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I DO BELIEVE IN GHOSTS, I DO, I DO, I DO/ Jamie Callan HONESTLY, I DO. No, actually, I don't. Well, I'm not really sure anymore. There was a time when I was completely sure about these things. That's when I walked into the old RKO buUding on the Paramount lot and got my first HoUywood job. Yes, Bing Crosby used to work in my office, and yes, there was definitely a feeling, but no. No ghosts, no weird poltergeist, no being swept up through television sets into Bing's netherworld—it was just me and the computer, and the writers with their pitches, the New Age story editor and the producer, who took a lot of prescription drugs and boasted about drinking Cosmopolitans at Dominick's with Renny HarUn. Let me say right up front, so there's no misunderstanding later on in this story, that I do struggle for my sanity. I'm no Vincent Van Gogh, but I have this temperament, and I do have a habit of getting swept up into things. I've never actuaUy gone so far as to cut off my ear— after all, I am the mother of an impressionable ten year old, but I have been known to unnecessarily pierce various body parts. Not to be cool, just out of confusion. Because of this tendency, I try to maintain a certain equiUbrium in my life, a certain stabUity. I know what you're thinking—then what the hell is she doing working in HoUywood? And you're right. You're absolutely right. It's aU my own damn fault. I graduated from UCLA's film school, but the head of the program, "the prime broker for one of Hollywood's new commodities—student writers" unfortunately couldn't broker a script sale for me, and I had sixty thousand doUars' worth of student loans to pay off, so I thought, what the hell, I'll get a job as a D-Girl. I'll make some money, pay my bills, learn the ropes, and one day, who knows, maybe I'U be the next Sherry Lansing. What's a single mother, who's deeply in debt, who speaks with Mr. Jarvis of Visa on a weekly basis and is still driving the streets of LA sans car insurance, doing getting some kind of fancy-schmantzy Hollywood job, instead of working as a legal secretary at twenty-five dollars an hour? My father wants to know that, too. I work for a very famous actress. I can't mention her name, or I'll get sued. She's very nice, and she's never around the office anyway. She doesn't have a clue that her office is haunted. It started off as a The Missouri Review · 46 joke. One day, my boss, her Royal Highness—the one who drinks CosmopoUtans with Renny Harlin—walked into the story editor's office . She had just returned from flying to New York via MGM Grand. She brought back little chocolate chip cookies in little MGM Grand boutique bags for us, which was pretty nice. She also brought back a collection of tight Uttle black Norma Kamali dresses and she wanted to model them for Paul, the story editor. Paul mostly lies on his back all day with his shoes off, reading scripts. He's twenty-five years old, just got married, and just finished writing a very commercial script about a couple who meet in a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting. Her Highness says she's going to get him an agent, if he rewrites it according to her specifications. That means, as long as he gives her producing credit, she'll get him an agent. I sit at the reception desk in between their two offices, so I get to hear everything. It's a good thing I'm so discreet. "Paul, what do you think of this one?" Her Highess sidles past my desk and slinks into Paul's office, her bosoms practically bouncing out of her Miracle Bra. Suddenly she stops. "What's that smell?" "Jody!" she screams at me. "Are you wearing perfume?" I'm not allowed...


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