I was standing on a third floor balcony with a couple of other guys, lookingat a parade in the street below. My friends wereunemployed actors, and I was as well. Judging by the way people were dressedand the cars in the parade, it appeared to bethe late 1930's. A famous actress rode by standing up in the back seat of aconvertible, and the crowd cheered and threwconfetti. Kids were lighting firecrackers on the sidewalk as the paradefaded into the distance. I turned to say something to oneof my friends when suddenly there was the sound of gunfire in the streetbelow. "Hey look! They shot him!" one of the guyssaid. I looked over the balcony in time to see three men dressed likeprohibition era gangsters jump into an old car and speed off."Let's go check it out!" the other guy said, as he pushed me towards thefire escape.
We ran down the fire escape, and over to the man who had been shot. "He'sdead!" the first guy said. "Let's get out of herebefore the guys who did this see us hanging around." The other guy said"They might think we're friends of his, and decide toshoot us too!" We ran across the street, and blended in with the crowdwalking down the sidewalk.
The sidewalk went right through a section of a huge front porch that wasunder construction. This mean old man who lookedlike Denver Pyle was yelling orders at a couple of guys who were trying tofinish the roof of the porch. They were using scraplumber from old billboards and movie sets that was piled up alongside thehouse. The old guy was trying to tell them exactlywhere every piece should go in order to build it right. One of the guysworking yelled "Hi !" to us, and I recognized him asbeing a fellow actor who had been looking for work.
I asked the old man why he didn't make the porch smaller, instead ofextending it out so far that people walking down thesidewalk ended up having to walk across it. He said "Dammit, I always wanteda big front porch and now I'm gonna haveone!" Then he said "If you boys are looking to make a few dollars you canjoin your friend over there, if you can swing ahammer." One of the guys with me said "No thanks mister, we're going to gosee about an acting job!" and we continued onour way.
We walked into a building around the corner and right into a meeting thatwas going on. There were about a dozen actors and actresses sittingaround a large table. Some were smoking or drinking coffee, but all werelooking at a sharp dressed man with a pencil thinmustache who stood at the head of the table giving some sort ofpresentation. The man looked over at us disgustedly, andmotioned us towards a door at the back of the room.
In the room was a table piled with pastry, donuts and coffee. While we wereeating, my two friends started arguing. The firstone finally said to the other "You can stay if you want to, but I'm gettingout of here!" He grabbed his hat and coat, and as hedid two bus tickets fell on the floor. The second guy said "Aren't you gonnapick those up?" The first guy said "Nah, we don'tneed them!" Then he grabbed me by the shoulder and said "Come on, let's getout of here! I know where there's a real party!"
Outside the door, I said "Why didn't you pick up the bus tickets? Now wehave to walk!" My friend said "I'll fix that!" as hebroke into a black Model A Ford sedan that was parked at the curb. Herummaged around in the car for a while and came outwith a fist full of bus tickets. Then he said "Let's go, the bus stop isaround the corner."
We walked around the corner and jumped ahead in time to the present. Myfriend pointed to a beat up Cadillac and said"There's my car, get in! If we hurry we can beat him to the party. I know ashort cut!" I jumped in the car and we took off,speeding down the street just as the rain started.
We pulled into a dirt parking lot behind a large apartment complex in thehills. At the back of the lot was a rickety woodenstaircase leading up the side of a huge oak tree. A cottage was built highup in the tree, and the sounds of music and laughterdrifted down from it. The storm was really picking up by the time we reachedthe top of the stairs. I was having trouble keepingmy balance as the tree swayed in the wind.
"Come on in!" the host of the party said. "There's drinks at the bar." Myfriend grabbed a martini and went off to socialize. I gotmyself a beer and stood near a wall, trying hard to keep my balance. I wasstarting to feel seasick. The room was swayingback and forth as the storm howled outside, and people were spilling theirdrinks and falling down laughing. Then my friendstumbled back over, clapped me on the back and said "Isn't this party thegreatest?"
Dreamed by: CyberCy