Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dream Theater: The Office Party

Office Party DJ Disasters | Digital DJ Tips
Photo from digitaldjtips.com.

There'd been a terrible falling out with M_____ and G_____, and I hadn't spoken to them in months. But they lured me back with an email, saying they wanted to see me. 

So I went to their office, only to discover they were throwing a party. Their company had grown so much. Even R_____ J_____, a high school classmate, was working for them now as a private investigator. 

Leaving right away wasn't an option, so I played it cool. It was impossible to avoid R_____ J_____ so I said to him, “I know we had a pretty heated argument on Facebook back in 2016, but now I can’t remember exactly what it was about.” We both laughed because he couldn’t remember either. 

After making the rounds I decided to go home. This was harder than it should have been, though, because I'd collected all this stuff. Extra clothes and receipts, packs of cigarettes and lighters, and keys to two or more cars that belonged to someone else. I couldn't take it with me or leave it behind.

I decided to stay the night, and slept on a sofa in the hall. The next morning I woke up as M_____ was arriving for work. I smiled sheepishly, because he knew I hadn't planned to stay that long.

But now I had to leave. I’d started college again, in Iowa City, with a full schedule of classes, including one on calculus. Math had always been my weakness. Why had I signed up for something so difficult? 

Over the next few weeks I skipped every calculus class. The deadline to drop it was today. The problem was, I still didn’t know my way around campus. Nothing was how I remembered it. The guidebook in my backpack turned out to be more of a brochure, filled with games and puzzles rather than anything useful. 

I stared at it, and eventually figured out the Math department was across the river. When I arrived all the buildings there were just old houses, without signs to tell one from the other. 

I'd have to search for the main office, wandering in and out of houses and rooms, interrupting classes, embarrassing myself as I asked for directions. Everyone would know, and they'd think to themselves, "There's someone who couldn't cut it."

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Dream Theater: My Hollywood Career

Image result for hollywood
Photo from The Heritage Foundation.

My acting career was finally taking off. I'd landed an important supporting role on a TV series. Everything was changing.

I was meeting the rest of the cast and crew, in an office filled with neon lights and oversized video screens. Afterward, one of my co-stars took me aside and whispered some upsetting news.

"If you don't lose weight and get in shape quick, they'll write you off the show," he said.

Later that night, still unhappy about what I'd been told, I found myself at a Hollywood party. A large gold tray appeared, carrying bottles of pills. The guests passed it around, laying down twenties and hundreds in order to take whatever they pleased. This must be how they do it, I thought to myself.

I needed some advice. I went to M_____ and G_____'s house. It was different than the house they have now. Older, and more full of stuff. J_____, their daughter was there. She was several years older than she is now, and didn't seem very interested in seeing me any more.

Everything was changing. Everything had changed. Everything but me, it seemed.