On the Road to Hollywood

Red lipstick, red fingernails, long red dress, golden shoes, fake fur shoulder throw. The Nymph looks stunning. Hollywood Sign. Image by Ryan J. Quick

‘Where are you off to?’ I ask. It’s Thursday afternoon.

Peirene twirls around her own axis. ‘No where,’ she replies. ‘Or at least not yet. I am preparing my outfit for the Oscars.’

I laugh out loud. I could have guessed. Because: The first Peirene book, our No 5, Tomorrow Pamplona, has been optioned by a UK film company this week. Thrilling news indeed. However, it’s still a long way to the Oscars.

‘Well, don’t laugh. ‘ Peirene crosses the room from one end to the other, swinging her hips and blowing kisses to an imagined audience to the right and left. ‘We are closer now than we were last week.’

She is right. But:

‘Even if Tomorrow Pamplona makes it to Hollywood, I don’t think you or I will be invited to the party.’

‘What?!’ She stops in mid-stride and stares at me, her eyes glimmering dark with disbelief. ‘We’ve made this possible. We brought the book to the UK. I personally stood outside Budgens with our Roaming Store in the cold, in the rain, where one of the people from the film company first encountered our books. Without me, none of this would have happened.’ She throws her head back, and turns on her heels.

For a couple of minutes I listen for sobs from next door. When everything remains quiet I turn my attention again to the work on my desk.

Half an hour later Peirene is back.

‘I’m going for a run.’ She’s all dressed in jogging gear. Now it’s my turn to stare incredulously at her. She doesn’t like running and whenever I ask her to accompany me to the Heath she tends to make excuses.

‘Are you ok?’ I ask.

‘Of course I am. I’ve worked out a plan. I need to get fit to audition for the main role in the film.’ She pauses then adds. ‘If I’m the star of the film, they have to invite me to the Oscars.’

I nod slowly, worried that what I say next might destroy her dreams yet again.

‘The main character in Tomorrow Pamplona is a boxer. A male boxer.’

She shrugs her shoulders.

‘If the film makers have any commercial sense, they’ll change the lead into a female character. A female boxer is far more interesting then a sweaty, male boxer. Look at Borgen, The Bridge, Spiral. People are fascinated by intriguing female role models.’ She waves at me with a smile. ‘Hollywood here we come.’

Image by Ryan J. Quick.

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