was real for a minute.


george couldn't get over a girl, so he did what any failed liberal arts major would do: he wrote a script about it. i didn't know the whole story, but from what his best friend, pete, told me, the girl dumped him during his junior or senior year of college. i think she was only a freshman then. naturally, this fucked with him. he was used to doing the dumping, and he couldn't handle a taste of his own medicine. so, he wrote a script loosely based on their relationship, and since i had nothing better to do that summer, i helped him make it into a short film.

in between watching a lot of porn and eating jack-in-the-box, i'd go over to the local community college where george went to school, and where he would be filming his latest opus. i sat through auditions, ordered and picked up food for the crew, and did whatever else needed doing. i briefly thought that maybe this was good experience, and that maybe i'd be able to put it on my resume or college application. i didn't play sports or get good grades, or do anything, really, so i needed something to help get me out of sacramento one day. maybe that's what i was thinking when i agreed to help.

the movie was called minute, and it was named after an all song, george's favorite band. the plot was about this guy who was in love with this girl, and he dies, and then he sells his soul to the devil to have just a minute to talk to the girl again. there was also an angel played by a black guy. and the devil was a white guy. there was a scene we filmed in a classroom where the angel and devil are talking to each other. the actors had eaten egg mcmuffin sandwiches that morning, and they farted in between takes. it was a stuffy classroom, and i felt sick with all the farting and egg mcmuffin sandwiches. i wanted to throw up.

i was somewhere on sunrise with my cousin and our friend pete, who were both also working on the movie, when a girl came up to us. "guys!" pete said, "this is tiffany." my cousin and i were like, "oh, hey." and then pete said, "this is the tiffany." "oh. ooohh!" we said. tiffany looked slightly nervous, like something was up. like we were making a movie about her. "what?" she asked. my cousin just said, "we've heard a lot about you." i looked her over, and she wasn't all that. i didn't know why george was so hung up on her.

but there were a lot of things about george none of us got. he was kind of a pudgy mexican with bleached blonde hair, and he was kind of effeminate, and i didn't understand why girls liked him. i mean, i understood why - he was uncannily confident. i guess what boggled me most was where this confidence came from. but just about every few weeks or so, he was with some new girl. there was the sixteen year old, the classical pianist, the annoying asian he met on an all message board, the girl whose parents owned a cafe la bou. the list went on.

but tiffany was the one that got away, so that's why we were making a movie about her. i was only sixteen, so i expected the end result to look something awesome. like the way movies look on the big screen, or the way i imagined the story in my head. i didn't know what a low-budget community college short film was gonna look like. george had foolishly scheduled only three days for editing, and his buddy rick ended up not sleeping for an entire weekend to put the piece of shit together. rick was not paid.

on the night of the premiere, the auditorium - 50 seats or so - was completely full. rick was still rendering the video, so the audience had to wait another hour or so, and george explained that they were having technical difficulties. "why doesn't he just say he was an idiot, and rick is still rendering the tape?" my cousin said. the audience was getting restless, and i was getting more and more excited at the prospect of seeing some sorely disappointed faces and a lot of humiliation.

the movie was a completely disaster. people laughed at the cheesy effects, especially the part where the protagonist dies in a car crash. they were grossed out when the twenty-something protagonist kisses his girlfriend, played by a fourteen year-old. and the movie just didn't make any sense at all. it was a total bomb, and a waste of everyone's time, and george's money.

at the very least, though, it gave us something to laugh about for years afterward.

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