Famous for Nothing

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I woke up and, like I did every morning, instantly reached for my phone. It wasn’t even a thought anymore, it was an instinct that was tied to the bleary-eyed sensation of waking up. I unplugged it and opened the browser. The first thing I did, every morning, was type my eldest daughter’s name, Keira Karapetyan, into the search bar. I held my breath as I did so. The Wi-Fi in my shitty two-room apartment was terrible. But what could you expect in a basement apartment? So I felt the familiar fluttering in my stomach and the tension in my muscles as I waited for the screen to load up. I set the phone in my lap and crossed my arms in front of my breasts, like I was hugging myself. Finally, the google search of my daughter’s name came up.

Nothing new.

I cursed under my breath. The top hits were still her personal social media accounts. I clicked over to the “news” tab to narrow my search, but it wasn’t any better. The last story was a tabloid blog story from almost three weeks ago. I’d basically already memorized that story. Keira Karapetyan gets into altercation with Zayn Malik’s entourage. Actually, it didn’t say her name in the headline, or even if in the first few lines of the story. That would have made it worth it. Instead, it called her a “drunken fan,” before identifying her as an “alleged socialite” in the third paragraph. How can that be “alleged”? You either are or you aren’t. I ran my hands through my hair. I wouldn’t even bother to check the Alexa score of Keira’s website. It could only have gotten worse.

Now that I was thoroughly depressed, I googled my younger daughter Kacy and my son Tommy. I didn’t really hold out a lot of hope there, I knew they’d both stayed in the night before. But it was more than that, I knew that if something was going to break it was going to break for Keira first. Their sites and the aging, low-profile stories about them came up, confirming my suspicion. I shook my head slowly and sat up quietly in bed. I looked around the room, where my worthless family lay sleeping, searching for Keira.

She was lying on her inflatable mattress, underneath the small window that was on the sidewalk-level above us. I hadn’t heard her come in the night before, but I went to sleep at 3, so it must’ve been pretty late. She was still dressed like had been when she’d gone out, her skin-tight dress still clinging to her ample curves. I sighed when I looked at her.

My daughter Keira was a sexy woman. There was no question in anyone’s mind about that. She was short at around 5’3, but she had an incredible figure. Large, D-cup breasts (that I’d gotten her when she turned 18), a very narrow waist (that I had fought to give her with morning calisthenics for the better part of a decade), and a wide, firm ass (from countless hours doing squats at the gym), a thin muscular legs. Her curves were almost over-proportioned, giving her the look of a pin-up drawing come to life. But that wasn’t all; I mean she had a pretty face as well with large, very dark almost shaped eyes, a thin nose (paid for in installments) and thick, pouty lips. She had a sort of deceitful innocence about her face that sort of drew a person in. Although, now, it was sort smeared with old mascara and lipstick. She was snoring like she was still drunk and didn’t look quite as good as she was capable of looking.

She’d apparently gone all out again, taking free drinks from guys and dancing with whoever asked. Like she thought that she was sent to the party to have fun or something. Christ I hated it when she forgot that she was supposed to be doing work. She looked like a goddamn trainwreck when she went beyond three drinks, her eyes getting watery and her dress hiking up…My god the unflattering pictures that people could find online if they were looking…

Of course, a couple of drunk photographs could be a good thing every once in a while; if there was anything else going on. If Keira was hawking a stylish brand of Vodka or something, she (meaning I) could make a funny joke about it on Twitter and then there would be a whole cascading set of consequences that would solidify her brand. But just drunken photos of a hot nobody…what did that do for me?

It sure as hell wasn’t my fault that she was a nobody, that is for goddamn sure. I felt my lips purse and my shoulders tremble as I looked down at my daughter sleeping on the floor. Every time I thought about all the effort I’d made in the last ten years, I felt my blood boil. In fact, it was getting worse and worse all the time. Because no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to get any traction. And so my impotent rage was growing deeper and deeper with each passing day.

I’d know ever since Keira was little that she had a …spark. There was just something about her that drew people towards her. A kind of natural charisma. Everyone could tell. She was always so popular and well-liked. She got bad grades but teachers loved her. She dated the best looking boys in school, always older than doktor porno her. She just…had it. Even if you couldn’t say what “it” is.

But through most of her life it was just that a part of her personality. It is just who she was and I didn’t have any second thoughts about it or anything. But when my husband died around the time Keira turned 18…we were hard up. I’m not ashamed to say that. I had to look around at my assets and figure out what I had that I could use to feed my family. I didn’t have any credentials or marketable skills. I’d worked while my husband went to school, but I stayed at home after that. No degree, big gap in my job history. Don’t get me wrong, I know what the fuck I am doing. But knowing what you’re doing and getting other people to fucking recognize it are two completely different things. It just seemed to me to be a waste of my talents, and my daughter’s talents, for us to sit around in Missouri getting fat and old. Keira had…something and I knew that it could make money.

Okay, I’ll level.

If I am being honest, the plan had started a lot earlier than my husband’s death and well before my daughter grew up. I mean, like I said, I could tell from the beginning. I have a keen sense for these kinds of things. A business sense for opportunity. I’d been trying to convince my stolid husband about it for years. I knew how we could be rich. How we could leave behind the shitty little town that he’d buried us in and make something of ourselves. It was our daughter. She was our meal ticket. And it would be good for her as well. I didn’t want her growing up in a place like that. But he’d always fought me on it. He thought I was crass or something. But you can’t eat dignity. And you can’t buy a mansion with small town respect. In a way…his passing was a blessing to our family. As soon as there wasn’t anything keeping us in Missouri, I moved us all out to California to turn my daughter’s charisma into money.

And I had tried just about fucking everything I could think of to do it. I started with acting lessons, spending my husband’s life insurance money on getting the absolute best people. Only to learn that she was wooden, had a poor memory, and often got flustered by direction. So I pulled her out and got her singing lessons. Apparently her voice was nasally and crackly. We barely got in the door for modelling lessons before I was told that she was much, much too short and her curves were too extreme. They wanted clothes hangers with a pulse and my daughter was a sex toy. It was about five years after we moved to California that I came to the unhappy realization that my daughter was sexy but she was stupid and she didn’t have a half-an-ounce of talent.

At first I was a little discouraged, but within a week I realized that, actually, it was good. That realization opened up new vistas for my ambitions. I was no longer boxed in, trying to make Keira a “legitimate” celebrity. What good did starring in movies end up doing for Lindsay Lohan? It didn’t matter why my daughter got rich and famous, so long as it happened. So long as we could build her brand. The problem was, getting started so that we didn’t just have to rely on her good looks. If she was a brand, then it would be my talent, not hers, that we’d be relying on. She’d be the looks, I’d be the curator. After that, it was just a matter of figuring out the plan. What would be our hook? What was the outrageous thing that we could do to push Keira’s face up towards the cameras? What would get the eyes of the nation on her sexy body?

Once again, I tried everything. Stunts, events, happenings. Whatever you could think of. I would sign onto my daughter’s social media accounts and pick fights with celebrities, hoping they’d engage with me. She crashed parties and got into altercations with DJs. We actually bought a cheap car once and my daughter “accidentally” crashed it into a movie star’s Ferrari. Unfortunately, he was very charming and forgiving about it and we didn’t get any traction out of it. I think Keira ended up blowing him afterwards. She told me that it was because she thought it might help to have a celebrity boyfriend. I told her that blowing someone doesn’t make you famous unless he’s already married. I told her to call the papers when she sucked the president’s dick. It’s like she doesn’t understand how to calibrate her actions to get the results she wants. She just acted on her impulses…idiot.

Regardless, it was about the time that I started working on Keira as a “social media celebrity” that I started to get my other children involved. I knew they didn’t have the kind of screen presence necessary to be movie stars, but who need screen presence to be famous for nothing? That’s not to say that my other two children aren’t attractive. I wouldn’t say that at all. They just lack Keira’s…something extra.

As I lay in bed, I looked around the room, first finding Kacy scrunched down into the bathtub, where she ensest porno slept. In fact, Kacy looked remarkably like her sister. She was considerably younger, 21 to Keira’s 28, but they were almost twins. Well, not exactly twins, Kacy had refused to get breast implants on her 18th Birthday and she wasn’t nearly as fit as Keira. But she had the same nicely proportioned body, even if a little less extreme. They had very similar faces, though Kacy’s nose was ever so slightly larger than her sister’s. Kacy was a slightly taller than her sister, maybe 5’4. Their temperaments were quite different though, Kacy was sweeter and quieter than her sister. But, if anything, she was somehow stupider than Keira. For example, she’d turned down the breast implants, not because she had a moral or reasoned objection to them, but because she was afraid the saline pouches would fill with milk if she ever got pregnant. And then burst. Killing her. But beyond that, Kacy didn’t have that magnetism that drew people in. She was pretty, but she wasn’t a star.

Tommy, well what can I say? As I scanned the room, I caught a glimpse of him curled up with his blankets on the kitchen nook table, his bed. He wasn’t a bad looking boy by any stretch of the imagination. He was moderately tall, like his father, around 5’11 but sort of skinny. He worked out some, but couldn’t manage to put on any real muscle. He was only 19, so maybe that would improve as he aged. He had a handsome face with warm brown eyes and a broad smile. He had a thick head of dark hair too, like his father. In a lot of ways, her reminded me of his father when he was younger. Except, without his father’s intelligence. The boy was at least as stupid as Kacy, if not worse. On more than one occasion I’d seen him shield his eyes with his hand when looking into the sunlight while he was wearing a baseball cap on backwards with sunglasses perched on the brim. Beyond that, from his father, he’d inherited a complete lack of imagination. I could no more rely on him to get us where we needed to be than I could Kacy. He had no skills and he wasn’t attractive enough to make girls swoon. He just was. Keira was the key.

Me? You’re wondering what I look like don’t you? I mean I don’t blame you for being curious, to wonder whether your narrator is attractive too. Well, I am generally not one to brag, but people often say that I look more like a third sister in my family than a mother. I don’t know what they mean…I mean it is certainly flattering but I am not as young as I once was. Well, I am pretty young to have a 28 year old daughter, that’s true. Got married young because I was pregnant. When Keira was 28 I was only 47. Okay, that’s a lie, I was 48. Still, I admit I looked younger. I had the long dark hair like my daughters. They’d inherited my eyes. I was taller than them, around 5’7 and my body was more lithe than curved. But that just kept my breasts and my tight ass perky into…well not middle age, but…as I matured.

Anyway…what were we discussing? Oh yes, my other children. You sort of changed the subject there, I’m flattered. But we need to stay focused. Anyway, with the other kids, I’d pushed them out into the world sort of as…extensions of their older sister. I didn’t expect them to bring anything in themselves, but I hoped they’d consolidate their sister’s brand once it got established. But Keira still hadn’t hooked on and so they were just sort of flailing. They weren’t any use to me yet but I still had to feed and house them. And that investment was starting to get difficult.

You probably noticed that there were four adults living in an apartment designed for one person. You probably noticed that my son slept on a table and my youngest daughter was sleeping in bathtub. I know that doesn’t exactly scream success. That wasn’t the image I was trying to cultivate. But…things were getting desperate. I will be honest. We’d stayed in a nice place when we first came to LA. But money kept going out but in never seemed to come in. This was our third, and by far, our shittiest apartment in the seediest part of town we’d found yet. And I only had enough money for three months’ rent. This was about the end of the line.

So I guess that’s why my disappointment was so acute when I woke up and found that Keira hadn’t done anything at the party to get her name out there, why I was angry that there weren’t any new pictures of her popping up. The fact that my other worthless children had stayed in the previous night and were nothing to me except for money pits didn’t help my mood. I guess I’m not proud of it, but as soon as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and the realization of my situation set in, I hit the roof.

Actually, maybe I am proud. Because it needed to be done. And it led to some positive, financially lucrative results.

“God damn it!” I said loudly. More than loudly, I yelled it so that the cheap furniture in my apartment rattled. Kacy sat up instantly, her eyes wide erotik porno in terror. I heard Tommy groan in the kitchen.

“Jesus mom, I have a fucking headache,” Keira bitched as her eyes slowly opened, “I’m hungover from the party you sent me to.”

“How exactly do you think you earned the right to be sassy with me?” I asked sharply, “I checked the net. What, exactly, did you do to earn your spot here last night?” I asked sharply. Keira was sitting up slightly now, her head hung and her hair draped over her face.

“What?” She asked, “I went to the party like you said…”

“Did you do anything important or did you get drunk, get felt up by a no one, and then take an Uber home on my credit card?” I asked. Keira pushed the hair out of her eyes and looked at me, but she didn’t say a word. I’d hit the nail exactly on the head.

“Why’d you wake me up, just to yell at Keira?” Tommy asked from the table and Kacy made a sympathetic noise. My rage flared higher.

“I’m sorry, did I wake you up before work? I wasn’t aware that you were going to go make money Tommy!”

“Fuckin’ chill man, I was just saying…”

“And I am just saying that I don’t want to hear anymore lip from the freeloaders in this house,” I shot back.

“Fucking house man…this is a…shoebox…” Tommy said under his breath but I didn’t respond, because if I did, I was going to tear his head off.

“Mom, I pretty much solved all of our problems last night, you don’t even know what you’re talking about,” Keira said, sitting up now on her air mattress and pushing her hair out of her eyes. Her bed head made her look sexy. Damn I wish someone was taking pictures at that moment.

“Did you do anything that got you any kind of work?” I asked. She shook her head, “Did you do anything that got your name out there?” I asked and got the same response, “Did you do anything that got your picture taken by someone who matters?”

“No,” she said now, but didn’t seem fazed.

“Then what, exactly, did you do?” I asked. Now Keira smiled widely and shrugged her shoulders. She looked so goddamned pleased with herself.

“When I got in I got an e-mail from a Nigerian prince. All we got to do is send him $5,000.00 to get his money out of a Swiss bank and he is going to send us $100,000. Cash motherfucker!” Keira said, raising her hands over her head in jubilation.

“Holy shit!” Tommy said from the bathroom.

“No way!” Kacy agreed. They all immediately began talking about the items they were going to buy with our newfound riches. Keira explained how the whole thing had just fallen into her lap out of the blue. I dropped my head into my hands.

“You morons” I said loudly but didn’t looking up, “Even if we had $5,000, you are falling for just about the oldest internet scheme that exists on earth. It might predate the internet. You’d never get a cent. Are you all really that stupid? Christ…look, I have a deal on the Chrysler Building if you’re looking to buy,” I spat out. There was a moment of stunned silence. But, eventually, Kacy broke in.

“But mom, if you own a whole building, why are we living in this apartment,” My youngest asked.

“Because it’s Chrysler, you idiot, it’s in Detroit!” Tommy laughed back, shaking his head at his sister’s stupidity.

“Ew…Detroit,” Keira responded,” Mom, you said we should never buy American cars. Why would we want the whole company?” she asked thoughtfully. And I said she never listened to me…

“Shut up, all of you, shut up!” I yelled, “I don’t even know where to even start…The fucking Chrysler building is in New York City. And of course we don’t own it. We don’t own anything, that’s the fucking problem…”

“But you said…” Kacy started, her eyebrows furrowing. I raised my hand.

“Quiet!” I said. It wasn’t worth it to try. “Kacy, Tommy, leave me alone. I need to talk to your sister.” They both shrugged and I stopped paying attention to me. Keira was still sitting on her air mattress. I rubbed my head viciously and tried to clear my thoughts. Yelling at them wouldn’t do anything. It was like punching pudding. Keira could tell that I was upset and she slowly rose up from her bed and came and sat down next to me on mine.

We sat silently next to one another for a few minutes. I could hear Tommy and Kacy making noise but I didn’t pay attention. The tension inside of me kept building and building. It happened everyday anymore. As the cascading sets of realizations hit me one after another. We weren’t getting anywhere. We were out of money. We had no more schemes. We didn’t have another overall strategy to fall back on. We were failing. I felt my chest get tight.

“I did try mom,” she said quietly, “I looked for celebrities. I tried to find cameras. I hiked my dress up and I pulled my top low. I tried to dance with people who looked like they had money. I did all the stuff you wanted. It just…doesn’t work. No one pays attention to me. Just guys who want to have sex. And I really didn’t do that this time. I stayed until they closed the place,” she explained. I could hear the sincerity in her voice. I turned and looked at her, saw the soft look in her eyes. A little of the tension ebbed away. I certainly wasn’t immune to her charm.

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