How the writer from the Enquirer got my name is a good question. I don't have the answer.

"I understand you know Linda," he says, while I pick up the TV Guide and stare at the latest tribe. Linda's got that just-been-fucked hair and some type of leather bikini. Suede, maybe. Or perhaps that new stuff that feels like leather but is as difficult to stain as aluminum.

"Used to know," I say. And then, because I've got to get to work, "We went to school together."

"Right," he says, "Linwood College." Until this happened, Linwood was most famous for being the only school in America closed for nuclear disaster. You can see the steam from Three Mile Island barely a few miles out of town.

"You dated her?" he asks, but he says it like a statement.

"How'd you get my name?"

"Does it matter?"

Good point.

"There's really not much I remember--" I start.

"I heard she likes orgies."

"That's news to me."

"Someone who went to school with you guys said she likes chicks, too."

"Don't know about that," I say. And I don't, so that part's easy.

"Someone else says she gave you a blow job in a dorm shower."

There are absolutely no secrets anymore. Anywhere.

"Huh. Don't recall that, either."

"Maybe a little money will help you remember," he says, but the truth is, no amount of money could make me forget.

"Don't think so," I say.

"This is reality TV," he says, "People want to know the truth." Jack Nicholson starts jumping up and down in the back of my skull.

You can't handle the truth, in-skull-Jack screams. Nice one, Jack.

I hold up the TV Guide and look at Linda again. If you know what Hollywood does, you might think those blue eyes and perfect teeth were cooked up in an office somewhere.

They weren't.

"Huh?" I say.

"Listen," he says, "I'm not going to wait all day here. America's in love with this girl. What do you want to tell them?"

I toss the TV Guide down on the counter and look at the clock. I'm so late for everything.

"Tell them to be careful," I say and hang up the phone.

About the author:

Marcus Grimm is a writer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His novel Burn is currently making the rounds in New York, and his short story "On Ice" is forthcoming from NFG. He recently was named the winner of the 2004 Central PA Writing Contest. The winning story, "Harried," will appear in the April issue of Central PA Magazine.