I’m three rows deep at a crowded Los Angeles bar. I’m inching forward attempting to order a drink before last call. I’ve made holy eye contact with the bartender and she knows immediately what I want. Anything with alcohol in it.
She pours me a drink and my friend comes stumbling in from the side.
“This is my buddy Harris.”
I shake Harris’ Hand.
“Nice to meet you”
As the bartender sets my drink down I signal for two more, because I’m a badass and friends of my friends don’t pay for drinks. As usual the overly attractive bartender with a plaid mini skirt and a knack for cleavage finds me unbearably attractive. What can I say?
Then unfortunately Harris and I get to talking.
“What do you do?”
A harmless question, a question I ask most people when I first meet them. It’s a conversation starter. It’s a go to. But it’s the question that comes after that I fear the most. The question that sets me on fire. The question that has slowly become my number one pet peeve with new people, when he asks--
“That’s cool. What do you want to do?”
Only in Los Angeles do I get asked this question from somebody I’ve just met. Girls do it often in an attempt to justify not talking to me any further.
“What do I want to do? What do you mean?”
“What DO YOU want to do?”
“Like Whenever. The Future, now. Whenever”
I get it. I know what he’s prodding at. But it’s such a superficial question and it’s never THAT easy.
He thinks my job is stupid. He thinks that anyone that works in the entertainment industry wants the other guy’s job. Wants to be doing something better. Which is true but it’s the equivalent of finding out that he works as a bus boy and asking him if he wants to be a waiter some day. Go fuck yourself. I’ve known you for all of four minutes and you care about my dreams and aspirations? The bar closes in ten minutes and I don’t have the time or the energy to delve into what I “want to do”.
“Right now. I want to pay my bills.”
“I get that, but what do you want to do?”
Seriously dude. I want to pay my fucking bills. Why can’t this be an acceptable answer?
But I know what he wants. I’ve fallen for this trap. I’ve been seduced by countless women in dark spaces asking me politely what I wanted to do in life. They hold their noses high and mock you mentally. Because they really don’t give a shit. Because when you tell someone you want to write, they don’t believe you. They think you’re making it up. They think you are saying it to get laid, to be cool, to pretend like you’re something you’re not. Fuck you. I don’t need that. I don’t need to justify myself. I don’t need to explain the countless hours, days, weeks, and months I’ve spent on screenplays. Writing is fucking hard. There’s a reason why I don’t show my work to people. There’s a reason I have trouble bringing it up. I’m a perfectionist and I don’t want to talk about it with you.
But when it comes down to it, that’s one thing. That doesn’t define me. My dreams. What I want to do.
Do you want me to tell you my passion for travelling? Producing? Someday coaching a baseball team? These are all things I WANT to do.
I want to own a house.
I want to fall in love.
I want to fuck a girl with a British accent.
But do we have the time of day?
Do you really care?
Do you think my life is so ordinary and uneventful that I NEED to want more? Everybody wants more.
Once again go fuck yourself.
What do I want to do?
“I want to get another drink before last call.”
“Isn't it weird knowing that after only a short conversation with someone you know right off the bat that you won't talk to them ever again?”
"..You're a dick, dude."