Mickey Patrick was going to be a star.

He once had magnificent dreams and the talent to make them real. He brought down the house at regional theater festivals and had a scholarship to NYU on his dresser. He was headed to Broadway. Then Hollywood. Then, who knows where else? The Tony Awards? The Oscars? The moon? Any place but his plain little New Hampshire hometown with a stepfather who once broke a tree branch on his ass.

Then he met Beth Connelly, a small-school basketball star who relished being a sleek grey wolf among common household mutts, and Mickey was mesmerized by her stunning athletic talent and her bright smile. But three months later, when a series of surprising truths bubbled to the surface, Beth exploded, Mickey imploded, and the dynamics of their budding relationship changed irreversibly. 

Now, ten years later, Mickey is overweight, undersexed, crippled by depression, and paralyzed by a debilitating fear of confrontation. He spends his nights sitting around in sweatpants, playing video games, sexting with old flames, and his days as a dispirited retail cashier, thinking about his past and wondering what might have been. No longer is he the charismatic young man who loved singing, dancing, and making bad jokes. These days, he’s just a sad-looking chunky dude who’d rather chew the inside of his cheek than start a whole big thing; he doesn’t have the energy for a whole big thing.

“The reasons I couldn’t do it this time were wicked different from the other times. There wasn’t someone else this time. And it’s not like I had a great thing going in my career now, either. The prospect of either of those being true at this point was an evaporated memory—a dead dream. This time, I couldn’t break up with her for one simple reason.

I didn’t know who the hell I was anymore.”

Mickey Patrick

But when a frantic Beth steps out of the shower one morning and demands an emergency visit to Planned Parenthood, Mickey discovers he and Beth have much bigger problems than he’s ever considered, and the cracked foundation upon which they’ve built their rocky relationship begins to crumble. Now Mickey must rediscover who he once was in order to capture who he still could be, and it isn’t until he goes to his brother’s wedding and reconnects with his once-tight little squad of family and friends (one for whom he harbors a long-burning flame) that he realizes he must summon the strength to embrace his greatest fears to finally get what he wants out of life and love.

THE CALLUS INSIDE MY CHEEK is a penetrative character study and layered family dramedy that navigates the emotional strangleholds of an uneven marriage, the long-term effects of child abuse and bullying, and the psychological tolls of regret and depression. With humor, warmth, romance, and pop culture references sprinkled throughout, Mickey Patrick’s journey is a winding road of victories and defeats that ultimately centers on one, defining question: Can he ever recover from his biggest loss of all—his loss of self?

I am currently seeking representation for this manuscript. Please contact me here to request a formal submission.