Now What?

And I’m back. Since we last chatted, I volunteered at an event and played tourist with my mother—both good things.

But now, here I sit. Mom has gone home. The next volunteer task is well in hand. My laundry is done. My dishes are clean.

Now what?

This is the first time since I quit 4 (?!) months ago that I haven’t had something all-consuming looming. I could do anything (finances being somewhat of an issue, of course). I should be writing. I should be pitching. I should be trying to get an agent or take meetings. Instead I am living proof of the idea that if you can make every choice in the world, you make no choice at all.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I chose to come to this restaurant for lunch with the intent of writing, but find myself trying not to check out the male television star seated across from me. I suppose that is progress—at least I’ve stopped obsessively watching The Weather Channel.

When I quit in April, I’m not sure I planned for this phase of inactivity and lack of direction. I always thought of myself as being driven, as a workaholic. Yet what I have discovered so far is that I could do absolutely nothing for the next eight months and not care—heck, I’m not sure the passage of time itself would really register.

There is a reality star sitting to the right of me. I have no idea what her name is, but I am vaguely annoyed that I recognize her at all. I could hope I recognize her because she’s accomplished something. I have a sinking feeling it’s from a headline involving a sex tape or scandal-ridden divorce. Still she seems motivated and goal-oriented. She will not be dodging the gaggle of paps stationed in the parking lot.

The people behind me either know Kathie Lee or spend a lot of time concerned with what she thinks. But they are driven, planners of morning television, and they have real purpose. Though, I’m not sure I would have observed them at all had it not been for the one woman who sounds exactly like a lawyer at my old firm (it’s a voice I still hear in my nightmares).

I keep seeing people approach the TV star. They know him vaguely. They want to know him better. The current visitor has a project—and he has made his move. I think it’s going to happen for him. He’s dropping the right names, saying the right things.

I marvel at him. I could have a screenplay dubbed “the next Oscar sure thing,” and I would never make that move. I shudder at the idea of it. I don’t want to be rude. I don’t want to seem aggressive. Actually pursuing something for me is rarely conceivable—and frankly, every time I’ve even tried, I’ve been slapped by fate for it.

Visitor has left now. They have a meeting set. Mission, at least partially, accomplished by the assertive guy in khaki shorts. Well done, sir.

The TV star just yelled out jokingly, “give me a good story—we need good stories.”

Naturally, I continue to sit here quietly hoping someone will notice me.

Shockingly, they never do.

9 comments on “Now What?”

  1. Helen

    No one will ever just notice you for doing nothing. Not in this town. You need to make them sit up and take notice.

  2. Carey Hagan

    Wait, isn't Duchovny now available? Here is your next screenplay assignment: 1). a made-for-tv movie starring you and DD himself; 2). in which you appear only in a little black dress, Jimmy Choos, and some simple but elegant diamonds; 3). set on a deserted island; 4). with striking set staffers who refuse to work, causing you to have more free time with DD. How _hard_ is that to write?

  3. Helen

    Kate-sex tapes are the cheap and easy way, if you're a no-talent whore. There are other options. Like writing something and then being very, very persistent. I think this whole vehicle for DD thing is an amazing idea! Of course, if you could make a sex tape with DD….I'm just saying.

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