24 Hours -- Part Eight
"God Damn," Vivian says bluntly.
"Oh my god." I gasp as if I've never heard a swear word in my life. This is totally laughable since I'm the king of swearing these days. "I'm gonna tell on your mommy!" Her comment came just as my eyes are about to close to take a quick nap. I get jolted into the car door as we turn the corner and D looks in the mirror with a smile.
She reaches over and turns my head towards the people on the street. "Look at all those girls and try not to say what I just said."
"Holy fuck," I say as I turn in every direction and see people as D pulls the car up to the curb, or what used to be a curb. All I can hear and see is screaming girls and the faint background of the Viacom studios behind them. Have you ever seen those dot paintings? The ones where there are like 6 billion tiny dots of color laying next to each other that make up a huge picture? That's what the curb looks like right now. My heart rate hits the roof and there is a clear blanket of tension that fills the car. "Holy fuck."
Things get hectic from here on out.
Imagine holding your ear up to a tin roof when it's raining. Except, it's a hurricane with raindrops the size of softballs slapping against it. That is what my ears are getting bombarded with. Claustrophobia sets in for me and I shrink back a little into my seat as girls start pounding on the windows.
"Don't hit them," Vivian says raising her voice suddenly as girls begin to surround the car and bang on it. She's sitting sideways in her seat now looking around in all directions at once. It's making me dizzy. "Don't hit any kids. That's the last thing we need, some lawsuit."
D uses a stern, but not pissy voice with her. "I've got it Vivian."
"Just be sure," she says. I hate when she figits. She's moving in all directions and it's making me dizzy. She's a control freak really. It sucks to say it, but she is as obsessive as I am about things, which works sometimes, but like today sometimes clashes with me.
"I've got it," he says.
"Damn Vivian!" I slap my hand against the leather seat. "Leave him the fuck alone to drive!"
Vivian glared at me. "Justin Timberlake don't take that tone with me this fucking early in the morning."
"SHUT UP the both of you!" Tiny yells from the front seat.
I shut up and turn towards the window. My hand grips the door handle and I pray that the girls who are just outside don't attack me or hurt themselves in the process of trying to get to me. I always worry about that when I come to MTV and this is why I totally have a love/hate relationship with MTV. I love what the channel has done for my career, but a part of me hates going there. I hate being mobbed like that and screamed at so harshly, I swear the poodle reaction turns into a pit bull reaction when I show up at places like that.
Today the girls swarm in around the car. "NYPD is going to help out with all the people. Vivian go straight to the door and Tania will meet you there. Justin you stay close to me."
"How many people are out there right now?" I ask.
Tiny looks around. "My guess? A few thousand."
"FU-UCK," I sigh out and grab up my backpack.
Tiny starts to open the door and the car begins to shake as people surge forward.
Vivian grabs my arm and reaches for Tiny's shoulder. "Maybe we should wait for more backup."
"Don't turn all NYPD Blue on me," I say rolling my eyes. I shake her hand off me and pull my sweatshirt into place.
"Justin--" she says with a warning tone.
"Vivian--" I mock back like Steven does to me all.
"Shut the hell up the both of you."
"Come on go," I say now feeling like I'm gonna pee from the tension.
"We have to wait."
"You aren't scared are you Viv?" I ask knowing full well that she was a little weary of crowds. She did ok most days, but visiting MTV always set her on edge.
She pushed open her door and stood up to collect her bag and screamed back at him over the sound of the crowd. "I'm fine."
To try to describe the sights and sounds that surrounded me as I walked towards the door couldn't be done. The space between the curb and the door is probably fifteen feet wide and as I slip past the crowd barriers about a hundred hands come out to grab on my jacket and backpack. I hold my breath and smile as I'm literally pushed towards the glass doors of the studios.
"You ok?" Vivian asks me as we head towards the elevator.
I nod and drag my feet towards the elevator which shoots us up to the seventh floor. We hit the lobby of MTV and the receptionist, a girl named Sharon comes around the counter to hug me. She's like an older sister, probably twelve years older than me with a little boy and girl that love the group. "Hey there babycakes," she says with a laugh. "I'm so glad you're here."
"Thanks Sharon," I say and hug her back. "How are the kiddies?"
"Good. Mary and Henry are in school today. You can't imagine how much they begged to come here."
"Well remind me and I'll send you home with a little note from me."
I start to walk towards the restroom and I can feel her following me. Not Sharon of course but Vivian is right on my heels.
I stop and like an old Three Stooges movie she bumps into me. "Where ya going Moe?" I ask with a laugh.
"Huh?" She looks up at me startled and I suddenly notice that she's insanely close to me. "Moe?"
I take a step back. "It's--" I think about explaining it to her for a split second, but when I see the dazed look in her eyes I wonder if she's really ok. Today has been a little out of the ordinary for the both of us, but she seems to be handling it worse than I am. "Nothing. I was going to say something, but never mind." I look down the hall. "Where were you headed?"
"Where were you going?" she asked.
"To piss," I say.
She narrowed her eyes at me. "You're so crude Justin."
I lean back and stand on my heels and puff my chest out a little. "Don't I fucking know it."
"Go take a pi--" She stops and blushes a little. "Go to the restroom and meet me near Carson's office, in that little alcove--" She points down the hall.
"Oh really?" I say and wiggle my eyebrows.
She slaps at me and says, "In the waiting area!"
"Fine. Fine," I say, "have it your way." I start to walk towards the restroom and suddenly am dreading it.
Bathrooms are the strangest places in the world. In the men's bathroom if two guys see each other they don't speak to each other. It's like this silent zone over them. You can be in the middle of a sentence, but once you step into the restroom it's like you've entered a library and you have to whisper or something to communicate. I on the other hand seemed to have bridged this rule for some reason. Everyone wants to talk to me and it seems like while I'm taking a piss is the only time I'm standing still long enough to talk to.
When I step into the bathroom I don't think twice about where I'm going or what I'm doing. I make sure that my backpack is on before I find my way inside. If it were a women's bathroom I'd have to be crazy to step in there alone, but since most guys aren't as fanatic as girls I just go in and find an open urinal. The room is small with four urinals two on one wall and two on the opposite wall and then four toilets at one end with two sinks next to two of the urinals. I turn to the right and unzip.
I stand at the corner urnial, penis in hand and suddenly realize that there might be someone in here or that someone might come in while I'm here. Normally I don't think about peeing so much, but I notice that there are only two urinals, which puts my chances of having to deal with another guy in the room even higher.
Another guy thing is to never pee next to another guy. Unless you're drunk off your ass and you have to basically lean on someone so you don't piss on yourself, there is this silent rule that you'll wait until a guy is finished before you'd have to stand next to him to piss, that is. There are few exceptions to this rule. The only one I know about is the drunk thing, but one that me and the guys added was that you couldn't piss next to another guy, unless you're in the middle of nowhere and pissing in the woods or something. As strange as hell as it sounds, pissing used to be one of the highlights of road trips. You know how some kids count up how many license plates they see on the road or how many cows or something they see? Well I counted how many states and countries I've peed in. I've pissed in the woods of about seven different countries and I think I've pissed in woods in every state except maybe Alaska since we never toured there.
Taking a breath I relax and begin to pee. This only goes on for a few moments before I hear my phone go off.
"Is that you Timberlake?" I hear come from one of the closed in toilets. It scares the shit out of me that someone knows me and I can't even see them. No one really has seen me yet and I know no one followed me in so it definitely puts me on edge.
"Awe fuck," I say praying that I didn't just piss on myself from being startled.
A laugh filled the air. "Piss on yourself Justin?"
I nearly jump out of my skin until I realize who it is. "What the fuck Daily! I'm trying to fucking take a piss!"
Carson only laughs from behind the closed door. I lean a little and see his Adidas shoes underneath the door. "Answer your damn phone!" he yells.
"No way man," I said, "This isn't a fucking phone booth."
You know those warnings in movie theaters where management tells you to turn off your ringer so that you don't mess up the movie for other people. I always thought that they needed those for restrooms. This isn't the first time I've heard people take calls in the bathroom or even think about starting a conversation in one.
"Come on man. It fucking echoes in here. Get it. I bet it's important."
The toilet flushes behind the door and I finish peeing, ignoring the song that is now coming out of my pocket.
"Answer your phone Timberlake."
"Whatever." I zip up my pants and go to wash my hands. "I'm not talking to whoever it is in the pisser."
"Pisser?" Carson laughs as he washes his hands.
He seems his usual casual self. He wears an outfit like me except boots instead of running shoes. I don't usually notice stuff like that, I'm into fashion, but I let Vivian and my stylists and stuff decide what goes and what stays. There is only a corner of my closet that holds clothes that I even bought myself, let alone pick out to wear myself. Today I notice because I'm going to be on television. I don't want to be looking like the host's twin or something.
Carson slaps me on the back when his hands are dry. "You been to Europe lately?"
"You know I haven't." I shrug.
"I haven't seen you in two months. You could have been in Japan for all I know."
"It's good to see you too." I laugh a little. "Virginia Beach is hardly Japan."
"Anything outside of LA or Miami or New York is Japan for me."
"You should try Virginia Beach sometime," I say, "It's pretty wild. You don't know what you missed out on this summer."
My phone stops ringing as we head out into the hallway. Carson points the way. "Come on and see my new office."
"I should--" I look back towards where Vivian is standing with Tiny. He sees me and nods and Vivian's back is to me so she doesn't see me turn the other way towards Carson's.
"Checking in with Mom? I mean Vivian?"
"Yeah," I say, "Something like that. She freaks out on me like no other. I swear even my mother doesn't fucking give me as much shit as she does."
"Girls," Carson says, "Can't live with them."
I sigh and think back to the last time we had this discussion. We were drunk off our asses last time, but I go ahead and repeat the slogan we thought of last time. "Can't get any fucking sex without them."
"Exactly," Carson pushes through a door. "Welcome home."
The office is three times as big as the closet he was living in before. He's got a couch and a desk and a conference table that looks like it's been turn into another desk.
"Got a roommate?" I ask pointing towards the other desk that clearly isn't Carson's.
"Yeah. I had this place to myself for about five minutes then they decided that if I was going to have an office this big that my assistant Jess didn't need to be sitting down the hall so we share." He sighs and sits down into his desk chair. "Pull up a chair or a couch."
"Couch," I say and drop down onto the couch almost lying on it as if I'm in his living room and not his office. "So how's the city treating you?"
"Same old shit different day," he says. He grabs up a pack of cigarettes and pulls one out. He steps over to the window in the office and opens it. He pulls a chair from the converence table that is pushed against the wall and sits near the window. "What about you?" He lights up. "Nice album by the way. I'm not sure that you got my two-way when I got it."
"I did," I say and wonder if I'm missing any other messages today because I've been keeping my phone and pager away from my immediate attention. "It's ok. Not curing cancer here, but I think it'll hold its own with the competition."
"You have mad mad collaborations on there," Carson says. He blows smoke after a moment. "It'll definitely get you into the clubs with the people that you're working with."
I shrug. I hate hearing compliments about my album and I hate hearing the critics. Either way I feel like I'm in misery. I want everyone to like it and be talking to everyone else out there, not telling me about it.
When silence fills the room I look at my watch knowing almost instantly that either the phone is going to ring or Vivian is going to appear in the doorway.
Right on time, Vivian swings in the door and looks a little more than pissed off. "Justin! I told you I didn't have time for this bullshit today we need to--Hey Carson." She blushes a moment. "We have three interviews for shows right now then a small rehearsal before we get you outside to be on that stage. You don't have time to fuck around today."
"So nice to see you again," Carson says and laughs a little.
"I'd better go," I say reluctantly.
"I'll see you in a few hours," Carson says.
"Yeah," I say and sigh.
"Don't get all pissy with me now," Vivian says.
"What?" I reply. "I'm not being pissy. I'm tired."
"Just slap on a smile and get through the day ok?" she suggests.
"What's wrong with you today?" I ask. "You're being especially--"
Just as I think she might actually explain she starts to pick at my jacket and makes sure that I look ok as we walk down towards where my interview should be taking place.
I look up and see Kimber Wilkes standing there. She's one of the interns from TRL and looks the part with her little headset and clipboard. "What's up Kimber?"
"Dana is ready for you in the studio for your interview."
"She's new," Kimber says as I leave Vivian behind in the hallway and make my way towards the back studio where I know my interview will take place. "She's a little nervous about meeting you, but I told her that I'd introduce you."
"Thanks," I say wondering why a person interviewing me is nervous. I should be the nervous one, getting poked and prodded with questions all day long.