Every now and then, you gotta’ do something you really hate. Something that sticks up in your nose and won’t go away.
The B-level actor scaled the stairs to the studio. The staircase was cold and grey and the cement held the glossiness that a polishing of light feet will leave, as if liquid flowed down the steps and out the door. He entered the studio to the “embrace” of a white sheet and bright, painful lights. If the B-level actor were not a B-level actor, he would’ve called it something less cliché and more appropriate than an “embrace”. Magazine promotionals often helped people’s careers. Too bad they were shitty.
The guy in charge of the shoot - maybe it was the fashion director, maybe it was a stylist, or maybe it was the guy who wrote the money column; who-the-fuck knows these days – greeted the actor. The magazine would be promoting a new movie that the actor played in and hopefully would pump some much-needed gas into the actor’s career.
The actor was walked over to where the S/S ’12 stuff was, stuffed in a brown trunk. The guy in charge was talking with a quick pace that bad comedians do to get as much joke in as possible. “Have you seen the new spring oh-twelve shit yet? It’s sooo good. Really, the designers these days know how to use textures and toned down colors that aren’t too harsh and don’t wash you out. You’ve got a great complexion for this shoot because we don’t have anything more radical than a brownish green.”
The guy in charge asked the actor to strip down to his underwear, so the interns could help him change into what they wanted him to wear for the shoot. The actor breathed deeply, knowing it would be one of the last fresh breaths he would have for some time. One of the interns walked over to the trunk and opened it. “Such nice shit,” the guy in charge said.
The shit smelled like, well, shit. There were gobs of dark brown, logs of a nutty ochre, liquid lumps of a brown tinted with orange, and, like the guy in charge said, dumps of a brownish green. One intern, with his nose wrinkled, picked up a gob of dark brown and began to apply it to the actor’s leg. Another picked up a loaf of the nutty ochre and draped it over the actor’s shoulder.
So the photo shoot began.
After the shoot, the actor went straight to a convenience store, per the recommendation of a fellow actor, to pick up some supplies so that he could get the poop smell out of his nostrils and excrement taste out of his mouth. The magazine offered him a shower, which he accepted, but the smell of turd is hard to be rid of. The actor walked to the snack aisle and picked up a bag of Cheetos, the spicy kind and the best way to get rid of the side effects of the shoot. A mentally handicapped man stocked shelves a few paces down from the actor.
The man grinned at no one in particular, perhaps at the actor, and hummed along to “Centerfold” which fuzzed in the background. He was happy that he’d be eating something his mom had cooked, and not some crappy bag of Cheetos. Cheetos are gross and the powdered cheese gets everywhere.