Thursday, July 21, 2011


Perhaps it speaks to how fully I disconnected from my former working self the past two years, or the effects of living in the present.  Whatever the reason, the result is that some days I feel like a ghost, as if the bells have tolled on Christmas Eve and I'm revisiting past stages of my life.  Yesterday I had a meeting in a building where I first worked when I moved to Los Angeles.  The first 5 years of my career were spent in this iconic black tower, a place I haven't been since I left 13 years ago.  Although the original Queen Anne credenzas and clawed foot Chippendale chairs have long been replaced by blond, generic office furniture, the space was incredibly familiar, especially the elevators.  The aluminum deco metal work, black panels and marble floor were unaltered.  As I pressed the button to the 11th floor, I remembered the countless rides I had within the same walls.  It was in my boss' corner office, we delayed our morning staff meeting to watch OJ's acquittal.  It was in the parking structure adjacent to the downstairs lobby we would sneak cigarettes to take the edge off of pilot season.  It was on the 10th floor, I sought shelter under my desk, unable to control my shallow breathing, as bullets ricocheted off the metal filing cabinets.  A disgruntled, out of work back lot employee shot 60 rounds into this building on a pristine spring morning in 1993.  I seriously wondered if I would make it out alive.  In the aftermath, we emerged from our offices stunned.  Lew Wasserman paced the halls, assessing the damage and said to me, "Maybe if your shows were funnier, they wouldn't be shooting at you."

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