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Pete Epstein
02 December 2006 @ 12:35 am
Just another day at Epstein Books. People are shopping, people are reading, and Pete's at his usual chair watching them all. No one can guess how closely he's watching them--or reading them, in his way.
Pete Epstein
16 November 2006 @ 05:32 pm
(Click here to post your own answers for this meme.)

I miss somebody right now. I don't watch much TV these days. I own lots of books.
I wear glasses or contact lenses. × I love to play video games. × I've tried marijuana.
× I've watched porn movies. × I have been the psycho-ex in a past relationship.  (I tend to date people who wind up being the psycho-ex.) × I believe honesty is usually the best policy.
I curse sometimes. × I have changed a lot mentally over the last year. × I carry my knife/razor everywhere with me.
it goes on...Collapse )
Pete Epstein
14 November 2006 @ 02:46 pm
Random acts of meme!Collapse )
Pete Epstein
29 October 2006 @ 03:11 am
Because Pete's backstory has grown into a blob of complexity that could be adapted into at least three screenplays, I will be revising Peter's backstory to make a final, definitive character sheet. I'm trying to avoid massive retcons, especially those that will effect past threads between your character and mine. The issue you might have to worry about is whether Peter and Keith have accents, because I am a loser who is obsessing over how her characters sound (Lindsay sounds a lot like Charlotte Gainsbourg, for the curious--which I'm sure are very few ;) ).

And...that's all for now. :)
Current Music: The Beastie Boys - Do It
Pete Epstein
28 October 2006 @ 02:07 pm
Brightly lit, so muted yellow and orange, plush chairs facing across an oval table, bright lights obscuring the audience that might not be the re. A woman with blonde hair and a million watt smile crosses the stage and waves in the direction of applause. “Good morning, good morning,” she says, “How is everyone today?”

An indistinct noise.

“Today we have a very special guest! You might not have seen him in quite some time. I do know you’ve all missed him. Please welcome to our studio again Mr. Peter Epstein!”

He felt like he was everywhere, in the audience, on the stage, the omniscient eye of the set. He emerges and waves at the lights or the audience. The identity of the mass beyond the stage shifts with every turn of the mind. The host is obscured by the light as he shakes her hand. He takes a seat, looks at her, looks at the audience, looks at the lights.

“So tell us, Peter, where have you been?”

“Oh, I’ve been everywhere. I’ve been to places you can’t even imagine.” He taps his forehead. “In here.”

“But not always in there.”

What made him a regular convert as opposed to one who abused his power?

“I know my limits.”

“Peter, some say you’ve been taking these journeys to avoid facing the real world. Are you really such a coward?”

“I’m not a coward. I’ve been writing a book. And I can’t help this…taking all of these…these ‘journeys’ because that is a flaw—“

“Inherent in your body chemistry. But you show such flagrant disregard for it, anyway. You don’t take your medications, you’re a drunk and hopelessly addicted to caffeine…”

“But I’ve been writing a book! Wouldn’t you consider that progress?”

“Oh God,” says the host, her British accent becoming more pronounced, “compared to all of your other flaws? The cowardice you display in so many of your actions? Drowning yourself in the bottle to mute the pains of reality, drowning yourself in espresso to mute the reality of your condition, drowning yourself in sleep to completely cut yourself off from the real world all together? Who cares if you’ve written a damn stupid book about me, anyway?”

“I am not a coward! I
am not a coward. I’m not. Everything that’s marred my life for the past three years have all been marked by you. You know I almost felt completely good about myself when we were together? Then you went ahead and ruined it, because I didn’t need self-esteem at all. And now I have none, while you’re still out there making money and music videos and wasting your hard-earned education on gratuitous ass shots while making people feel like shit because they’d rather use their education on more productive things that just so happen to require them to go out of the country for a while. What difference does it make if my job took me to Spain and yours to Los Angeles?”

“You couldn’t stay awake for your job, that’s the difference.”

“You think I have control over this!”

“If you were really interested in anything, you’d certainly stay awake for it. I know you’re trying your hardest to stay awake at the bookstore, but sooner or later you’ll fuck that up, too. You’re extremely talented at that sort of thing, Petey, you really are.”

“This is a very unfriendly interview and I’m going to walk away from it now.” Except he can’t move a muscle. The host…Lindsay…whoever…laughs.

”That’s so typical of you, Peter. When the going gets rough Peter Epstein gets going.”

“Shut up, Lindsay! Please. Just stop…stop abusing me in my dreams...”

“Will someone wake him up? We don’t need anymore false accusations on my show.”

He feels a hand on his shoulder,
and turns in the bed, staring at the nothing that pulled him aside. It’s 8:15 on Saturday morning. The store opens at 10. He has better things to do than stay in bed, dreaming of his inadequacies.
Pete Epstein
21 October 2006 @ 12:57 am
Well, there he was, staring at the blank page again. Occasionally he would stand and procrastinate, reading a page here, a line there, and throwing a glance towards the cabinet he tried not to touch. He had a feeling tonight would be a sleepless one.

Peter closed his eyes, pushed the book he’d been reading aside, and tried to conjure words. There was no shortage of material to write from; he knew Laura’s story extensively. She was in her late 30’s, blonde, possibly Australian. She couldn’t be from Britain. That would be too obvious.

Laura was an aspiring actress who had made a mistake and chose not to repeat it. She buries herself in auditions and roles that bring her no closer to stardom. She swings from partner to partner, dogmatically refusing love. Unafraid of manipulation, Laura uses her friends to give her a taste of the stardom that will never be hers, basking in the glow of her famous friends and smugly accepting her role as a celebrity confidant.

Now enter the problem: Laura, nonchalant when it comes to sex, finds herself irresistibly attracted to a quiet teacher who breezes into her life as she waits for her latte in a coffee house. She lets him slip away, but sees him again and again after that—and then they begin to talk.

He’s smart, funny, and attractive. Hone in on the attractive. Devastatingly attractive. So attractive he should be in the movies, not working some job where his beauty goes unnoticed. Laura has a rare moment of insecurity when she thinks this man isn’t attracted to her, but she’s surprised to learn he’s quite interested in her as more than a conversational partner. He asks her out on a date, Laura accepts, and the two dine and talk and dine and talk and dine and talk and Pete’s run into a brick wall. A writer’s block, you might say.

He knows her ex-husband will show up to throw a wedge in the budding relationship. He knows Laura and her new flame will wind up together in the end, and that Laura will begin to question her meaningless life and pursue something with more substance. He knows the story will be cheesy and unsubstantial until the rewrite. He just has to get it out first. All he has now is a blank page.

Pete stands up and walks to the kitchen. He wants to make tea. He reaches for a bag full of loose leaf tea and prepares a pot, eyes darting back to the cabinet. He pours a cup, stirs in a bit of sugar, and stares at the cabinet. What about Laura? What about her date?

Fuck it.

He almost slams the cup onto the counter and walks to the cabinet, pulling out a bottle of brandy and a glass shoved in among the various bottles. The intent was the pour the brandy into the tea, but he couldn’t resist an extra glass. He poured the brandy into the glass then down his throat in two smooth, consecutive moves.

So often had he done this that he was used to feeling disappointed in himself for caving, disappointed in the drink that never made him feel better, and disappointed that the inevitable, or the dreadfully possible, would go on until he fell asleep. An endless night of drink after drink, watching as the bottle drained into emptiness. Maybe he could control himself tonight. Maybe he could focus on Laura’s story, as he desperately wanted to. She was a catharsis for an old wound that filled the bottles beneath the cabinet.

But maybe he couldn’t control himself. It had happened before, and no amount of horror of the night before would stop him from doing it again. He’d been scared off of drugs easily enough, but alcohol was something he could slip into his routine and have none be the wiser. The only things that stopped him from indulging more was an occasional moral victory and his unpredictable sleeping patters.

And he had a feeling tonight was going to be a sleepless night.
Pete Epstein
22 September 2006 @ 04:10 pm
What he’s got, and what he can do:
Read more...Collapse )

Now about that warping perceptions thing:
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Shoplifting at Epstein and Pete:
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Pete Epstein
20 September 2006 @ 12:02 am

Ignore meeeee.
Current Mood: weirdninja