Betsey is sitting on the bench outside of Bloody Mary’s writing in her notebook. Suddenly, Howard Hughes walks out the door. Howard is the member of the Line of Death with an amazing laugh. He stops and looks at Betsey suspiciously.
Betsey smiles awkwardly as Howard stares at her for a few moments longer. Finally, he decided to sit down next to her. She looks over at him in confusion.
Betsey: Can I help you?
Howard: [motioning to notebook] What are you writing about in there?
Betsey: Uhhh… well… I was just going over my story outline again, actually. I’m writing a book about my life. It’s just… so messy right now. Between the website and the stack of handwritten drafts, I feel like I’m drowning. It’s the perfect metaphor for my real life. I just have to quit procrastinating, sit in my chair, and type it all up on one document. It’s exhausting. But that’s the thing about first drafts. They don’t have to be perfect. They just have to exist.
Howard: I see. And what kind of things are you planning to include in your book?
Betsey shows Howard the pages of the story outline as she flips through them. Much to his surprise, he doesn’t even recognize 70% of the content.
Betsey: Looks like we’re starting with stuff that happened in my childhood/teen years, then moving to the exes, then to The Moment of Enlightenment, then the spiritual journey/road trip, then talking about the town, and ugh, I still don’t know the ending exactly, but I think it’s going to be me going to a fancy writing school. Maybe. I don’t know yet. That depends a lot on what happens this year. According to my tarot, I’m getting married, but LOL! Yeah right! I’ll believe that shit when I see it. I don’t even have anyone in my life to marry. I mean, have you even tried online dating lately? I have. It’s just fuckboys everywhere, all the time. Ridiculous.
Howard: Oh. Okay. Wow. So this really is a book about your life, huh?
Betsey: Of course it is. Ya’ll are just featured characters.
Howard: And just how featured are we?
Betsey: Who do you mean? You? The Line of Death? Bloody Mary’s? What?
Betsey: Oh, you’re just minor characters. No offense but… you’re just the group of old men that sits at the other end of the bar. You don’t really play a big role in my life. You’re just kinda sitting there in the background.
Howard nods to himself as he thinks it over.
Howard: So… you’re not trying to dig up secrets or anything like that?
Betsey: Why would I be digging up your secrets? I’m not a journalist. That’s not my job. I’m in the entertainment business. I don’t care about your secrets, though I’m sure you have very interesting ones. Everybody does. Anyway, I wouldn’t have time to dig up your secrets even if I wanted to. I’m drowning under a mountain of paperwork here. My novel is my first priority.
Howard: And what about Andrew?
Betsey: What about Andrew? Ugh! I’m so fucking sick of Andrew, no offense. He’s so annoying. He just came in here one day and took over my story. It wasn’t even planned. I’m not particularly happy about it, even if it does serve the plot in a surprisingly effective way. I just… I don’t even know what’s going on with that guy. I lost so much respect for him after the way he treated me in real life. All I ever heard about him was how great he is and how he’s so nice and fair and listens to people and always takes their side of the story into consideration. And I believed that line of crap because it came from his mom! But, he never did that for me. Right from day one, he treated me like I was crazy and went along with everyone else. He didn’t even give me a chance! I tried to talk to him about what was going on three different times and all he did was scream at me and gaslight me into oblivion. He made me feel like I was going crazy! I still don’t know what really happened there. All I know is that he’s a piece of shit. We could’ve sorted all of this out right from the beginning if he had actually had a real conversation with me. But, he didn’t. He didn’t have any respect for me. All he did was play with me. Therefore, I have no respect for him. As far as I’m concerned, he can suck my dick. I’m not really interested in listening to any complaints about how any of those people get treated in my story. If they wanted me to write nice things about them, they shouldn’t have acted like a bunch of jerks. They only have themselves to blame. Maybe next time they should try taking responsibility for their shitty behavior and apologizing for it. Then they won’t get strung up online and humiliated in front of a large audience. It’s just that easy, and it’s just that hard. Oh well.
Howard stares at Betsey in stunned silence.
Betsey: Anyway, everything you’ve seen on my website so far has just been rough, shitty first drafts that are all completely out of order. The real book makes much more sense. Truth be told, Bloody Mary’s doesn’t even play that big of a role. The role it does play essentially amounts to “Look at this group of jerks who tried their best to ruin my life and failed. All they really did was push me to become a better version of myself. That’s why I’m grateful to them and forgive them for their behavior.” They’ll stay petty, I’ll move up in the world. That’s just how it goes.
Howard: Soooo… what you’re really saying is that you’re not going to get into our business?
Betsey: Yes, Howard, that’s what I’m saying. No offense, but I really don’t give a single fucking fuck about your business. I have bigger fish to fry. I’ve got Oscars to win. As in, Oscars for MOVIES, not Pulitzer Prizes for journalism. I don’t have time for you, your business, or any of your secrets. I’m not that kind of writer. I want to be a screenwriter. I want to write movies and TV shows. I do not want to be an investigative journalist. They are two completely different jobs. Do you understand?
Betsey: So can I go back to the bar now and have a Blue Moon with Orange Juice in peace, or are all ya’ll gonna keep being petty? You’ve run out of fake reasons to keep me out. Just own up to the fact that you’re being judgmental. It is what it is. Just own it.
Howard: We’ll consider it. Like you should consider being a little more polite and ladylike.
Betsey: I’ll be polite and ladylike when a bunch of stupidass men stop treating me with disrespect. We live in the 21st century. Your outdated ideas about gender roles aren’t welcome here. It’s my First Amendment right to say whatever the fuck I want to say whenever the fuck I want to say it. If you don’t like it, tough shit. This is America, bitch. I’ve got rights!
Howard: That’s… very true. Perhaps you should consider our right to say what we want and not interrupt our conversations anymore.
Betsey: Okay. I can roll with that. Yeah. I don’t even want to sit with you or listen in on your conversations anymore. See how easy that was?
Howard: Actually, I do.
Betsey: Great. I’m glad we had this conversation. I always knew you were more reasonable than the rest of them. I got that sense from you pretty early on.
Howard: Oh. Well, thank you.
Betsey: Hey man, I know how it is. Us Vermillionaires gotta stick together. We high class. We on dat exclusive, platinum club shit. No plebs allowed. Know what I’m sayin’?
Betsey: Country Club Shit. Savvy?
Betsey: Golf outings. Top shelf booze. Luxury SUVs. Swag. High-rollers club. Ballin’ out. Fur coats and shit. Money, money, money. Yeah?
Betsey: Let me tell you who I am, Howard. I’m the spoiled rich girl sitting in my daddy’s court-side seats and drinking free beer in the fancy box club during halftime with the other rich people. I’m a certified douchebag, born and raised. We are the same. That’s why there’s only one bar in this town where I actually fit in. Do you understand now?
Howard looks at Betsey with a little smile and lets out his signature laugh. Then he claps her on the shoulder and stands up.
Howard: Keep it up, Ms. Writer Extraordinaire.
Betsey: I will.
Howard walks back into the bar. Betsey gathers up her things and goes backup her apartment to continue writing.