The afternoon after me and Joyce watched the new episode of At Home with Maya, I went back to Maya’s house for my regular session with the boys…and to see Sandy and the new ‘wardrobe’ we ordered. I was kinda excited to see what it would all be like. I made sure to shave before I went over to the house, and put on a brand new pair of regular shorts, so I wouldn’t look…well…ratty. I put on a pair of the new Nikes too, and put the others in the shitbox. They made for an awkward pile of shoeboxes to carry to Sandy’s office.
The boxes I was carrying were nothing compared to the piles of boxes in the office. Everything apparently had arrived, including the stuff from Nike. Looking at it all, I definitely can say that I’ve never gotten that many new clothes at the same time. Even when Mom got me a ton of shit to take to college.
Legal stuff first, though. I handed Sandy back the papers, signed, but:
“There’s one thing I was told to ask for…”
“It’s apparently no big deal, since the lawyer says it’s already in the agreement, but he said I should ask for something in writing that says I’m still allowed to work with other pupils while I’m working with Jacob and Matteo.”
“Oh,” Sandy said, “that’s all? I was afraid you were going to ask for more money or something. Here: I’ll email the lawyer right away. You just want confirmation that there’s non-exclusivity where teaching the boys is concerned, right?”
“I think so, yes,” I said, feeling like the illiterate redneck was showing.
“That’s no problem. Like you said, and I suppose as your lawyer said, that’s already implied in the IC agreement, but, you’re right, better to have it in writing as you become more and more involved in the operation here.”
There was that word ‘operation’ again – the one Dr. Peterson had used to describe working for Maya Bedrossian.
“The lawyers will have to get back to me, and they take their own sweet time, but don’t worry, we’ll have something for you sometime next week. Good that you had someone go over the papers so carefully. We’re not asking you to sign away your soul…well…I guess we are…but only as far as the part of your soul we put on TV is concerned.” She gave me her sexy laugh.
“Is this everything?,” I asked, surveying all the boxes, all of which Sandy had opened.
“This is it. Give or take a couple backordered things from Nike and Under Armour. I can’t wait to see you try it on.” She looked at my outfit. “Very sharp…but where’s the gym teacher look? I didn’t even know you owned regular shorts. Those look very good on you, by the way. It’s a great length for showing off your legs.”
“Thanks,” I said. Let it never be said that I can’t field a compliment from a chick lol.
“Before you start trying things on I have some good news for you.”
“You passed your screen test.”
I had no idea what she meant. I think she could read it on my face.
“The film they shot of you on Monday – Robert, Maya and Jean-François saw it, and they like how you look on screen. I don’t think they realized you look…well…like you do.”
I didn’t know who Robert and Jean-François were. So I asked.
“They’re the two executive producers who do something. There are a bunch of others who get credits, but it’s basically Robert and Jean-François who put the show together. And Maya of course. Oh,” she added with a little laugh, “I guess I forgot to mention that Robert Sharpman is Maya’s husband.”
That seemed like a useful piece of knowledge to have. So I answered lameass ‘oh’.
“They like your look – and this is with your mask on, remember – and they like your rapport with the boys. I guess Jacob and Matteo have been saying good things about you to Maya.
“Which brings me to another piece of good news. What do you say to working four afternoons a week here? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday? You told me you have other pupils on Wednesday.”
“Yes…but I also see one of them on Friday at 4:00…but he doesn’t live very far from here…”
“So…if you saw Jacob and Matteo at 1:30 instead of 2, you could make it?”
“Yes. That would be awesome.” October rent is getting due sooner and sooner…
“Done,” said Sandy. “Dr. Peterson will just have to have his afternoon tea earlier on Fridays. Now let’s see about all these clothes.”
Turns out Sandy has a little bathroom next to her office, and she said I should use it as a fitting room. It was very small and there wasn’t a whole lot of room to move around but I managed, having to sit on the toilet in order to change shoes. (Sandy really liked the basketball shoes and wanted to see me in those first. My attempt at explaining that I needed a shoe designed for grass and not the court was wasted on her. The more I get to know Sandy, the more I realize she knows nothing about sports.) The first outfit she handed me was a pair of black basketball shorts and a blue Dodgers tshirt with Chris Taylor’s name and number on the back.
I thought I looked good when I checked out what I could see of myself in the bathroom mirror…but was surprised as heck when I stepped out of the little bathroom to find that there was someone in Sandy’s office, sitting in the chair I usually sat in. I had no idea who he was, so I had to be introduced.
“Ethan Weintraub, Hunter Block. Hunter Block, Ethan Weintraub,” Sandy said, adding “Ethan was the segment producer who supervised the shoot on Monday” when she saw what must have been my totally blank face.
“Oh yes…hey…,” I said, putting my hand out and pulling it back. Ethan hadn’t introduced himself on Monday, so I reckon I can be forgiven for not recognizing him on Thursday.
Ethan was finishing a powdered sugar donut when I came out of the bathroom. He had curly brown hair and there was something hungry about his brown eyes…even after he finished the donut lol.
“Ethan wanted to get a look at you in some of your new wardrobe. Just to get an idea of what you’re going to look like from now on,” Sandy explained.
“Well,” he began, making no secret of the fact that he was checking me out in a totally gayass way, “he’s even better looking today than he was on Monday. This is going to be his basic look – the floppy shorts and the Dodgers tshirt and hat?”
“That’s what we were thinking,” Sandy said, indicating me as part of the ‘we’ – although choosing the clothes had been almost all her doing.
“He certainly looks good in it,” Ethan said, nodding. “I’m just not sure I like the hat.”
“He’s a baseball tutor,” Sandy said, springing to the defense of my new ball cap, “he should wear a baseball cap.”
“Can I see his hair anyway?”
Sandy signed for me to take the ball cap off.
“Nothing wrong there,” Ethan said, “but maybe we could send him to Maya’s stylist.”
I didn’t want to go to no gayass super expensive move star hairdresser. Sandy, like she does a lot, read my thoughts.
“He’s supposed to look like a baseball player,” said Sandy. “Not a model.”
“Thanks,” I said. “I kinda like my haircut.” Maybe Maya would like it too if she knew that the dude who cuts my hair is Armenian lol.
“What’s he look like in a bathing suit? You said swimming is one of the things he wants to do with the boys.”
I was not liking the way this Ethan dude was talking like I wasn’t in the room.
“Hunter,” Sandy said, in a real nice voice that kinda calmed me down, “would you mind modeling one of the bathing…the boardshorts for Ethan.”
“I reckon not,” I said, going into the bathroom with the board shorts that Sandy had picked out of the box from Hurley. They were the camouflage ones.
When I came out of the bathroom, Ethan took one look at me and, after a long awkward silence, said:
“Oh my.” Yeah: he really said ‘oh my’. “I didn’t know he looked like that without his mask on.” He checked me out some more. “I really like the suggestion of a 6-pack. In a way it’s better than over-defined abs.”
“I think you said it right the first time,” Sandy said. “Oh my.”
Ok, look…let’s be honest. I know I look good in a pair of boardshorts. Lots of guys do. But it’s one thing to be wearing a bathing suit when you’re around a swimming pool, and another to be standing in someone’s office while two people check you out from head to toe. It was making me seriously uncomfortable.
At least that Ethan dude left Sandy’s office after I went to change into another outfit – blue Under Armour shirt and some print shorts Sandy liked more than I did.
“I hope that didn’t make you too uncomfortable.”
“It kinda did,” I said, “I’m just not used to it. And since when did how I look become such a big deal? I mean….I know we ordered all these clothes so I’d look presentable in case the camera catches me working with the boys, but…”
“Welcome to At Home with Maya, Hunter Block. It’s been a while since we had a seriously good-looking man on the show.”
Me and Sandy put together a few other outfits, although even a straight dude could tell that it was all mostly mix and match and that pretty much any of the shirts could go with any of the shorts. That didn’t stop Sandy from telling me which shirts would go better with which shorts and shoes. I had Dodgers hats in grey, red, green and camo in addition to a blue one, which she coordinated with my outfits, although I tried to explain to her that the blue one should be my go-to. She eventually seemed to go along with that, although she also said that I ought to stop by her office on days when the cameras were working to make sure that my outfit was just right.
It was all getting to be a little too much for me, but luckily it was 2 o’clock, and I could see out the window of Sandy’s office that Jacob was already waiting for me.
“You look much better in that,” Jacob said, indicating my outfit. “I like the CT3 shirt and those shorts are super cool. So are the shoes. You gotta admit it’s pretty cool knowing you can get all the Nikes you want.”
“I’m glad you approve,” I said, maybe a little snarkily.
“You gotta accept being on TV as part of the job,” he said, talking like an 11 year old TV executive, “and part of that is looking good.”
Et tu, Jacob, I thought lol.
“You gotta run some sprints,” I said, not wanting to talk about my clothes anymore, least of all with a kid. “All stretched out?,” I asked.
“Not really,” he said. “I hate stretching.”
“Well you’re gonna do it whether you like it or not, cowboy. C’mon, we’ll do it together.”
Once we were stretched out, I decided to race Jacob around the park and back to the fountain instead of having him run sprints. I had way too much energy built up from the scene in Sandy’s office and I seriously needed to get sweaty. I didn’t even hold back because I was racing an 11 year old, and getting the clothes sweaty made me like them even more. Then we worked on baseball some…and then I decided I wanted to try out the Bedrossian’s pool for the first time.
“You wanna hit the pool, cowboy?,” I asked Jacob. I knew the answer, of course, and he started running back into the house to change.
“Where should I change?,” I asked. “Can I use the pool house?”
The pool house is a miniature version of the main house. Sandy sent someone to drop all my clothes in there since she needed her office back lol. That was the first time I was inside…and it was a whole fuckin house, not just a cabana like the Andrews have (and I thought that was already pretty dang fancy.) There’s a living room, a dining area, a mini-kitchen, a bedroom and a huge bathroom with a mosaic bathtub. It was bigger than my apartment. Plenty of room to change…I just wasn’t sure that the baseball tutor could get to use it.
“Sure you can,” Jacob said. So I reckon I had someone’s permission…and my clothes were in there anyway.
When I hit the water a few minutes later, I realized I still steam to burn off. I swam a mess of laps even after Jacob got into the pool, but then I played around with him some and we both burned off steam. I think I had more energy than he did…and that’s pretty fuckin scary lol.
Then Matteo came down and I worked with him (after changing back into my tshirt and shorts), and the boys helped me carry all the clothes from the pool house to the shitbox. The trunk on a Prius isn’t its biggest or best feature, so we had to even put some of the boxes in the back seat. But I got it all home. Keaton came over after he got off work, took one look at the boxes in my living room and said:
“Yeah, bubba…she fuckin likes you a lot.”