A police man climbed into his television one night. It was small at first but he got used to it. He went to his favorite show and watched it. He found that he enjoyed himself quite a bit. He took his cop boots and helmet off and put his feet up and really got into it. When the show was over, he went to another show, one he had not seen before. After that he caught a movie and after that one of the camera men offered to let him shoot a segment of a news broadcast.
He became well known on the set. At first he just sat in the audience or on the side of a shoot, off camera, watching the interaction between the actors and directors. When people began to recognize him, he made friends and got to know famous actors and screen writers. He played bit parts. He gave expert advice to the director of a cop show and earned quite a reputation. He was on most nights, somewhere. Often, he was on twice in one night if one session had been taped earlier.
Famous actors offered to give him acting tips. He would often fill in for television journalists. He wore disguises (there was tons of stuff available – he even filled in for Barbara Streisand once and nobody knew the difference). He got gigs of his own and became a minor television personality in his own right. He loved documentaries because his voice was deep and sonorous. His inflection made certain scenes especially dramatic. He had wanted to be a singer, once, before he joined the force.
The cop got involved in several sordid affairs. First it was with a young actress. Their pictures got plastered all over the tabloids. He wasn’t a very good lover, she had said. She told reporters he was paranoid and carried his cop gun around. It blew over and he later thanked her silently for the scandals that brought him so much attention. He was on 60 minutes and Entertainment Tonight. He was seen with ladies half his age quite regularly. He married and divorced like all Hollywood stars. He was pretty serious with the wife of a co-star in a major film where he was a supporting actor and after her marriage broke up the new couple adopted an African child and started a fund.
He realized that he never slept. He wasn’t tired. He just always seemed to be going somewhere and doing something. He hardly ate except on the set when it was required for a shoot. He had long ago lost track of his cop helmet and boots. He got on medications, went to rehabs, went bald and got a toupee. He began to sleep around with flabby actresses who couldn’t get in front of the camera much anymore. He lost interest in them quickly and no one seemed to care. He quietly got in shape at his California ranch. He had a few friends, but nothing deep.
One day he met his ex-wife from the time before he was on television. She was in a hurry, wearing dark sunglasses. She was with a young actor, a man who the cop had done a television mini series with a while back. She recognized him and introduced him as an old friend to the young man, who was apparently sleeping with her even though she was considerably his senior. She looked tired and distant. She complained about the sun and talked about the new project she was doing. She was veritably unrecognizable, nothing like the woman he had known.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007