Some of us are made to think that one day we’ll become the superstars of the world and to
so many the superstar status seems glamorizing. But once you get a taste of the life it’s like the old
saying be careful what you wish for. It can consume and dehumanize you. Many will say that it’s more
trouble than what it’s worth… can’t even take a crap without someone snapping a picture or asking for
Palm trees and camera flashes have been my whole life for the past fifteen years. I’ve been in
the business for twenty but I started out having small roles in television and didn’t hit A-list status until I
starred in the first in a series of big budget sci-fi action movies featuring the time traveler John Titor.
Apparently the real John Titor is an urban legend. Some people out there think that he was a real guy
who traveled into the past to warn people about an upcoming civil war in this country. Well, many of
the stuff he predicted never came true. But anyway here comes Hollywood transforming this guy into an
action hero and they chose me to play the guy. Who’d ever thought… me of all people, Mike Stryker, a
mid-western boy from Wisconsin in a starring role as a time traveling soldier who is sent through time to
save the human race.
At first the celebrity status seemed like a dream come true. The parties were off the hook. Then
came the cocaine and women which made things a whole lot better. I was invited to a party thrown by a
musician named Mystic. I think I was mainly invited because Mystic was a huge fan of the science-fiction
and action genre and loved the John Titor film titled: John Titor: Soldier Of Time. Back then this was the
first and only John Titor film but many more sequels would soon follow.
Mystic was certainly a connoisseur of the genre. The props in his mansion included two life-sized
Terminator endo-skeletons and several original Starfleet uniforms worn by mannequins and a life size
Darth Vader figure equipped with a red light saber. In the dining hall he had an authentic skull of a
Tyrannosaurus Rex placed inside a display case which I’m sure cost a pretty penny.
The party was filled with celebrities who were not just actors but painters, writers, reality stars,
musicians, directors and special effect masters who were all of course drugged out of their goddamned
minds. With all of the booze, weed and other narcotics floating around I doubt anyone knew where
Mystic and I snorted another line and it was getting to the point where the music which at that
moment was Wang Chung’s Dance Hall Days became inaudible.
But I remembered him saying to me, “Shit, man,” He rubbed his nose. “Fifteen years ago I was a
nobody and now look at me… sometimes, baby… life comes at ya’ fast. But you listen to me… anytime
you need anything,” He said, tapping his nose. “You know what I mean… I got more nose candy than you
can handle. But if you overdose… you and I… we never met.” He patted me on the shoulder and took a
swig of booze from the bottle. “Now get ready for a mind blowing performance,” He said, slapping me
on the shoulder.
Mystic was quite the character. He even performed at his own party. But I think it was all of the
drugs that gave him the energy. He was dressed in a futuristic alien outfit while he was singing a cover to
Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out For A Hero and he kept pointing at me, winking and licking his lips while he
was singing. At the end of his performance he bashed a liquor bottle over his own head, knocking
himself out cold. God only knows why he did that.
Now normally this performance would’ve made me feel strange and uncomfortable. But I was in
the zone due to the narcotics and booze swooshing through my body and didn’t care what the hell was
going on. I just kept thinking to myself that it’s the Hollywood scene and around here it’s a whole other
domain, baby. An explorer to this strange new world just had to become accustomed to its atmosphere.
But many times those explorers get knocked off course and they end up here… at a rehab
center in Phoenix, Arizona. I sat at a table across from my agent, sipping my coffee and looking around
the courtyard at Soberity rehabilitation center. I smoked my cigarette and took a breath of fresh air. I
was lost in my own thoughts until my agent shouted to me, “Mike! Are you listening?” He had to throw
a copy of the script at my head to get my attention.
“Huh?” I said.
“Mike… are you fucking listening?”
Frank the agent sighed. “They’re willing to negotiate your salary. They’ll give you whatever it
takes to get you back in the John Titor role again.”
I took another drag from my cigarette. “I told those guys that I wouldn’t do another sequel. I
don’t care how many numbers they throw at me. I won’t do it. Seven films later and I’m fuckin’ burned
“But you’re turning down a huge opportunity.”
“I don’t care. I mean why do they wanna’ make another film anyway? The last one bombed. So,
no… I don’t care what they do. Get another actor for the sequel or reboot the franchise. I don’t care. I’m
not doing anymore John Titor films.”
I thumbed through the script which was titled: John Titor: Centurion of Time. Frank gave me a
scowling look. After a moment of silence Frank said to me, “Are you fucking high right now?”
“What?” I said, placing the script back onto the table and took a drag from my cigarette.
“They’re offering you fifty million dollars to do this movie and you’re turning it down… with that
kind of money who cares if it bombs.”
“I want to span myself and that’ll never happen if I keep playing…” I tapped on the script. “I
mean for god’s sake I’m gonna’ end up like Steven Seagal or Jean Claude Van Damme… doing crappy
straight to dvd movies.”
“All I’m saying,” Frank said, “Is think about it.”
I handed him back the script. “You might want this.”
“No, that’s okay… got my own copy. You keep that and read it over. You might like it.”
Frank got up from his seat and left me with the script which I began thumbing through while
smoking. A familiar voice from behind me interrupted my reading. This was someone I hadn’t seen in
“Geese,” The voice from behind said. “The air smells too clean and stale around here. I’m so use
to the aroma of booze, vomit and feces. The life of a rock star… you know.”
I turned around and Mystic stood behind me, standing there with a grin and large shades
covering his face. Suddenly his phone rang.
“I gotta’ take this. It’s Uncle-Papa.”
“Uncle-Papa… the rapper?” I said
“You actually know him?”
“Yeah. He’s having a rough time… just got out of jail for punching a paparazzi and biting him in
the face. I gotta’ take this.” He answered the phone.
Who’d ever thought that Mystic, a new wave rocker hung around with a gangsta rapper such as
Uncle-Papa. I guess all musicians know each other… no matter what genre of music. I guess it’s like
actors. Most actors usually hang out and discuss what projects they’re working on. I’ve smoked cigars
with Arnold Schwarzenegger and even discussed my John Titor films with him. There were talks of him
playing Titor before he took governorship. I suppose I should be thankful for those films. After all they
gave me a career and made the name Mike Stryker a house hold name. But for some reason I just
wanted to throw that role into the trash.
I heard Mystic say over the phone, “Alright brotha’… see you when you get here.” I couldn’t help
but laugh. I never heard Mystic try and sound like a black guy before.
“He’s lost?” I asked.
“Sort of… his driver just got turned around.”
“So I heard your new song on the radio,” I told him.
“What’d ya’ think?” He said, taking off his shades.
“Well, it’s a cover to the Benny Mardones’ Into the Night. So one question comes to mind…
Why that song?”
“What? It’s a good song?”
“Yeah but… Isn’t that song about a guy who wants to have sex with a sixteen year old girl?”
“It’s about a guy who wants to take a teenage girl away from her abusive parents.”
“Not from the lyrics I heard… it’s got pedophilia written all over those lyrics, man.”
Mystic paused, making an expression like as if he was lost in thought. Then lit a
cigarette, lighting it, “Well, whatever, man,” he said, looking at the facility. “So this is the place, huh?”
“Yeah, come on… more recovering drug addicted assholes are inside.”
“Great, can’t wait to meet em’,” Mystic said sarcastically. “This place looks like a fuckin’ zoo. I
should be out somewhere getting laid by a groupie.”
We walk inside and already I could hear Thomas Sloan who was a world renowned fantasy artist
complaining. “Man,” He said. “I’d kill for a fucking drink.” He made a facial expression like as if he was on
“I know that guy,” Mystic said to me. “I mean I don’t know him personally but I have some of his
art work in my portfolio.” He digs through his duffel bag, pulling out a novelization of the last John Titor
film, placing it on the table.
“What the hell?” I said picking up the book. “You’re actually reading this?”
“Yeah, bro… need something to do while I’m here.”
“Can’t you just write new songs?”
“Yeah, I’ll be doing that too,” He said, shuffling through his bag. “Here it is,” He said, pulling out
a portfolio, revealing the painting of a giant six legged creature with large bat-like wings and the head of
a Tyrannosaur, digging its large claws onto the side of a rocky cliff. “I’m going to get him to autograph
this.” He approached the angry artist. “Mr. Sloan?”
“What?” Sloan said, placing a cigarette into his mouth.
“Can you sign this picture for me?”
“Okay, sure,” He said turning to Mystic. “I know you. You’re that one musician guy. Yeah… I’ve
heard some of your shit on the radio,” Thomas said, signing the picture.
“So what do you think of it?” Mystic asked.
“What?” Sloan said, in a grouchy tone, lighting his cigarette.
“The music… What do you think of it?”
“Not a fan,” He said, handing Mystic back the picture.
I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the crushed look on Mystic’s face. He approached me and
said, “Dude’s not a fan? I can’t fucking believe it.”
“Relax, man. You know how many people tell me I suck? A lot.” I patted him on the shoulder.
“Hey… fuck him. Okay? Just kick back and read that piece of shit novel you brought. Besides that guy’s
not as good as Bobby Stillson who did the artwork for all of the John Titor films. You don’t see that
Thomas Sloan-guy doing movie posters.
“The guy is kind of a dick.”
Mystic and I watched as he fought with a nurse. “You have to smoke that outside!” She shouted.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake… It’s only one damn cigarette!” Thomas went outside to smoke.
“I see you met our resident charmer,” Another familiar voice said.
Emerging from the hall was Carol Branson. She was a friend of mine and an award winning
actress. We met on the set of a movie. It was a remake of Soylent Green we made over a year ago. I
played Detective Thorn and she played Shirl. But that’s not all we did on the set. I already knew that she
was here for Prozac and Sex addiction. She pretty much seduced everyman in Hollywood to get where
she was today, earning her the nick name The Sex Goddess of Love.
“God, this is pretty embarrassing,” Carol said. “I didn’t even tell my parents and relatives I was in
“So I take it you know your way around Phoenix.”
“Oh, god… yes… I grew up here. Even during my struggling days as an actress I would drive back
here on the weekends and party with friends.”
“Carol Bowman!” Mystic said, dancing around the room with his arms raised high in the air as if
praying to god.
She looked at him, trying hard not to laugh. “It’s actually Branson. And you are?”
“Mystic, here to serve you my lady,” He said, bowing and kissing her hand.
“Okay, I think I’ve heard of you… new age singer. Right?”
“I prefer to call it new wave, baby. I’m trying to preserve the eighties.”
I looked at Thomas who was outside smoking his cigarette and arguing with a drug counselor by
the name of Connie. I remember speaking to her on the phone while at the same time having a dispute
with my ex-wife which became pretty physical but I think I got the gist of our conversation.
“No, I’m fine!” I heard him shout out. “I just want to be left alone and enjoy my cigarette in
peace. I mean for fuck’s sake it’s bad enough I can’t even drink anymore. Just go… be gone.” Thomas
waved Connie away.
Suddenly I heard someone approach the front of the building talking loudly into his cellphone.
“Tamika… baby please! Damn, girl… let me talk… Baby… Baby, you there?! Fuck!” I knew right away that this was the notorious rapper Uncle-Papa. By the look of things he
couldn’t keep his personal life at home.
“Damn bitch is whacked as hell,” He said.
A large man following behind dropped his bags off at the front door. He gave Uncle-Papa a fist
bump and said, “Later brotha,” and left.
“That’s my body guard slash driver,” He said.
Uncle Papa and Mystic fist bump.
“What’s goin’ on brotha,’” Uncle Papa said.
“Same shit… different day,” Mystic responded.
“Shit, man… that’s puttin’ it mildly,” Uncle Papa said, “My girl, Tamika’s been all up in my ass.
She found out I was screwin’ around behind her back.”
“So is this why you’re here?”
“Nah, man… smokin’ too much weed. But it’s the life of a gangsta… bitches and weed, man. But
this place,” Uncle Papa said, looking around, “This is on a whole ‘nother level. Beats jail I guess. This is
like a gangsta’s paradise compared to the joint… you feel me? Anyway… whatchu’ you all here for?”
I responded by just taping my nose.
“Yeah… that makes two of us,” Mystic said.
“Alright, man alright… lovin’ that nose candy,” Uncle-Papa chuckled. “I’m goin’ outside and
havin’ a smoke.”
I watched as he made his way to the deck. I could tell just by the way he maneuvered himself
through the room that he felt out of place. He was stuck in a room full of celebrities he didn’t know.
“So are you going to take the role?” Carol said.
“Huh?” I said, lost in thought.
“The new John Titor film… are you going to reprise the role?”
“Shit,” I sighed. “Those assholes really want me to take it… even offered me a whole bunch of
money. I told them to get another actor for a sequel or reboot the franchise for all I care.”
“Well, I think you should take the offer. I mean it’s pretty much your franchise. It’s like Tom
Cruise with his Mission Impossible films… you have John Titor. Okay, you know what… as long as it’s a
franchise that keeps giving you work… take it. You should be grateful you have this. It’s your face on
magazine covers… not to mention action figures and comic books.”
“And novels!” Mystic shouted out, holding the John Titor novelization. “I’m going outside to
smoke and read this!” He shouted.
I laugh and still couldn’t think of why he would want to read that when he’d already watched
the movie. After a moment of silence I said, “But I’m forty five years old… gotta’ give it up some time.”
“So, Tom Cruise is in his fifties and he’s still making his Mission Impossible flicks. He even does
his own stunts. I think you should stick with it. John Titor is your bread and butter. Besides those movies
wouldn’t be the same without you. It’s like if Hugh Jackman was replaced by another guy to play
Wolverine… wouldn’t be the same.”
“Fuck,” I said. “I guess you are right. I have the script in the other room. I guess I better look the
damn thing over.”
“You sound like your dreading it. At least they give you scripts to read I’m still on the list that has
to suck a dick in Hollywood to get a job.”
“Are you serious? How many have you—“
“It’s… eh… not important. Not as many as you’d think. I get by on good charm and wit. That’s
how you make it in this business.”
Suddenly from outside the patio I heard Thomas shout out, “Is there any fucking food around
here? I haven’t even eaten since yesterday and I thought there would be at least some food in this shit
Connie shrugged her arms and sighed. “I’ve just about givin’ up on you, Tommy.”
“That’s Mr. Sloan to you!”
“Well whatever… you’ve relapsed and been here a dozen times I should start charging you rent.”
“But you do charge me rent!” Thomas shouted back. “I pay for a fortune to stay in this rat hole!”
In Hollywood I’m surrounded by some of the most eccentric people but Thomas Sloan was by
far the most interesting person I’ve encountered on this journey we call life and what happened to him
that night I’ll never forget. I was out on the deck area reading the script to the new John Titor film while
smoking a cigarette. It was really late and everyone else was in bed. I only heard the faint sound of
Mystic’s newest single on the radio. The single was a cover to Donna Summer’s Love Hangover. I didn’t
want to tell him how horrible his version sounds.
I placed the script down onto the table and went into the kitchen to grab another cup of coffee.
I passed by Thomas’ room and noticed he had left a crack in the door and saw his silhouette leaning over
a table. I never thought anything like this would happen in a place like this. I mean I knew what he was
doing right away as I remembered the drug counselor saying how many times this son of a bitch had
relapsed. He jerked his head back and quickly stood, completely erect like a zombie and I could tell that
whatever he was snorting was causing a euphoric effect on his brain.
He turned in my direction and noticed me standing there and shouted, “You! What the fuck are
you doing here? Get the fuck out!” He charged at me like a raging bull, tackling me to the ground.
Thomas began to beat his arms against his chest and shouted, “I am a carnivorous beast!” Then he
started to growl.
Soon the lights flickered on and everyone else flooded into the room and the night orderly
grabbed Thomas, prying him off of me. I could see the expression on Thomas’ face instantly switch from
true aggression to wide eyes before he collapsed. He began to flail around like a fish out of water.
Everyone froze in fright, just staring down at him. The orderly tried to save him but he was already dead.
The orderly left to call for help.
Carol looked at his motionless body and said, “How was he able to get those drugs in here?”
Suddenly we heard his phone ring. I reach over to grab it. The phone read, “Atamu.”
“Who is it,” Carol asked.
“It says Atamu.”
“Atamu?” Uncle-Papa said. “Isn’t that the dude from Day the Earth Stood Still?”
“No, that’s Klattu,” Mystic responded. “I know the guy was an asshole,” Mystic said, kneeling
down next to the corpse. “But I wish I could’ve gotten to know him.”
“No, you don’t,” Connie said from the doorway. “He was the biggest jerk you could ever meet. I
know artists are supposed to be temperamental and weird. Believe me I worked with all of you. But I’ve
worked with this guy many times before. I know I shouldn’t say this but with this guy being out of the
way… It’ll make my job a whole lot easier.”
“Damn, girl,” Uncle-Papa said. “Should you be sayin’ this kind of whacked out shit in front of
“At this point I really don’t give a rat’s ass,” Connie said.
Suddenly my phone rang and I answered. Bobby Stillson, the artist was on the other end. “Hey,
Bobby, what’s up?”
“So what’s the deal?” He said on the other line. “Are you taking the John Titor role or what?
Because I gotta’ start work on the movie poster, buddy.”
“Bobby, man… this is not the time.”
“I need to know. I was told you’re reading the script so I need a yay or nay answer. I called the
head of the studio and he said you’re still deciding. I mean what the hell are you doing?”
“You’re starting ground work on the poster now? I haven’t even finished reading the script yet.”
“Mike, what’s going on?” Bobby said.
“Listen. I’m in a rehab center and a guy overdosed.”
“A rehab center… really? I never thought you’d end up in one of those. It’s just with your
squeaky clean image… It must be all of the John Titor films that are doin’ it to ya.’
“Yeah, listen I’ll call ya’ in a few days. I gotta’ go. But listen… can you send the artwork you have
“Sure,” Bobby said. “But why?”
“It’ll help envision myself in the role and to decide whether I want to take the part or not. A lot
can be said about a movie poster.” I saw the blinding lights of the paramedics approaching. “Gotta’ go,” I
said hanging up and shoved my cell phone back into my pocket.
I looked at Thomas’ face, frozen in anger. He looked like Cujo ready to claim his victim and that
victim would’ve been me.
“Can everyone give us some space?” The paramedic said.
Mystic wiped tears from his eyes.
“Why are you crying?” I said.
“He was a great man.”
“Great man? Sure, he was a creative genius but that doesn’t make him a great man. He treated
everyone like dirt. Trust me. I’ve worked with some of the biggest A-holes in the movie industry
and they were nothing compared to that son-of-a-bitch.”
The paramedics shot me an evil look.
“Sorry,” I apologized. “But it’s true,” I whispered back to Mystic.
We all watched as the paramedics loaded up the body and drove away.
“Okay,” Connie said, “Now that the asshole is gone you can all get some sleep.”
“I don’t even think I can sleep,” Uncle Papa said. “I mean back in the day… I was in shoot outs all
the time and could handle dead bodies, man. But now… I think I’m too old for this shit.”
“Okay, this isn’t the time to go Danny Glover on us,” Connie said. “Everyone try to get some
I doubt anyone slept that night.
The next morning I sat on my bed, laptop perched on my lap, looking at the half finished movie
poster that Bobby sent me. Upon my decision on taking the role I had flash backs from the set of the
first John Titor film. I’ll never forget the day before shooting the film. They sat me down on this chair
and just like in Full Metal Jacket they shaved my head. I was so appalled.
I shouted to the director who at the time was martial artist director Mitch Nguyen. “What the
hell, bro? You got me looking like freakin’ Jason Statham. If you wanted a man with a bald head you
should’ve hired him for the role.”
Nguyen shouted back. “He soldier… soldier have shaved head! You no like… you go cry to
mommy you sissy!”
A day before shooting and there was already tension between us on the set. He was demanding.
I was ready to punch that little fucker in the face. It was a tough schedule but I enjoyed it because at the
time the role was fresh. But nearly a decade later… I’m ready to call it quits. I guess all I’m saying is that
an actor will eventually want to go on and try new things.
I studied the picture and had to admit that even though I was only thirty pages into the script
the artwork wanted me to take on the role. Suddenly I heard a soft knock at the door.
“Yeah… come in,” I said.
Carol stood in the doorway. She quietly closed the door.
“What are you doing?” I said. “With all of the commotion from last night I thought you would be
sleeping out by the pool.”
She placed her index finger up to her mouth and said, “Shhh… No, talky.”
“Carol… you feeling alright?”
She grabbed the computer off my lap and placed it to the side and began to unzip my pants
exposing my genitalia. She rubbed the surface of my penis with her index finger which I had to admit
aroused me and made it fully erect. But once she locked her lips around it and began sucking as if it
were an ice cream cone that’s when I really got turned on.
Suddenly and without warning a chubby Samoan man barged into the room and we were caught
in the act.
“Oh, my god!” He shouted, flailing his arms in the air and began screaming like a girl.
“No, no… shh,” I said.
“Who the hell are you?” Carol shouted.
“I am Atamu. Tommy’s love monkey.”
“You’re his what?” I shouted.
Uncle-Papa and Mystic barged into the room. Carol screamed and I quickly pulled the sheets
over our bodies.
“Everyone just get the fuck out and close the damn door,” I shouted.
They left, slamming the door shut.
“That’s Atamu?” I said to Carol. “I thought he was fictitious. What did he mean by love monkey?”
“Mike… Thomas was gay. That’s his boyfriend or lover or whatever gay people refer to their
intimate others. My god, they walked in on us!”
“Listen, I’m just as embarrassed about this as you…”
“Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. With as many men as I’ve had
to sleep with to get film parts. I’ve had maids… butlers… walk in on me and whoever I was with. Trust
me… I’ve had my fair share of humiliation.”
I lit a cigarette and the both of us shared it while we lay in bed, trying to gather up the nerve
to rejoin everyone outside.
“So what should we do?” Carol said. “Should we go out there?”
“Lets hang back a little,” I said, taking a drag from the cigarette. “So why this sudden need to
suck me off?”
“It’s just the stress from last night.”
“And that aroused you?”
“No. It’s just when I get stressed after… I feel the need to…”
“You feel the need to fuck someone. It’s understandable I suppose. We all have our weird
needs. I’m surprised you didn’t barge in here with whips and chains.”
“Nah,” she said with a smile. “I left those at home,” She laughed and glanced at the laptop
screen. “Is that the poster for the new John Titor film?”
“You should take it… the role I mean.”
Suddenly we heard a cry which sounded like the scream from a banshee.
“What the hell is all that about?” Carol said.
“I think I know what’s going on.”
Atamu was told what had happened last night and he was weeping. Carol and I got the nerve to
regroup with the others after the dick sucking incident.
“I’m so sorry,” Atamu said. “I’m so sorry for causing this turmoil. I sure do miss him. He called
me his big Papa Bear.” He wiped the tears from his eyes. “Is there a restroom? I just need a moment.”
“I’ll walk him in,” I said.
I escorted him inside. He turned to me and said, “I’ve always had the biggest crush on you.
Tommy was always so jealous because I had your John Titor: Soldier of Time poster framed above our
“I’m… flattered,” I said, feeling uncomfortable. It wasn’t the fact that he was hitting on me. In
Hollywood I’ve been hit on by many gay men. I’ve even let one fondle my crotch while drunk at a party.
But when it came to them kissing me that’s where I drew the line and that’s when it was my cue to say,
“Sorry… don’t swing on that branch of the tree.”
I waited for Atamu outside for about five minutes when suddenly a great force broke down the
bathroom door. Atamu bolted out fully naked, bellowing a scream, face full of cocaine. “Mike Stryker, I
love you!” He shouted. He began to chase me around the room and I gotta’ tell ya’… for a heavy set gent
such as himself he could run pretty fast.
“Michael!” Atamu shouted, “Why won’t you love me?”
“Can someone… help me… for god’s sake… someone tame this beast!” I shouted.
I could actually feel the presence of this man gaining on me. It took four orderlies to tackle the
large Samoan. I could hear the large naked man on the ground, panting, out of breath. “I only want to
be loved!” He shouted.
The orderlies made sure he was pinned down with his arms tied behind his back.
“Being a little rough with him… aren’t ya’?” Mystic said. “Whatever happened to peace man?”
“Peace went out the door long ago!” Connie shouted, walking across the courtyard. “Especially
with drugged out weirdoes like this walking around! No offense.” She shouted to Atamu. “Hey… I called
the cops… they’re on their way! You hear me?”
Atamu didn’t say anything. He just looked up at her with droopy eyes and made a grunting
sound. Then he started to gag and vomited.
Connie’s face cringed and she said, “Eh… you lard ass.”
Moments later the police came for Atamu and hand cuffed him and he shouted to the sky,
“Tommy! Tommy Sloan… if you’re up there I still love you!” The police yanked him off the ground and
they escorted the naked man away from the premises while he was still weeping and his face still
covered with blow.
“I wouldn’t worry about him,” Connie said. “He’ll receive psychiatric care.”
“Dude needs to be locked in here with us,” Uncle-Papa said.
My heart was still pounding. I’ve had a lot of strange encounters in Hollywood but I’ve never had
a large Samoan chase after me.
“Hey, hot shot,” Carol said. “You holding up?”
“Barely,” I said, lighting a cigarette. “It’s bad enough my wife is divorcing me… let alone having
the eighth wonder of the world trying to make me his bitch.”
My phone rang. I answered and Bobby Stillson was on the other line. “Hey, Mikey… I sent you
more artwork. Perhaps this will make you decide whether to take the John Titor role. Studios are waiting
for a yay or nay response.”
“Just give me a second. I’ve got my laptop in the other room. I’ll get back to ya’.”
I logged into my e-mail and scrolled down. There was an unread message from my ex-wife,
Jasmine. I wasn’t mad that she was leaving me. Shit… I deserved it. The nights of partying and boozing
and sleeping with many women who adored me. I jokingly referred to them as Titorites. But I had to
face the fact that it wasn’t little ol’ me they wanted. No, not Mike Striker… the Midwestern boy, college
dropout extraordinaire who up until ten years ago didn’t have a whole lot going for him. They wanted
the guy I played on screen. They really wanted John Titor… the gun slinging, time traveling soldier.
Anyway the email read that she was pregnant with my child which made my heart wrench. I
really screwed things up. I guess I got caught up in the tornado of this whole Hollywood blockbuster
lifestyle. In the end it got the best of me. I read a little further and she was slapping me with an
alimony. Somehow this didn’t surprise me. In fact I deserved much worse for all of the dirt roads that I
dragged her through during our marriage. I knew I had to do one thing. I reached for my phone and
called Bobby. When he answered I immediately said, “Bobby… I’ll do it. I’m back in the John Titor game.”
I’ve always referred to these rehabilitation centers as recovery lanes. But no matter how hard
we strive to better ourselves there will always be turmoil lurking around each unsuspecting moment in
this crazy whirlwind we call life. There will always be turmoil on recovery lane.