Immense trepidation were the words that came to mind. No, that’s not right, there were other words, but those aren’t suitable to print. My conversation with Billy went something like this:
“No, no! I don’t do kids. That’s it! That’s where I draw the line.”
“Listen,” Billy said, “it says in your contract that you do what we say, and I say you gotta babysit my kids for a bit. It’s no big deal—really they pretty much do it their selves.”
“Not a chance,” I said.
“Marty… Can I call you Marty—”
“—I’d prefer you—”
“It’s just, me and the guys, we’ve been talking. We’re wondering do you even care about this internship? About the future, I mean. We’re looking to make this a full-time slot—”
“Yeah,” Billy rubbed the back of his neck, and for a moment he didn’t meet my eyes, “I mean, one day. So, Marty, what do you say? It’ll only be an hour or two.”
“Fine,” I grimaced. “I mean, if we’re talking a real salary and benefits—”
“Of course,” Billy cut me off.
Billy, William Tyler Davis, or whatever he goes by at the current moment. Seriously, what’s with all the names? The dude has three. From what I could surmise most his family call him Tyler. It’s just his wife and his “fans” call him “Billy T.”
Then, of course, there were these two little ones who called him Daddy. And let me tell you, they did not watch themselves. If I wasn’t finding one a snack, I was having to act out the entire storyline of Star Wars: A New Hope with the other. That part was kind of cool but bizarre. Like, what five-year-old knows all of Princess Leia’s lines? And if she called me flyboy one more time, I was going to lose it.
After what seemed a few days, Billy returned.
“All right,” he said. “How’d it go?”
“Pretty good,” I lied. Honestly, I was drenched in sweat and there’s now a list of snack food I won’t go near for years. “Did you get some writing done?”
“Oh, yeah,” he lied as well.
“Dude,” I called him out. “I saw you out there. You were just sitting outside on your phone watching Rick and Morty.”
“Right,” he said, not looking me in the eye again. “Ya know, I couldn’t just leave my kids with some weird intern, now could I? I barely know you, Morty.”
“Marty—dammit now you have me doing it! Martin. And since when do you watch Rick and Morty?”
“Since today,” he said. “It still doesn’t compare to—”
On that note, I had to leave. Like, had to. I wasn’t about to listen to him drone on about Arrested Development one more time. There are enough allusions to that show in his book, which honestly was decent. Puns, satire, a bit of mystery, it definitely made for a few hours of enjoyment between brewing endless pots of coffee.