EXCERPT: There is only one plot ...

Someone put LA Woman on the sound system. I reminded myself to ask the Brit what he’d thought of the City of Light during his stay here.

My famous director’s voice in my head: “Paris is the City of Light, Carol, not Los Angeles. You mustn’t be misled by that failed film student’s misappropriated lyrics.”

But sometimes it seemed that Jim was speaking directly to me: Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light?

Because – what was I before I came to live here in the entertainment capital of the universe? The personalities, the egos with which I’d dealt had been small time, plain; perhaps the occasional big fish in a little pond, and a few tin-pot dictators in the workaday world. But those I knew now were players on the world stage, recognized by strangers; they had fans. I lived in the reflected light of their fame, and the egos that accompanied it.

I had known of wealth. But since fabulously expensive things could never be mine on my salary . . . meh. So what? I was not impressed by the opulence before. Now . . . I’ve developed an appreciation of the finer things that money can buy. The furnishings, the food; the clothes, the limos – I’ve come to accept that all these things are indeed . . . better.

The Lizard King’s lyrics again: Or just another lost angel? City of Night . . . The night, the morality, if you will, had also changed for me since I’d come to Hollywood. Where once I’d thought that maybe someday I might get married, might have a baby – I didn’t want any of that anymore. My leading man was matchless – we didn’t have to be married. My mother might still think of it as living in sin, but I didn’t really talk to her too much anymore. I was busy – I called her once or twice a month. I didn’t have to have family or girlfriends or children to occupy my time, anymore. The world of the movie business was all I needed.

I can’t quite put my finger on it – but living in the magnificent old mansion with my matchless lover and his imperious friend had not only reconfigured my own ambitions, it had also changed how I thought. My sudden freak-out at the secrets I knew was a perfect example. My beloved actor and director were not what they seemed, and once upon a time, that fact and its many and varied ramifications had disconcerted the little nobody-girl from Riverside. It had prompted me to write all my fears in that journal, led me to lock it safely away.

But nowadays, what my companions are, and more importantly, how they came to be this way, seems to bother me not at all. And myself – what I used to be, and what I’ve become – I sometimes examine my life, but not too thoroughly. What’s past is past, and what is now . . . it’s all a dream come true. It’s strange, it’s wonderful; it’s a secret. But there’s certainly nothing wrong about it. Maybe I feel this way because I’ve become a part of the secret.

Purchase Adapted for the Screen

About the Author

Email the author

Do you have questions or comments, praise or outrage? Please visit us at: