LITTLE PRICK is a little different. It did make the cut in Taking the Stairs
, well, the first half anyways. I dedicate the finished version to Edward Keenan. I was working on this around the time I first met Ed at the Imperial Library Pub on Dundas Street in Toronto around 1998. I doubt he would have known that. I remember a work-in-progress novel that Ed was working on which he was reading from as well. It was cool. Maybe he has that one filed away too?
LITTLE PRICK is set in Toronto, the same era as OUR MAN JIM SWAN. It is a companion piece to TALENT (which made the cut in Taking the Stairs
) and which received some kind words from Saturday Night's then fiction editor, Robert Weaver. If you have been to Toronto and walked along Bloor and peered into Holt Renfrew then you might imagine the setting. Why the film connection? From 1998-2001 I worked as a gopher on Toronto film sets. Most of this is covered in Taking the Stairs. However this story has its own setting and tone.
Warning. It is quite long, almost 7000 words. (Maybe a reason why it was cut down from the novel as well?) And it has a PG 13 rating.
Rada Fisher didn’t work in film didn’t know Kevin Derkinson
from Adam and didn’t have any idea that Kevin was a lowly PA running coffees
for a production company that specialized in commercials and rock videos in the
city. Rada Fisher was an attractive woman of twenty-seven with long legs and
penchant for playing with the ends of her hair when she changed mannequins in
the windows of the Bloor Street clothing store. Kevin passed her nearly everyday as me made his way to the subway at Yonge and Bay, near the home he shared with an older man, a mathematics professor at the
University of Toronto.
If Kevin’s mother was to speak
for him, she would say that Kevin had a huge crush on Rada and would talk
of glowing terms of ‘this girl’ he kept talking about. Kevin’s mother
would talk of boys and girls in the same slightly pleased but telling tone that
said, ‘when you have suffered a great pain and you remember that pain, then you
are no longer a girl but a woman.’ She would smile at Kevin and she would water the plants and the retire to the balcony after
work where she would smoke a cigarette. She would then stand out there
with her arms folded across her chest on the balcony, flicking ash over the
Kevin asked Rada to a Chinese restaurant because he wanted to be as far away
from Bloor Street and the trendy restaurants on Queen and anywhere where he
might run into his mother or anyone in film. When Rada showed up at the table she seemed a
little shy but she smiled and her smile was warm and she sat down beside him in
a very easy manner.
She said, running her finger down the menu. “It’s been ages since I’ve had
too,” said Kevin.
Rada said the words with her eyes opening wider and wider, “Hmmm. So which dish...”
my wish?” Smiled Kevin.
“What?” Asked Rada.
me,” he said. "I have a habit of finishing people's sentences."
Rada eyed him up as if he was testing her.
Nevermind, she thought.
said Rada. She closed the menu and replied crisply. “Do they have any Dim Sum?“
Kevin looked around.
“Oh.” said Rada, her voice raising. “I don’t know...”
to say?” said Kevin.
Rada stood her fork up on the table and tipped it forward and leaned it back again intently. She looked at Kevin.
Finished Kevin his eyes fixed on hers.
“Oh, Rada.” Thought Kevin.
Rada had that look in her eye which made Kevin feel like
she might kiss him very hard and then get up and never come
back to the table. There was a little mischief in her eyes.
“What are you thinking?” She then said leaning forwards on her
elbows in a way that sounded like she was interested in him or else was not
interested in him but knew of the uncertain territory in between, a mind field of the heart some might say.
“Are you OK, Kevin?”
“Absolutley fine.” Said Kevin.
“Then why are you not eating?”
“Am I not eating?”
Kevin looked down at his plate. A lot of work to do.
“I'm enjoying listening to you.”
during the meal Kevin felt compelled to call his best
friend, Mark Billings who also worked as a production assistant in the film
business. Kevin was clearly caught up in the moment drunk on Rada’s beauty,
drunk on the thought that she was knowledgeable about food and about the
cultures of China and that she liked to read and debate and that she cared
little for people who were rude or who were loud and obvious and her idols were
the people, like Martin Luther King, and Anais Nin, women and men of passion
who had made a difference in the world. Of course Kevin knew first impressions were lasting impressions and so he made his way to pay phone near the bathroom to
call his friend, Mark Billings.
held his hand over the receiver,
Kevin found himself rushing as he spoke. “Mark,”
he said, “You’ll never guess who I’m to dinner with. You’ll never guess who I
“Who?” Replied Mark, metallically. He seemed tired to Kevin and slightly
disinterested, though Kevin was feeling a little giddy and a little panic stricken and he knew
that Mark had just come back from an eight day frozen food shoot.
“The window dresser! The one I always talk about all the
“Window dresser?” This time Mark’s voice picked up. ”You’re
out with the window dresser? ”
“Yeah-ah” said Kevin.
“Did you get her name, Kevin. I do remember you talking
about this woman but what’s the window dressers name, Kevin?”
realized at that moment as he heard Mark yawn on the other end of the phone
that there were times when he was unable to figure out whether or not his best
friend was making fun of him and this thought –at this very moment – got the
better of him.
“The window dresser's name is Rada Fisher,” said Kevin smartly. ”and she is all of
“Rada Fisher?” Mark repeated the words just slowly enough to make
Kevin feel alarmed. “Why does that name ring a bell? Rada Fisher?”
Kevin found his skin tighten at the corners of his mouth.
“It does sound familiar doesn’t it? “Rada Fisher?!!”
Mark said the name again, more slowly, more carefully.
“Hold on. I know, I know!
Does this Rada Fisher have dark hair and a mole off to the side of her nose a
Kevin thought for a moment: a mole would have been something
that he would have noticed right away though he would have called it a beauty
spot, rather than a mole. But still. He had detected a strange irregularity in
Rada’s skin as they had been eating and though he considered this fairly bad
form Kevin had made a mental note of this.
“I knew there was something about that girl...” Mark
said and each word was like a tiny little probe being twisted under Kevin's nails.
“I’m sure that’s the same Rada Fisher who used to go with a
friend at Senior Strachan – Charlie Fullerton.”
“Senior Strachan has an excellent reputation.” Replied Kevin
in a slightly alarmed voice.
“Yes but schools with excellent reputations usually house
students going through a very difficult time.” Said Mark, yawning again.
“Rada hasn’t been through a difficult time! She went to
Strachan on a scholarship.”
“Scholars at private school are easily corrupted by rich
kids going through a difficult time. I don’t know if you remember Charlie
“No, but I bet you do,” said Kevin and he could hear the bristle on his
freshly shaven face, the tiny little dark points of hair on his chin causing
static on the phone that he was speaking into.
“Charlie Fullerton, when he was eighteen, had a problem with
women. His father was an ex-cop in the surveillance business who set up an
office in Taiwan, Korea, and then Thailand when Charlie was small. Charlie was
brought up by a bunch of nannies and oriental women – whom as he got older – he
realized were not actually house servants but involved with his father, who
divorced Charlies’ mother when Charlie was two. When Charlie came back to Toronto when he was thirteen, none
of the parents wanted him near their children because he was too familar with women.”
“That sounds sad.” Said Kevin. “How old is this guy – what’s-his-face - Charlie Fullerton?”
“Mid-thirties now.” Said Mark.
“Well Rada’s no more than twenty two, twenty three. What did
he do troll the nursery schools so that he could date three year olds?”
“Charlie went out with Rada four five years ago. The
thing about Rada Fisher...” Kevin noticed that Mark was now whispering, “is
that she looks, really, really young.”
Kevin put the receiver into his hand. As he held it he
started to imagine that little pin prick mole on Rada’s face getting larger and spreading across her ‘young’ face. These were the thoughts he had at
this time, this terrible time, the thought that the small red mole was one
single, red, grain-sized dot in a larger red nasty syphilitic rash that could
easily mutate and grow and bubble and make a goblin of his nose and moonscape
of his cheeks and god know what down below to that little twisted pumpkin
handle down below his plumbing.
There! It had come out, this terrible mean harsh inner
ballast that he tried to hide inside what he tried
never to show and in a way never admit about himself the simple truth of the
fact that he was nothing but a bitter, mean, curmudgeonly little prick.
Kevin found himself staring at the receiver of the phone. “I
have to go.” Said Kevin.
He let the phone hang there.
He was sure, but then he wasn’t
so sure, that he had heard his friend Mark Billings say,
“Just kidding, Buddy.”
Kevin stared at the phone. The receiver swung back and
forth. Back and forth. No way. No way in hell was he going to call Mark
On the way back to the table Kevin noticed that his pager
went off. He looked at the number on the display. It read 537 - 4606 - Mark
Billings number. He immediately turned the pager off and put the pager in his
upper breast pocket. He was immediately pleased with himself. pleased that he
had not bought a pager that beeped or buzzed or would indicate in any way that
there was a any person in this world that went by the name of Mark Billings.
When Kevin came back to the table, Rada had her compact in
her palm. She was applying mascara meticulously an act which slightly alarmed
Kevin, as when he had first met her his first impression of her had been that
she looked like a natural beauty who didn’t need to cake her
face with mud and paint.
“You don’t mind if I put on a
little liner, do you Kevin?”
Rada put the compact back into the case. “I feel
naked without a little eyeliner.”
“It doesn’t bother me," Said Kevin as he watched Rada’s eyes
widen and and the lines in the corner of them crinkle a bit.
“Go ahead. Put on all the mascara you could want!”
Rada smirked at him and Kevin was suddenly consumed by the
feeling that this person was now someone other than he had thought.
“I have this spot,” Rada leaned forwards, pointing at her
word when Kevin heard it made his head feel light and his skin feel warm and
his vision blur till all he could see were circles, growing wider slowly and
spinning. When the spinning slowed he found himself in a room that smelled of Javex near stalls with creaking doors near a sink that was dripping – drip, drip,
drip – into a bluey, little spot in the basin. The mirrors near the sink were
sprayed with graffitti and above them was a little rectangular box, rusted in
the corners that had a red faded placard inside it inscribed with: THEY COME IN
ALL SIZES. JUST CHOOSE ONE! Then a
board, a dart board and it was covered in tiny white tissues. Then he imagined
several dainty tiptoeing women in dresses attaching to the dartboard more little
signs that read: Itchiness. Flaking. Coughing. Fever. Finally, a dark
black sign posted in bright red letters this sign: THE AFFLICTED PATIENT WILL
EXPERIENCE THE COMPLETE LOSS OF USE AND ULTIMATELY THE INTEGRITY OF SAID
MEMBER, WHICH IN OTHER WORDS MEANS THE WATER HOSE WILL LIKELY TURN BLACK, IMPLODE AND/OR SHATTER on CONTACT. All of this anxiety, terror, and panic from
one little word. Spot.
"Spot?" Said Kevin, “I hardly noticed, Rada. I hardly noticed that
you had a spot."
“A mole,” said Rada, “I think of it as a mole, a late-life
mole that has come and now won’t go. “ She leaned forwards,
“Can I tell you something, Kevin?”
There it was the spinning again.
She was about to confess. No, No, No.... He had to ask her
He had to ask her about Charlie, this must be the same girl,
the same Rada Fisher who had he had seen in the window months before and who
had smiled at him in such a pleasant and warm and charming way and he had
thought to himself: here is a girl that won’t make the same mistakes my own
mother made. Here is a girl that doesn’t expect to get burned by men or that
life will leave her without any money or prospects...
“Did you ever...” Started Kevin.
“See the Northern lights in the middle of the summer on a
lake in northern Ontario, with the sky like charcoal and smouldering fires and
little beaver damns, seen from the distance that look like the birds nests...?” finished Rada smiling.
“I wasn’t going to ask you that.” Replied Kevin.
“Yes but wasn’t it fun?”
“Yes. It wasn’t awful," said Kevin. And as he paid the bill he
began to think that everything was okay again.
They were outside in the foyer.
“It’s so cold” Shivered Rada, and Kevin smiled at her. He
handed her his jacket and spread it around her shoulders. "Would you like to go
“I’d love to go for desert?”
Tar - tu - fo.” Rada said the words slowly. “Only - if - you
Kevin looked at Rada incredulously.
“I can’t believe you said that.” He said. He smiled. “It
sounded so rehearsed.”
“Believe it.” said Rada. “Believe it Kevin. A girl is
entitled to a little...”
“Cheese?” Asked Kevin.
"Fun, I was thinking," said Rada eyes widening.
Kevin could smell her just then, smell the garlic and the
exotic vegetables from the meal.
“Can I ask you something?” asked Kevin.
“You can ask me anything you want,“ said Rada.
For a second Kevin was distracted by 'the mole.'
“How old are you?”
”You can ask me anything but that, “ Said Rada getting into
the cab. “A girl is entitled to a little mystery surely, Kevin.”
“A lady you mean. “ Said Kevin.
“Whatever, " said Rada.
took the cab all the way to College Street where everybody, nearly everybody
that was anybody - worked in film. Kevin suggested the Danforth but Rada
had insisted on College Street, because a new dessert shop had opened and she
had been given an invitation by
her hair dresser, a short sexy man, Miguel, who had visited the clothing store
days before and bought from her a tight pair of black Calvins. Rada had
squeezed his hand in the back of the cab. “The secret to great Tartufo,” She
had smiled, “is that it is made with a little brie.”
“I see.” Said Kevin, looking at her fingers and then her
eyes, slowly panning down towards that mole, that little red mole.
“Are you looking at my spot, Kevin?”
was something about Rada’s response that made Kevin think that this was all
suddenly fun, a simple date with a pretty girl who was everything she
seemed so Kevin, not thinking of the spot at all, stared past it and at the
desert tray, at the little cherries on top of the black forest chocolate cake
there and he smiled at her.
“I was looking at the cherries on the Black Forest
cake. The maraschino cherries that cap the Black Forest cake.”
“Ewwww.” Scowled, Rada. I hate those things – they stain your
tummy red, forever.
“Forever.” Replied Kevin folding his hands in front of
The reason Kevin wasn’t alarmed was because this wasn’t a
popular restaurant with film types everywhere, the ‘meeds’ as he liked to call
them: those poor lackeys who had had the rare wanderlust of their original
dream of making great cinema sucked out of them, so that despite their
achievements in commercial film and television they were
simply beaten; they looked like stylish cadavers, near death anyway, like
Nureyev had looked when he was nearly dead, paraded round for the world to see
with strained faces, and sad defiance and the crushing cruelty of having nothing left to give; worse
still, the ‘needs’: those who were
slightly nervous and self aware staring round at who just walked into the bar,
because they’d just wrapped a blue cheese or American soup commercial a day or
two before, and perhaps a few extras who might like to them gab with them might come in till someone more famous or more important came in.
the cafe Kevin ordered a mineral water for himself and a cassis for Rada who
walked by the bartender slowly and laid her fingers on the top paneling of the
freshly polished bar and swept a beer mat off the counter, and turned it this
way and then that inspecting it; she then eyed the bartender for ever such a
slight second that he was caught, frozen polishing his glass; she then glided
towards the washroom, sliding the compact back out of her purse as she went
along. Even though Kevin hated the way men watched after women when they
passed, he still found himself watching Rada watching the backs of her legs
that were so long and suddenly muscular at the calves.
"Legs like fingers." He
said as he stared at his own fingers, "Legs like fingers that pointed at him and
said: You are a lucky devil aren’t you?”
Or are you?
In the doorway just then Kevin caught a glimpse. It was just
a glimpse but enough of an affirmation just then for him to think everything
was now going to run to ruin and that the cheese in the cheesecake would spoil,
the juice would sour and the coffee would be so bitter it would burn his tongue
and his lips.
young man - mid thirties - had a moustache, wasn’t particularly handsome, but
had a wildness in his eyes, a slight tremble in his gait that made the whole room look his way, though he wasn’t tall and the place was packed with many far better looking and interesting than him. Kevin noticed him for it not so much for the fact
that he was clearly a man who liked the ladies but more because, he knew how
to wear colours that suited him, and which made his cheeks glow and eyes shine and say,
"I’ll charm the pants off you now while the girls still think that men are
alright, before we’re off galloping down the stairs." Or something like that.
this guy in the doorway made Kevin tense immediately.
There was another thing as well, another thing besides having that damned
ladies man aura. His name was Jimmy,
Jimmy Tim and owned a film company, called The Jimmy Tin Can Film Company and had, numerous times directed videos and commercials on shoots on
which Kevin was a production assistant. Kevin recognized two things
about him when he had worked with him on set: Jim Tin didn’t like men much, was
known to be a little tense when other men were around and most importantly was
especially adept and making himself seem less powerful than he was. Kevin noticed when Jimmy
directed he had his assistant director bully the troups while he went for chats with the
agency people and when he went for a walk in the park where all the film
company types went for walks after a shoot, he took his old suffering German Shephard, not the young sleek Doberman and Kevin saw the way that people flocked to him, wearing
jeans and a sweater and smiling meekly and ingratiatingly.
Kevin tried to avert his eyes, but it was no good. Jimmy Tin
saw him, saw him seconds before Rada Fisher came bustling back through the
bathroom door, twisting at the clasps of her purse and for a split second Jimmy
had made a slight gesture towards Kevin, because he recognized Kevin, though he
wasn’t exactly sure from where and so had smiled and played safe, made his way
towards the bar first. But then at the bar, another glance a quick over the
shoulder stare and everything changed, a cognition of sorts, a turn of the lip,
a setting back down on the pint on the bar again, a quick rabble with the
bartender and Jimmy Tin understood that this familar young man's face matched that of
the poor devil who had once been yelled at by the second assitant director on a car
commercial because his tense face could be seen in the background of the shot
to all the agency people watching the shot in the video monitor.
"Get that fucking little prick out of the picture would you!" Shouted The Assistant Director.
"And tell him to put his pager back in his pants."
There was a blank look on Kevin's face, but he pulled it back, as quickly as he could.
Rada sat down beside Kevin and pulled a spoon from the
sleeve of his sweater, which had stuck there.
“Thank you, “ said Kevin, removing the spoon. He scratched a
bit of fluff from the edge.
“Do you want to go someplace else?”
“No,” said Rada, slowly panning the room, “I think the place
you chose is perfect.
“I feel ill.” Kevin held his stomach. He sipped some water.
“I find the coffee they serve bitter.”
"Try some tea, then,” said Rada, snapping her fingers at the
waiter who hovered by them, “try some herbal tea.”
“I don’t mean to sound rude, “ Kevin’s eyes were at his
plate and he couldn’t seem to raise them, “But I’d really rather just go
“Yes, home. It is not a disaster if I go home?” He now had
Rada’s attention which is what he wanted. Rada eyed him shrewdly.
“Fine, “ said Kevin, “it’s just a little nausea but it’s
bad enough that I want to go home.”
‘Nerves, “said Rada, holding his hand, “I sometimes have
that affect on men.”
“It’s not you, Rada, it’s me. I just tend to get a little tired sometimes.”
Kevin was still staring at his plate.
“Are you okay?”
“Are you okay, Kevin?”
A shadow, like a dark cloud passed across the table.
Kevin looked up he saw not Rada, but Jim Tin standing there with his thumbs in
the lapels of his warm downy sweater.
right? Kevin Derkison?”
they were all three of them crowded into a booth table. Kevin was holding his
stomach. Rada was leaning forward and Jim tin was scratching away on the table.
‘1414 Wellington Street. Upper floor.” said Jim Tin getting
up from the table, “And don’t forget Kevin, if you want to start production managing we
have one guy who is moving full time into producing. Come to think of it, you
should think seriously about getting, your girl, Rada into the business. Pretty
girl, Kevin. Three, four months she could move from the office onto set maybe
even assistant produce at Tin Can Productions the way we’re going.”
Jim Tin looked one more time at Rada. She smiled, smiled
"Well, see you there.
If you want.”
Rada was quiet for some times as Jim walked away and Kevin
was sure sure as he was sure the camera man always found a pretty girl in a
crowd that he saw Jim Tin reach down with his hand and pat his ass and pull
his sweater up a little from his ass, and tuck it into his pants like a hockey
“Who was that guy?” Asked Rada. “Who was that guy Jimmy
“A very clever businessman,” replied Kevin.
“Do you have cab fare?” Asked Rada, “I would love to go to
At that very minute when Rada had asked
Kevin if he had more money a dollar or two more Kevin felt the terrible loneliness and rage
and fear of being alone, an inexpressible feeling of helplessness that seeped
into his bones that loneliness and terrible fear that had made his mother
lonely, and bitter and had made his father leave his mother, and had made him
sit sometimes for hours in his bed and stare at the walls and think, think
non-stop about life slipping through fingers, his time as a small boy, the
lonely times with his father, his father talking to him impatiently, his father
watching to game, talking of innings and iced tea and beers, and slices of
lemon and the Boston Red Sox and his father was holding the dogs nose and tweaking
the dogs nose so that it cried and when Kevin sat in the
middle rows of the school bus to wearing the same shirt that he had been
wearing before, because his father had forgotten to do the laundry, it made him
think of the lonliness of coming home and hearing his father upstairs with a
woman, a woman from work whom Kevin had known as ‘my ol lady’ because
there was a man on the steps of his apartment, pulling his gloves off his
fingers saying harsh things to Kevin about ‘my ol lady’ how he was going to
take a baseball bat to Kevin's Dad in the same way that old George Scott had
taken a baseball bat to a Rollie fingers pitch in the sixth inning of that game
they had been watching on the telvision between the Oakland A’s and the Boston
Red Sox. There it was for Kevin, just twenty seven two decades after the
fact. Suddenly Kevins breath tuned sour, his heart went hard and all the
lonliness and emptiness of his life made sense why his mother was alone, and
why he found it so difficult to talk to people on set and why his father was
now in the states somewhere working for a man who sold factory parts to traders
from Moscow and Winnipeg and Sioux City Iowa and there was blackness at the
very pit of Kevin’s reason to be a blackness that said to him, no matter what,
you have been burned, your past has been charred by misery and unhappiness and
you have pretended that these goblins do not live in you when in fact they flourish in
you, live and breed in your darkest regions and manifest themselves in yoour darkest core you little miserable prick.
“If you will give me one minute please, “ Said Kevin, and he
made his way, swiftly to the bathroom. He looked in the mirror, smoother his
hair over to the side and breathed into the glass in the mirror and wrote the
words: Life is hell! He then took two loonies out of his pocket, and purchased
with the remaining change from the evening, a single reinforced condom. He
looked at the condom, pinched it and rubbed it between his fingers as if he was
worried some ointment might leak out of it and then he took the condom and put
it in a little crease in his jeans, the little crease in his jeans where the
pocket was, a little pocket that was the perfect size of a condom.
“I was thinking, Kevin,” said
Rada as Kevin paid the waiter, “I was being inconsiderate; if you’re feeling
sick, we don’t have to go. It’s just a party. I’ve been to plenty of parties.”
“Oh no. Jim
Tin doesn’t throw parties, Rada” said Kevin, “Jim Tin, throws an event.”
you sure?” asked Rada.
sure a I’ll ever be.” said Kevin, pinching the condom in his jeans.
could hear the drone of the techno from the parking lot where they stood, under
iron stairs with a woman and boy above sharing a cigarette. “What exactly is
this place, Kevin?”
“A studio it looks like,“ said Kevin, “and it looks like it
opens up onto the roof.”
“I love the open city at night don’t you Kevin. I love the
way the colours blur into one another.”
Looking at Rada, her smile and her clear blue eyes, Kevin
wanted to explain to Rada that he felt jaded by the city and pretty much
everything that was supposed to be fun and that he got great joy from simple
things like walking down quiet alleyways and staring at the architecture from
the back and from doing crossword puzzles on Sunday afternoon and from watching
people in the subway, but he rather felt that this would be lost on Rada and
now that he knew her better she would like say something like “totally, Kevin,
I totally know what you mean!” while she made her way up the stairs. That
would just placate him while she rushed ahead to get closer to the party.
“I guess,” said Kevin instead following her up the stairs.
They all look like snakes,
thought Kevin, they all look like snakes in a room in room for snakes, just
laying there watching everything glazed eyes, tongues flickering, slithering
here and there. Kevin felt the poison of the place as he walked in though there
were a few revellers still enjoying the nights spoils but the parts was dying
now, the smell of the party was stale chips and booze and the music on the CD
had probably played a few times before. “Go your own way,” played over and over and
over n the stereo.
“It seems like the party is dead," said Kevin.
“Dead?” Asked Rada, “How can you say dead. We’re here. How
can the party be dead?” Rada went forwards pushing doors open, and tittering at
people in rooms making out till she opened a couple of doors and she stumbled
“Come in.” Said Jim Tin lying back on the bed, he patted a
couple of pillows and released an admirer from his lap. “Why don’t you come it
take a hit on the one hitter?”
“I don’t smoke, “ said Kevin tensely.
“What kind of smoke is it?” Asked Rada.
“Easy smoke.” Said Jim Tin.
Rada lay back on Jim Tin’s bed. Pinched the toke between her
She looked up pouting. “Are you sure Kevin?”
“I’m sure, “ said Kevin.
Rada closed her eyes. Inhaled. “Oh Yah.” She said as she lay
back on the bed and looked at the ceiling.
“Well.” said Jim Tin putting his hands on the edge of the
bed... “I’m up to change the music.”
lay beside Rada for some time. There was music now, other music, newer music,
“Why don’t you smoke, Kevin.” Rada lay on the bar her eyes
“Smoking nauseates me, “ said Kevin.
“Food, smoking. Everything seems to nauseate you, Kevin.”
“It is because of the film business. Because of the film
busines everything nauseates me. It’s not a nice business, Rada.”
“Whats not nice about it?
"Its like a war. The producer has all the fire power and the
director is the cunt who acts on his orders and mows everybody down. Everybody
is a casualty. Even the writer is a causalty in film. And he's the one who comes up with the ideas.”
“I don’t get you Kevin.” said Rada. “You earn your living
from film, don’t you?”
“I make money from film but I’m basically owned.” said
Kevin. ‘While I’m on set, I’m basically owned.”
“When I window dress, I’m owned,” Countered Rada.
“It’s different,” said Kevin.
“You don’t have a pager, “ said Kevin.
“Nevermind.” said Kevin.
He looked at his own pager. It read: 537-4606. His pager
meant on thing to him just then. His pager meant to him: Mark Billings.
Kevin had another thought. Kevin thought about that word
again. Spot. He couldn’t get it out of his head. Spot.
Jim Tin was in the doorway. There was smoke there. Smoky
“Kevin, can I show you something?” Said Jim Tin, smiling
though in a distracted way. Kevin looked at Rada leaning back on the bed saw
the look, the glint of desire that flickered there.
Kevin got right up off the bed.
“You can show me whatever you want,” said Kevin.
They were both in the kitchen.
“Are you getting enough work, Kevin?”
“I work constantly,” replied Kevin, “Too much actually.”
“What direction are you going in?” Jim Tin glanced over
Kevin’s shoulder, kept his tone sedate, “Camera, sound, production managing?”
Kevin knew this was going to sound bad, but he said it
“Writing and Directing, actually.”
“You want to write – and direct, Kevin?” Jim Tin’s eyes widened.
“Just small stuff, “ replied Kevin, “Personal projects, documentaries,
that type of thing.”
“Do you have a crew, Kevin? Do you have a crew lined up?”
“I’m working on it,” replied Kevin.
“I could help you...” Jim Tins voice went lower and they
walked into the hallway.
“Really?" Kevin Replied. “How so?”
“Are you guys actually, you know?”
“Not really,” Replied Kevin, absently (as if this too, was rehearsed) “No!”
“Would you mind if I,” Jimmy Tin made side to side movement
with his hands “You know, move in?
“I don’t mind at all,” Kevin replied, “Why would I mind? I
hardly know the girl.”
“Actually she looks like a kind of serious bitch,” Jim Tin added, “I like
“Is she really your type?”
“Actually, no she’s not.” Added Kevin.
“Think of this as thanks.” Said Jimmy.
Kevin looked in his palm.
“Who knows she might tell me to go fuck myself, later on.”
“She’s doesn’t swear much.” Said Kevin. Looking at his hand.
Kevin looked at the little pin that Jim Tin gave him. It
read. IN THE CAN PRODUCTIONS. CALL ME!
“Keep me in mind,” Winked Jim Kevin, "This new company
is going to really take off.”
Kevin was in the bathroom. He looked in the mirror, saw
himself as two people really, a decent lad, a good son to his lonely mother, a
responsible hardworking, reasonably likeable chap but also saw himself as the sour, bitter
little, man who did only what was required of him and had a palour about him
that was all gloom and doom. He liked that about himself.
Kevin pulled out the package, pulled out the package and
then put it back again, out in out in out in over and over again.
Finally he took the condom package and took the pin that Jim
tin had given him, the pin that read: IN THE CAN. He took that pin and pulled
the sharp point of it outwards and stuck it into the condom package. He did it
once, twice, and then a third time, lad dee dah.
“Deal, Jim, “ Said Kevin as he came out of the bathroom and
shook Jim's hand and exchanged the condom with him.
“What are you doing,” Rada asked him as he leaned past her
on the bed.
“Collecting my things and calling a cab,” Said Kevin.
“What about us?"
“You're in good hands." Kevin smiled and he hopped down the stairs.
“But I like you Kevin!”
“Then prove it!” Replied Kevin, turning.
Rada just watched him.
In the cab, Kevin sat in the back seat and chewed gum in his
mouth. He then inhaled sharply, smiled and watched the cabbie eyeing him and
popped that bubble with a pin.
Labels: extras, Film Sets, John Stiles, short stories, taking the stairs, Talent, Toronto