Then I Met Jim Carrey

And it was also like a dream, so I have to write it down before I forget it.

I met him in the ocean today. I was looking out into the distance because something that could’ve been a shark’s fin was out there: black, a triangle, right against the surface. It was disappearing behind the growing waves. I felt others behind me, so I turned around, and that’s when I saw him.

There are few moments in life where you experience perfection. These are the moments when reality, imagination, and expectation align, are dusted with God’s gold fingerprint, and you’re so humbled, you’re silenced inside and out. When I saw Jim Carrey, knee deep in the turquoise blue water, looking out over the ocean, I had one of those moments. He looked just like he did in the movies, in the interviews, on the TV, but better, in 10k ultramegasonic pixels, with the sun twinkling in his eyes.

He was leaning over to touch the water in the shallows as he entered, looking out towards the maybe-a-shark’s-fin. Another guy was with him, probably his body guard disguised as a friend, but I hadn’t thought that through yet. Jim looked at me and smiled that million dollar smile of his: the only smile I’d ever known to be worth calling a million dollars. I smiled back, proud of myself for acting like he was like everyone else is to me.

I looked back out at the maybe-a-shark’s-fin again and could see now that it was definitely not a living thing, but maybe a palm frond, which I thought was ironic, figuring that I had just been helping trim fronds off palms on both sides of Jim’s house today. I had finally managed to both wear my bikini at work (under my clothes) and then make it to the beach directly after work. Jim’s beach was the closest, but I probably would’ve come here even if it wasn’t. I’d been practicing drawing out his children’s book How Roland Rolls in the sand to perform-draw it for the kids as a mermaid. I thought what a wild way for him to meet me, surrounded by all these kids delighted in his story that I’ve so innovatively, creatively, and artistically conveyed in a way that they’d pay attention, participate in, and remember; that Jim would pay attention, participate in, and remember. I knew he’d met millions of women who want him. I had to show him I’m not only special, and different, but a perfect match for what he’d been seeking his whole 60-year-long life.

Unfortunately, here he was now. He was closer now, with his “buddy.” I turned around again and said, “Well, it’s definitely not alive.”

“Yeah, it’s probably driftwood,” he said. His friend nodded. I can’t remember if he made a joke about it or not, but he probably did, because I was thinking he doesn’t just look exactly how I’d seen, but behave exactly how I’d seen.

I dove under and started swimming out towards the driftwood. With their confirmation, I believed it was driftwood, but was it a palm frond? I needed to know because it’d be poetic for it be a palm frond: right after palm fronding it all around his house, right before looking up at his palms, thinking his fronds need to be trimmed, and then, lo and behold, right in front of us there is a floating palm frond that breaks the ice. I also needed a break from the scene because I didn’t know what to say but felt like I should say something and was terrified I’d say the wrong thing. [foreshadowing]

The frond was really far out, but I swam there and back, wishing it was further, but also kinda not because I was now doing rescue strokes and panting. When I got back, Jim asked if it was driftwood, and I confirmed that yes, a palm frond it was. I was downwind from him now and got a whiff of his… body spray? Cologne? It smelled artificial, floral and pungent, but I’d been wanting to know what he smells like and now I guess I do. He stroked his hair back like he does in all his interviews. He’d dyed it dark, but his sideburns were silver. I wanted the Jim Carrey who looks nothing like Jim Carrey: the one holding the bunny in that one photo that shocked everyone because he looks nothing like Jim Carrey. This is not who the Jim Carrey was in front of me, but it was who I expected Jim Carrey to be.

Jim said, “That’s gutsy of you to swim out there to see what it was.”

“Well, I wouldn’t have if you guys didn’t also think it was driftwood,” I replied.

“It must be from that storm,” he said.

“Storm?” I had no idea what storm. Maui is full of different microclimates only blocks away from each other. “I don’t know about a storm, but there was that fire recently. It smelled like California.”

“Oh? I wasn’t here yet for that.”

So he wasn’t here after all, I thought to myself, giving myself points for being an excellent detective, even though, only moments ago, I’d thought, he must not be here for all his palm trees to be untrimmed like this. It’s only stalking when they tell you to leave them alone. That was what the police officer told me who handled my last case where I was stalked a month ago. I’d told that guy to leave me alone, I’d told his managers to tell him to leave me alone, and I’d told the police to tell him to leave me alone, and, even after that, he’d stare into my lanai.

After we talked about the apocalypse, I thought maybe now would be a good time to leave. The waves were getting bigger and the ocean was pushing me in and away from where I’d left my stuff… which was right next to the “secret entrance” to Jim’s house. I considered it for a moment, as well as wondered what I should do about how I’d had this grandiose plan of illustrating his story in the sand as a mermaid, and then I thought how I really wanted to know if he saw my boat.

I thought I saw him see the boat when I’d finished painting it with Ace Ventura, and put the panda on it. I thought it was him, in a steel-grey Tesla with a unique gradient privacy tint, that had driven past me right after I’d just checked it out in the daytime after I’d completed it. I’d been wearing white and in my panda helmet, also in disguise.

I swam back over to him and his friend and said, “My name is Aisha, by the way.”

“Hi, my name is Jim,” he replied, and then turned to introduce his friend.

“I know,” I spurted. Oh no. I was cracking. I could feel it. He didn’t seem to notice, as he was facing away.

“I’m Paul,” said Paul.

“You’re not from here,” I said, and then both Jim and I joked about him being a foreigner with his accent. It wasn’t “together” that we joked, but, like, overlapping, where I could hear his voice in mine from all the self-imposed brain-washing I’d done using his massive-amounts of content online.

“Did you see the boat I put your name on?” I asked.

A beat.

“Oh yeah… I did…” he said, in a higher pitch. Oh no. He’s cracking. He turned to his friend and explained a bit about the boat. I couldn’t really make him out now because the waves were getting bigger.

“That happened when that big storm happened,” Jim said. That’s why I put your name on a capsized boat, Truman. Wake uuuuupppp. I need your help because of the apocalypse. “So are you a graffiti artist?”

“Uh, I’d like to be but there’s not a lot to paint on.” I say so many things that don’t make sense to me. There’s plenty to paint on. I’ve literally marked all the spots on the island in my mind of where I’d like to paint. I just haven’t had the time to do it or get permission to do it because I’d been working on my mermaid-story-time-to-seduce-Jim-Carrey plan, but at least I didn’t say that to him.

Jim and Paul exchanged some side conversation about the boat or painting on walls on their side of the waves. We must have been about 20 feet apart.

“Like, did you just hear about the boat, or did you see it?”

“Oh, I saw it.” He seemed impressed, but almost more impressed that he’d gone out to see it with his own eyes.

“Yeah, but did you see it with your name or Ace Ventura? There was kind of a graffiti war on it.”

“Yeah, I saw that. It had my name on it.”

A beat, so that wasn’t him who drove past me after I’d completed it.

“Wait, what did you see on the boat?”

“It ended with ‘will you.’”

“That must have been before I added the ‘save the animals with me’ part.”

A beat. Did he even see that?

“There were all these symbols…” he muttered. He is one of two people who saw the symbols. That I found impressive, but maybe I was more impressed with myself for guessing he’d be into riddles. I put those on there after the “save the animals with me” part though…

“Oh yeah, those were part of a riddle. You see I have this giant QR code…” Now here’s where I really tanked, because it’s where I tank with everyone. Whenever I try to explain my plans, not only do people end up confused, but turned off by their confusion. They can’t picture it, even when I exactly describe what it is I’m going to do/have been doing. I go on and on like the mental image of it should be apparent the more words I say about it. It should, but having been the victim of others doing the same, I should also know better by now, especially when attempting to communicate with the Jim Carrey… over growing waves that are literally blocking out his head every other word I shout (now). “I have this giant QR code and I stiltwalk around wearing that helmet, and I’m the ‘Flying Panda,’ and — ”

“Like Jean Dubuffet?”

“Huh?”

“Jean Dubuffet.”

“Uh… I don’t know who that is.”

“He pioneered tagging street art in New York with ~GIANT WAVE~”

“Oh.” I shout. I guess it wasn’t a full shout but a really loud outdoor voice.

“Nevermind.” He looks off, back towards land. “His work is now worth millions of dollars.”

Your work is priceless. Like, I literally couldn’t buy it even when I had the money, but I tried and now all I have is this t-shirt, is what I would’ve loved to say with my 20/20 hindsight, but I didn’t have any clever wit at this point. I was now processing that he hadn’t actually seen the boat when it was complete and it wasn’t him in the Tesla even though I had been so convinced it was, while still trying to… I’m not sure anymore if I was trying to do anything at all or just treading water. I brought the conversation back to attempting to explain to him the majesty of my plan.

“So those symbols you saw were on the back of my QR code that I was stiltwalking around with as the Flying Panda.” I pointed to my panda helmet on shore, right next to his secret path. “Wait, should I tell you what the code is, because I’m planning — ”

“Yes, tell me,” he said, a bit more urgently than I understood but then I understood that I had passed some threshold into ‘she’s scaring me’ with him and now changed my angle to calm him down.

“Those are the outlines of stickers on the back of my QR code that, well, I’m fundraising to save the animals. The boat said, Jim Carrey will you save the animals with me?’ and then others sprayed it — they covered the ‘Jim Carrey’ but left the ‘save the animals’ and they covered the ‘with me’ part too — ”

“Yeah, I’d expect that they’d cover me up!” Jim Carrey laughed, a little too loudly, even over the waves.

“But then I covered them up with ACE VENTURA. It started as a question but then became a statement: Ace Ventura save the animals.”

“I’ll ~GIANT WAVE~ do what I can ~GIANT WAVE~ I guess.” Yeah, ok, Ace. This was all becoming so blah so quickly. It felt like all my worst fears were occurring one after the next but I was “finally meeting Jim Carrey” so it was all supposed to be okay but it wasn’t. I’d wanted him to meet me as a mermaid. I’d wanted him to see the boat complete and me, as the artist, as the panda, as the legend, turning him into a legend too. I’d wanted him to be excited to save the animals and not to be scared of me, but he definitely was scared as he wasn’t getting any closer. He was now further away from me, actually. He was about 30–40 ft away from me now. I kept trying to get a little closer to him so I wouldn’t have to yell, but he was either moving further away, the waves were pushing me away, or both. Paul was chill though.

Now that he knew what the boat had said, and I’d heard (enough of) his reply, I mentally scrambled for how to end this dream-turned-nightmare of an encounter. I knew this could happen. I knew it could be absolutely awkward. I just didn’t expect it to be me making it as awkward as I was, and I wasn’t done yet.

“I thought about ~WAVE~ putting ‘will you go on a date with me’ ~WAVE~ on the boat ~WAVE~ but I thought that would be selfish.”

Oh no. Now it’s REALLY awkward. I knew it as I said it and I’d had so many warnings over the last few years not to say it, but I said it anyway. There is so much at stake. I could’ve asked to do art with him. I could’ve asked why he hasn’t trimmed his palm trees and then offered to. I could’ve swam away when the ocean was pushing me away. But, no, Aisha just has to be CLEAR and AGGRESSIVE in asking boys she likes out. It has literally never worked out for her. NEVER. And yet she does it over and over again anyway.

“I have a girl ~WAVE~ in the picture. ~WAVE~ You’re really lovely ~WAVE~ but ~WAVE~”

I think I smiled like I understood him and then turned and swam away. I dove deep and swam deep, along the bottom, away from shore, away from this nightmare, away from this impending heartbreak. My mind hadn’t caught up with the rest of me yet and was like, Oh, thank God that’s over. You met Jim Carrey. You did it. You did what you came to do. End of story. It’s over. You’re free. You can be free. You’re not going to kill yourself. You can feel it. You’re not going to go back to where you were when you started this. Now the scaffolding can fall away and what will be left is who you are. You’re free. You’re free. You’re free.

I surfaced and just floated, because I wasn’t free. I was still here, on Jim Carrey’s beach, in Jim Carrey’s ocean, outside Jim Carrey’s house, on Jim Carrey’s island, on Jim Carrey’s planet, and it’s dying. One of my earliest memories of Jim Carrey was when I rode up the escalator to Singapore’s only movie theater in the 90s. I remember just staring at this four-floor-tall poster of Ace Ventura riding two alligators. Soon after I saw the coral reefs around Putri Island die and I lost sight in one eye.

I floated and thought about how, if Jim is out, I don’t know how to save the animals now. It’s all so hopeless without Ace Ventura potentially stepping in. Maybe it’d have been better if this encounter ended when the ocean started pushing me away. It would’ve hurt less and I could’ve kept practicing drawing out How Roland Rolls in the sand. I’d prefer if he’d have rejected me while I was showing off all my skills at once, rather than being some floating blob on his beach with an achy back. He probably doesn’t even have a girlfriend. I often tell men who freak me out that I have a boyfriend so they’ll leave me alone without getting offended. If he has a girlfriend, I could wait her out, or make her feel really insecure, until she sabotages the relationship, by swimming back and forth as a mermaid outside his window everyday. I don’t know. I really didn’t know. But I did know that he could be in a relationship, as I had thought up thousands of outcomes for this meeting, and this was one. I’d decided, if this was the case, I’d do what Mark Ruffalo said to do in a Jim Carrey “Meet the Stars” special. There was a young theater girl who’d traveled all the way from Canada to meet Jim Carrey on the red carpet of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotted Mind. She brought him his favorite meal, a grilled cheese sandwich, and handed it to him on the red carpet. His reaction was nice, but he said, “What am I going to do with this?” as he was on the red carpet. The young girl had interviewed Mark Ruffalo before meeting Jim and had asked if he had any advice. He’d replied with something like, “If you really want it, keep trying, eventually you’ll be the last one standing because there will be no one else left.”

Now that I’d met him though, do I keep trying? He seems scared of me. There was an obvious shift when he discovered that I wasn’t just some babe on his beach but a carefully casually-disguised potential-stalker. I can’t show up on his beach now as a mermaid, because, after this encounter, that’s crazy. Yeah, Jim, I’m just going for my morning swim on this public beach. You leave me alone. Actually… that’s not a bad idea. He can’t stop me.

I do want to finish my video though that shows the story of the boat, the local businesses I’d like to support (and how), and where I’m at now with saving animals. Jim didn’t get to see the final boat or how I did it either, and now this is the only way I can show him. It is far too awkward to return to his beach and bring the boat up again. The last thing I wanted to do is scare Jim Carrey, and that’s exactly what I did.

SIGH.

Oh, well. It can’t get worse, right? I cast him as the Devil in my comic because of how difficult, yet necessary, he is to deal with. Out of all the misses I made today, I did hit the target where and when it mattered most: my choice to choose him was perfect, is perfect. He’s everything I want and need and more. He’s already in my movie. He just doesn’t know it yet.

I found this on the inside of the box my new mermaid tail came in.

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aishawithaneye.com

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