”Jesus, should I be nervous? Everyone seems a little rushed and jumpy. And you, Tina, are shivering a little bit.”
She continues to look at me concerned. ”You cannot believe the lengths I’ve gone to today to zone myself into a Xanaxed-Valium state of mind over this thing. So, speaking of contagions – don’t wig me out, please.”
”Tina, you’re from the South, right? So, you know all about liquid shots of courage.” Claire takes a very old bottle brandy out of her bag. I nod at her welcome gesture.
”We’re going to enjoy his favorite cognac,” Claire lifts her glass to toast a large black and white photograph of Alfred Hitchcock.
”And then we’re going to walk outside and hit this one out of the park.” Claire finishes as Bette smiles at me.
”Give me your ring. Do you want to?” Bette takes my hand up to her lips and gently kisses my knuckles one by one. ”I’ll put it back on your finger later for the cameras. Is that a shot they’d like?” Bette looks over to Claire.
”You’re very cooperative once you get onboard with something, aren’t you?” Claire laughs.
”Today is all about my fiancee.” Bette kisses me. ”Now, that’s something we haven’t gone over.” She looks from me to Claire for answers. ”I’m kissing you in front of the cameras, aren’t I?”
”Yes, you absolutely are.” Claire says. ”You two need to get ready for your close up.”
Press Conference – Tina – 1:55pm
”Bette, I need to get on stage now with the actors and Aaron. After Byron introduces him and Aaron finishes his remarks he’ll turn it over to me. I have just three or four points to make specific to production, and how lucky we all are that we have such a wonderful team of professionals…”
”I get it. So, I’ll stand where Claire wants me to stand, and clap loudly when appropriate for you.” I hold Tina’s attention longer. ”Promise me, after this we’ll slide gracefully back into anonymity.”
”We will. And thank you.” Tina steps out from under the shade of my umbrella. ”Claire will cue you. I’ll see you in a little while.”