Extract from ‘The Many Cabinets of Tom Cruise’ [taken from ‘Hollywood on the edge of forever’]
Words are not enough to show you how good Stavrogin’s book is, so we’re using other words instead. Better words.
Here’s a scene from the first story of the book. The Many Cabinets of Tom Cruise. Be warned, it’s weird:
‘Tom walked down a corridor at Paramount, looking for an office he knew he’d been in before…way back in the day…before Maverick, before Rainman…before he was anyone.
Only the corridor didn’t look like any corridor he’d ever seen.
He kept walking, trying a door here, a door there…
‘Where are these fuckers,’ he whispered, half-losing the smirk.
The fuckers were nowhere.
He hadn’t seen anyone since the heifer in reception…
He kept walking, trying every door.
…a heifer in reception? When did they start doing that?
He turned down another corridor and another and another one after that, trying each door he saw, but each door was shut, and worse, had no nameplate or number or anything he could measure his progress off or figure out…shit, figure out anything of anything…so he kept on walking…walking down more corridors and trying more nameless doors and finding them locked and then walking some more and some more until the corridors lost the carpet on the floor and the wallpaper on the walls and turned into boiler room corridors, like he was somewhere on fucking Elm Street…but he wasn’t, he knew he wasn’t, and he kept on going forward instead of turning back because he knew the office he wanted was somewhere in this direction, and there was no way they could’ve moved it that far without telling him, and even if they had, there was still the heifer in reception who’d told him to come this way, and if she was wrong…if she’d led him down to the fucking boiler room then….then what the fuck did she think was gonna happen when he found his way back?
He reached a corridor longer than the others…dirtier than the others…darker than the others…like a damn abattoir and…
…Jesus, there was a sheep, a fucking sheep running ahead of him as if it were looking for the same fucking office and…and what was this shit?
He stopped and let the sheep get some distance ahead of him.
Goddamnit, he thought, without a particular target.
When the sheep was out of sight he started walking again.
The corridor was dark but he could see a light, some kind of light a few hundred yards down…
He reached the light. It was caged and green and placed above a door with no name.
Tom reached for the handle and it opened.
Inside was a desk.
Beside the desk was Gene Hackman.
On Gene Hackman was the suit he wore in A Class Action.
Tom asked him what was going on.
Hackman shook his head and held up a piece of paper:
‘I’m sorry, I’m retired.’
Shit, Tom thought.
‘Well, what am I doing here?’
Hackman pointed at the desk, where there was another piece of paper.
Tom picked it up:
‘We’re cutting you loose, freak.’
Tom didn’t know what to do so he let the paper fall to the ground and scrunched up his face, imagining slow motion…imagining close-ups…imagining cameras, props, crew.
Hackman watched him without expression.
‘Why me?’ Tom asked.
Hackman cleared his throat.
‘I don’t deserve this,’ he said. ‘I’m building a house…’