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Super, Part 3
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superhero

I'm jolted awake when Jennie kisses me on the forehead. I blink and open my eyes. I'm sprawled out on the couch, and Wendell is curled up in my armpit. I've been drooling. She's leaning over me, smiling softly. She's got the most beautiful blue eyes in the world, and the sweetest smile, and the cutest nose. And, well, you get the idea. "I fell asleep," I say cleverly.

Jennie smiles. "Really?" She heads toward the kitchen as I rub my eyes. Wendell objects to my movement by digging his claws into my side and covering his head with one paw. "Saw you on the news earlier."

"How did I look?" I ask, slowly rising to a sitting position.

"Fat," she yells from the kitchen.

"There's some money on the fridge," I say. "Wait, where did you have a television?"

"The waiting room in the casting office," she calls back.

"Shit!" I say. "I'm sorry -- I was going to call you -- how was the audition?"

She re-appears at the kitchen entrance, a wide grin on her face. "Great. I mean, the audition was, you know, whatever. But. When I was done reading and the C.D. was finished telling me 'good job,' she said, 'oh, congrats on the show -- I just heard.'"

"What?"

"That's what I said. Then she made like an 'oops' face, and said she'd heard Dogsitters had been picked up."

"The pilot you did this spring?"

Jennie nods. "So I say, oh, yeah, thanks," like I already knew and it's no big deal, right? So I walk calmly to the car, close the door, and scream my head off!"

I rush over and hug her, picking her up off the ground. "Oh my god, baby -- that's fantastic." I kiss her, and I can feel her tense excitement in her back and lips. "Did you call Sharon? How come she didn't tell you?"

"Yeah, so I call Sharon, and she says she has heard a rumor, but didn't want to tell me 'til she was sure, and they haven't officially called her yet. But, if I'm hearing about it, that's probably good news. Not definitive, you know, but good."

"Right," I say, squeezing her against me. "So, don't get too excited yet, but you might be a TV star tomorrow. No big deal."

She laughs and squeezes back. "She said she'd call the second she heard something concrete. And I'd hardly say 'TV star.' More like ugly TV sidekick."

"Ugly like a fox," I say.

She pushes me away and punches me in the stomach, and I realize I haven't eaten since the Jamba this morning. I look at the clock -- it's after 6.

"Crap," I say, "I slept like six hours. I'm hoongry."

"I've been telling you to keep a granola bar or something in your bag," she scolds me. "Whaddya want for dinner?"

"I don't know. What do TV stars' husbands normally eat?"

"Um ... caviar, I think. Lobster, filet mignon, escargot. But, only after they've fed such delicacies to their TV star wives, massaged their shoulders, washed their feet and ... um ... powdered their bellybuttons."

I frown at her. "Hmm. Maybe I'll just have a frozen pizza then."

She shakes her head. "We ate the last one for dinner on Tuesday."

"Okay. Perhaps I'll dine on the pleasant memory of Tuesday's pizza."

"Why don't you make some mac and cheese and hot-dogs, while I put your super-panties in the dryer?"

She heads to the laundry room. I open the bread drawer. "We don't have any buns. We'll have to use bread. And do not call them 'super-panties.'"

"I'm fine with bread," she calls back. "And I'll call them whatever I like. How about "fundies?"

I grab the bread from the drawer, the hot-dogs from the fridge, and the box of mac and cheese from the cupboard. "I'm poisoning your mac and cheese right now."

She comes out of the laundry room with a wad of lint in her hands, which she deposits in the garbage can. "Fortunately I've spent the last few years building up an immunity to poisoned mac and cheese." She sits on one of the stools at the counter. "So, we all know how you spent your day today. What's up for tonight?"

"I think I'll go out for a while," I say, filling a pot with water from the tap. "But I'll stay close and try to be in by shortly after midnight. I've got some meetings the next few days, and I can't be all groggy for them." I put the pot on the stove and turn on the burner.

"Meetings with who?"

"That's gonna take a while to boil." I lean against the counter next to the stove. "I'm meeting Alex for lunch tomorrow."

"In public?"

"Of course not." I shake a little bit of salt into the pot. "In his office. He's got that elevator that opens right into his place. I get in with a crowd of people, get out a few times on various floors, and then, once I'm alone in there, I hit the hold button just long enough to change. I get in and off the elevator too many times for people to put two and two together, and Providence walks right into the office."

"Clever." She frowns and furrows her brow. "I thought you were ditching Alex."

I shrug. "It's not like I've got other offers."

"Honey, I just don't think an agent is what you need right now. Agents work because they have connections in the business. They can get you seen. Alex doesn't have any connections in the hero business. No agent does because superheroes don't have agents. Alex doesn't even really have connections in the entertainment business. He's the kind of agent young kids get when they fall of the turnip truck and roll into Hollywood. All he wants to do is send you out to do local talk shows and stupid auto-mall appearances. He's not gonna get you into the Avengers. He's just looking for a fast buck."

I close my eyes and run my fingers through my hair. "I know, I know." I cross my arms and sigh. "I just thought that maybe he could get me more exposure." Jennie rolls her eyes. "Anyway, the meeting's not about that -- he said he might have an in with a literary agent. You know, for the book. I can't fire him if he's got an in with an agent for the book."

"All right. Just don't let him talk you into a parking lot promotion at Shakey's Pizza or anything."

I lean over the counter to get a kiss. "I won't. Have I ever done anything like that?" She shakes her head.

I head into the living room and flop back down on the couch. "I do like me some Shakey's pizza, though. That water's gonna take forever to boil. Let's watch some tube, miss TV star." I pick up the remote and thumb the guide button. "And thanks for not asking how the book is coming."

Jennie opens the fridge and grabs a Fanta. She pops it open, takes a long drink, and burps dramatically. "I wouldn't dream of it."

end of essay
David Nett Portrait David is an actor, writer and producer in Los Angeles. He's the founder and editor-in-chief of CSP, and a founding producer of the acclaimed Lucid by Proxy theater company. Despite all this, he still has to hold down a day job in the dot-com world, where he does product and interaction design. His acting has been called "committed," "detailed," "fearless," "hilarious" and "heart-rending" by the LA Times and Backstage West. His writing has been called "articulate and commanding" and "eminently readable" by Flak Magazine. His tenth grade Geometry teacher said he "does not work well in groups." | more essays by David
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