The confession I’m about to make is more than slightly silly, but I’m going to blurt it out anyway: I have something of a schoolgirl crush on a local celebrity.
I’m stretching the word ‘celebrity’ to the max, here. The actor in question is probably an E-List celebrity at most. Even the most avid TMZ devotee would be hard-pressed to come up with a mental image of the guy’s face were I to mention his name. He’s not popular enough to be a regular in People or Us Weekly, nor is he even highbrow enough to get a mention in a Broadway periodical. He’s known mostly for a single television show, but I still doubt he’d ever, even in a pinch, make the TV Guide crossword puzzle.
No, a few years back there was a well-known cable drama that had a run for over half a decade. It got critical raves and had a stellar cast. My celebrity crush—let’s call him Davey—had a prominent role in the show for its entire run. He wasn’t the central character, but he got more airtime than most. Or maybe I just noticed him more when he was onscreen, looking all hot ’n’ stuff and stripping down to his underwear at every opportunity while his long blond hair hung down to his shoulders and the show’s directors lit him like he was some kind of Greek god.
Excuse me. I need a quick cold shower.
I liked the guy in the show. He was hot. He was frequently exposing his buttocks to the cameras. Do I really need anything else in a weekly TV cable show? Nope, apparently not. Oh wait. His acting was pretty good, too. There. Anyhow, the show went off the air, and Davey did a couple of tiny blink-and-you-miss-them appearances on a couple of other TV series, and then vanished altogether, never to be seen on the small screen again.
I first became aware that Davey lived in my vicinity when I moved here, a few years back. I was grabbing a slice for dinner at the local hole-in-the-wall pizza joint on a busy Friday night. When I took my paper plate and plastic cup (that should tip you off that I only eat in the classiest restaurants) to the only open table in the place, I slid into my seat and found myself staring at the actor over whom I used to get wet on a weekly basis. I recognized him immediately; though he unfortunately had his clothes on, he still had his trademark shoulder-length golden hair and dreamy blue eyes. Since he was eating dinner with a pretty young woman and a couple of golden-haired kids I assumed belonged to him, I attempted to choke down my pepperoni pizza and act nonchalant as I immediately thumb-stabbed subtle texts to about a half-dozen friends that read, OHMYGOD I’M SITTING NEXT TO THE HOT GUY WHO NEVER WORE A SHIRT ON THAT SHOW WHO GOT RAPED BY THAT HOT GUY WHO’S ON THAT OTHER CRIME SHOW.
Which, as a text message, I might have phrased a little more coherently, because most of my friends immediately texted back with I don’t know what the hell hot guy you’re talking about? or What?? or even Who are you and why are you texting me?
I didn’t see Davey again until this summer, when he started making regular guest appearances in my life. Now that it’s summer and the building is empty where I do a little weekly volunteer work, Davey’s been renting a room a couple of times a week so he can have a quiet place to work on a screenplay. I wasn’t around when he made those arrangements, but the morning he started happened to be on my regular volunteer schedule. He strode in, tall and muscular with his golden hair pulled back into a ponytail, smiled at me, caught my name from my badge, and held out his hand to shake.
“Hi, Rob,” he said in a manful voice, as he squeezed my hand. My knees started to go weak. “I’m Davey. I’ll be renting the office opposite yours, so you’ll be seeing me regularly over the summer.”
He might have said more. I don’t know. The sound of the heavenly chorus singing kind of drowned it out. All I know is that he gave me a wink, let go of my hand (WHY, DEAR GOD, WHY?) and exited the office to shut himself into his own rented quarters. I wet my lips, swallowed, and finally said, very suavely, “Hhhhhhhiiiiiiii hot man. . . .”
Every time I saw Davey the rest of that first day, he gave me a smile. A long, lingering smile. “How’s it going, Rob?” he’d growl, and I’d gulp and squeak out “F-F-FINE THANKS!” and in general react like I was a sixth-grade girl and he was one of the One Direction singers who happened to staying in my mom’s spare room.
I’ve regained my composure since then. Somewhat. A little. Okay, not much at all. I see Davey pretty frequently, and though my stomach develops butterflies the instant I spot his glorious form, I manage to keep my cool outwardly. When I’m sitting on a rock and eating ice cream from the local scoop shop and Davey bikes by with his daughter, I have no problem waving and saying hello like a normal person. When he comes into the building where I volunteer and passes my office, I manage to keep my head on and my tongue in my mouth and ask him how the screenplay is going.
We actually have a rapport. At the volunteer spot, all the female staff in the main office refer to Davey as ‘the hot guy.’ I was in there one morning when Davey strode by, dewy and glowing from his walk, his muscles rippling and his hair forming a mane of sunshine around his Apollo-like face. “Hi, Rob!” he called out as he walked by. Immediately all the females in the office turned on me and hissed, “HOW COME THE HOT GUY KNOWS YOUR NAME?!”
“Ladies,” I said, in jaded tones. “I cannot help my allure.”
As long as we’re confessing things, though, I have to admit that I did however have a recent mishap with my celebrity crush. A couple of weeks ago, I was taking my evening exercise. I’d chosen to do several walking laps around a local pond. It was a warm night, and the sun was brilliant as it sank down to the horizon. I was sweaty, and a little bit clammy, and listening to loud music through my earbuds.
I was rounding the back half of my fourth lap when I saw him—my celebrity crush, cutting over the pond upon one of its bridges, heading in my direction. Was it the sun’s glare was bouncing off the water that blinded me, or was the brilliance that made me shade my eyes coming from his godlike profile and the silhouette of his golden ponytail? My heartbeat quickened and my stomach tightened into knots.
I slowed down my pace in a ‘totally natural’ way. I shook my hair and wiped the sweat from my brow with my sleeve. Then I decided to have ‘earbud problems’ that required me to remove them, just in case, you know, Davey wanted to have a ‘long, drawn-out conversation’ that involved him telling me that the proximity between us was driving him mad, MAD, and that he’d decided to leave his wife and kiddies and run away with me to Aruba. Or something like that, you know. When I reached the end of the bridge at exactly the same time as his sun-obscured figure, I had a smile on my lips and a look of ‘total surprise’ on my face as I prepared myself to say something like, “Why, Davey! Fancy meeting you here!”. . . .
. . . and then I saw that the figure that had been crossing the bridge during my moment of sun blindness wasn’t Davey at all, but some gray-haired old lady with a ponytail who was looking at me with curiosity and a little bit of apprehension, obviously wondering what what sweaty crazy guy had been about to say to her.
For the record, I went with ‘good evening’ and privately ate crow on my final lap around the park.