Okay. What is it? What’s your secret? I wanna know.
You are forty-seven. You are sitting in what appears to be a 1968 Toyota 2000 GT Convertible. You are waiting for the red light to stop being red so you can go. You are smoking a cigarette. You are listening to “Ship of Fools” by Robert Plant. It’s really loud. You know all the words. And right at the first break after the first chorus, you raise your hands high to air guitar the solo. And never has the term air guitar been more apropos, for your hands are quite airborne, sir, lifted up against the dark of night, your fingers twitching in time to this song you love way too much, your cigarette clamped tight in your shit-eating grin of a mouth.
How the hell are you so happy? In the Valley, too? What did you do? Who are you?
I just came from taping a podcast where I talked about nothing but my fears for an hour, and here you are: the least fearful man on the planet. In fact, I’d be so bold as to say you are fear-free. When that light goes green, your good cheer will lift your vintage car off the street and send it sailing into the black sky. Any man as happy as you has no need for roads. What you’re high on I gotta get on.
This all sounds like a come-on, don’t it? Sounds like I got a crush, doesn’t? Look: I don’t wanna have sex with you, but I do wanna have sex with your happiness! I envy your happiness! That’s all I know! If that’s what a crush is, then I guess I got one. You’re the happiest thing I’ve seen in weeks, man. Jeez. I just re-read everything I’ve written so far and, what the hell is this? A goddamned missed connection? Now I’m thinking about what I would’ve said if I had had the courage to make small talk. “Excuse me…uh…what kind of car is that?” And then you would’ve been like: “What?” And then I’m all: “You car it’s…nice. What kind is it?” And then you’d tell me and look all annoyed. And then I’d be desperate and try again with: “Is that Led Zeppelin?” And you’d scoff at me and go: “Robert Plant” and then the light would go green and you’d be gone.
I bet my small talk with you would’ve been just as bumbling as my small talk with any strange attractive woman; I can’t even have good small talk with people I don’t wanna fuck.