“Would you like a roast beef sandwich, honey?”
“No, she wouldn’t. It cost me $5.99 a pound.”
“It was $3.99.”
“OH. Well, in that case, why don’t you ask the dog if he wants one, too?”
“You go scratch.”
Rather than get annoyed at today’s love bonanza known as my parents’ house, I jot down notes furiously in the other room. I’m going to use this in an episode of the HBO series, I mean webisode for YouTube. The only problem is Boris is a pain in my ass. He keeps talking Noir this, Noir that. “This is not film school, man. This is comedy,” I tell him. I feel like I’m turning into the Dude from “The Big Lebowski” the way I talk to him. It just happens. I’m not a hippie by any nature, but the only way Boris seems to understand me is if I spell things out in a post-marijuana drawl. Instead of “The Chinaman is not the issue, dude,” it’s, “Truffaut is not the issue, man.”
I’m starting to think he’s just trying to get in my pants and maybe make a soft porn in the process…in the style of Truffaut, of course. I’ve got to drop him. But, I’ve GOT to make this web series. I’m not going back to Florida with my parents. This is the only thing I’ve been waking up for in the morning. It’s my only way out.
Will I use Boris for his equipment until I get everything on tape? Well, this is something I’m considering. Except I can’t stand the way he kisses. Oh, and he dumps me first. Minor detail.
I almost start plummeting into the familiar arms of depression. But, I refuse to go down that path any longer. I come up with an idea. I wake up suddenly at 3AM and Vito is staring at me as if to say, “Do it to it.”
I call up Rob in the morning. He’s confused. “Wait, you want to crash weddings to find another videographer who will shoot your web series?”
“Yeah, Rob. It’ll be fun. We’ll get some free drinks. Schmooze. You never know.”
“Not every wedding videographer wants to be a filmmaker.”
“Oh, EVERY wedding videographer wants to be a filmmaker.”
“Well, I’m not doing anything later. I don’t have any gas in my car, though.”
“I’ve got you.”
And so, later in the evening, I’m wearing the same gown I wore to my brother’s wedding, and Rob is wearing the dark suit he wore to his father’s funeral. It’s a little too somber for the occasion, but it’s better than his Styx t-shirt. I do some research and find two weddings that I think would be suitable. One is at the Westbury Manor and the other is at the Huntington Town House. I decide on the former, because the latter is where I had my Bat Mitzvah.
I must admit it feels very uncomfortable to walk in and respond in a mumble to the woman at the door that we are part of the wedding party upstairs and just stepped out for a cigarette. I hate lying, but it’s do or die at this point. We eventually find ourselves at cocktail hour amidst a bunch of Irish people celebrating their friend’s second marriage. The whole idea of crashing a wedding and having a free drink while lying through every conversation is kind of exhilarating… Until I spot the videographer. A gun-for-hire who enjoys drinking more than I do. A professional poker player who’s just doing this because he said he would for a friend. When I try talking film to him, he thinks I’m hitting on him and makes an excuse about getting to the reception hall. So, not every wedding videographer wants to be a filmmaker.
I suggest to Rob that we leave. We end up at a typical Long Island diner. Rather than admit defeat, I immerse myself in plate of fried clams, a personal favorite.
“Why don’t you ask Lisa Bukowski? Her brother is a professional cameraman.”
I swallow my clam slowly and look at Rob. “Lisa Bukowski used to make fun of me. She made fun of my jeans because they weren’t Jordache. She was a fucking-bi….”
“She probably forgot all that. Everybody gets older, fatter. No one cares anymore.”
“What about me?”
“You wanna get your show done, right?” Rob says with raised eyebrows. I go into silence for the next ten minutes. I feel like ordering a chocolate milk.
“Jesus f-ing Christ. Life is full of challenges, isn’t it?” I burst out.
“Yes, it is,” Rob responds.
The next day I reach out to Lisa Bukowski on Facebook. She actually responds nicely. With her brother’s phone number. And she friend-requests me. Out of obligation I accept. And I see in her pictures that she looks old. Older than me. HA.
Her brother finally calls me back three days later apologizing for the delay. He doesn’t care if I’m wearing Jordache. He’s got a nice camera. And, he’ll do it.
“But, you’ll need ten thousand to do it right for a ten-minute episode,” he says in his Long Island accent.
“I’ll get it,” I say, swallowing hard.
I hang up the phone and look at Vito. He believes in me. And he knows this is our only way back to the city.