7 Failed Celebrity Fantasies
By Tatiana Ryckman
Alexander Hamilton is looking at me with what one of his contemporaries called “the most intelligent eyes” they had ever seen. The lights are low and he is easy. We are about to fuck in revolutionary ways. But then he starts talking and it is so floral and unintelligible and lasts so long that I get sad and leave.
By the snack table at a party there is no way I was invited to, I try to explain to Ukrainian ballet dancer Polunin that he should stop dating ballerinas. Quick, before it’s too late. He seems to disagree. But, I say, our bodies will only get softer and shittier the longer he waits.
Were he to dabble in the ordinary, say later this evening (I’m free), he’d be better equipped to deal with the reality of humanity. I can tell he’s thinking about it because for a moment he looks like he might throw up.
Christianity must have gotten me good, because every time I casually bump into Johnny Depp while I’m in high school in my safe Cleveland neighborhood — at the public pool, the library, the smoothie place on the corner — I talk myself out of a compromising position. Eventually, we end up at his hotel and I deliver a moving monologue specifying exactly what kind of girl I am. Not That Kind. And this prompts him to call a cab, at which point I backpedal a little, like maybe we could just keep our underwear on? And he’s polite, but bored, and I say, “I’ll just walk home.” I congratulate myself the whole way until I remember that I’m so fucking lame.
I am in the seventh grade and at first the Hansons think it’s cool that Zac and I look alike and sometimes, on tour when he’s bored, he lets me fill in because the crowds of adoring fans can’t tell the difference. But then he realizes I’m really a girl, even in those denim overall shorts, and he’s really a boy under all that blond hair. We try to redefine our relationship and sharing gum is cool for a while, but when we try to take it to the next level, whatever that is, we can’t figure it out and I just end up masturbating alone like I always do.
I’m with American poet Eileen Myles on a date, though no one has yet called it that. There’s clever banter after an event and I know a Thai place nearby, so we go and I keep calling it a date to myself. I’m saying things and she’s laughing and she’s saying things and I’m being the best listener she’s ever had.
I launch into a sort of stand-up routine and the lights dim, except a spotlight on me, and I’m wearing a shitty ’90s sport coat. My jokes start with lines like, “Once in the ladies’ room . . .” Basically I am Jerry Seinfeld. When I finish, there is no applause and the lights go up and Eileen leans in and asks very politely if that’s, like, “my thing.” I try to save face by asking if she has any tips for the bathroom joke.
The Queen of Talk asks me to come on her show, ostensibly to talk about my writing career which is, for reasons unknown and unimportant, suddenly worth talking about. When I get there I remember she hasn’t actually had a show since 2011.
Oprah welcomes me at the door to a dilapidated castle in downtown Chicago. She is dressed as a sexy witch like everyone on Halloween. It’s like she forgot to take down the Christmas tree. She wants to talk about sexual assault instead of the book I’ve just written. There are no cameras, no crew. But she’s invited all of my ex-boyfriends to sit on the stage with us as the audience arrives.
I am jogging at a popular jogging place and Lance Armstrong is about to pass me. I step up the pace to stay ahead. He smirks and increases his pace as well. This continues until it is obvious that we are racing. We are neck and neck. We are breathing hard. We are sweating.
We are sprinting and have no idea where the finish line is. When I turn to ask if he has any pot I realize it’s just some guy who sort of looks like Lance Armstrong and seems pretty annoyed.
Illustrations by Katie Tandy