might be free today?"
"Entirely possible. Unless my publicist calls. And I told her not to schedule anything at all today. I want it all to myself." There's a hint of satisfaction in your voice, as if this has been a long time coming.
"Is there a chance I might spend it with you?"
"Well," you say with a bit of smile. "Are you going to skip work?"
"Considering how much money you make, I don't think I need to work at all."
"Mooch," you mutter into your cereal.
"Well, next time someone calls with a twenty million dollar payday coming my way, I'll say yes."
"Oh, c'mon." You realize why the sex wasn't as good the night before. The person you were sleeping with was not all the way into it. Maybe they were thinking about the future--something that is never on your mind when you had sex. "That was a stupid movie. All I was gonna do was run around with a gun and yell at people."
"I don't know. Twenty million dollars. That buys a lot of days off."
"Yeah. Well, twenty million doesn't go as far as it used to." The subject at hand wasn't going where you wanted it to go. Who was calling the shots here? Who was buying the food? Who owned the swimming pool and the Lexus? Not to mention that 4X4.
The person who was dispassionately having sex with you last night shrugs into a cup of coffee and turns away slightly. "I just think you ought to think about where the next paycheck is coming from before you feel comfortable about putting your agent and publicist on hold. One day could hold thousands of possibilities."
"I thought you wanted to spend the day with me," you say, now a little more than just hurt.
"I do, but I want you to understand what spending the day together might be giving up in the long run."
"Doesn't the world stop for me? I mean, if they can't talk to me today, won't they try again tomorrow?"
"They might not."
Suddenly you are thinking that the sex tonight might not even happen. Not of this person you thought you knew so well doesn't watch what they're saying.
"Since when were you in charge of my life? We're not married. And it's not like we have great sex all the time," you say, very aware of the bite in your voice.
"So--you didn't think last night was great?"
"I don't think it was Oscar worthy, if that's what you're wondering."
"Did you see your last movie?"
You pause for a second and look hard at the person who never lifts a finger to further your cause and career. This person who you've given almost six months of your valuable life. This person who could write a tell-all book about your late night sex exploits, or even that strange eating habit of melting Reeses Pieces into milkshakes. This person who might just be your downfall if you thought too hard about the relationship. This person who is expendable.
"Two seconds ago you're telling me to take twenty million dollars to do a piece of shit movie that breaks as much ground as your flatulence, and now you're bitching about the quality of my last $120 million dollar grossing film? Where the fuck do you get off even talking to me about money? You who makes a mere $75,000 a year--if you're lucky!"
The person who let you do all the work last night in bed is now wearing a frown. There is defiance and fear lurking in this person's eyes.
"Maybe I should go to work today, then."
"Maybe you should take your shit with you when you leave," you say, fully aware this may be the last time you see the person you last kissed. But then again, kisses are cheap. Especially to a person who makes twenty million dollars a film. For someone like you, kisses should be required.
"I hope you're happy with your twenty million dollars," the person says after everything they ever thought of bringing to your house is bundled into a spare grocery sack.
"I'll be happy. And I don't need you. Or the twenty fucking million dollars. Or my fucking day off!"
As your now-former lover leaves, you throw one of the large hanging pots at the sink and take a chunk of tile off of the counter. You've never used the pot, personally. If it cooks spaghetti or soup, you're not sure. The last time you cooked for yourself was at least three years ago. And that may have been just a late night grilled cheese sandwich.
You find yourself back in the bathroom looking in the mirror. The circles around your eyes are darker than usual. There are lines you've never noticed running through your forehead and from your mouth. A pimple is threatening to erupt right in the middle of your chin.
"Fuck," you say, because you know what you're going to do next.
A few minutes later you're clicked through to your agent.
"I thought today was your day off. What gives?" He's got that confident voice you like to hear when things are looking bad. It's like a friend's voice, but more like a booster shot during flu season.
"I was just thinking about that offer. Can we get a rewrite on the script, maybe give me a little bit of character to play with?"
"It's a definite, baby. I'll be back with the final offer in two shakes of a lamb's tail," your agent says, brimming with happiness. After all, he just made three million for a few phone calls.
"Don't quote me that Pulp Fiction shit. I'm not in the mood today." You don't like to be short with your agent, but the morning is beginning to wear on you.
"Hey, calm down. I'll call you back in a few, and a courier will be around in the afternoon with the signables. This is good, baby. This is really good. You'll feel what I'm feeling when you see the rewrite. I know you will."
"Thanks, I'm sorry. I just had to take care of something ugly this morning, and I'm not totally over it."
"How about I meet you for dinner around four? A good meal will make you feel better."
"You know it." After a slight pause, you continue. "Yeah, I'll see you at four."
"But you'll hear from me sooner than that. Good news is on the way, baby. Good news is on the way."
And maybe it doesn't make you feel as good as you did when you first woke up, but at least the sun isn't as harsh and frightening as before. All the shit you have to deal with just because you're you begins to melt away as the morning becomes fully alive.
Your former lover (that title is so giving to a person you're not sure if there was any kind of real attachment with) has forgotten a few pieces of their underwear. A slam dunk into the trash on the way to the backyard for a nice stroll in the morning air is all they are worth. You can get through this, after all, you're you.
And that's what you get paid the big bucks for.
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