Wednesday, November 3, 2010


By MJ Heiser

Wait. Who’s in charge here? Oh, that’s right, I am, you think to yourself as you end the call and set the phone back down. I’m not going to let the industry bully me into doing something that will make me look like an expressionless clown. I’ve made my mark on the industry. Besides, other stars have grown old gracefully – Sean Connery, Katherine Hepburn, some, uh, other people. I can do it, too.

These thoughts comfort you, but aren’t very practical in the short term. To support your new world-view, you decide to go for a run in the morning. That will give you a natural, healthy glow, surely. And it’s much better for me than surgery.

First thing in the morning, you put on your running shoes and head out the door. It’s a beautiful day in Los Angeles – not too hot, not too cold, just right for a run. Now that the weight of your decision is off your shoulders, you find yourself full of energy and excitement. Who needs plastic surgery, anyway? I’m just glad to be alive! You decide, then, to take a good brisk run out of your neighborhood and up the steep hill about a mile away so you can get a good look at the view.

The run really is good for you. You feel more and more justified in your choice to just enjoy life. You’re not even winded. You imagine that everyone who managed to get into the after-party is still sleeping off their booze-induced comas, maybe even in the bed of someone they shouldn’t have slept with. Not you. Being an outsider is a great thing. Now you can discover how to live a real life.

You make it to the hill. It’s steeper than you remember, but you’re just too high on endorphins to really give that thought much weight. You get started jogging up the incline. Further . . .further . . .you’re really pushing yourself now. Your heart is hammering in your chest, and your breathing has become shallow and raspy.

Oh, look! There’s a bench on the other side of the road from you. Just further evidence that I’m doing the right thing. A place to rest is provided, just when I need it.

You step out into the empty street. It doesn’t stay empty for long. Before you even have a chance to register that the noise you’re hearing isn’t just the rush of blood through your ears, you’re pegged hard by a brown delivery service van. Tires screech as you hit the pavement, but the vehicle rolls over you anyway, crushing your spine.

Right before the lights go out, you think Oh, great. And my corpse won’t even be pretty for my last time in the papers.



  1. Which is why I never go running first thing in the morning, or last thing at night - or at any other time of the day for that matter.

    Grow old gracefully? Not me! That's why I keep that portrait locked up tight.

    Nice one, MJ. You know I lurrrve your style.

  2. Running is bad, Bad, BAD for you. Just say No!

  3. You're so good at this. Awesome. =D