Tim Robbins and his agent, I didn’t catch the name, were in the Red Burrito off Cienfuegos, and I was out of work, and Tim was having a lunch with Anton Chekov. It was that kind of tabloid hyper-realm, and you know, I’d met Tim and his wife, what’s her name, you know, she was in Bull Durham…beautiful golden face, and Costner did her on the breakfast table, oh yeah, Susan Sarandon…and now she wasn’t there–and I overheard Tim asking Anton if he had any new stuff since The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya…and Anton was “without my agent” and unwilling to discuss anything in detail…but there were several things still on the backburner…something about neurotics on a horse ranch in the San Berdo mountains…wow, then about that time Tim seemed to get pissed about something–“Say, isn’t his agent the one in the Russian mafia?” Tim says to his agent…and the agent wags his finger and does a funky thing with his eyebrows…maybe he wasn’t Tim’s agent…just some production assistant, some remora from the studios …and well Chekhov got an attitude, got his panties in a bunch, and there were some seething, hissed remarks back and forth–I did hear the word “butcher…” but god knows, they barely touched their food and shoved (wanted to doggie bag the untouched burritos & beans!)…I jumped at the chance to leverage.
“Hey Tim, buddy,” I said on the sidewalk and introduced myself again. Tim gave me the look, bottom feeder, but liberal that he is, he took pity, towering above me. I asked about his wife–
“Bad day…” he grumbled. “Susan’s got me in the doghouse for–never mind–and Chekhov–the big shot! These nineteenth century guys really take an attitude…they think we moderns are a bunch of overstressed lab rats…” He wrinkled his nose like a rodent, sniffing…and I cued in, and we began sniffing
and snorting and making fun of our times–and Chekhov.
“Got a major stick up his ass,” Tim laid it on; we kept laughing. “Ah, here’s my car. Good luck in your acting…send your resume to my agent…wait…get an agent first–”
“Tim, I need work, real work. I’m hungry…”
He whipped out a fifty. “No, take it,” he said. “Don’t be proud and talk to Eduardo in there,” he motioned to the Red Burrito. “Tell him I sent you…”
“Thanks, Tim,” I said, disappointed, but hey, you take what you get…maybe Eduardo knew some people who knew…yeah…beggars aren’t all losers…
In the kitchen of the Red Burrito, Eduardo demonstrated heating tortillas to a golden, flexible tan. “Not too hot, go hard, see…back and forth…” he showed off. I tried it and did a few proper flips.
“Hey, you learn fast,” Eduardo said. “You’re hired!”
“How much you pay?”
“Two dollars per hour, all you can eat.”
“Two dollars! Jesus!”
I was on the sidewalk, rocking my heels outside the Red Burrito. Time to shake a leg…but wait a minute, isn’t that Shakespeare in the corner booth greasing on Faye Dunaway? I know Faye… kinda… just wait out here for her and the Bard, yeah…