Ive been thinking about this, even before
its started, because I have to know the ground rules before I begin. Thats
pretty much me. If you know me at all, (and why would you now or later? Im
not the subject here), youd know that I have to know the rules before I play the
game. I read through the little black text on brown cardboard that introduces me to the
rules of a board game before Ill play it.
When I went to Las Vegas last year, I made the dealers explain
every detail before I laid any money down for chips.
And no guy I mess around with is uncertain about how far
Ill go when it comes to that point, sweating against the discomfort of my Honda
Accords armrest or tangled in sheets freshly laundered in the dorm basement. He
knows. I tell him.
So I told Gina this. Ill do it, but first some ground
Number one, I told her, is that she doesnt get to read
these until two weeks after each entry. That way, I figure, enough time will have passed
to put things in the proper perspective and well have had time to talk and sort
things out before she goes back to the entries and flies off the handle. She
shouldnt be surprised by anything I write if Im doing my job, fulfilling my
dream, as a writer. It should all ring true, speak of life, chronicle the way things
should be, as much as the way they actually are. Yeah, I know, its lofty bullshit
goals, but I knew all this and was warned about it often enough when I chose my lit major.
The other ground rule was that if we were going to do this, I had
Real World access. 24/7, even if Gina was doing the bulimia thing in the bathroom. I get
to come in. Wed discuss questions of taste and protocol later, but in cases of
doubt, my judgment would supercede. And if I couldnt be around to see something
(read: men), wed figure out a way to hide a recorder. Its all workable, I told
her. Were smart women.
Third: the money. For whatever adventures we decide to
partake, expenses will mostly be mine, with the understanding that Im not rich and I
sure dont have a six-figure advance to pay for lavish Olivia Goldsmith romps
thatll make nice bon mots come Chapter 8. But, again, were smart women and
smart women know how to get into clubs without paying cover. At least, thats the
impression I get from Gina. Shes a girl who I dont think has ever paid a cover
in her life, or bought a drink of her own for that matter.
[Memo to Gina, two weeks from this date: yes, I flatter
you, but it probably wont last. This is diary verite, or something like that. You
may be a hottie to guys, but it remains to be seen what living under a microscope will
reveal. Consider yourself warned, girlfriend]
Three simple rules and the overall belief, faith,
whatever, that Gina cannot, will not, bail on this project once it has begun. I do all the
work here and she gets some independent study credits for reading it all and telling a
professor what she thinks at the end of the semester. I think its a pretty sweet
deal for Gina, but I dont think thats why shell stick with it.
My observations in the next three months may veer wildly
between hard truth and plain inaccuracy, but one thing I know about Gina is clear and
certain. She loves the attention. She wont bail.
Tomorrow we start.
The rules are set, the game box is discarded and Im