Aris Janigian (b. 1960, Fresno, California, USA)

Written by Aris Janigian

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Waiting for Lipchitz at Chateau Marmont, 2016

Across from me now sat a super skinny guy, late twenties, with a straggly beard and sunglasses and Fred Segal-ish white linen shirt. Beneath his yellow slacks, with a high-end cotton satiny sheen, he wore yellow socks and aqua blue burlap fabric shoes. Crossing one skinny leg sharply over the other, he continued on his cell phone rather loudly, as if to convey that so accustomed was he to owning whatever space he found himself in that he considered even the bar at the Marmont his. I listened, not particularly because I wanted to, to his discussion with his associate about how X was very interested, and how X had looked at the script and wasn’t joking around, and how he’d been waiting for a part like this and felt that it was very much what his career needed at this point, but the deal was X wanted a part of the action, and that that was the big question here, whether part of the action was on the table, and that that was what the person on the other line needed to think about, really consider seriously, because he had the feeling that X was being serious, no bullshit was involved here, and that they needed to get back to X pronto, because word was he was considering another project, not really the kind of thing he wanted right now in his career, especially after the butt fucking — let’s be honest — he took with Z, but still he was considering it, and that you know how things go, one day he’d be considering it and the next day he’d be locking the other deal in, so really seriously think about what slice of the pie we might give X on the back end. The hot air of the conversation was going of its own internal combustion, apparently, because he kept turning the issue over and over, as though its sheer recitation was intoxicating, like he was sticking his dick into a new orifice of the same old guttered Hollywood whore each and every time he said it, this way and that. Listening in on all this hyping and jockeying much less irritated and impressed me than it depressed me, because I realized above and beyond everything else that, again, I no longer had the enthusiasm to orgy thus and that Lipchitz was bound to gauge it as accurately as a Geiger counter measures radiation in a room.

When I came up from this thought, the angular young man was recoiling from whatever it was his associate was now ramming into his ear, his boyish face all full of boyish worry, and when he finally spoke again the voice had turned boyish, too: "Okay, man, sorry…I just, you know, want to lock this deal in…" and "Yeah, yeah, yeah, hey, take your time, we’re good, no worries; cool, we’ll talk when we talk." There it is: he’s been pissed on. The fear that he’d pushed too hard was writ large all over his pretty straggly bearded face. The one hit, or — more likely — one bunt wonder, was taking a deal that was a complete hypothetical, if not an out-and-out fantasy, way more seriously than he’d earned the right to. Suddenly he stood, all concerned and cornered, and the skinny little nobody that he was all along in his Fred Segal-ish outfit came into wretched relief.


© Aris Janigian; Los Angeles: Rare Bird Books, A Vireo Book

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