On the Couch With Catherine Zeta Jones

Photo on 11-26-14 at 10.38 PM

Catherine Zeta Jones: So let’s hear the goals from the top and talk about each one.

Jeff: Number one. I have a residence that I love in NYC.

Catherine Zeta Jones: What does it look like?

Jeff: I don’t really know.

Catherine Zeta Jones: Well therein lies your problem, you can’t get what you want if you don’t know what you want.

Jeff: I mean it’s not really that I don’t know what I want— I mean there’s several versions of places in New York where I could be happy. What are we talking about here? “Pie in the sky” “if money were not object” “if I could live anywhere in New York City where would I live” what do I want or, like, what I could live with until I—

Catherine Zeta Jones: Let’s start with the Pie in the Sky.

Catherine Zeta Jones and Jeff sit in Catherine’s well appointed office. Jeff reclines on the leather buttoned-tufted sofa eating one candy cigarette after the other. Catherine is dressed in a powder blue skirt suit,  white blouse with the top four buttons open, her legs propped up on an ottoman, crossed at the ankle. She is seated behind Jeff so that she looks over his shoulder, a clipboard in her lap, She chews on No. 2 pencil. Jeff is occasionally distracted by the sensuous beauty of her shapely legs.

Jeff: Well shit, if money was not object, I’ll probably want to live—and I’d want to own it too! None of that paying somebody else’s mortgage bullshit anymore! Do you know that in the ten years I live in LA I paid $140,000 in rent! I mean can you believe that? I could have— I mean what if I’d gotten some investors and bought a small place instead. For what I could have gotten near Hollywood in 1997, I could have doubled their investment! Anyway, I wasn’t then and I’m not now in any position to buy! My financial investment and planning went out the fucking window when—

Catherine Zeta Jones: Uh-uh! Remember we’ve let that go now. Moving forward. Just forget about the money for a second and let your imagination run wild. Where would you live if you could live anywhere?

Jeff: I mean if I had that kind of— I mean if finances weren’t a concern I’d probably get out there and look in a way that I never have really even allowed myself to look. I mean I’ve accidentally come across some places that I would love to live in.

Catherine Zeta Jones: Like what? Where was that.

Jeff: Overlooking the Hudson. Those huge fucking high-rise joints with the floor-to-ceiling glass. I mean some of them are entire floors of the building! You get a panoramic view of the city on three sides and—

Catherine Zeta Jones: and New Jersey on the other.

Jeff: (laughs) yeah, and the Hudson River and New Jersey on the other. It’d be spacious and modern with the most up-to-date amenities. My dogs and cat would be most welcome there. There’d be a beautiful lobby downstairs with a doorman, an underground parking facility for my truck and my motorcycle— oh yeah, and for Ron’s car too!

Catherine Zeta Jones: Who’s Ron again?

Jeff: He’s my roommate. He’s an Iraq Vet too. I love that crazy hillbilly motherfucker. I want to help him have a great life from here on out.

Catherine Zeta Jones: Is this a love connection?

Jeff: Huh? Oh God no, he’s a pussy crazy as they come. He’s as crazy about the girls as I am about the boys. (pauses, seems confused)

Catherine Zeta Jones: What’s the matter?

Jeff: Nothing. I just had— the weirdest— deja vu. Hmm. Anyway yeah, Ron’s gonna be my roommate when I get back to New York. Well actually he’s stuck in his lease until the end of February and I’m wanting to get back up there in January.

Catherine Zeta Jones: Well if money was not object then that wouldn’t be a problem would it?

Jeff: Right.

Catherine Zeta Jones: How many bedrooms?

Jeff: Well there are two of us— but you know what? I want an office. Three! No four! I want Mom to have a room when she comes. And Jen and Max! I want them to come three or four times a year! Four bedrooms! I want the place to be comfortable and have a wicked ass view and be all modern and space-agey— but not sterile! I hate those places where you go in and you feel like you’re in a NASA facility— or a museum so you’re afraid to fart for fear of breaking a vase—excuse me vaaaahz. I used to go in those places all the time when I was a hooker in LA.

Catherine Zeta Jones: You were a hooker in LA?

Jeff: Oh yeah. I never told you that?! Hmm. I woulda guessed I had.

Catherine Zeta Jones: And someday you probably should. But today, let’s keep the focus on the apartment in New York.

Jeff: I want it to be a home. Yeah, that’s it.That’s the most important thing. I mean some people live like that, yeah? That can’t all be crooks and cheats can they? I mean, I would love to live like that, to have place like that to share with my friends, but I don’t want to hurt anybody to get it.

Catherine Zeta Jones: What do you mean?

Jeff: I don’t know. Something in me feels like all those people who live in those kind of places screwed people over to get there.

Catherine Zeta Jones: Very interesting.

Jeff: (laughs) thank you Dr. Freud.

Catherine’s assistant lightly taps on the door. 

Catherine Zeta Jones: (a little annoyed) Yes?

The assistant cracks the door a few inches and Dennis the cat runs into the room and bounces up onto Jeff’s chest. 

Assistant: Someone wanted to join you.

Dennis is carrying his left front paw and there’s a little blood on the white fur. The assistant closes the door. 

Jeff: What happened to your paw buddy?

Catherine Zeta Jones: Hello Dennis. (to Jeff) So what were you saying about all rich people being evil?

Jeff munches another candy cigarette and strokes Dennis’ fur.

Jeff: (laughing) I didn’t say that really.

Catherine Zeta Jones: Not in so many words but…

Jeff: Yeah, I see your point. A lot of old programming I guess. I just don’t know— I mean how can I live like that when people are starving?

Catherine Zeta Jones: Jesus, we’re back to that again are we?

Jeff: Well yeah!

Catherine Zeta Jones: Exactly how many people are you going to save with the money you don’t spend on that dream apartment of yours? Do you think anybody should be living in those apartments— I mean should they even exist?

Jeff’s iPhone buzzes and he looks at the screen. 

Jeff: (to Catherine) I’m sorry I just have to take this real quick. It’s a guy from Long Island I’ve been wanting to talk to.

Jeff swipes the screen and holds the phone to his ear. 

Jeff: Hello?

For the next forty-five minutes Jeff talks into the phone in a particularly masculine “bro” voice. He and the other man talk about CrossFit and sports and sex. Catherine sighs and raps her pencil on the keyboard, looks at the ceiling, scribbles on the clipboard, breaks the pencil, looks at her watch and finally stands. Jeff notices, speaks into the phone.

Jeff: (to the caller) Hang on. (to Catherine) What’s up?

Catherine Zeta Jones: You know if you’re not going to take this seriously, I’m not going to waste my time. Your time is up for today. You’ve spent the last forty-five of it talking to Mr. Long Island when we were supposed to be sorting out your life! I hope his dick tastes better than success!

She crosses to the office door to exit.

Jeff: Wait! You’re not leaving me for good!? I need you!

Catherine sends a puff of air from her nostrils in frustration. God help her she does care about this crazy bastard. She looks at Dennis who looks at her. She shakes her head in disbelief. 

Jeff: Pleeeeease?!

Catherine exits, slamming the door but not before delivering a final line:

Catherine Zeta Jones: See y’all tomorrow.


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