J’s Story

Have you ever been told something that you’re not quite sure if it’s true?  Ever?  Years later you still retell the story (because it is a good story) and there’s always an edge of doubt to your voice.  You are always compelled to attach a disclaimer with the events just in case the audience won’t believe you.  Then you can say, “Yeah, I don’t think it could happen either,” and not sound so gullible.  It happens to me quite a bit.

Years ago, I worked with J.  We worked in the same department at the newspaper.  J was a talented, intelligent man who could pretty much do whatever he wanted.   Unfortunately, his favorite pastime was his biggest weakness.   He was the poster child for the goodtime guy that everyone loved.  Sorta.  We worked well together.  Sorta.  One time, without requesting it, he burned a Coldplay CD for me and labeled it, “Butthead’s Mix.”  What kind of message do you gather from that?  It was a nice gesture with a hint of orneriness.  A dose of passive aggressiveness anyone?

While J was never an open book, he did share some of the more interesting stories of his life.  He told about the time he lived in LA with his older sister.

“You lived in LA?” I asked.

He nodded his head while staring at his monitor.

“Why are you back here?”

He shrugged his shoulders.  “Too many people.”

How many Jennifer Smith’s can there be, really?

Hmm.  Okay, I can accept that.  He talked about his sister who is now a casting director.  For proof, he IMDB’d her and showed me.  Hmm, okay, the name “Jennifer Smith” doesn’t exactly prove anything.  If I’m not mistaken, there are a few of those running around.  True, she was born in Wyoming.  So, it is possible…I guess.  But Hollywood is a make believe world that doesn’t co-exist in the same realm as my hometown Wyoming.  And this is J talking so let’s just say, I’m skeptical.

He told a story of when his younger sister went to LA to visit her siblings.  They went to a bar with Jennifer’s then boyfriend – director Jon Turteltaub.   Apparently, the younger sister was so shy the director offered to play a drinking game with her to loosen her up.  Possibly.  But again, this is J telling the story.

I went to school with Jenny Smith.  I thought it was his sister.  When I mentioned that I knew her, he snapped, “That’s not my sister.  I think I should know my own sister.”  According to IMDB, Jennifer Smith is older than me.  So, maybe I was mistaken.  Possibly.

But it is J’s story.  I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% convinced.  However, it is a good story and makes the seven degrees of separation theory almost applicable to me.  (Although I do have a connection to Glenn Close.  Her father worked as a doctor in the small Wyoming community my aunt and uncle live in.)  I mean, here I am in Wyoming, and when I watch National Treasure I can say, “I worked with a guy whose sister dated the director.”  Possibly.

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