« So I hear that you used to write movies ».
I lifted my fingers from the keyboard.
« What was that? » the nurse said. « You got gas? » I’d quietly groaned because I knew what was coming: an idea for a movie. I’d heard them for most of my adult life: from cabdrivers, barbers, doctors, anyone who’s got you trapped for a while, like this dentist in Van Nuys who once tried to get me jazzed about writing a movie about the romance of dentistry, this as he was sharpening a #6 drill and with my mouth propped open as I stared with bulging eyes at the dental horror photos that were plastered all over the wall in front of me.
« Tell me, what’s your idea? » I asked the nurse miserably.
« Yeah, all I need is a writer to help me with the technical stuff, » I heard her say. I turned and faced her. She was standing with her arms akimbo.
« What technical stuff? » You mean the screenplay format? »
« No, the words, » she said.
I wanted to bury my forehead in my hand.