The Movie Star

Anna hadn’t appeared in anything since the 1990s when she played Elsie in the Disney re-make of That Darned Cat. The movie was less than a hit and in the most popular edited version Elsie appeared only on the cutting room floor. That didn’t stop Anna from still thinking of herself, more than 20 idle years later, as a star.

She wore an elegant if tattered dress and dark glasses when she went to Starbucks and promised herself she would politely sign autographs if ever requested to do so. But no photos. Absolutely no photos. She hated the idea of being hounded by photographers and would have been appalled if that ever happened.

Anna’s days were smooth but uneventful. She’d window shop at the most exclusive, expensive boutiques—at least the ones that would buzz her in. She spent hours trying on the most amazing gowns and shoes, looking for something appropriate to wear to the Academy Awards. Though she hadn’t gone since the mid-90s, she was considering making a surprise appearance this year. She was certain this would wow the crowds. She’d probably get a lifetime achievement award.

Maybe her ex, a B actor named Todd, would go with her for old times sake. They split when she started drinking. For some reason, Todd didn’t understand that alcohol was required to stimulate Anna’s muse. He left and took their daughter Lynn. Anna was still a little ticked that Todd won custody, but consoled herself that these things happen. “Creatives like me,” she told herself, “thrive on adversity.”

Medically she was okay, but it was a little uncomfortable for everyone when they found her, face down on the table and unconscious, with a strong smell of alcohol emanating from her latte. She was babbling, rehearsing her acceptance speech.