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the star

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The Star When the world started to end, you were ashamed of yourself for weeping bitterly in your bedroom for an entire day. You saw the president crying and begging on TV and it sent you into a panic. You lay in bed with the blankets pulled up to your nose, crying, refusing to answer the door when the maid, your manager, your assistant, and finally your parents begged you to come out. After twenty-four hours, your father took the door off its hinges and dragged you down the stairs into your sunken living room with the white carpet and leather couches. You kicked and screamed until he had to pick you up and carry you over his shoulder. You called him a motherfucker and threatened to take back the Mercedes you'd purchased for him last Christmas. Your mother sat solemnly on the couch, her hands clenched into fists on top of the newspaper in her lap. ...read more.


Two days later, your mother and father are discussing survival, and filling jugs with water from the tap just in case. Your father is worried about the electricity holding out. You sit in the living room wondering why all the servants quit the day before, and if your assistant is ever going to call you back. The only connection to the outside world is the radio, and it's hard to get real information between the crying and praying on almost every channel. On the pop station, the dj says over and over that it's only a matter of time. Your father tells you to switch to the AM band because they have more sense on AM, goddammit. You hear reports of death and destruction all over the country, and all you can think is that you hope LA is okay. Even after reports of people dead in their cars, you imagine Rodeo Drive the same as it ever was, untouched by nasty things like war, sickness and death. ...read more.


Your finger traces your name on the awards over and over, and you can't comprehend how someone who has accomplished so much in such a short time should be allowed to go through something as horrible as this. You're a star, for God's sake, you deserve better than this. Your father is calling your name in the hall. He sounds sick. His voice breaks repeatedly, and he's gagging between words. You don't want him to throw up on the carpet in the hall, but you keep your mouth shut. If he does, the cleaning woman will take care of it tomorrow. You pull the blankets up to your chin and close your eyes. Your father's voice sounds farther and farther away now as you clutch the Grammy close to your chest and squeeze your eyes shut. Tomorrow you'll wake up and things will be better. Tomorrow you'll be on the Tonight Show, and be as charming as ever. Tomorrow your agent will apologize for not calling. Tomorrow you'll still be a star. ...read more.

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