The interviewer had charmed her with his smile. After being invited into her home, offered coffee, and allowed to have a crew of technicians run cables, cameras, and lights throughout her living room, she soon realized her guest was not only unappreciative but mean-spirited. He sat in her love seat and told her she looked nervous, to relax. The formal exchange began with him quoting praises she had received for her work. Nearly succeeding in vanquishing her guard, he failed, too impatient and inept at camouflaging his attack. Graciously she let his cynicism phrased as questions graze her skin. She deftly avoided any serious damage to her heart by giving him the truth. The rest were deflected answers. She had become calm, more curious as to why her guest was filled with venom. Changing tactics he attempted to cajole his way into her personal life. He wanted to clear up a few unsubstantiated rumors – about an affair with an actor she had never met, an undisclosed settlement awarded to her ex-husband in a lawsuit, her child’s autism – and, if all of it true, how was she coping? She became intrigued by the glimmer of his green eyes, the fashionably controlled stripes of his perfectly knotted tie, and his toupee rising and falling with each rehearsed frown from his powdered face. Sweat had escaped through his makeup and he signaled to have the lights cut off, abruptly curtailing her answer pertaining to future plans. He leaned forward in a gesture to imply they were intimate pals, and whispered in her ear – commenting on the silly nature of this show-business world with its celebrity worship and its ravenous public appetite that could not be helped since, he laughed, it kept them both employed. What surprised her the most was how much he believed it all – sounding sincere, deeply caring about the answer to his final question. Had she enjoyed being interviewed by him? She had not, she told him. She had, though, been charmed by his smile.
Excerpt from Light-Years in the Dark: StoryPoems (see more)
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photo-art design by todd crawshaw