It was 2007, and the guy had no neck.
We had chatted on the phone a few times, but I’m the kind of girl that #1 – hates the phone. #2 - prefers to meet in person as soon as possible, because you know as soon as you see him if this guy is going to be someone you want to see again.
And I knew as soon as I saw him that he was not someone I wanted to see again. Because he had no neck. Like seriously, his chin would have hit his shoulder if he had turned his head. I’m sure he knew it. I’m sure he was self conscious about it.
But come on, give the guy a chance. If he’s someone special, if he’s someone quality, then no neck is something I can get over, right?
So I give him a chance. For three hours. He sounded nice on the phone, but in person is coming across as a cocky slickster hustler, talking a lot about buying companies, firing his last girlfriend who worked at his company, la la la. He was more than willing to reveal a lot of personal information that only people in Los Angeles seem to think is appropriate icebreaker conversation (for the record, how long you last in bed is not an appropriate icebreaker conversation, even if you’re sharing it to prove that you can be vulnerable, since by your own admission you don’t last that long.) He kept throwing out compliments about how beautiful I was, I’m one of the most interesting and intriguing women he’s ever met, in a way that approached Greasy Car Salesman mode.
The drinks keep coming, he gets more animated, more arrogant, I think he knows he’s blown it with me, and he knows I’m waiting for an appropriate time to say, “Thank you. It was nice to meet you, but I need to be going home now.”
Because he starts saying that I’m probably not going to get anywhere with my writing career. Given how long I’ve been in Los Angeles, how old I am, “Look. If it hasn’t happened by now, than it’s probably not going to, right?” He’s guessing that I’m bitter because it hasn’t happened yet, and that bitterness is only going to repel whatever meager chances I might scrabble together. And he knows this because he’s directed one short, and one feature, and nobody’s ever heard of them. But yet, he’s on his way up, and I’m going nowhere.
But I do go somewhere. I thank him for his time, and walk out the door. He sends me an email the next day wondering what he did wrong, would I please give him another chance, he’s inviting me to a screening please don’t say no immediately, just give it some thought. I reply back, saying chemistry is funny, you can’t force it, you can only give it a chance, so I’m glad we tried, but it wasn’t there for me.
And I wouldn’t be surprised if it was that encounter that may have been the jinx that oomped itself into finally getting Pink Piggy made last year. The butterfly flaps its wings in China and causes a hurricane in Brazil. A no neck guy says I’m never going to make it as a writer, and a year and a half later, last Tuesday night, I’m sitting at the premiere of Pink Piggy, in a theater of three hundred people, in a dress I found at H&M for $34, my hair all poofy, wearing a necklace my six year old niece gave me last year for my birthday, the three alcohol and sugar pounds successfully shaken off, having posed for photographers on a pink carpet, listening to a huge roar in the crowd when my name comes up on the screen under “Written By” and thinking I wish I could go back to myself in 2007 and say yes you will. Yes you will make it as a writer. Forget everything this asshole is saying. You’re gonna be fine just fine. Everything’s going to be fine.
But ultimately I know it’s not a jinx. I know it’s not a metaphorical butterfly in the form of a no neck guy.
It’s God. It’s God, plain and simple and I haven’t a clue why He’s choosing to work this way, allowing the story of one drunken decision in 2001 to blossom into a film that people are now clapping and cheering. For most of my writing career, I was so sure that God wouldn’t be happy unless I was writing really awful on the nose Christian movies. But all I did was write the stories I wanted to write, and God is showing through anyway, guiding me towards meeting the right people, steering the boat towards the right opportunities in the right timing, it’s just...just...incomprehensible and amazing.
These are some wonderfully strange days I’m living in, folks, and I haven’t even told you half of what else is brewing. Every day brings another unexpected phone call, every day brings another unexpected opportunity. These days aren’t gonna last forever, they may not even last through next week. I’m as busy as I’ve ever been, but the feeling isn’t going away.
You’re gonna be fine just fine. Everything’s going to be fine.
Thank You God, Thank You, Thank You God, Thank You, Thank You God, Thank You.
Hey, will this picture turn out? It’s the necklace that Bug gave me for my birthday last year. She actually wouldn’t hand it over for two days because she wanted to wear it. It went awesome with the dress. ☺