The Hamm’s rested on Popovich’s stomach and remnants of once whole Tostitos Scoops collected in salty hills on his chest. Meryl gave no dramatic pause before dropping the Academy’s verdict for Best Actor.
“Geez. Art is dead.”
Daniel Day Lewis added another naked golden man to his trophy case and Pop talked to himself in a frothy rage. He wanted to unleash hell upon the greying heads of the Academy.
“Trash. Dadgum englishman taking another award from an American. So much pointless exposition at the top of that damn film it’s a wonder dudes stayed awake long enough to act like they liked the way DDL said ‘Now’ three times in a row while Gale from Breaking Bad stared on like he lost something and pooped his pants trying to find it. Tommy Lee’s the best part of that film anyways and homeboy lost out to that German fella who didn’t even turn in the best supporting performance in his own movie. Come on, man. Academy’s slipping.”
He turned off the television and threw the remote against the wall. It shattered. Batteries rolled underneath the mini fridge that rested and hummed to the right of his burgundy recliner. He finished off another can of Hamm’s and let it fall to the carpeted floor.
His phone buzzed in the pocket of his robe. It was a text from Rasho Neaterovic.
Phoenix was robbed.
Popovich burped and nodded. He squinted as he typed back.
He pulled on the lever of the recliner and down went the footrest as he rose, recklessly, to his drunken feet. The windows of his home were open and the wind ran in and he felt the breeze on his bare chest. He sympathized with Joaquin Phoenix. Both were rebels and harbingers of carefree doom when it came to their dealings with the powers that be in their respective professions. They didn’t play the game. Pop with the league office and Phoenix with the Academy. For this they were punished, looked upon as bad boy outcasts and iced out when it came time for awards season.
Popovich went into his bathroom and turned on the faucet. Hot water poured out and the room steamed. He looked in the mirror.
“Praise be damned. It’s about the product. Jo doesn’t pander and calls it like he sees it and they hate him for it.”
He grabbed his phone and sent an email to the team:
This is your captain speaking.
You all just saw what happened. DDL took another one only this one he DID NOT deserve. Tomorrow at 9AM you all need to be in the film room. We will be screening The Master. There will be a discussion afterwards led by myself and Nick Van Exel. He’s coming back in town specifically for this. Nick, you should be CC’d on here. That’s not negotiable. We saw it together and you had some good stuff to say about character study and how what Phoenix did was beyond method at the time so you’re coming. That goes for the rest of you, too. This is mandatory. I do not care if you do not want to be there. Nando, bring chips and dip. Queso, though, not salsa. Don’t want to have to say that again.
He went to bed still in his robe, half empty Hamm’s sweating on top of a coaster bearing Augustus McCrae’s face on the bedside table, Walk The Line on mute as Da Art of Storytellin’ (Part 1) seeped from his Bose on repeat.