Contributor: Ryan Priest

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His breath is hot against my face which is funny because his words are lighting a fire in my mind. He’s so animated and passionate that I don’t care that I don’t know what he’s talking about, don’t really know what I’m nodding along with. I’m just so happy to have his attention.
I can’t help but to hang on every word, every delicate detail of this encounter. He’s got that thing, charisma.
It’s like a magnet in his smile and you can’t help but to be drawn in. You simply like him and have a desperate need for him to like you back. You always want more of him. It’s not about sex but he is sexy. You’re not gay but you would be for him. If he asked you. You’d do anything to make him like you. This is charisma and I know this. I recognize it easily but still I am powerless against it. More power than any one man should have, yet he’s got it in spades.
He’s gone on for longer than ever before. I’ve followed him, taken his picture a thousand times, in a thousand ways. At every premiere I’ve been there. I gave him five once as he was on his way out of a club. I didn’t wash my hand for a week. And now finally here he is one on one with me talking, sharing with me as if I was a real person to him. This magnanimity humbles me even more.
I quake in his presence but I don’t want it to end. Ever. I can’t even fully enjoy this moment because I can feel its inevitable end coming quick. Another star will walk into the bar and he’ll be gone. Or his agent will call and he’ll tell me, “Sorry, got to take this,” as he casually turns his perfectly contoured back to me.
The sun will set on this short gift and then life will be all downhill from there. There’s not going to be any topping this, beers with a superstar. I could follow him for another five years and never again this close, this candid, this personal.
I can tell by the rhythm of his speech he wants to wind this down. And why shouldn’t he? He’s got glorious places to go and magnificent things to do. At this moment I’m glad I always carry a gun. I’m glad because in a sense I can make this moment last forever. That is to say at least things won’t have to get any worse. Go out on a high.
I’m smiling so hard I’m crying. Either that or I’m crying so hard it’s making me laugh. The gun’s out now wiggling at him almost out of my control. I can’t hold still but it doesn’t matter at this range. His blood tastes of syrup and iron.
In a day I’ll be famous too. Not a star but famous none the less. They’ll never be able to tell his story without mentioning my name. I’ll have my own Wikipedia page and it’ll be linked to his for as long as there’s an internet.
Even in death he looks like a god. His body fallen over in its chair like a perfect pose. Like an artist would depict a murder.
The muzzle’s a lot hotter than I figured. It burns the soft underside of my chin. Notoriety is just a different kind of fame. The click of the hammer sends a sharp vibration rattling through my jaw.
This is worth dying for. This is worth the bullet that’s about to spin its way out of the barrel and through my brain. This isn’t what I dreamed about as a child but neither is it the worst way it could have gone. Being a somebody, anybody beats being a nobody. Especially if you weren’t lucky enough to be endowed with any charisma of your own.

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Ryan Priest is a screenwriter who lives in Hollywood. His newest project "Top Flight Security" just premiered on Youtube as a web series.
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