This morning I got in my car, wheeled onto the 110 North and headed for Hollywood. On the way I listened to Ira Glass and the latest installment of This American Life. Today, he culled his entire show from the classified pages of the Chicago Sun-Times. One of the segments focused on a man whose black poodle, Isis, had been stolen. Isis had been destined for greatness. He had intended to breed her with a Shih-Tzu and raise a cluster of “Shih-doodles.” But some mysterious woman allegedly made off with Isis, so he was advertising in the Sun-Times pleading for her return. Another segment followed an attempt to fuse an actual band out of several eclectic musicians, all of whom had advertised in the classifieds. They performed a fine rendition of “Rocket Man.” The segment of the show that had me gripping the steering wheel in apprehension came in between those two. It focused on two people hunting for jobs. Neither had been very successful. They had their reasons, but they were having a tough time of it. One of them had been hunting for FIVE YEARS. And here I was, driving to Hollywood to meet with Llyr over breakfast at Canter’s and talk about what it’s like to get a job in Los Angeles. It unnerved me a little. But rather than take it as a bad sign, I understood that someone had just held up a picture: you react to this because this is only what you imagine yourself to be. But it’s nopt you. It’s that little demon who lives in your head. That demon feeds on despair. That little demon would like you to fail. That little demon’s name is Morty.

I met with Llyr. I ate scrambled eggs with lox. And a bagel. Then I went and hung out with Jules while she cleaned her dresser. We walked Penelope around the block (though I don’t know how she fell asleep the way I pushed her little stroller roughshod over the heaving sidewalk.) And then I had a fine cup of coffee and a happy-face cookie with the smart and attractive Bobbi Kay.

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