My agent just died today. I couldnt care less. Died of a burnt up lung, smoked herself to it.

I actually felt relieved I didnt have to hear that raspy, tobacco flavoured voice anymore. I would have shot her myself if I had the money to buy a gun. The bitch deserved to die, the only successful client she ever had was a middle-aged guy who did three shows of Beckett and then died of a heart attack during a rather wild post-production party. He was fucking a girl half his age in a nearby closet, the girl was too young for him. Atleast he died happy, with an erection. I was walking down fifth avenue. The pavement was lined with snow and useless bums who were waiting for their soup-kitchen to open. I couldve had my meal at a soup kitchen. I had no money. I spent the last of whatever I had on a large dose of heroin. I knew where I was going, towards the Brooklyn bridge. The water at this time of the year is cold enough to kill you by shock. I could not swim. I had no insurance. The last play I acted in was described by a reviewer as,"legitimate trash, directed by an amateurish slob and acted out by mannequins. The male lead of an incestuous father was done poorly but the smile on his face was enough to give a repeated sex offender a complex." The critic was a Jew. What else could you expect from one. The review made me lose small jobs in two more plays. I couldnt care less. At least I would not have to go through the humiliation of playing a clown and a corpse. A corpse, that would put my acting skills to the test. The last thing my agent told me before her lung caught fire was that it would be hard for me to get any more work in theatre. I had three consecutive bad reviews. I had no looks. I was balding and had a paunch. I couldnt care less. The Brooklyn Bridge would have the answers to all my questions. My girlfriend dumped me. She had a volume of bad poetry recently published. She was hailed as the best thing to hit American Poetry since Kerouac and Ginsberg. All she wrote about was her cunt. Stinking monolugues about it bleeding and being moist all the time. The critics called it "a very thoughtful feminist allegory." To me it was just a ranting about a cunt. She dumped me as she was rich now, she did not need a boyfriend. Her cunt didnt need me, it was a star. It is in times like these you feel the need of a giant finger, a giant middle finger that you could raise and show to the entire city. A finger that could be seen by everyone, dead agents, successful girlfriends, jewish critics, made-up whores and worthless bums. But, knowing this city I felt that it already had a reply up its sleeve. I heard it tell me through the sounds of the horns of taxis and the constant, ryhtmic yelling of expletives that I was too fucked up to show anyone the finger. My life was torn apart by the city and now it was ready to devour me. I felt that the guy who sold me that dose of heroin had ripped me off. I felt nothing. The narrow bylane where I was walking was empty. It smelt of trash, of empty cans of tuna and of cats litter. I looked up at the stars wondering if they were looking down at me, laughing at my plight and calling me names. Suddenly, out of nowhere I heard a thud. I just crashed into an old woman carrying a brown paper bag. Out of it fell two loaves of bread and some cans. I helped the lady pick up her things and finally got a look at her face. It was like any old-lady face, lined with wrinkles and showing a little bar of shiny, obviously false teeth. The only thing that stood out were her shiny glistening, black eyes. "Im sorrry mam, I just wasnt looking." "Never mind son." "I think I ruined your dinner, the bread you were carrying just fell in the snow." "Its allright my dear, its perfectly edible.You look pale son, havent you had anything to eat." "No mam nothing today." "My, my son you must be starving, come along with me. Dinner at my place should bring back the red in your cheeks." "No mam I musnt impose." "I insist plus my son Ray, would love company, his friends dont see him anymore." I just followed the old lady. She seemed too nice to be someone from New York. The Brooklyn Bridge could wait. As I stepped into her little apartment I smelt the overwhelmimg smell of syringes. The nauseating smell you get when you step into a hospital ward. The apartment was small. I could see three rooms. She told me to get comfortable on a torn, flattened sofa as she walked into the

kitchen to prepare our little meal. The lighting was horrible in the apartment. All the corners were darkened and torn wallpaper just added to the effect of gloominess and impending death in the room. My feelings of emptiness were suddenly broken as I heard a weak, barely audibly voice from one of the corners. "My mother must have invited you to dinner." I looked around and saw a small lump near one of the corners, a little, shapeless bundle, lying on a settee covered in heaps of blankets. I could not see a face, it was too dark to see anything beyond silhouettes. I just sat on my uncomfortable sofa and replid. "Yes she did, a very lovely woman she is." "True. How did you meet." "We just bumped into each other on the street." " Ah how nice. What do you do for a living." "Im an actor, what do you do." "Great. I'm terminally ill. The pay isnt all that good, but the hours are flexible." "I'm sorry. I didnt know..." "You neednt be. Ive been so for the past five years. I would have gone a long time ago, had it not been for my mother." "You stayin alive for her." "In a way. Actually she keeps me alive. I have testicular cancer. In the final stages. The doctors said I would be dead a year ago. But am still hanging on. The lady knows I have no chance but still works two jobs a day to buy me my medicines. She just wont give up." "You mean the lady, despite knowing you are about to go spends a fortune trying to keep you alive." "Yes. The lady must love me very much. Blowing away lots of money with absolutely no return. I guess thats what they call hope." I tried hard to look at the face of the guy. All I could see was the shiny red blanket he was covering himself with. It was then I felt something hit me. A feeling of shame swept me and I felt like I was the lowest living thing on earth. Here I was an able, strong man getting ready to jump into a river just because of a bad review. I had just seen the stuff bad hollywood movies try hard to tell but often fail in doing so, hope never dies. The old lady and her son were living for each other, living, despite having a ticking clock in the background preparing itself to read an eulogy. I decided enough was enough. All those scenes from the rocky movies where he fights back from the absolute brink of defeat came back to me. I decided to give life another shot. I had the humble dinner the old lady placed before me. Before leaving I looked at the guy in the corner and asked him his name. "Ray, Ray Magini.", came the reply. I thanked the old lady and her son and stepped out of the apartment, as a man. Three days later I got a job in a sitcom. Three years later I was a star. Many years later I was walking down a street when an overwhelming feeling of deja vu overtook me. I looked at the street It was the same one where I met the old lady and her son, Ray Magini. I ran about searching for their address. I wanted to tell them that I had made it and they had a part in it too. I searched hard for the apartment block where they lived. I asked everyone, everywhere the name Ray Magini drew blank responses. Finally I found an old man and asked him about their wherabouts. "Son, Ive lived in this locality for 27 years and not once did I come across the name Ray Magini." I walked away, dejected at not finding the old lady and her son. Thats when it hit me, like someone took the idea, wrapped it in a brick and threw it at me. "Ray Magini." "Imaginary." The mind sure knows how to play tricks. I guess the heroin in my system was working after all. The sub-conscious sure never gives up.

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