Hollis Gillespie lets go

Since I had sex with George Clooney it's occurred to me that I'm better than everyone else. I'm aware that some of you think that just because George Clooney kissed me twice — THAT'S RIGHT GEORGE CLOONEY KISSED ME TWICE THAT'S PRACTICALLY MAKING OUT WHICH IN THE BIBLE BELT MEANS WE HAD SEX YES I HAD SEX WITH GEORGE CLOONEY SEX WITH GEORGE CLOONEY SEX WITH GEORGE CLOONEY — to say we had sex is pushing it, but I invite any of you to get kissed by George goddam fucking Clooney and NOT consider it a sexual experience. Grant just shook hands with the man, and to this day he keeps thrusting his paw in people's faces: "Smell my hand!"

So unless anyone else here has had sex with George Clooney, then I guess I will serve as the authority on what it's like, and it's stupendous. Afterward I even clung to him a bit, like a little squid. I've always had issues with letting go, and it's always surprising to me how gracious people can be in allowing me to cling.

Take my airline job. For three years after I appeared on The Tonight Show, I still donned my apron every weekend to serve people Cokes across the Atlantic. My supervisor, Sam, would often holler, "What the hell are you still doing here?" as though I had better places to be. (By the way, Leno kissed me, too, as did Elijah Wood, the other guest, so Clooney is not the first celebrity with whom I have fornicated.) But because banks won't let you take a tape of yourself on Leno to the counter and say, "So we're good on my mortgage, right?" without demanding actual cash to go with it, I still couldn't bring myself to trust a buck unless I was breaking my ass to make it.

Then my airline went bankrupt, which was probably not very much my fault, and the day came when Sam my supervisor pointed out — not with actual words, but still — how greedy it would be for me to keep my position when doing so would take it away from another girl who really needed it. But don't make me out to be all benevolent, because like I said, I have issues with letting go, and I would have clung to that job until they pried the peanuts from my cold, dead fingers. But I could see Sam was holding my employee file like it was all heavy from all the notations from the hundred times I called in sick over the years, probably most noteworthy my personal tapeworm panic of 1998, and I got the point.

So I didn't leave to be nice, I left for my own damn good. Today, though, I am really grateful to Sam, because if he had not gently ushered me out of that job, I might not have gone on to have sex with George Clooney and become better than everyone else. By the way, when I hugged Sam goodbye I clung to him like a little squid.

Now here Creative Loafing just filed for Chapter 11 reorganization — again, probably not very much my fault. In fact, the Atlanta editor, Ken Edelstein, was in the actual act of giving the news to his staff when I floated in with my own declaration that I'm jumping ship to become a columnist at Atlanta magazine. I would have noted my perfect timing if I hadn't been way too busy having group sex with celebrities.

Anyway, people have long been telling me I hog this column space — I'm not gonna name specific names, but they start with "G" and end with "rant and Lary" — and how I should move on and let someone with more talent (aka any other writer at Creative Loafing and three-quarters of the people who enroll in my writing seminars) showcase their creativity, and I know they're right, but I have that problem with letting go. In fact, I never thought I'd let go of this column until I'd embarrassed Ken so much he had to ask me to. But no matter how hard I tried, Ken never asked me to let go.

But then I had sex with George Clooney and changed. So don't let anyone tell you I'm leaving to be nice, to give someone else a chance, to free up the budget or whatever — in fact, I take no credit for the fact that after I left Delta they were able to pull their own asses out of bankruptcy. No, after eight years I am stepping aside for my own damn good. Still, though, when I hugged Ken goodbye I clung to him like a little squid.

"Hollis, let go," Ken said, "You're embarrassing me."

Well, it's about fucking time, I thought. But I continued to hug him anyway, because I don't work for him anymore and I don't have to do what he says. Besides, I have issues with letting go, and it's always surprising to me how gracious people can be in allowing me to cling.

Editor’s Note: This column marks Hollis’ farewell to Atlanta’s Creative Loafing, where “Moodswing” originated. But with her move to Atlanta magazine, we’ve agreed it’s time for her to make a break from Tampa’s Creative Loafing as well. We’ll miss her, as will her many local fans, but we’ve asked her to keep us up to date on her exploits in Hollywood, Broadway (it seems only a matter of time before we see Moodswing: The Musical!) and wherever else she wanders. And you can still track her exploits on hollisgillespie.com, including the Shocking Real-Life Writing Academy and her third book, Trailer Trashed, out now. hollisgillespie.com.

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