She’s standing alone, a knowing grin. A beacon of light in an otherwise dark room. What is it she knows? That she’s too good for this party? No, something else. What? Maybe she knows the game they’re all playing. The guys standing a little straighter than they’re used to, trying to show they have better posture than the typical hunched desk dork.
He’s come with a group of his friends, or that’s what they call themselves. Two years ago he started putting out videos, talking about how to get fit using only body weight. Calls it the Just You series. Used to be just him, now there’s a whole team. Camera guy, editors, marketing, online sales for the supplements and apparel. This party, in the east hills, half an hour outside of San Francisco, a gathering of other online personalities.
There’s Joey Fun, the guy that makes fun of anything and everything. Has a video closing in on fifteen million views, him making fun of cats being cats. Sandy Lo, has a few channels, one for make-up reviews, one for make-up tips, another for fashion. Bryce Boyd, B.B. Guy, makes videos of BB-gun trick shots. But her, standing by herself, he doesn’t know who she is.
“Max, hey, tell us how you—” “So, Max, in that push-up video—” “Yo, my man, Max, how’s—” they come up, one after another, trying to say Hi, get a few words in. If he pays them any mind the conversation fast turns to, “So I was thinking…” then a pitch. A new line of clothing, a new video series, a new way to make money. Never enough for them. All he ever wanted was enough. Enough to pay his bills, not have to worry about money. Enough to be safe.
He dodges them all, gets past the incessant questions. “Maybe later,” and “Hey, I’m just here to relax, let’s catch up another time,” and “I’ll give it some thought,” and he actually means it. Then he’s next to her, the grasping hands behind him, and he says—