I Am Jack's Nostalgia

The second hand of his Rolex watch clicked smartly past the number five as he picked it up off the mahogany dresser; its glossy face, devoid of any scratches, glinted as he put it on. He shook his wrist to situate the timepiece, fondly regarding his most prized possession. Such elegant craftsmanship, what stalwart style, how timelessly it had told time for him these past ten years he had been lucky enough to have it. Whenever he wore the watch, he felt inexplicably transformed into Casanova at his most suave, with all of Sinatra's seamless amiability and Clooney's stunning presence. His Rolex's uncanny tick-tock turned Sawyer Knox the actor into Sawyer Knox the superstar; with each flash of the watch's face another heavily mascaraed eyelash would flutter coquettishly, drawn by the insatiable allure of affluence the watch seemed to radiate in pulses.

Sawyer absorbed the position of the Rolex's hands, catching an all too pleased hum before it escaped his throat. 5:03. He was early; the limousine was scheduled to come at 5:10 anyhow. That is, if it would be a limousine that would pull up outside of his cliffside condo. Without any further accessories to occupy himself with, Sawyer was resigned to the window, staring out past the edge of the craggy outcroppings of cliff and into the sea below. His eyes focused between his own reflection in the glass, then outward, then back again. More often lately, he was glad he had shaved that damn goatee. It had only looked good twelve years ago when he was catering Fight Club anyway, or so the film's producer Arnon Milchan had told him when he was dragged by the wrist from behind the set to be another one of Brad Pitt's lackeys.

"Gotta have somebody on screen that looks like he can kick ass."

Sawyer had snorted in agreement as he rolled up his sleeves, pausing to let the producer stuff a fistful of bills into his shirt pocket.

"Much obliged, Knox. Tell pretty boy his mic is showing, too."

Sawyer watched blankly as he waltzed off, pausing to talk to Helena Bonham Carter before making a beeline for the expansive table of food he had organized not two minutes prior. A feeling of isolation crept over his hands; he had never done any acting whatsoever, and the extent of what he knew about Fight Club was that Brad Pitt and Edward Norton starred. What he had inferred was that the movie was centered on some persuasion of club, in which there appeared to be a good deal of fighting. These were merely inferences, however.

The boom operator brushed past him, arms aloft with the equipment in question; the man shot him a gawking, sideways glance, as if his apparent stupor was mildly offensive. Sawyer lurched into motion, loping into the shot in time with the cameraman's fatigued "Quiet on the set!"

Sawyer shouldered his way brusquely into the midst of the throng of extras, an action that was, in fact, mildly offensive. He peered over the shoulder of one of his taller counterparts towards the dashing leads in the foreground, realizing suddenly that Milchan hadn't indicated which pretty boy was in question. Sawyer opened his mouth to hiss out a curt warning just as the clapperboard clicked smartly in front of the cameras.


Sawyer froze, attempting to nonchalantly slip into the same devil-may-care stance the men surrounding him embodied. The murky silence was broken by the club rules, lines which would rise to fame upon Fight Club's release. Years later, Sawyer would hear Brad Pitt's voice described as arrogance steeped in black coffee.

"The first rule of Fight Club is...you do not talk about Fight Club."

A sturdy, tattooed man not far from where he stood cracked his knuckles obtrusively as Tyler Durden, Pitt's character, strode past, listing off more rules as a handful of men kicked off their shoes.

"And the eighth, and final rule. If this is your first night at Fight Club...you have to fight."

What. Last time Sawyer checked, he only looked like he could kick ass, and even that was questionable.

Pitiful thoughts concerning his lanky physique aside, he still hadn't delivered the message. A glance over at the leads revealed Pitt to be the one with the wardrobe-equipment malfunction; his maroon leather jacket had folded in such a way as to make his mic pack clearly visible. Sawyer trained his eyes on Pitt, hoping to catch his attention the next time he walked past. Judging by the director's attention as to what was happening in the scene, this take might make the final cut, and he wasn't about to screw it up.

Suddenly their eyes met; Sawyer gave Tyler Durden a pointed look, motioning vaguely to the front of his pants where the mic pack was located. The man next to Sawyer gave him the sidelong stare of the faintly horrified.

The actor is question smoothly corrected the faux pas, motivating Sawyer to release a breath he didn't know he had been holding. He had never felt so stressed in his life, and all he had done, from a bird's eye view, was stand, make ambiguously sexual gestures at popular actors and sprint back to the catering tent the second "Cut!" was called. Clearly, acting was not his calling.

Which is why, twelve years and seven movies later, he stood watching mist collect into dewdrops on his floor-to-ceiling windows, comfortable in his seaside condo, his two film festival accolades, unassuming in their gleam, sitting on the mantle. 5:09. He could hear an engine rumbling outside.

Pausing at the door to straighten the bow tie he hated wearing, Sawyer strode out of his condo, happy to find that a limousine awaited. Brad Pitt leaned crookedly out the limousine door, waving briskly.

"You're late!"

Sawyer smiled ruefully.

"No, you're early."

He indicated the Rolex adorning his wrist, raising his eyebrows.

"Jesus, Knox, get a new watch."

Maybe if I had your salary, wife, and lifestyle...

The B-list, or rather, C-list, if he were honest with himself, had never been overwhelmingly satisfying. Having A-listers as friends, though, gave life the flavor he craved. His lifespan as an actor was harrowingly close to its expiration date, so much so that showing up to the Oscars tonight entirely alone would be nothing short of pitiful. Brangelina's shadow was still brighter than solitude would have been, anyhow.

Brad's TAG Heuer watch glinted menacingly from across the limousine; it couldn't have been more than half a year old. His Rolex though, was going on ten and was just as handsome, thank you, as its modern counterpart. It had been his father's; it was his life. Sawyer brushed a piece of dust off its face with his thumb, the minute hand clicking dryly in response. 5:12.