Teen Dream


Pic @ Matthew Stone

For the third time this week I’m alone in a sweaty Brooklyn apartment, snorting Adderoll, talking to my computer. I can’t hear you, I say, pressing my lips right up against the screen. Did you say I miss you or I want juice? Through some magical connection of invisible wires, Bunny’s far away voice sputters back at me: So, like, have you made any new friends since moving to New York?

Not really, I say.

How come?

Don’t know, just sort of been sticking with the old ones I guess.

That’s good. I don’t want you making any new friends.

I don’t want you making any new friends either.

If you do meet someone new, the voice continues, Can you take a photo of them and send it to me for pre approval? Like before you decide whether to make them your actual friend or not? I’ll allow you a maximum of five new friends, but you can only see them once a week in a casual social setting, like at a gig or in a park or to eat crappy Mexican food.

Actually, I did make one new friend—a gay Puerto Rican kid called José.

Really? What do you guys do?

Nothing much. Watch movies. Listen to Beyoncé.

That’s it?

The other day we made strawberry and banana smoothies.

Oh. That sounds fun.

Are you being sarcastic?

No, it does.

In my absence Bunny has started working as a male nanny. I find this very amusing, as the last time I saw him in close proximity to a child—the time he tagged along while I babysat my boss’ 4-year-old daughter Emily—he ended up giving the kid a detailed lesson in narcotics and gay sex, resulting in me nearly getting fired. How he managed to get this job is beyond me. I hate that he’s so far away.

When you were young, I say to my computer screen, Did you ever picture yourself living the life you are now?

Are you joking to trying to be existential?

It’s just weird how nothing in life turns out how you planned. I guess that sounds cliché…

I hate when you get like this.

Do you think we’ll spend the rest of our lives inventing complicated ways to depress ourselves?

I’m hanging up now.

I close my eyes and imagine that I’m eleven or fourteen or sixteen—at all these ages I dreamed of growing up and moving to New York City. Dreamed of all the people I would meet and the boys I would fall in love with. I try and recreate this feeling of excitement, but dreams are so different once they’re outside your brain and in three dimensions. In my teenage fantasy I already have two Oscars—the first was for Best Actress. I played a reckless teen mom who reforms after overcoming some really big life event, like the death of my hot boyfriend or a drug overdose or something—I never decided for sure. Because I was plucked from obscurity at a grocery store, I never had to do the whole poor, struggling actress thing. I was born to be a star. A natural. Wow, I really didn’t expect this! Oh god, where do I begin? This is how my acceptance speech started. This is how it was always meant to start.

I received my second Oscar for Best Screenplay. This was just something I whipped up after my award-winning role, to show people that not only am I an effortlessly gifted actress but an intellectual as well. The film was quirky but with an underlying, deeper meaning. Like Juno only more profound. I have many talents. Really, everyone says so.

Are you still there, I say into the screen, but get no response

If we showed our now selves to our teenage selves, would our teenage selves be disappointed?



One Reply to “Teen Dream”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *