New York City. For a young boy growing up in Australia it was like the mythical city of Oz. So far away and unattainable as to be unimaginable. But as Hugh Jackman’s towncar turned down Broadway on the way to the theater, his heart welled with pride. He had traveled so far and accomplished so much. He was the pride of his hometown. The pride of all of Australia, even. Yes, Hugh Jackman had realized a nearly impossible dream. And he’d just peed his pants again.
“Motherfucker,” Hugh Jackman said, dabbing at his wet pants with a Burberry scarf.
“Excuse me, sir?” the driver said, thinking that Hugh Jackman was another typical celebrity client treating him poorly.
Hugh Jackman’s face flushed red. “Nothing, driver. Keep on driving. Use the car to transport us. Driving!”
Although it was raining, Hugh Jackman had the driver stop the car a couple blocks from the theater and ran into a Duane Reade. He was already late for rehearsal. The woman behind the counter flipped absently through the pages of a magazine. “Excuse me,” Hugh Jackman said, acting out his best polite voice. “Do you have any sweat pants?”
The girl looked up and cocked her head sideways, a movement Jackman recognized as the first stage of celebrity recognition. “Hey,” she said, “aren’t you that guy who was in a movie?”
Hugh Jackman nodded. He could feel more pee leaving his body and filling up his pants. They were saggy in the crotch from how much he’d peed them. “Yes,” he said, feeling his impatience creeping into his voice. “I have been in a movie. Do you know if you might carry sweat pants?”
The girl looked around, as if she were standing in a crowd, trying to find her friend. Finally, without answering Hugh Jackman’s question, she leaned down into a microphone. “I need a manager up at the registers,” she said over the P.A. system.
A moment later an overweight man straining in his Duane Reade polo shirt made his way up from the shampoo aisle. “What’s the problem?” he said.
“Wasn’t this guy in a movie?” the girl asked.
“I already told you yes. I’ve been in a number of movies,” Hugh Jackman said.
“Yeah,” the manager said to the girl. “You’re right. I think I saw that movie he was in.”
Then the three of them stood there in total silence, staring at each other. The only sound was the faint sound of more pee, running down Hugh Jackman’s leg, filling up his sock. Finally, he asked again, “Do you have any sweatpants?” The manager directed him to the sweatpants aisle. Hugh Jackman picked out three pairs of black sweatpants and took them up to the register. The girl lazily swiped them under the scanner, not taking her eyes off Jackman’s face.
“Are your movies on DVD?” she asked.
“Yes,” Hugh Jackman replied. “My movies are on DVD.”
“Huh,” the girl said. “I’ve watched DVDs.”
“That’s wonderful,” Hugh Jackman said.
“Whatever,” the girl said. Hugh Jackman paid for his sweatpants and went out into the rain. He stood for a moment, letting the water wash over him, hoping that it would mask the fact that Hugh Jackman had peed his pants so much.
Hugh Jackman entered the theater and shut himself in his dressing room. He pulled off his sticky wet pants and put them in the garbage. Then he pulled one of the pairs of black sweatpants but he immediately peed in them and had to take them off. He put on another pair of black sweatpants, but he immediately peed in those as well. Hugh Jackman put on a third and final pair of sweatpants and headed out onto the stage.
The director was standing there with his clipboard and the other actors, doing director stuff like saying “Go over here and say that thing” and shaking his head and stuff. Hugh Jackman apologized. “I am sorry I am late,” he said. The director looked at him but didn’t say anything, because the director knew that Hugh Jackman was late because of how he was always peeing his pants. Everyone knew. Hugh Jackman didn’t think that people knew, but they all did. It was no secret.
“Just take your place with the others,” the director said.
Hugh Jackman nodded and hit his mark. As the lights came up and he prepared to rehearse his play lines, Hugh Jackman peed his pants again.
Someone in the cast pointed at Hugh Jackman’s crotch and laughed.
“Oh, very funny,” Hugh Jackman said. “What are you, 12?”
The cast member shook his head. No, he was not 12. He was a grown man. Laughing at Hugh Jackman and his pee pants.