Tonight’s story takes place in 2004, in the CD section of a Borders bookstore (remember those?). I was perusing a Mindless Self Indulgence album, Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy (don’t judge, I was in a phase. . .a phase that has continued into my 30s), when I felt somebody’s eyes indulging in all five feet, eight inches of my unadulterated masculinity.
I looked up to find a young man, roughly my own age, dressed in all black and wearing a choker. As our eyes locked, I suspect he sensed my displeasure with his gothy gaze, but he was determined to engage me in conversation. His opening line was an unexpected diversion from the standard salutations with which I’ve grown accustom over the years. “Dude,” he asked dead seriously, “do you like vampires?”
The earnestness of his delivery juxtaposed with the absurdity of the question momentarily scrambled my brain. After an uncomfortable pause, I replied, “Ummmm. Sure”. Now before you judge me, remember this is 2004, so vampires didn’t sparkle in the sunshine yet–they slaughtered lycans and looked like Kate Beckinsale.
Anyway, based on his snaggle-toothed smile, I had passed the first test, and my suitor was ready to get down to brass tacks. “Look, do you want to be in a movie? You’re literally perfect for one of the roles.”
Another curveball! I mean, obviously I had no desire to be in this freak’s independent vampire film, but I was literally perfect for one of the roles?!? That’s flattering right there, folks. Did this guy seriously pick up on my charisma from observing only some body language and a single spoken word? Or maybe it was simply my rugged good looks that screamed ‘immortal underworld sex god’ to my would-be director. I couldn’t turn him down without knowing what part was developed specifically with me in mind–it would eat away at me forever. I had to know.
“Which role?” I asked casually.
“Clerk,” he responded.
Sensing my disappointment with the unnamed character, he started talking faster, “dude, the vampires go into the store quite a few times and your death scene is really cool.”
I wish I could bring down the house with my hilarious retort. But the truth is, that on the fateful day of my missed big break, I responded only with an uncomfortable “no thanks” and a sarcastic “good luck,” before hightailing it to find Kerry to tell her about the alternate universe I had just entered over in the CD section.
Turns out this guy went on to direct. . .nothing. He directed nothing. Ever. But I hope he got to at least 2nd base with the goth chick he invariably picked for the female lead. He deserves that much for initiating one of my favorite all-time random conversations.