12-20-2011, 07:31 PM
Meanwhile, back inside the hotel, Dave Mifflin was frantically pacing around the atrium. "Has anyone seen Criss?" he called out to everyone within earshot. "Where the hell is Criss?"
Nomi Porter spoke up. "Last I saw him, he said he was going to the men's room."
"Somebody go find him!" Mifflin ordered. "We gotta start shooting as of right now!"
"Now, calm down, Dave," Nomi said soothingly. "I'm sure he'll turn up soon. He probably got sidetracked by his other manager or something. Or maybe he got mobbed by his fans."
Mifflin turned on her. "That's supposed to make me feel better, Nomi?" he said, exasperated to the point of hysteria. "We got a deadline to meet! He doesn't have time to play celebrity here! I'm gonna go to the office and see if he's there."
He spun on his heels and stormed off the set. The nerve of that guy! he said to himself. Keeping me waiting like this! He knows damn well we got a deadline to meet! He'd better have a damn good reason for not being on the set!
Using the glass panel as a mirror, Criss ripped off his worn cotton shirt and rubbed his face vigorously to remove the make-up Marjorie had so painstakingly applied. It left his face smudged and greasy, but it was still more or less recognizable--he hoped. Now maybe I can get back inside, he said to himself.
He pulled on his greasy shirt and worn-out tweed jacket, steeled himself for the conflict to come and strode to the main entrance. "Hey, guys," he greeted the two guards on duty as he approached. "Uh, I'm kinda stuck out here--"
Before he could draw closer, however, the two guards rushed him. "Vagrant on the premises!" one radioed in, while the other kept Criss at bay with a drawn pistol. Criss could only stand there, perplexed.
"Wait a minute!" he cried out. "It's me, it's me!"
"You'd better clear outta here, mister," the guard with the gun ordered him, "or you're gonna hafta deal with Chief Macaffey--and you don't wanna deal with him, I can tell you that!"
"Guys! It's me!" Criss insisted. "Criss Angel! Remember? I'm shooting a movie in there and I gotta get back on the set! Call Dave Barum if you don't believe me! Call Felix Rappaport! He'll vouch for me!"
The armed guard didn't budge. "You ain't Criss Angel, and you ain't no movie actor," he growled. "If you don't want your sorry ass hauled off to jail, you'd better get moving!"
"Chief's coming," his partner announced.
Criss glanced through the glass-paneled doors. Even from a distance he could see the steam shooting from Macaffey's ears. Home or no home, Criss did not want to tangle with a man who had guarded Nevada's worst of the worst in a supermax prison for fifteen years. When Big Luke was mad, it was politic to run.
And run Criss did, back around the giant pyramid where he had been thrown out. He could hear the chief's bellowing threats a quarter of a mile away as he sprinted down the sidewalk. Geez! he thought. I wiped off the make-up and they still didn't recognize me! What the hell is wrong with those guys!
When he judged himself a safe distance away from Macaffey, he sat down on the curb to think. He wished he had his cell phone, or at least fifty cents for a pay phone to call his assistant, Tom, or Eliza, or even his manager, Baram. But they were all in the Luxor, and he was probably a mile away with no way of contacting them. Who could he turn to now that he had been virtually evicted from his own home?
He began to grow hungry, and the need to urinate became a burning agony. Maybe he could find a public restroom somewhere, he hoped. He looked down at his hobo suit; no one would permit him entry dressed like he was, that was for sure. He'd have to find the nearest tree or something and go behind it. Once he had relieved himself, he could think more clearly and figure out how to get back to the Luxor.
Criss rose from the curbside and began to walk, keeping an eye out for a suitably private spot to empty his aching bladder. I gotta get back to the Luxor, he said to himself. I gotta do my scenes for the movie. After that, I gotta live show to do. Most of all, I gotta use the bathroom like right now!
He looked up at the desert sky, accented by the city outline. Somebody, somewhere in this huge metropolis had to come to his aid. But who? And where would he find that person? God, he prayed. I need you more than ever, because I am really screwed right now. Help me get back to the Luxor. I don't care how You do it--just get me back before showtime! I don't want to spend the rest of my life wandering the streets of Vegas! I need help, and I need it bad!