“Truth be told, I would have been more inclined to admit to being a hooker than the administrative assistant I actually am.”
So…many moons ago, when I thought living in Los Angeles was a good idea, I met writer Harlan Ellison at a book signing in Studio City. Rockstar actually introduced me to his writings some years before, and while I’ll probably never read everything Ellison wrote, I was over the moon to be able to meet him in person. Honestly, the signing was one of the funniest and most memorable days of my life – Harlan (jokingly) called me a bitch, I got some books signed, and spent the afternoon listing to him tell stories to everyone who’d shown up for the signing. He was an amazing storyteller.
As fate would have it, he actually invited me and my friend out to dinner with him, his wife Susan, and a few others he’d invited.
And, much to my eternal regret (this is one of the few things I do actually regret – I don’t have many, because life’s too short) I turned him down. Not only was I completely broke, I was afraid I’d say something stupid and he’d yell at me. 🙂
The friend with me called me out because I was, in fact, a smart ass to Harlan Ellison when he asked what I did for a living, and referred to myself as an “office bitch.” That earned me a smack on the arm and a hissed, “Don’t be rude!”
What he said stuck with me, and I created a piece of flash fiction around it. Many years later, after I moved back to Florida, I created a short film script of it to enter into a contest for the Melbourne Independent Filmakers Festival. Anatomy of an Excuse never got made, but I had a blast writing it.