Beach sand still inexplicably crusted in my hair even after two shampoos, slightly delirious from post takeoff drowsiness, sunburnt shoulders rubbing against bad economy class vinyl seating—Brad is scrolling through more-or-less two billion photos next to me in 16F, window shade pulled down. I’m on the flight back from Curaçao, a Caribbean sandbox floating off the coast of Venezuela, anchored by the weight, I assume, of a few thousand slot machines and overfed tourists vulturing around well-trafficked buffet stations. The island is part of the Dutch Antilles, which include such frequently romped-around spots as St. Maarten and you’re-making-that-up destinations like somewhere called Sint Eustatius. I mean, really, is that like St. Olaf? Is there a Betty White Museum?
The island is part of a smaller archipelago called the A-B-Cs—Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, respectively. My internet options there were bleak at best; a small corner of the lobby between the concierge’s left knee and an off-duty chocolate fountain reserved for weddings and destination Bar Mitzvahs, had half a patch of reception, if you leaned a bit to the left, stood on one foot, and angled your sunglasses to work as a makeshift MacGyver antenna. As such, I’m predating (is that the opposite of postdating?) this blog to June 30th. So, no worries, you did not accidentally slip inside a mid-summer wormhole if you’re looking at the above date and somehow feeling July-ish.
Theatre options on the island are minimal—no bus and truck tour of OKLAHOMA washing up any time soon. However, I managed to find solace in some amazing music at places like Mambo Boulevard, where Dutch transplants work so cheaply to live in the windmill-less sunshine, your usual one-man band poolside has been upgraded to a ten-piece orchestra including brass and strings and back-up singers to mimic that impromptu gospel choir-gimmick Sam Smith abuses so liberally.
I also caught some pre-Flag Day festivities, perched on a rather posh crow’s nest of sorts called Gouverneur de Rouville restaurant, which supposedly dates back to the 1700s in one incarnation or another, smack in the middle of Willemstad Harbour, where tourists can watch massive cargo ships carrying enough oil to allow my retirement yesterday, unsuspectingly floating by like a fourth-day houseguest in an East Hampton pool.
Despite the dearth of WiFi, I managed to get a little business done. I can’t talk too much about it, but I’m meeting with a major cable network talk-circuit producer next week at midtown’s sceney Bottega del Vino (Italian for, appetizers are priced like entrees), to discuss a new show possibility, in which I would co-host with a dear friend’s sister, and we would politely dish on hot topics, not trashy enough for Wendy Williams and too smart for the View-crew. In other James-tales, I’m still in negotiations for the proposed adaption of a popular Greek comedy that has been tearing up Athens with an eye on the Off Broadway market. Right now, it’s a polite tug of war: war, being percentage royalties; the tuggers, being attorneys. Hopefully, we can reach a mutual place of let’s-get-this-show-on-the-road. And, most definitely on the brain, post-fireworks and angel food cake with blueberries and raspberries on white frosting, is the upcoming Thrillerfest in NYC all next week at the Millenium Hilton near Grand Central Terminal. Obama raised enough buckage there eight years ago to Visa-swipe an entire presidential campaign. Can’t I just move one itty-bitty mystery novel? Sigh… it’s all aloe vera and book pitch-practicing from here. If I get nervous, I’m planning on seamlessly shifting into my old Richard Greenberg monologue from TAKE ME OUT. “Baseball is a democracy…”; publishing, not so much.