Do you ever wonder what your life would look like on the silver screen? Suppose you won the lottery and as a part of the prize package, Hollywood promised to follow you around for a year and observe your activities, your ups and downs and all the rest that makes us human. Then they would commission a script writer to take the real exciting parts, tweak them just so and make them even more riveting, turning the whole thing into a summer blockbuster.
Well, they’d have their work cut out with me. They’d have to name the movie “Diary of a Mad Freelance Writer,” and, for one thing, that would severely restrict its appeal. No one really wants to know what “mad” people do unless it’s collecting dead bodies or consuming endless tubs of Ben & Jerry’s. And writers? No one wants to know about them unless it involves a seven-figure book advance and dinners with foreign leaders, neither of which I can thus far add to my Linkedin profile.
To be honest, my life is a shade less than exciting. To call it ho-hum would be stretching the truth. To begin with, I do the same thing every day: complain. If it’s not about picking up dog poop in the yard or searching my office for some missing document that I know I definitely put away in a safe place (if I could only remember where); it’s about how my clothes are shrinking even as the gaps between my teeth are expanding and my memory hiccupping. My husband regularly turns down his hearing aid between 8 and 9 in the morning or at least until I’ve had my first cup of coffee.
I can’t blame him. To be fair, I don’t only complain. No, sometimes I procrastinate–in loud, self-pitying monologues that usually only get the attention of the dogs. For that reason alone I figure Hollywood would have to cast an unknown performer in the role of “me”–someone along the lines of humorist Fran Lebowitz. Not that Fran is an unknown among writers! But among casting agencies and movie producers, she definitely suffers from a terminal case of stranger-danger.
So that would probably leave me to plead with Fran to appear in my movie. What could I possibly say to convince her that we have some similarities even though she hobnobs with all the big shots in NYC and I lunch at Denny’s. Okay, let’s see. She smokes; I used to. She was born in NJ; so was I; She writes; me too! She doesn’t go in for high fashion; I shop at Kohl’s.
Yup, there’s all that plus we both procrastinate. I know for a fact that she does because I read it on her Facebook page, which is where all great truths lie. She probably doesn’t know that I procrastinate too or else I’m sure she would have called me up by now and said something witty and caustic. But how could she know I’m a procrastinator when until now I’ve kept it a Big Fat Secret. It’s not on Facebook or any of the other social media I visit every month or so. And I’ve kept it off my website since if I included it, that would mean I’d have to document it in some way on a Special Page and probably link to stuff I’ve been working on for years but have never finished (because, of course, I’ve been procrastinating). That seems like too much for too little!
Maybe if this lands on Twitter, Fran will find out about my procrastinating ways and contact me. That said, I’d still have to plead with her to accept the movie deal. Another problem I foresee is plot. I’ve got the lows covered, but what about those highs? I’d have to manufacture a few exciting ones, like stage a session where my computer crashes and I rush from my office my face dissolved in tears, swearing I’ll sue Best Buy and the Geek Squad in perpetuity. Or, if I can’t get the computer to crash on cue, I could always schedule a day when I google my name and find that identity theft has indeed invaded my sector of the Internet. At which point I guess the camera could pan to me shredding my credit cards while uttering a series of expletives that would nicely display my wide, eclectic knowledge of pejoratives.
Also, I suppose I could always contact the few celebs I’ve interviewed and ask them if they were willing to do cameos in my film. Probably the best-known would be Giancarlo Esposito. As “Gus” in TV’s Breaking Bad, he was phenomenally good as the fiercest, most amoral drug kingpin in Albuquerque. Maybe he’d ride onto the movie set in black leather garb on one of his Italian motorcycles, flash his well-cleaned molars and say something quasi-complimentary like “Janice–oh yes I barely remember her–but she asked one or two good questions.”
Then Fran would rebut with, “What do you mean one or two? New Yorkers never ask just one or two questions, unless they’re choosing a bagel.” See what I mean about boring–it doesn’t get any better than this, even in my daydreams.