A few weeks ago I returned to the East Coast and gathered with a group of old friends in a rented home in the New Hampshire ski country. This is a bi-annual event where for a long weekend my high school buddies and I can get away from whatever might need getting away from. One of those friends has spent the last twenty some years in Hollywood, first as an actor and now as a writer. Because of a particularly spectacular pilot he wrote a few years back, for some time now Chris has been this close to the kind of immediate and jarring success only possible in Hollywood. Though work is forbidden at these getaways, Chris explained that at an appointed time he would have to excuse himself to make a phone pitch to a powerful producer.
The hour arrived and Chris took the call outside on the wide lawn that stretched from the ground floor to the surrounding forest. I watched from the picture windows as he paced the lawn in the blazing summer sun, pacing and gesturing and talking, and I thought that this producer was not going to be particularly interested in this idea of his. So it turned out to be. She was still interested in his original pilot, however, and would be seeing what she could do with it – as others had before, though none quite as powerful as she. I knew my friend was disappointed. The original pilot felt a bit used up, good as it was, and it’s never fun to have someone say no.
The last night of our getaway a thunderstorm rolled in over the mountains. We stood on the deck and watched as it descended on us. There was barely time to get inside from the moment the first drops struck to when the deluge began. It was a magnificent display, and we grown men stood at the windows as if we’d never seen rain before.
Soon a figure appeared on the lawn. It was Chris, hopping about in the downpour. It was a thunderstorm, and I found myself worrying that he might get struck by lightning. I’m certainly glad he didn’t, though I wondered if perhaps that wasn’t what he’d been hoping for all along.
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You can find Bill at: williamkenower.com