So the other night I couldn’t sleep even though I was really tired so I tried one of my old tricks to put me to sleep which I don’t do very often anymore because it feels weird since I got married which is: I fantasize myself to sleep. When I was single that’s what I used to do, every night almost; I’d think, who should be my boyfriend tonight? And I’d make up a story about that person in my head, and it could range from Benicio del Toro to someone, you know, who I actually knew, but the one thing that was consistent was that I had to set up the scenario so that I could actually believe it might happen. (The writer in me? I can only suspend my disbelief so far.) So let’s say if I were to meet Benicio del Toro I would contrive some situation where I get bumped into first class because there’s no room in – whatever it’s called where I usually sit - low class? – and of course he introduces himself but I don’t really understand him because of the mumbly thing, but he understands me, I can tell this by his nodding and also looking into my eyes in a sexy meaningful way, and I say I’m not really that kind of girl when he seems to be suggesting we join the mile-high club, but when I make it clear that I will be expecting a long-term relationship, then we do join the mile-high club, and then we land and become a couple. Yeah, I know, whatever.
So but I had to kind of train myself out of these fantasies after I met Ben, because it felt weird, and because there was actually someone I wanted in my bed and in locations outside of my bed, again and again, and eventually I started going to sleep without immediately going to fantasy. The other night, bored and sleepless, I tried to fantasize about George Clooney and to say that it went wrong would be past inadequate.
George Clooney used to be a staple. It was always easy for me to conjure up a scenario in which we’d meet – we have actually met, in a manner of speaking, I daresay he flirted with me. In my fantasies, this would always be the conversation starter, wherever it was that we’d meet, this night we met at a Sundance screening of the film of my story, and he’d say You look familiar and I’d say something like, You probably don’t remember me but I used to work on the same lot when you were on ER, and you used to play basketball with... and he’d say I couldn’t forget you, blue Doc Marten girl, you were Donny Ward’s assistant, the one who used to pretend she didn’t notice me, and I’d say, Damn, it was that obvious, and he’d say It’s okay, I thought it was cute. Then we start talking and he asks me out (and I should say, in keeping with the quasi-realism of my fantasies there now needs to be a reason why Ben is out of the picture, and because I don’t want him to be out of the picture, this is a difficult proposition – we absolutely cannot be divorced for any reason, but him being deceased isn’t an option either, it’s along the lines of a weird superstition even though I’ve decided I’m not superstitious, where I can’t write about a character based on a relative who’s sick or injured or something bad has happened unless it’s actually already happened just in case I make it happen with the superpower of my writing, so it’s here that the fantasy begins to fail) and I say I don’t think we’re really right for each other, George, and he says Don’t you think we should go out first before you decide that and I say It’s just that I have a hard time believing you’d ever be faithful, plus we’re like, the exact same age, I know you like the sexy young babes and I’m fine with my sexiness level, really, but this here is an all-natural, 100% real, 46-year-old babe who doesn’t even work out or anything, plus I’m pretty sure I would not at all be into having people take my picture every day, I am not very photogenic, sexy as I am, also I already don’t love driving and so I would seriously not be into being chased by paparazzi and possibly ending up dying a horrible death in a multi-car pileup and then my NY Times obituary would not say Elizabeth Crane, Acclaimed Short Story Writer, dies at 108, it would be a headline and it would say Six Paparazzi and Others Die in Fiery Crash, and here I would be ‘others’, or best case scenario, my Times obituary would say ‘Elizabeth Crane, Once Dated George Clooney, Dies, also, I just really like my privacy, and I shouldn’t admit this but I care what people think, and I don’t really want anyone thinking badly about me because I went out with George Clooney, and although most people would probably say Right on about both of us, a lot of people would say all kinds of things like Who does she think she is, what does he see in her, she’s a star-fucker, whatever, I don’t know and George Clooney says Um, I have a villa in Italy. And I think about that, because that’s good, I’ve seen pictures of it, and I say That I would like, can we go live there most of the time? And George Clooney says Sure, whatever you want, and still I say, I don’t know, George, you’re bright and funny and obviously handsome and everything, but you’re not Ben. Well except I don’t say that last part because I don’t want to hurt George Clooney’s feelings. In my fantasy.
So, to recap, basically the fantasy here is that George Clooney really wants me and I turn him down and if there is any sex at all, it’s incidental or not in the fantasy.
I tell this to Ben and he says Wow, men and women are actually different. Do you even understand what a fantasy is?
And I say, I guess not.