Romancing Hollywood Nobody
Life is gradually coming into focus for 16-year-old Scotty Dawn. Now that they've been reunited with her father, who was presumed killed by the mob, she and her grandmother can stop running. But the trio continues their nomad lifestyle, setting out in search of answers about faith, possible romance . . . and Scotty's mother.
Monday, April 30, 6:00 a.m.
My eyes open. Yes, yes, yes. The greatest man in the entire world is brewing coffee right here in the TrailMama.
“ Morning, Scotty. The big day.”
“And this time, you won't have to drive.”
I throw back the covers on my loft bed and slip down to the dinette of our RV. My dad sleeps on the dinette bed. He's usually got it turned back into our kitchen table by 5:00 a.m. What can I say? The guy may be just as much in love with cheese as I am, but honestly? Our body clocks are about as different as Liam Neeson and Seth Green.
You know what I mean?
And we have lots of differences.
For one, he's totally a nonfiction person and I'm fiction all the way. For two, he has no fashion sense whatsoever. And for three, he has way more hope for people at the outset than I do. Man, do I have a lot to learn on that front.
He hands me a mug and I sip the dark liquid. I was roasting coffee beans for a while there, but Dad took the mantle upon himself and he does a better job.
He hands me another mug and I head to the back of the TrailMama to wake up Charley. My grandmother looks so sweet in the morning, her frosted, silver-blonde hair fanned out on the pillow. You know, she could pass for an aging mermaid. A really short one, true.
I wave the mug as close as I can to her nose without fear of her rearing up, knocking the mug and burning her face. “Charley . . .” I singsong. “Time to get a move on. Time to get back on the road.”
And boy is this a switch!
All I can say is, your life can be going one way for years and years and then, snap-snap-snap-in-a-Z, it looks like it had major plastic surgery.
Only in reverse. Imagine life just getting more and more real. I like it.
Charley opens her eyes. “Hey, baby. You brought me coffee. You get groovier every day.”
She's a hippie. What can I say?
And she started drinking coffee again when I ran away last fall in Texas. I mean, I didn't really run away. I went somewhere with a perfectly good reason for not telling anyone, and I was planning to return as soon as my mission was done.
She scootches up to a sitting position, hair still in a cloud, takes the mug and, with that dazzling smile still on her face (think Kate Hudson) sips the coffee. She sighs.
“I know,” I say. “How did we make it so long without him?”
“Now that he's with us, I don't know. But somehow we did, didn't we, baby? It may not have always been graceful and smooth, but we made it together.”
I rub her shoulder. “Yeah. I guess you could say we pretty much did.”
The engine hums its movin'-on song. “Dad's ready to pull out. Let's hit it.”
“Scotland, here we come.”
Scotland? Well, sort of.
An hour later
This has been a great school year. In addition to the online courses I'm taking through Indiana University High School, Dad's been teaching me and man, is he smart. I'm sure most sixteen-(almost seventeen)-year-olds think their fathers are the smartest guys in the world, but in my case it happens to be true.
Okay, even I have to admit he probably won't win the Nobel Prize for physics or anything, but he's street smart and there's no replacing that sort of thing. Big plus: he knows high school math. We're both living under the radar. And he's taken our faux last name. Dawn. He's now Ezra Fitzgerald Dawn. After Ezra Pound, one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Lost Generation friends.
I'm just lovin' that.
“Your mom would have loved the name change, Scotty.”
He told me about his life as an FBI agent, some of the cases he worked on, and well, I'd like to tell you he had a life like Sydney Bristow's in Alias, but he probably spent most of his time on com-puter work and sitting around on his butt waiting for someone to make a move. The FBI, apparently, prefers to trick people more than corner them in showdowns and shootouts. The Robertsman case was his first time undercover in the field and we know how terribly that worked out for him. And me. And Charley. And Babette, my mother.
I pull out my math book and sit in the passenger seat of the TrailMama. “Ready for some 'rithmetic, Dad?”
“You bet.” He turns to me and smiles. His smile still makes my heart warm up like a griddle ready to make smiley-face pan-cakes. I flip on my book light.
It's still dark and we're headed to Asheville, North Carolina for Charley's latest shoot. A film about Bonnie Prince Charlie called Charlie's Lament. How ironic is that? The director, Bartholomew (don't dare call him Bart) Evans, is a real jerk. I'm not going to be hanging around the set much even though Liam Neeson is Lord George Murray, the voice of reason Prince Charlie refused to listen to. But hey, that's my history lesson. We're still on math.
I finish up the last lesson in geometry . . . finally! Honestly, I still don't understand it without a mammoth amount of help, but the workbook's filled and that's a good thing.
I set down my pen. “Finished!”
Dad gives a nod as he continues to look out the windshield. You might guess, despite the tattoos, piercings, and his gleaming bald head, he's a very careful driver. And he won't let me drive like Charley did.
“So . . . driver's license then, right?”
He's been holding that over my head so I'd finish the math course.
“You know it. After the film, we'll request your new birth certificate and go from there.”
“What state are we supposedly from?” The FBI has given us a new identity, official papers and all that.
“Are you kidding me? Wyoming? Why?”
“Think about it, honey. Who's from Wyoming?”
“Lots of people?”
“Know any of them?”
“Okay, Wyoming it is, then.”
“You realize you'll only have my beat-up old black truck to drive around.” The same truck we're towing behind the TrailMama.
“I'll take it.”
So here's the thing. The rest of the entire world thinks my father was shot in the chest and killed when he was outed by a branch of the mob he was after. This mob was financing James Robertsman's campaign for governor of Maryland.
The guy's running for president of the United States now.
I kid you not.
Wish I was kidding.
We thought he was after us for several years because Charley knew too much. But then last fall, we found out the guy chasing me was my father, and Robertsman is most likely cocky enough to think he took care of everything he needed. I say that's quite all right. Although, I have to admit, the fact that a dirtbag like that guy may end up in the Oval Office sickens me to no end.
Thanks to that guy, we had been running in fear from my own father.
The thing is, I could be really mad about all those wasted years, and a portion of me feels that way. But we've been given another chance, and I'll be darned if I throw away these days being angry. There's too much to be thankful for.
Don't get me wrong. I still have my surly days. I don't want Dad and Charley to think they have it as easy as all that!
Okay, time to blog.
Hollywood Nobody: April 30
Let's cut to the chase, Nobodies!
Today's Seth News: It's official. Seth Haas and Karissa Bonano are officially each other's exclusive main squeeze. The two were seen coming out of a popular LA tattoo parlor with each other's names on the inside of their forearms. How cliché. And pass the barf bag.
Today's Violette Dillinger Report: Violette has broken up with Joe Mason of Sweet Margaret. She wanted you all to know that long-distance romances are hard for any couple, but espe-cially for people as young as she is. “Joe needed to live his life. I'm on the road a lot. It wasn't fair to either of us.” Sounds like she's definitely not on the road to Britney. I'm just sayin'.
Today's Rave: Mandy Moore. The girl can really sing! And her latest album is filled with good songs. The bubble gum days of insipid teen heartbreak are over. She's finally come into her own. (Wish some others would follow her example, but I won't hold my breath. And man, are we on the theme of bratty stars today or what? Well, there are just so many of them from which to choose!)
Today's Rant: Crazy expensive celebrity weddings. What? If they spend more, will they be more likely to stay together? I have no idea. Mariah Carey's $25,000 dress pales in comparison to Catherine Zeta-Jones's $100,000 gown. What are those things made of?
Today's Quote: “Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.” James Dean