So boring right? Just lying here waiting for the fever to break. Tick…tick…tick… If I had the energy, I’d turn off the clock that’s being so rude, but no. I’d rather not use all my energy just for that.


My mother’s convinced I have malaria.

“Oh my God, Alice, you have it. A mother knows these things!”

“Mom, relax. It’s just the flu.”

I hear my mother through the phone forcefully tapping the Capri Ultra Light box on her wrist, preparing for a fresh and longer lasting cigarette.

“Not when you spent two months in India! Hold on, the dog just knocked down the television—”

I hear screaming, shattering and catastrophic banging. Being exposed to this kind of thing since early childhood has made me numb to it. I place the phone down and check my email. Finally an audition. I haven’t had an audition in three weeks, so opening this I almost feel resentful, but then see it’s for a horror film and relax. Still dreaming of playing the girl who runs upstairs where the killer is keeps me dreaming.

“Now who’s this director you keep talking about?” My mother has returned, panting.

“I’m crazy about him, mom; he’s brilliant.” I notice a rush of electric heat flowing through my bones at the mere thought of Jon.

I sit up and catch a glance of myself in the vertical mirror I bought from a garage sale that leans against the wall. My mother might be right. I look like I have malaria. My skin’s whiter than my down comforter, lips-pale violet, and my blonde eyebrows are invisible. I’m relieved Jon doesn’t see me like this. It’s too early for reality.

“Mom. This is going to sound weird, but I think I wrote about him last ye—”

“Jessica!” My mother shouts at my little sister who I’m presuming just got home from class and walked straight into the bathroom, without saying hi. She continues loudly as I hear an inhale of the Capri:

“What are you doing in the bathroom for so long? You better not be eating Comet!”

My mother’s still obsessed with that new reality show Strange Addictions, and is now paranoid my little sister is ingesting household cleaners out of boredom.

“Mom, back to Jon.”

“Yes dear, yes. Jon. Go on about Jon, the director. Is he homeless?”

“How’d you know? I handed him a dollar yesterday by some trash cans and fell in love.”

I hang up to nap, but can’t. The image of his scruffy facial hair and fierce eyes and attentive nature and creative intellect won’t go away. I watched a few movies he directed over the weekend and can’t get some of the behind-the- scenes images of him in a baseball hat telling people what to do out of my mind. I’ve gone pathetic I think.

So — the darn clock continues tick…tick…tick… as I think about Jon.

And no, I’m still not getting up to turn it off.

Alice can be reached at

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Tales of a Toluca Lake Actress

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