UNITED STATES—I’m keeping my eyes on my clothes tumbling in the laundromat dryer. What do you think about separating clothes? I really don’t believe in segregation for fabrics unless there’s one T-shirt that’s bleeding all over the place and will make your whites look like they were marinated in iodine. What’s with that, China? Me, Giselle, would like to know.

“Tommy,” I hear Danny saying to his phone. “I really have to get going. Yes, she sounds like a very exciting spur of the moment person. You’d need a crystal ball to know what she’s going to do next, it sounds to me… Well, maybe you shouldn’t have been making out with her. Maybe that isn’t love, Tommy… that sounds like like lust when you kept kissing her after she had too much vodka and promised to take her home. She had a little too much to drink. Listen, Tommy I’ve really got to get going, I need to go to have my teeth cleaned and my parking meter is out of change. Truly, this is very interesting, Tommy. Your life is fascinating. Of course a parking ticket is not so fascinating for me, and if I miss my dental appointment, I still have to pay for it. We’re not all in your tax bracket. You’re the creator of Jailbird, I have to hand it to you; you created it, knew how to develop it and when to sell it. Gee, I wish I had had that sense of timing when it came to “Boogie Nights,” you know I wrote that song. Our punk band played it in Gazzarri’s, “Booger Nights.” Heatwave’s keyboardist came in that night and took it from us. Stop yelling at me for not listening… I’m listening,”

There’s certainly a lot of drama in the world, Giselle. My nightmare is getting caught by a time vampire like Danny and now, it’s happening to him. That’s like my word for today: schadenfreude, to derive mirth from the mishaps of others. The old vampire, albeit the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet, gets a dose of his own medication. He’s shouting at the phone:

“What’s wrong with you, Tommy? I’ve got a dentist waiting and my parking meter is flashing red. Why does she hate you and why did she try to run you over? Tommy you take things so personally: she went through the red light because her mind was on something else. She probably was late to a dental appointment… Don’t remind me, Tommy, I know I have a dental appointment and you’re…””

I’m half listening to this, while I call Bryon, to see if he wants to go to a movie.

(I see Danny suffering big time, hang dog face, desperate, sweating and suffering)

“Sure I love you Tommy, you wait till next conversation when we have all day to talk.” The look of a trapped man. I chuckled and saw old Danny being shadenfreuded by Tommy. He was in deep anguish just trying to get off the phone and get his clothes out of the dryer. I was glad I got Bryan’s voice mail and could leave a message about tonight’s gallery opening. I can tell Bryan is the kind of person who isn’t ready for me. As Danny might say, “You are a free spirit, what they called a Bohemian back in the ice age. Danny can be pretty funny, I like him. Bryan often complains of his mind going blank when I am within 20 yards of him. Poor Danny, still stuck on the line with Tommy:

“You think she wants you after she complemented your haircut and sweater. You are so darn self-centered, Tommy, you should consider other people have lives. Stop yelling. That does it, Tommy. I tried to be nice!” Danny gets beet red and snorts like a bull and then cuts off his phone. He goes full on yell, “WILL YOU JUST SHUUUUT UP!!!”

“Phew! Sorry about that,” Danny said. “Tommy gets going, he just won’t stop. All worked up about a girl. Funny thing, her name was Giselle… Just like you… Say, Giselle, could I get you a coffee, just up the street.”

“I’m sorry I’ve a got a date with someone for a gallery opening.”

“Giselle!” Danny implodes, fit to be tied. “I can’t believe that. We were just talking and you complementing my leather jacket

Like I say, wherever I go I leave a trail of war, shambles and heartbreak…

Graydon Miller is the author of the humor collection, “Later Bloomer: Tales from Darkest Hollywood” https://amzn.to/2HJKNPf

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Hollywood humorist Grady Miller grew up in the heart of Steinbeck Country on the Central California coast. More Bombeck than Steinbeck, Grady Miller has been compared to T.C. Boyle, Joel Stein, and Voltaire. He briefly attended Columbia University in New York and came to Los Angeles to study filmmaking, but discovered literature instead, in T.C. Boyle’s fiction writing workshop at USC. In addition to A Very Grady Christmas, he has written the humorous diet book, Lighten Up Now: The Grady Diet and the popular humor collection, Late Bloomer (both on Amazon). His humor column, Miller Time, appears weekly in The Canyon News (www.canyon-news.com)