So David commenced a life on the high wire, a balancing act of comic book proportions. One the one hand, he followed Andrew’s lead and his suggestions and allowed him to fashion for him a program for success. Andrew definitely knew what he was doing – he was a man built for success, failure would be unthinkable on his watch. On the other hand, David continued his covert but relentless pursuit of greater knowledge of and intimacy with Lisa.
Both progressed well over the next couple of months, if uniformly more slowly than he would have desired. His spots at Andrew’s club started to inspire a frisson – people were talking about him, he’d achieved his own ‘personality profile’ on the main comedy sites and most importantly, people were coming to see him and laughing at his routines. He was developing characters to parody different aspects of modern life, and the punters were getting it. Andrew made offhand remarks from time to time about possible gigs on television.
‘You aren’t really a skit type of comedian, more’s the pity, because that’s the main thing right now,’ he would say, ‘But I think you’d make a splash on the tonight shows around, so start thinking in terms of a five minute spot on something like that and what you’d want to achieve from that.’
David was elated by the possibilities. He was getting paid now for his comedy, and while it wasn’t anywhere near enough to live on, let alone rival his day job, he felt he was on his way. Other comedians seemed to seek him out now. His status as the new kid in town was growing. People spoke of collaboration. He started to see that perhaps he really had something unique to offer.
‘You know that when they want to work with you,’ Lisa said once over a stolen drink at an obscure and rarely patronized club in a sidestreet of Newtown, ‘They’re ruthless and they’re predatory..they won’t even want to know you if they don’t think you have something to offer..think carefully before just accepting their ideas..’
‘I think carefully before everything’ David assured her.
Especially with regard to her. He was starting to identify her idiosyncracies, if that was the right term, and her eccentricities between the net and real life. If he asked her to see him again at the end of a real life encounter she’d commit to something, they could arrange it. If he asked over the internet, she’d avoid commitment, she’d always promise to get back to him. It didn’t seem to be reluctance. More often than not, she agreed and nominated a time and place. Still, it was more effective to ask in the moment. He thought she was playing a little game, and he was wise to it. He indulged it a bit, but not enough to give her control.
They still hadn’t slept together. The intimacy hadn’t reached that point. She was very frightened of Andrew, and David knew from comments he would make occasionally that he was paranoid about her fidelity. He didn’t want to contemplate what might happen if Andrew ever found out the truth. It was too horrible to even imagine. He wanted to set Lisa free, but felt insufficient to the task. So he had to settle for slowly wooing her.
They’d kissed, they’d cuddled. All the promise of a sexual union had been telegraphed between them, and this played out in double entendres and off-hand remarks on the internet. He was a mass of frustration, but only too aware of what rode on him holding this all together, maintaining the balancing act, possibly indefinitely.
One day he’d be successful enough not to need Andrew – to be untouchable, and to take Lisa with him to that rarefied ground. But that was a long way off yet, and David was a realist. He had to wait.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2016, All Rights Reserved