(Another post from my lonely bulging “drafts” box. Didn’t I recently start a now-languishing crusade to throw out or finish these drafts? I did, didn’t I? Seems like something I would do with totally extreme gusto for about five minutes. This post I just saved from certain death originates from October 16, 2006. I was working at The Beanhouse with all the kooks and malcontents, as you may or may not recall. I mean, I barely recall, so you’re definitely off the hook here. And, oh — I’ve cleverly disguised most of the names of celebrities in this post. Why “most of” and not “all”? Because it just makes sense to me that way. If you can finish the New York Times Saturday Crossword, you MIGHT be able to decipher the disguised names on your own. Maybe. In the end, if it’s still too big a mystery and you simply must know who I’m talking about, you can email me and I will tell you, ‘kay? Also: If any of you email me about this, I will think less of you forever. But please email me if you’re still not sure. Just know that I will think less of you. For eternity. Don’t let that stop you, though, because, you know, who the heck cares what I think?)
Oh, yeah. Here’s the post ………
She was always sucking up to me. Buttering me up. Which I kinda liked at first. No, not “kinda”; let’s be honest: I completely bought into all her obsequious patter because — I discovered — I’m a weak-willed egomaniac. From Shondra’s first day at The Beanhouse, while I was training her, there was a steady soothing stream of “ooh, you’re so smart,” and “haha, you’re so funny,” and “ooh, what a good idea!” Which was sorta nice, you know? I mean, unless that someone is breaking up with you, who among us would stop someone openly extolling our privately believed greatness? Well, maybe someone afflicted with humility. So not me, basically. And because of my massive, crippling ego, I found myself agreeing with her at every turn. There was nothing she said that wasn’t absolutely pleasant and true, resonating deep in the shallows of my heart: Wow, she gets me. She appreciates me and all I have to give. She’s right, you know. I am smart. I am funny. I am ingenius. Thank God someone around here finally noticed. The best new hire since, well, me. A real keeper. No. No. A jewel.
A mere month later, however, it was unanimously decided by all The Beanhouse crew that Shondra was a pathological liar.
It started small. I mean, I actually thought she was joking when she told me that actress Istina Crapplegate was her very best friend. It just didn’t seem like a match, somehow. And this is where I’ll be racist and prejudiced and a hater, I guess, but I just couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see this lumbering black lesbian with a blonde buzz cut who also worked at a place up the street that made fruit bouquets and had two grown children being very best friends with sleek, blonde, funny Istina Crapplegate. They just seemed opposites. Like they might not have a lot in common. Still, she seemed quite in earnest about the whole thing.
So naturally, I inquired further.
“Wow. So how did you two meet?”
“At a party.”
I just let it drop. For now. But the next day, I brought up the conversation again. All curious. I mean, who wouldn’t be curious when they hear someone else is very best friends with Istina Crapplegate? Who wouldn’t delve into that just a wee bit further? And who wouldn’t question the Very Best Friend about Istina Crapplegate’s recent artistic achievements? Because what Very Best Friend wouldn’t already know what you — a mere observer of the entertainment world — also just happen to know? And wouldn’t it be fun to discuss your shared knowledge of Ms. Crapplegate’s career? And wouldn’t it be even MORE fun to hear all the juicy tidbits from a person in the deep deep know, especially someone who thinks so highly of you and would probably not hesitate to tell you anything you want to know?
Well, duh. That’s what I thought, too.
“Soo … how often are you in contact with Istina?”
“Oh, all the time. We’re real close.”
“Sooo …. wasn’t she just on Broadway or something?”
“Seems like I heard that.”
“Um … well, I don’t know. I know she did a show, though.”
“Oh, yeah, I thought so too.”
I am evil.
“Soo … you met at a party, huh?”
“Yep. A party for Noprah Sinfrey. I met Noprah, too.”
“Wow, Noprah? Really?”
“She helped me get my book deal.”
Eh, there, Peaches?
“Oh. You have a book deal?”
“What’s your book about?”
“Oh, well, it’s kind of like a memoir thing. Like about my childhood. Some really intense stuff, you know?”
“Yeah. She calls me about it all the time.”
“Noprah calls you?”
“Yeah, to check up on me. She wants me to finish it so I can be on her show.”
“Noprah wants you to be on her show to promote your memoir?”
I found myself suddenly thinking about that James Frey fellow … Noprah sure loved him …
“Yeah, it’s cool. I’m a really goot writer. Jus’ comes real easy to me.”
I remember how she said goot.
“So it’s not hard for you to write about all that intense stuff?”
“Nope. Not at all.”
“Wow. Well, lemme know when you’re gonna be on Noprah so I can watch.”
“Oh, for sure. I will.”
One way or the other, God help me, I could not wait.