ambition shows some belly

After enduring some drama and enjoying some diversions — thoroughly enjoying some diversions — it is time, say I, to swing back into boring productive writer mode.

I am determined.

I am resolute.

I hold a reshaped vision of the work-in-progress in my head, and I can practically taste the satisfaction of a draft made complete.

Then along comes Octavius and a 7:30 am yoga class with a private instructor in a room that opens out onto his lush green sprawl of Bel Air property. The yoga is productive enough, and I’ll be damned if Octavius isn’t turning into something of a good influence on me as well as a good friend. One of his striking qualities is how, amid the temptations on offer to an attractive and successful film producer, Octavius lives a moderate lifestyle. I’ve never seen him drink much and although he’s social and gregarious and often at the clubs — I learned about the newest hotspot Foxtail when he texted me from there on its opening night — he heads home well before closing time. And this is a town where the clubs shut down at 2 am (when people who want to stay merry regroup at houses in the hills). I’ve noticed the same kind of discipline in other ex-dancers, plus from what I can tell Octavius still nourishes some naked fiery ambition in his core.* Ambition and hedonism form an uneasy relationship with one another. You can’t exactly conquer the world when you’re sleeping it off all day, or have to crawl over so many naked bodies to get to your Blackberry that you decide it’s just not worth the journey.

After a quick update on his romantic life — which has a decidedly international feel, whether it’s a French actress or Swedish pop singer or Israeli honey whose profession I do not yet know– he invited my husband and me to a party in Malibu tomorrow night. Later he had his assistant — one of his assistants — email the details. The party has a theme. It is an Arabian Nights theme. This raises an interesting** question: how does one retain one’s sense of buckling down for serious work when suddenly and unexpectedly obliged to put together an outfit involving harem pants?

Or when confronting the realization that one already owns a pair of harem pants in case of just such an emergency?

* or has some Bel Air-sized bills to pay. Which is basically the same thing.

** maybe not so interesting


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