The Amputee

Posted on June 6, 2009

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THE AMPUTEE’S TAXI RIDE WAS OVER. He had left his money in the left side pocket of his jeans. He reached into the pocket with his right hand. The cab driver’s eyes found the amputee’s eyes in the rear view mirror as the amputee dug around for a bill. The amputee twisted around in the seat. He hated when he put things in the wrong pocket. He hated looking like a fool with a stub.

Finally his fingers got hold of the twenty and he pulled it out and thrust it toward the driver.

He stepped out of the cab and saw all sorts of people running around, in and out of the big studio building. Everyone was drinking coffee or talking on a cell phone. Most everyone was clean and beautiful and whole.

He brushed off his jean vest with the good hand and put his stub into his empty left pocket. He made his eyes into little slits and walked all hunched over to the door of the movie studio.

Nobody noticed him as he walked by, nobody knew yet. He tried to look calm, but he was nervous. He hadn’t worked in months. The government’s cheques had started to thin out and the price of beer had gone up; so had the price of the other stuff.

He licked the corners of each lip and came to a little counter with a short woman standing behind it. She had a Bluetooth fixed to one ear and she never looked up as he came near. She was wearing pink and despite the fact that she was short, she was beautiful in a vacant kind of way. The amputee liked vacant girls. Sometimes they could be convinced.

“Hi,” he said and coughed a little. He felt really dirty as she looked at him her pure, blue little eyes pouring over him. He hunched even more and shoved the stub deep down into his pocket.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“I’m here for the part in the movie. They advertised it on the radio.”

The blue-eyed, blue-toothed girl tilted her head and she stood up and she smiled. She looked down at the amputees pocketed arm. She ran around the little counter and put her hand on the amputee’s shoulder. His mouth opened up, he hadn’t been touched like that in a long time.

“Hey, we’re so glad you could make it. Please come this way, I’ll introduce you to the director. We’re really happy to have someone like yourself here.”

She lead him through a long hallway and between several expensive looking curtains. Behind the thin walls around them the amputee could hear screams and gun shots and the sound of water splashing on concrete.

When they went through a final curtain everything was dim and dark and then suddenly light flashed and the amputee saw two actors, sweaty and nervous running around on a set. They were in front of a big green screen covered in fake blood, both of them beautiful and “in to it”.

When the director yelled “cut” the girl walked the amputee over to him. The director had an accent, it wasn’t British.

“I’m here for the audition,” the amputee said.
“You’re here and you’re in. Exactly the type of guy I was envisioning for the role,” the director said kindly. He touched the amputee’s left arm. “Can I see?”

The amputee pulled his stub from his pocket and stood straight. Everyone in the room seemed to be looking at him. Everyone tilted their heads, everyone pitied. Life turned all soft in moments like this. The amputee held his stub out and scratched at the back of his neck with the good hand. The actor’s waved at him and their fake blood looked black under the key light.

“This is going to be the greatest shark movie ever,” the director said to the amputee. “Let’s get you into make-up.”

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Posted in: June 2009