Waiting for Lorne

By Nate Waggoner

“You okay?”

“What?”

“I think you have the same meeting as me.”

“Yeah.”

“Guy sure takes his time, man.”

“It’s a fuckin’ power move. He tells you to come in one time, he makes you wait three hours. So you can bask in his holy fear.”

“You’re really stressin’.”

“And you’re not?”

“What’s the worst that could happen? My life is pretty good. I love my wife, I play the same six clubs every month. I tell jokes for a living. I used to sell crack! And I was not good at it! I think of myself as persuasive, charismatic, but then I remember that. Who has a difficult time selling crack cocaine?”

“That’s good, that’s funny.”

“So I figure, I meet the guy, he doesn’t like me, I just keep going. I can’t but I gotta. Look, I don’t need him. Worst-case scenario.”

“I dunno, man. The worst to me would be if he leaned over and said, ‘Look, everything you’re doing right now, down in the East Village, it’s insignificant.’”

“That’s a good impression. You should do it in the meeting.”

“Thank you, or, or, or what if– guys like that always have these fuckin’ little tests they put you through, right? So what if it’s like, he offers me some gum or something, and– is it rude to take it, is it rude not to take it?”

“You’re gonna do great.”

“He’s probably just using me to leverage someone else.”

“Yeah, but you’re the guy he used.”

“Lord have mercy. Not that there is one.”

“What’s your act like?”

“I just get up there and try to tell the fuckin’ truth, man. I mean, these corporations lie to you every single day… I know how ridiculous I sound, okay? In here? I dunno. What kind of stuff do you do?”

“I have an animal trainer who imagines the animals being mean to him, I have a spaceman who sexually harrasses the aliens…”

“I can appreciate that, man. I get it. I mean you obviously have a certain rhythm, an energy…”

“Okay.”

“I guess I just—I’ve always been in this room. Y’know? I got married in here, divorced. I was doing coke with Sam Kinison in an alley and I was in this room.”

“I have never seen myself as being in this room until I was in this room. Even after I was invited it was like, not real.”

“But you always have been in this room.”

“Then our time in the room has been different. And I’d take yours over mine any time.”

“No, I know. Yeah. No, I’m sorry. So, so what about you? You’ve gotta have fears, neuroses…”

“I look at it like… I’m successful now but I’m not saving. Relatively successful. And if I got this I could maybe do movies or a sitcom. And I could destroy myself and take too many drugs, or get trapped in a weird sex dungeon somewhere.”

“Alright!”

“Just, I have to live there now, and someone’s feeding me cereal and jerking off.”

“Cereal!”

“But that’s not even what I’m afraid of, man, you know? Because I know, ultimately, I can do something about that. To prevent it or get out of it.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Like, to me, what if I have all that success and then something– I can’t describe it. Something just comes from out of nowhere and tries to obliterate me? Speeding towards me, more powerful than me through no fault of my own. Just a larger being. An entity that was built—! To be unstoppable. And it just lays me the fuck out.”

“Yeah man.”

“Where is he? What the fuck is he doin’ in there?”

“Doesn’t matter.”

“Ah, it’s not so bad.”

 

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Nate Waggoner

Nate Waggoner / About Author

Nate Waggoner's work has appeared in the Barrelhouse blog, Electric Literature's Okey-Panky, The Hard Times, Paste, The New York Observer, the Loose Lips parody anthology from Grand Central Publishing, Willamette Week, and KQEDPop. His first novel, Dilettantes and Heartless Manipulators, is available from Snow Goose Press. He is editor-in-chief at The Tusk.

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