“Seal, Heidi, you both look great. Enjoy yourselves tonight, OK?” That is the type of thing James Cameron should be saying tonight, instead of standing on a step ladder pulling down strips of twisted blue crepe paper. He had sent the ice sculptor home hours ago, and now a glistening half-finished Na’vi plugging its ponytail into a Terminator on the deck of the Titanic stood melting in the darkness on the back lawn beneath a massive, partially dismantled white tent. A pile of metal rods and clean canvas lay in disarray where James Cameron had angrily thrown them, desperate to tear down this meaningless edifice. But the rigging was more complicated than he had anticipated, and he quickly gave up. Sweat ran in thin, mean rivulets down his sides, collecting in his cummerbund.
What was that sound? The splash of topless party goers jumping giddily into the heated pool (filled tonight with fake ice floes and rubber bodies) as they enjoyed the thrill of being at an A-list party of Hollywood elite? No. It was a neighbor’s sprinkler system turning on. The pool was empty. There were no casually tossed-off bikini tops lying in the grass. No half-drunk martini glasses slowly filling with cigarette butts. James Cameron paused and watched as a giant silver bowl filled to the brim with cocaine bobbed in the middle of the pool on a floating tray and he thought to himself that it might just be the saddest thing he had ever seen.
On a long buffet table, 7,000 shrimp slowly congealed on a shining bed of ice. James Cameron placed lids back on the giant tins of Russian caviar and carried them inside to the refrigerator. It looked like someone was going to be having caviar omelets and caviar sandwiches and caviar chili and caviar soup and caviar pasta salad for the next few months. He made room for the tins amidst the unopened bottles of champagne, the tranches of foie gras, and the whole pig, of course. He had planned to have people dressed in nothing but loin clothes and shells roasting the pig on a giant spit over a bonfire down next to the western gazebo, but that was of course beside the point. He shoved the pig’s limp, clammy body this way and that, but could not find a way to fit all the caviar into the refrigerator. And so he took the pig out and carried it around with him, pretending that it was Jamie Foxx.
“HAHAHAHHA, good one, Jamie,” James Cameron said to the pig. They were both sitting with their legs dangling into the hot tub. James Cameron had his tuxedo pants rolled up to his knees. The pig was not wearing pants.
“Well, I guess it just wasn’t Kathryn’s year, you know, but she really is a fantastic director. I wish it had gone her way, I really do.” James Cameron looked thoughtful, just the way he knew he would look when the question about The Hurt Locker losing to Avatar for Best Picture was inevitably raised. “It will happen for her, though, Jamie. Mark my words. Excuse me for just one moment.”
James Cameron walked across the lawn to the Brigman Guest House, his warm, wet feet leaving ghost tracks through the manicured grass. He nodded to his guests as he went along, thanking them for their kind words of congratulation, doing his best to seem humble. Inside the guest house, he closed the door behind him and leaned against it. Finally, a moment to himself. It really was overwhelming, but it was little price to pay. The guest house, of course, included a walk-in humidor, which is what James Cameron was here for. He found a Cohiba, and was about to leave the guest house for good, when he pretended for a a second that he had just caught David Duchovny fucking Lara Flynn Boyle. He winked at them. “I won’t tell,” he said to the room. “What a night!”
He walked back across the lawn, lighting his celebratory cigar. When he got back to the hot tub, he found that the pig had fallen in, and was sloshing around, turning pink. James Cameron shrugged and put his feet back in the hot tub. Occasionally, the pig would bump against his ankles.
“Careful, Jamie,” he would say, and then he would laugh as if to say, I’m just kidding, Jamie Foxx, you go ahead and bump against my ankles if you want. It’s Oscar night after all, and this is a party. “You know, I think I’m going to keep my Oscar in the bathroom,” James Cameron said to the pig, which had become waterlogged and was no longer visible from the surface. “As a conversation piece.”
A single tear rolled down James Cameron’s cheek.
There was a clattering of glass as ice melted and bottles shifted in one of the massive “Home Coolers” placed around the property. Tiki torches ran out of fuel and flickered out. A truck would arrive tomorrow to cart everything away. Maybe the truck could take him with it. He wouldn’t mind that so much, he thought. Being stored away in a cool, dark warehouse somewhere, like some kind of chocolate fountain. Which reminded him, and James Cameron walked over to the three-story high chocolate fountain, the largest chocolate fountain in the world, constructed especially for the occasion, and he turned it off.