>Monday night I was still tired from the long trek back from Oklahoma in the U-Haul truck, but I wanted to work some more on the Ben Green flick. Nathan who plays “Sam” met up with us at Ben’s apartment.

I had no idea how clumsy I am at cards. And I forgot the rules to Black Jack since I haven’t played in way over 15 years. Nathan used to live in Vegas and he gave us all the rules and showed me how to deal properly (and my character’s supposed to be the card hustler).

We had to play about 50 hands before I even came close to comfortable. On top of that, Ben’s blocking and dialogue direction. Just when it was getting good and it was time to review another scene from last week, it hit me.

I was sitting in Ben’s cat’s chair. I’ve been allergic to cats since the early 90’s. Never was as a kid, we always had cats. But I went in for an allergy test in Rockford, Illinois and they told me I was allergic to cat and dog dander. The doc said it can happen and it did.

My mom’s cat always killed me. I couldn’t sit in any of her furniture or lay down on her beds. She always thought I was “making it up” so I didn’t have to stay long. After a while, I gave up trying to convince her that it was real and would take massive decongestants before visiting her.

But I forgot to do that at Ben’s. Ben and Nathan actually laughed at how my eyes swelled up, and how stuffy I became. I couldn’t even talk. We went out to Ben’s car to review the hamburger stand scene, but I could barely talk or see.

Here it is Tuesday night, and my eyes are still a little red and tender from my rubbing them so much.

From now on, I will see if we can rehearse outside or at Nathan’s or here. Or buy some really good decongestants. Some hit man I turned out to be, don’t know how to deal or play black jack, poker, and allergic to pets. And I haven’t held a pistol since I did an indie film in Chicago back in 1996. I got lots of practicing to do.