Today was Sunday, so that meant I mostly just did the Sunday crossword and went to my weekly writing group. This is what I came up with there:
He took another sip of his whiskey, then told her politely to go to hell.
“I know you think you’re helping, Rachel,” he told her, “but your kind of help, we really don’t need.”
“You don’t have to be such an ass about it, Jim,” she said. “And it’s not your decision anyway. If Justin wants to bring me on board, then that’s between him and me.”
“On the contrary,” Jim said, swirling the last few dregs at the bottom of his glass, then reaching again for the bottle. “It’s between him, you, and the investors. And it’s my job to make sure the investors doesn’t start looking for reasons to walk.”
“You’re saying the producers don’t like me.”
“The producers hate you and everything you stand for.” He tested the contents of his refilled glass and smiled. “I thought that much was understood. But I’m talking about higher up, the people actually financing the damn film.”
“You mean my mother.”
“Among others, but yes.”
Rachel sighed. So again it came down to this.
“Save me a glass of that, would you,” she said.
He poured the whiskey and handed her the glass. She stared at it for a moment, saying nothing, as if willing some argument to rise from whatever rotgut it was that Jim Gilbert was drinking these days. Then she downed the glass.
“Look,” she said, “I’m not my mother, and yes, clearly, if she finds out I’m working with you, she’ll take her money and her friends somewhere else. But I think I could be a valuable addition to Justin’s film crew.”
Now it was Jim’s turn to sigh. “I understand why you think that,” he said, “and Justin’s obviously fond of you. But I’m going to say it again: we don’t need your help. And if you think you can force yourself in, you can definitely go to — ”
“I can help you find Hoffman,” she said. “I know where he is.”
“Hoffman’s a myth.”
“He’s what Justin’s film is all about. Justin doesn’t think he’s a myth. And neither, I should tell you, does my mother.”
“And you’re saying you know where he is? The world’s spent thirty years trying to figure out if he’s even real and you’ve found him?”
She grinned. “Yes.”
“Then maybe we have something to talk about after all.”
I’ve been reading William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition recently, and really enjoying it. This is decidedly not that, but I can see the (or at least feel) the influence.