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20 • STAGE HAND • RC • STRAIGHT • NEW YORK CITY • GINTA LAPINA
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ACCORDING TO MOM<BR>
“Addy came into this world like a bang. I’m sure you don’t want to hear about it but it was a very short labor. Much like today, she was the one calling the shots and didn’t want to waste any time. Her father and I had her fairly late in our lives, long after we moved to the U.S. from Germany and it was a little unexpected but a blessing all the same. Since Addy’s father and I made our living performing in Broadway shows, Addy was left home with a nanny often. We tried to keep our performances concentrated in New York City since that’s where our home was but it didn’t always work out that way. When our shows were in New York, we kept Addy close by backstage. Family time is important to both me and my husband. Unfortunately, Addy always seemed to have her own agenda. I wish I had her energy and enthusiasm. It was difficult to keep her in line sometimes. She’s truly a force to be reckoned with—it’s her way or the highway. I suppose that’s to be expected of an only child but it’s especially an issue with Adelaide. She’s a sweet girl, very caring—she does a lot of volunteer work that we’re very proud of. The trouble is she can sometimes come on a little bit too strong, I suppose you could say. She’s got a love for debate and loves getting right into it with people. She’s brash and sudden in most everything she does. Everything happens in a whirlwind rush. She’s turned her poor father’s hair gray with her need to have everything in the world and have it now. She’s quick to judge, quick to fall in love, quick to anger. Instant gratification is a big thing with her. Everything has to be right now.Luckily, she’ll often want things so badly that even if she doesn’t get them right away, she’ll work at it until she does. In fact, she’ll do herself in if we don’t tell her to stop and take a break. I tell her all the time, “slow down. Breathe.” She’d laugh herself to death if she could, stay up all night if she could. I worry about her now that she’s quit her schooling to go do this music tour thing she’s run off to do. I know this is because she’s upset she can’t dance anymore but she’s twenty now. I can’t tell her what to do. I can only wait for her to make her mistakes and come back home.”
ACCORDING TO ADDY<BR>
“When I was five my mom let me pick out one thing from a toy store. I chose a book called The Silver Slippers. It came with a silver necklace with ballet shoes for the charm. The book and the necklace became an obsession that turned into my parents signing me up for ballet lessons to keep me occupied while they were traveling for work. Within a few years, once I was old enough to start to understand more, I knew it was what I wanted to do forever. I had one goal. Julliard. And I got it. I got it. Do you have any idea what a big deal that was to me? Any idea at all? I think I called every single person in my life at that time in hysterics to tell them, I was so excited I probably could have put the Pointer Sisters to absolute shame. Both of them. No, all three of them!
Anyway, when I ended up getting to Julliard, it was everything I had hoped and also probably a little more than I had expected in terms of difficulty. I kind of came down with little fish in a big pond syndrome when I got there but I was determined to grow into my ballet shoes and find myself a place. So determined, that I was ignoring a lot of what instructors were telling me to do it my own way. All they ever said was ‘too much, Adelaide. Too much. Less,’ or ‘we want to see more of your natural personality. You’re trying too hard’. What the hell does that even mean? I just as good as killed myself to please them and ended up killing my ankle trying. I admit, some of that…well, all of it, is my own fault. I should have listened to what I was being told about posture and pacing. I should have taken it more easy but too bad. I’ve paid enough for it—I can’t dance professionally ever again. What do you do when you find out the one thing you’ve been aiming for your entire life isn’t a possibility anymore? I sat on that question for quite awhile. I didn’t feel like myself and my friends felt the same way. I’m typically a stupidly upbeat and energetic person but after I had to stop dancing, I just got really bitter, you know? It was a pretty awful funk. I didn’t feel like myself. I had no idea what to do because I didn’t know what I wanted anymore. A friend of mine ended up telling me I could travel a lot if I got a job as a stagehand on a tour, so I thought why not? It was a chance to get away and start fresh. So, here I am, starting over again. I can do that, right? Lindsay Lohan does it all the time! In jail, out of jail, in rehab, out of rehab. I don’t know how many times she’s thrown her career into the flames and tried to pull it back out again successfully… or, not successfully. She’s really popular now, right? Um, have you heard of I Know Who Killed Me? No? Well, it’s just a matter of time before she reinvents her career into something brilliant. Once, you know, she stops sucking. Easy peasy.”
Ballet, water, debating, politics, science, math, green technology, the Ting Tings, caramel apples, fashion, handwritten letters, nail art, swings, sunglasses, the way department stores smell, Times Square at night, riding in elevators, getting dizzy, knock-knock jokes, oxymorons, arcades with tickets and prizes, photo bombing, trains, planes, babies, crowded rooms, Obama, birthdays, black and white movies, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Just Dance 3, long hot summers, Coldplay, Wall-E, Pinkberry, breakfast, lunch, dinner, weddings, goofing off, pig latin, improv, counting games, the internet, finding pennies, Austin Powers, Feist, elephants, board games, Christmas, candles, bubble wrap, watching the news, candy hearts, Jim Carrey, funny commercials, her iPod, cookie monster, neon signs, daydreaming, broadway shows, big storms, volunteering, dogs, being asked for directions, cameras, Mad Libs, rap music, Angry Birds, maps, karaoke, friends and family, feeling important, excessive pillows, and planning ahead.
Secrets, feeling left out, burning the roof of her mouth on food, horror movies, yawning, Ryan Seacrest, sticky hands, chipped nail polish, being alone for too long, sports on television, being put on speakerphone, reality television, not getting her way, falling asleep without background noise, mustard, ignorance, bad cell phone reception, sharing food, buzz kills, limitations, the same old stuff day after day, blood, Alec Baldwin, credit card companies, sushi, McDonald’s, when hair elastics break, chapped lips, feeling sweaty, being told she doesn’t know what she’s doing, fuzzy fruits likes peaches, extreme negativity, extreme positivity, the crinkling sound tin foil makes, running out of spending money, not being taken seriously, boys with pants hanging off their asses, getting ripped off, oversleeping, sunburns, explaining things more than once, break-ups, games with timers, secondhand shoes, getting sick, March—since there are no holidays, pretending to like someone, feeling like someone is pretending to like her, starting over, wanting to sing along with a song but only knowing half the lyrics, driving in heavy traffic, and accepting changes she doesn’t agree with.
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Justin folded his arms in front of him and stood in the sand, watching and listening as Alex went on about his old surfboard. She was amusing him, though what she was saying did have truth to it. It had been a good board and was his favorite for a long time for a reason. It was strange to him that one object could carry so many memories and so much significance, yet somehow end up placed in storage out of sight and out of mind. If Justin didn’t know any better, he’d say Alex missed the surfboard more than she missed him—actually, he wouldn’t even be surprised if that was the case. Their split had been mutual but it hadn’t come without at least some hard feelings, hard feelings that Justin hadn’t completely forgotten, despite their relationship getting shelved much like his old surfboard. Something had happened to make him feel like he didn’t want her to be his girlfriend anymore just as something had happened to make him decide he didn’t want to use that surfboard anymore. Yet, he would never throw away either for reasons he would either never understand or refuse to let himself understand. ”Yeah,” Justin responded to Alex with a light laugh. ”Lost quite a bit as well.” After enough time, the board just didn’t have the same aerodynamics it used to and he’d held onto it a lot longer than many of his sponsors understood. ”Last time I used it was at the Reef Hawaiian Pro in Oahu, I think. Not a good run for me,” he shared, thinking back. He was pretty sure he hadn’t even placed that day—the perfect reason to throw in the towel and agree to accept the boards being thrown at him by sponsors. What’d he need that old thing for anymore, anyway? ”You don’t wanna know that,” he joked, unfolding his arms to place his hands in his pockets. He’d dated quite a few girls since Alex but none of them were girls he’d be saying anything like that to—in fact, he probably wouldn’t say anything at all for fear of ending up murdered. Turns out break-ups don’t go over very well when you act like a total douchebag. ”Well, I do what I can. It’s hard work but worth it,” Justin stated with a bullshit smile. ”Oh, do that again. This time a little harder,” he then instructed with a wink after Alex had shoved him. He couldn’t help but laugh, all too amused by his own immaturity.
Taking his hand to his head, Justin assessed the situation—though it proved to be pretty futile considering whatever hair gel he’d globbed on earlier in the day was currently kicking it with the sharks and the seaweed. ”Sonic should be jealous. Hair like this doesn’t just happen over night, you know. It takes some serious skill.” There was no way Justin could ever give up styling his hair. He’d been doing it since he was seven, there was no separating him from it. As gay as he felt doing it every day, he knew he’d feel twice as gay walking around with hair like old school Justin Bieber. ”All I heard just then was ‘swallow’ and ‘big’,” Justin then admitted with yet another douche-tastic laugh. Honestly, how could she expect him to listen like a respectable human being when she was employing such innuendo-ridden vocabulary? He was trying, really. Okay, not really. Justin shook his head, refusing to believe Alex’s claim that she found him scrawny. Despite this, he couldn’t really fight the mischievous smile his thoughts to follow brought on. ”Here’s one for you,” he said—‘one’ being something he’d said over and over again while they were dating. ”Feel my abs,” he laughed, glancing toward Alex to see if she remembered. She had to. He was worse than a pregnant woman at her baby shower whenever he swung by to pick Alex up on his way home from the gym in California—or maybe he just liked her hands on him. Probably both. It was true, he was as big a fitness geek as they come. ”Does the post-break up ass kicking come before or after the sex? I’m down with either,” he teased, offering Alex a medial smile. ”Though, you kicking my ass before the sex would make the sex so much better, don’t you think?” he then went on to ask with a smug grin. He was so getting smacked again, he was already cringing.
There was a very exaggerated eye roll in order following Alex’s comment pertinent to Justin’s business partner’s body. The last thing he wanted to be talking about was some other guy’s body—which Justin was certain Alex was fully aware of and this was just another one of her infinite ways to try and get under his skin. ”You sure you’re going to be okay out on the beach all day? Wouldn’t want you dry humping every young, eligible shirtless bachelor to pass you by,” he teased, glancing back toward where they’d been walking from with the realization that he’d forgotten to grab his sunglasses. His mind was all over the place, to be honest. Overlooking the simple things, such as the sun being in his eyes and driving him nuts, Justin had a burning curiosity to see Alex’s photos—anything and everything to do with the surf center had him chomping at the bit. He wanted to get everything down now so that they could open. It was one of the few things he just couldn’t be patient about. Then, there was all these strange brewing he felt at the pit of his stomach, these old feelings and senses being kicked up like fine dust every time Alex talked, moved, smiled—it didn’t matter what she did, it reminded him of things he’d set himself up to believe would never come to matter anymore. Especially her laugh. He was as useless as a marionette when it came to fighting his lips from becoming animated into a large smile, puppeteers’ strings pulling hard at the corners of his mouth—Alex’s laughter serving as the puppeteer in this case. He was glad to see her laughing, even if it was at his expense. He had admittedly worried about her some after their break up, mostly just wondering where she was and hoping that wherever life had taken her, it had been kind to her. Even if he had resented her after their break-up, he did want her to be happy—which was a lot of the reason why he’d started entertaining the thought of breaking up with her. He knew he just wasn’t cutting it, being gone so often. ”You’re not exactly forgettable, a pain in the ass like you,” he continued to poke fun. In truth, even though he’d complain until he could complain no more, this was one of the things that Justin found the most endearing about Alex both as a girlfriend and a friend—if she was a friend. He glanced toward her as they walked, wondering if that’s what this might be. He didn’t mind a strict business relationship but the more he talked to her now, the more he thought he wouldn’t mind a friendship either. ”Ha, yeah…” Justin shoved his hands hard into his pockets, almost bashful in his tone. Nobody was supposed to know he wasn’t a total dick, you know. ”So…” Why was this so difficult? It was as if feelings made him stupid—Justin often times had himself dead set on telling someone something of emotional significance to him and then the very second the moment was presenting itself to him, he copped out. It was the only time his usually up-front and blunt personality took a back seat. ”It was a good time,” Justin shrugged, careful to keep his eyes ahead and not on Alex. He knew she could always see right through him and he strongly doubted that had changed, even after all this time and he hated her for it.
”It’s never too late,” Justin pointed out, eyebrows slightly cocked as he did so. When Alex informed him that she was here to beat him back into shape, Justin took a quick step back and stopped walking, holding his hands out in front of him jokingly. ”Stay back,” he ordered mock sternly. He then lifted a hand to his face and gestured around it. ”This face is far too precious to ever get busted up in any way. I can’t let the women of this planet down like that.” Justin then resumed his walking, still leaving an exaggerated space between his own body and Alex’s to continue making a joke of her She-Hulk status. ”What about China?” Justin found himself asking as they made their way into the pizzeria. He would not give up on this—it was a sensitive subject. Not really but he rather enjoyed any conversation involving his dick. In fact, it couldn’t be talked about enough in his ever so vain opinion. He followed Alex to a booth and slid into the seat on the side opposite her, resting his elbows on the table with his hands folded. ”How about you pull the pin,” he suggested under his breath as not to completely repulse the older couple behind him, all the while shooting a devious look Alex’s way from across the table. ”Usual?” he then asked her with a small smile. This man was obsessed with all things pizza—he couldn’t even begin to count the times he’d taken Alex out for pizza, or more like begged her to go with him because it’s all he ever wanted. Rubbing his hands together in anticipation, Justin went ahead and nodded toward Alex’s camera. ”Alright, lady. Hit me with your best shot.” Or shots, in this case. Justin leaned forward, quite eager to see what she’d captured. Unsurprisingly, he enjoyed looking at pictures of himself, especially of him surfing. This was a little bit different though. He genuinely hoped that Alex would nail this so that they could have her on board—all biases aside, she herself had a lot of spunk and that was the primary thing Justin was hoping for. So many photographers got hung up capturing the beauty of the landscape in their surf shots. What he was interested in was the motion and the energy—something to turn people’s heads and get them wishing they could do that.