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The Last Fling
By Joe Romano
from Clayton,CA

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“The threats are not real,” he wrote on a piece of hotel stationery. “If they were I’d have carried them out already. No, I’m just trying to teach you something. We may not all be pretty but we all have feelings.”

He put the pen down bearing the Knickerbocker Hotel in gold lettering and reviewed his work. Direct yet delicate. He poured himself another shot of Dickel and wished for a cigarette as he looked out over Hollywood Boulevard and the faraway lights on the hills. Beautiful people in big, beautiful cars stopped and departed in front of the hotel, heading off again into the night.

“Success comes to everyone in some way,” he continued in his backhand scrawl, “What matters is whether or not we recognize that success. If we don’t then it really wasn’t success at all.”

Again he traded the pen for the glass and stood up. Looking out the window his mind viewed the hillside, like everything upon which his eyes rested, as if through a lens. There had been successes. There could be more, he felt sure. He had such intolerance for people who didn’t know what was best for them.

“Please reconsider my offer,” he continued. “I know you’d be wonderful in the part. From the moment I read the script I envisioned you in the role. I think we both need this.”

He finished his drink and read the letter again. Satisfied, he added:

“I’ll be staying at the Knickerbocker for the remainder of the week. I anxiously await your decision … DWG.”

He placed the letter in one of the envelopes provided by the hotel and put it in his coat pocket as he left his room. At the front desk he handed the letter to the concierge.

“Will you see that Miss Farmer receives this, please? I’ll be in the bar if you should receive any messages for me.”

“Very good, sir.”

He turned and walked into the bar, taking his usual stool on the left near the piano and the large picture window.


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