June 3, 2014

A Visit from the Goon Squad

“Josie?” One of CWA’s Spring interns appeared in the doorway of William’s office. I was filing some of William’s emails while he was at lunch. “I can’t figure out how to create new folder thingies,” he’d emailed me, just an hour ago. “You just go to options and click ‘create new folder’,” I wrote back from the group computer in the mailroom. “Can you just do it while I’m out?” he’d written back. I'd said he’d become somewhat self-sufficient since I started the agent trainee program, but for William that still stops shy of a kindergartner's grasp of technology.

I looked up from William’s computer. “Yeah?”

“There’s some people here to see you in the lobby,” she said.

“For me?” I asked. “Are you sure?”

She nodded. “I’m sure.”

I sighed. Occasionally, some desperate, struggling actor will do some Sherlocking on the Internet, find out of the name of an agent’s assistant, and show up unannounced, begging for just five minutes of your boss’ time. This never happened in New York, but it’s happened a handful of times since I've moved to L.A. There is a desperation to the wannabes out here that I've never seen in New York, that I'm experiencing myself. L.A. is shrouded in a veneer of perfection that sharply illuminates the gap between your place in the world and the glittering success of the 1%. It can make you do things, pathetic things, that you never thought you would be capable of doing.

I’m so stressed and overworked that I’ve turned into one of those snobby, smug agent’s assistants that you see on Entourage or something— “William is a lit agent, not a talent agent,” I’ll snap, immediately feeling like a real asshole when I see the disappointment drop down on their faces like a curtain. I’m usually a kinder person! I want to say. This place has expelled it from me.

I locked William’s computer and trudged out of his office, making my way down the hallway and the grand double staircase into the marbled, black and white checkered lobby. CWA’s L.A. offices are stunning—located right in the heart of Beverly Hills in an old stucco mansion, a lush, sprawling courtyard just outside the entrance. “Someone here to see me?” I asked Leandra, the equally stunning receptionist. I like L.A., but I certainly won’t miss how image-driven this town is. CWA’s west coast office hires receptionists from a modeling agency, whereas in New York, it’s perfectly acceptable for even the most gangly-limbed and beak nosed interns to man the front desk. New York celebrates its weirdos, and that's why I love it.

“Waiting in the garden,” Leandra said.

I nodded and headed for the double doors, pushing them open and squinting into the midday sun. It took a second for my eyes to adjust, but when they did, I let out a loud yelp. “Is this real life?”

“I can assure you this jet lag is 100% real,” Nina said, throwing her arms around my neck. She gave me a wet kiss on the cheek and stepped aside so that Ashley could hug me too.

“You guys are insane!” I said. “I told you not to come.”

“Well, I’m glad we ignored you,” Ashley said, “we’ve been here less than four hours and we’ve already had a Ryan Gosling sighting.”

“It totally wasn’t Ryan Gosling,” Nina said.

“You would have seen it was him if you’d stopped sexting Nick for just one minute!” Ashley said.

“Ew, Ashley sexting is so 2012,” Nina said, right as one of the company’s most powerful agents brushed past us.

“Hi, Mr. Holtzman,” I said, meekly, and he gave me a brusque nod.

Nina slapped her hand over her mouth, waiting until he was a safe enough distance away before groaning. “Please tell me I didn’t get you fired.”

“Please,” I said, “at this point it might be a blessing in disguise.”


- -

“So you slept with Peter?” Ashley gasped, dunking a piece of bread into olive oil. To my great surprise, when I told William Nina and Ashley had surprised me, he told me to take the rest of the afternoon off.

“Are you sure?” I’d asked. I hadn’t had a day off since three Sundays ago.

“You deserve it,” William said. “Go. I’ll cover for you.” Then he’d called to the intern who sometimes filled in for me when I was in the mailroom, and told her to make a reservation for three at The Ivy. “And it’s on the company,” William added, before I left his office. William might rub some people the wrong way, but I’ll say this about him—he recognizes and rewards loyalty and hard work.

“Well, technically, yes, we slept together," I said. "I passed out with my tongue in his mouth."

Nina nodded her approval. "Hot."

“Wow,” Ashley said, “you must be really exhausted to have turned down sex with Peter.”

After our kiss on the balcony, Peter and I had made our way to my bed—where I promptly fell asleep in the middle of making out with him (I have no memory of this. Peter filled me in the next morning. Apparently I'm a beastly snorer now too.)

“Or it’s just physical, unquestionable proof that you’re not into him anymore,” Nina said, tartly.

Ashley rolled her eyes. “How can you still be team Richard after everything? He broke up with Josie the night before she left for LA, and now he’s running away, like he always does, without even giving her the courtesy of an explanation or a chance to say goodbye.”

“And how can you still be team Peter after he’s made it clear that his type is young, naive lap dog?” Nina shot back.

“He admitted to Josie that he was wrong to not believe in her”—

“Guys!” I made the time out sign. “Please. This is my first day off in three weeks. This is the first time I’ve seen you in three months. Can we not play who is the bigger douche bag right now?”

Ashley glared at Nina. "Not until she tells you."

I dropped my hands in my lap. "Tells me what?"

"Richard finally wrote back to her Facebook message."

I swiveled to face Nina. "What? What did he say?"

Nina ripped apart a piece of bread, but didn't eat any of it. "He told me he's moving to San Francisco."

San Francisco. I shut my eyes and tried to compose myself before I said anything else. "Did he say why?"

Nina shrugged. "Sort of. Not really. He said there is an opportunity out there but he's not sure if it's his yet and he doesn't want to say anything until he knows for sure." Nina looked at her plate as she continued. "He also said that he didn't want to leave New York, but it was the only way he knew how to make a clean break with his family, and that he wanted to do something that would make him a more worthy boyfriend for you one day."

I made a fist underneath the table, then released it. "He said that?"

Nina looked me right in the eye. "Yeah, he said that. He obviously still loves you."

Ashley cleared her throat. "If he still loved her he would have told her"—

"Ash," I said, sharply.

“Sorry,” she mumbled.

We nibbled on the bread for a few minutes in silence. “Can I at least ask,” Ashley said, eventually, “if you’ve talked to Peter since he spent the night?”

“I haven’t, I said, “but I’m going to. There’s a party to kick off the launch of the new film financing department this week. I’m sure we’ll have a chance to talk there.”

“But what is there to even talk about?” Nina asked. “Do you want to be with him?”

“No,” I said. “I don’t know, maybe. I felt...something...for him last night, that I didn’t think I felt anymore. But I would be an idiot to try and start something with anyone while I’m out here, and not in the right frame of mind. I can’t be trusted to make good decisions when I’m running on fumes.”

Nina nodded, seemingly satisfied. “I think that’s wise.”

“And I think it sounds like a lot of justifying of the very simple fact that you have feelings for Peter again,” Ashley said. Nina opened her mouth to protest but I gave her a look. She shut her mouth, seemed to think for a second, then said, “So what are we going to do after this?”

44 comments:

  1. I love hearing about Josie in LA! I have a feeling Richard will be stopping by to see her on his way to San Fran..

    http://tragedytwentysomething.blogspot.com/

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  2. Am I missing something? Wasn't Zahra suppose to post today? I'm not feeling this post at all. First I'm not comfortable with Nina and her association with Richard. It's all types of sketchy, just like her love for him and Josie to get back together. A real friend wants her friend to be with someone who makes her happy. When has Richard made Josie happy or put her first? He always had a reason for his shitty behavior and made Josie feel sorry for him. Peter was good for Josie but she never told him when she was upset and instead ran to her friends for advice. She was immature then. Who says just because she didn't have sex with him, that she isn't interested anymore. I feel that these past two posts have been underwhelming. Hoping that future posts are more exciting.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe I'm out of line here, but why comment if you just want to express your disappointment? I found this to be a great post.

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    2. You're entitled to your opinion just like the original poster. We don't all have to agree. You think it's great, she didn't. I'll admit, I thought Zahra was starting her story today too. I wished that Jessica would have cleared that up since there were so many questions regarding the new schedule in the comments section of the last post. When will Zahra's story start? Danielle I respect your opinion but what did you like about the post? Your comments offered no reasoning just that you found it to be a good post and that you like reading about Josie in LA. At least the original poster made valid points. I don't know how I feel about these two posts. They give me a different vibe and I don't feel as connected. It could be the three month hiatus. That said, Nina needs to give it up already. We get it you want Josie to be with Richard. Why don't you think about what Josie wants?

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    3. The new schedule starts after Josie's story wraps up. Didn't realize there was confusion...I wax and wane reading comments. Needed to take a break after the vitriol on the post announcing I'd come back May 29th!

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    4. I actually though Jessica was clear on when Zahra was starting so I was expecting the post today.

      To be honest, I don't know how I feel about Nina right now. Something feels weird about how close she is to Richard. I don't think any of my friends were this close with any of my boyfriends...except for the one who was sleeping with him. Just saying....

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    5. Laurie, that's great that you figured it out. A lot of us were confused. Thanks Jessica for clearing up. I disagree with Danielle. The original poster stated her thoughts in a respectful manner. Just cuz you disagree with her doesn't mean you should call her out lie that. I find your comment unnecessary.

      I don't understand the Nina and Richards relationship. He use to text her behind Josie's back and she didn't say anything till she was caught, she was instrumental in Richard coming to Josie bday and now she all team Richard. What's up with that? Nina has always been shady and can be trusted.

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  3. Chris - @nylonlover69 on TwitterJune 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    I love Nina and Ashley for coming out to LA!

    Nice post, Jessica!

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  4. Still team Peter all the way lol!

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  5. I too am confused, I was expected a new storyline and new characters from Zahra, but instead got a new Josie post. I'm not complaining at all, I'd love to read a new story and continue to love reading about Josie, just sort of confused based on the updates in the last post.

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  6. i read the last explanation of the blog to say that after josie's story was done tuesdays would be Zahra and Thursdays would be the elizabeth by jessica.

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  7. I find it super weird how obsessed Nina is with Richard too. And it's not because she doesn't like Peter. If it solely had to do with Peter, she'd be trashing Peter, but she wouldn't be making Richard seem like he's a god or something. The way she talks about Richard is just, idk, it feels odd like she has this obsession with him. I could be reading too much into it, but whatever. I'm definitely on team Peter. If Josie ends up with Richard in the end I feel like it's going to be such an unfulfilling ending. There is WAY too much they'd have to work on with their relationship and even then, it might not work out. I just don't see it as worth it. He broke up with her on impulse. Who's to say he might not do it again if they get back together? He's too unstable and I think it's best that he does move to San Fran. That way, when Josie goes back to NY she won't have to deal with potential run-ins with him or anything.

    Josie's finally putting all the pieces of her life together. She's doing great with CWA and she's on the way to having a great and stable career. Now, she needs to move on from Richard. Josie's growing up and at this point, Peter is to more stable partner, not Richard. Josie knows there is something there with Peter, and that something is always going to be there. There's a reason they keep coming back to one another.

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  8. This post is making me hate Nina. If I never hear Richard mentioned again it will be too soon. Cannot believe Ashley is the voice of reason here. Who care where Richard, stop bringing him up...

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  9. Hi, everyone!

    I'll start posting when Josie's storyline is wrapped up. I know Jess wants to give her the ending she deserves, so you won't meet my character just yet. When I do start contributing, I'll post an update from my character on Tuesdays and Jessica will have an Elizabitch post for you all on Thursdays.

    As for this post: bummed that Josie and Peter didn't have sex, but more than that, I can't wait to see what Richard's Lloyd Dobler-esque boombox moment is going to be.

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    Replies
    1. OMG, seriously? A Lloyd Dobler reference? I already know I'm going to like your writing. I don't know if Richard's gonna get the girl though. She's got to have at least one more steamy round with Peter! mum

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  10. I think it was pretty clear that there weren't going to be posts from anyone else until Josie's story was wrapped up completely. I can't wait to see what Jessica has chosen for her. And I'm glad that her friends have rallied around her in LA. I don't see that Nina is particularly, abnormally close to Richard - they are messaging on FB, not meeting for drinks. Unless, of course, that is yet to come out. We'll see. :)

    Amy

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    Replies
    1. I was a little confused about the posting schedule but that's probably because I misread it..lol. I might be mistaken but I remember one night (could've been brunch) when Ashley, Nina and Josie went out Nina was receiving texts from Richard that Josie didn't know about. If my friend's boyfriend was texting me, unless he's planning a surprise for her, I would tell her and not wait til I was caught! Someone else commented about Josie's birthday party. Josie was sad because Richard didn't even call or text her happy birthday but Nina knew he was coming because she had been communicating with him. I understand liking a particular guy your friend is dating but Nina seems hellbent on Richard and Josie being great together. I don't see the connection. There were glimmers of hope but more disappointment. I hope that Josie doesn't end up with Richard but time will tell:)

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    2. It's weird and Nina has been fishy before. Like when she started talking to Ashley and didn't tell Josie or when she hooked with her boss's son even when she knew it could cost Josie her job.

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    3. Hey Arianna, I never thought the birthday thing was weird because it was pretty clear it was meant to be a surprise for Josie. I haven't read all the way back because, for some reason, the early posts are impossible for me to find. I know that Richard and Josie worked together. Seems that it isn't really out of the ordinary for him to have begun friendships with her friends before they were romantically involved that would have continued. Seems there's this weird territoriality that readers are projecting onto the dynamics - almost as if he and Nina couldn't possibly be friends if the weren't secretly involved. I hope that isn't the general consensus.

      Amy

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  11. This Nina/Richard closeness is weird. I think something fishy might be going on there. But there's a part of me that would love them to get together!

    Was hoping for some hot sex between Josie and Peter! Oh well, can't wait for more!

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  12. It is good to have you back Jessica.

    Loved your previous post although I wasnt too happy Josie may have hooked up with Peter, the twist in this new post and that they didn't sleep together just blew my mind off.

    Team Richard all the way

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  13. No Richard! I was on his team but just no, what he did was way to shitty. Not team Peter but still I think they should hook up ;)

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  14. Also a bit confused about the posting schedule. Do we have a start date for Zahra, or just "whenever Josie's story finishes?" Would love a date if it's possible. To Zahra - I clicked over and read your blog, it's awesome, and I have a friend crush on you.

    I'm also hoping the next posts are juicier. There wasn't enough action in this one for me. Cool that her friends visited, but otherwise....? Jessica, you've done a great job putting Josie in an exciting situation, so let's see some of that excitement??????



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  15. I love the comments about the characters whether they're liked or disliked. That's what the comment section should be about. Not personal attacks on the author good grief. She doesn't need to give us an exact date for the new blog because 1 she already said she didn't know exactly when Josie's story will end and 2 this isn't a damn English assignment. It's a blog that we read at our leisure. If people hate the author so much then don't read the blog! Read the thousands of other crap blogs out there and continue to give them As for effort because they are 'trying'and are 'humble'. In the meantime don't bash a professional writer. Simply don't read her blogs.

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    Replies
    1. Get over yourself. No one is knocking Jessica. What personal attacks did you read on this post? Someone asking when Josie's blog will end? No even said that that they hate Jessica, no one would read a blog by someone they hated. Methinks you are seeking drama. You are making personal attacks on other nonprofessional bloggers. Who are you to criticize their blogs? That's not what Jessica's comment section is for. Stop being a troll and STFU.

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    2. I couldn't have said it better myself.

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    3. Might I say that us amateur bloggers with "crap blogs" who are "trying and humble" do have feelings too? We're not professional writers nor do we pretend to do be. We are writing for fun and it's rude and totally uncalled for you to drag us in the mud to prove a point. Jessica is an excellent writer and we all appreciate her continuing this blog when she didn't have to. There is no need to bring up other blogs to prove a point.

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    4. Kudos, Arianna. Well said.

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  16. Lol, I don't think you want to hear my comments about the characters. In any case, sorry I stepped on your fat toe, chill out. Asking for more excitement is not a crime. Obviously....

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  17. I'm so hoping for one more Peter rendezvous (at least) before she makes it OFFICIAL with Richard.
    I hope in the end she does end up with Richard, though! She needs some fun before she settles down :)
    I enjoyed this post & can't wait for the next one!

    On a side note - I can't wait to read Zahra's posting! That comment was great!

    Happy Wednesday!

    http://lovelifela.wordpress.com

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  18. I felt like this post was a little rushed and hardly any deapth. Yea I am glad that Nina and Ashley came to visit and that William was ok with her leaving but it just lacked.
    Don't get me wrong I love this blog I started reading it through Cosmo but its been slowly dieing and missing inspiration.

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    Replies
    1. I'd agree with this - the story is a bit slow now. Hope it picks up on thursday with some real depth. I'd love to see that!

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  19. I love reading about Josie in LA, yeah the Nina and Richard thing is a little weird, but hey, we'll find out soon enough!

    As for the new blog, it's ok for the exact date not to be clear as long as this one is finished as well as possible :)

    www.poetsandheartbreakers.blogspot.com

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  20. I think everyone is expecting this blog to be a Pulitzer prize winner or something. Chill out, it's a girly, rom-com, go with the flow, trashy-like-a-harlequin-novel blog meant to be fun and an easy read. Why is everyone jumping to conclusions and coming up with deep and tangled insights before she even posts? Just read it and wait for the next one. All in all, I just hope all the negative commentators don't piss off Jessica enough to make her stop writing the blog- so take a chill pill all you negative nancy's.

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