Disaster Fantasy Dating: An Evening with Liv Tyler
From my series of imaginary dating disasters.
⚠️ NOTES: (1) Obviously, the story below is completely made-up. However, the quoted parts are from the song “Dream On” by Aerosmith. (2) The photo above is adapted from “Surreal City” by Andrés Nieto Porras on Flickr, and is Creative Commons licensed. (3) This tall tale was originally published by me on Medium.com (link), though modified a bit here for the “Dream Date” writing challenge.
Sunday before last, late at night, I found myself checking out a little Indian buffet in New York City, capping off a soul-crushing business trip of dry, daylong seminars — dull business advice my company will never implement. Why the hell had I come, anyway?
“Every time I look in the mirror,
All these lines on my face getting clearer,
The past is gone,
It goes by like dusk to dawn.
Isn’t that the way?
Everybody’s got their dues in life to pay …”
I could’ve stayed home, but “took one for the team,” as we all have to do now and again — filled a vacant seat, left on short notice.
“Yeah, I know nobody knows
where it comes and where it goes,
I know it’s everybody’s sin
You got to lose to know how to win.”
So, I blew off steam in the notably packed restaurant — took a first-available booth, a two-seater, the empty bench across my table the sole open slot in the joint.
In walks a tall woman, possibly a supermodel, though incognito. Since this is purely fantasy, I’m not married, significantly more attractive, and much bolder — so I gesture, inviting the woman to join me for a glass of Merlot.
“Half my life is in books’ written pages,
Lived and learned from fools and from sages,
You know it’s true.
All the things come back to you.”
Incredibly, she sits down with me. Turns out it’s her birthday, too, her 40th. “Forty may be a little young for me,” I almost say — but don’t, as this is all fantasy.
How old I am in the dream is irrelevant, I guess. But, for argument’s sake, let’s pretend I’m a few years younger, 45 maybe. Anyway, she’s sad about something; she’s just divorced some immature rock star, and would like to meet someone “real,” whatever that means. I begin, momentarily, to drift away, wondering if I’m real or not.
“Sing with me, sing for the year,
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears,
Sing with me, if it’s just for today,
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away …”
But before getting too overly carried away in thought, I notice that she lets down her hair, barely avoiding a comic collision with a pool of sauce from the masala dish before us.
I recognize her at once. It’s Liv Tyler, someone I’ve admired for years. Instead of being star-struck, though, I’m whatever the opposite of flustered is, my mind clearing as though from some zen phenomenon — and, hey, I’m also charming and fun to be with (as opposed to my usual withdrawn, awkward, guarded self). We talk about everything …
“Yeah, sing with me, sing for the year
sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away …”
Later on, we're still together. We walk and talk, stopping at street vendors, people watching, dodging taxis and pigeons, bums and millionaires, breathing in all of the city’s complex aromas — the roasted chestnut vendors, the subway vents, the urine, the fragrance sales tables, the restaurant fans billowing their acrid exhaust into night.
By the time we reach her apartment, we’re buzzed by the laughter, the jazz, the Merlot, and a few pints of some microbrew from a magical place she knew. Things are moving along fast, faster than I’d have ever expected.
I dial up some tunes as she runs off to change. She returns looking like a goddess. But, just as … well, let me tone it down a bit … just as things are really spicing up, Dream On comes on the radio. You remember Dream On, right? That massive hit by Aerosmith that’s somehow accompanied this entire fantasy …
“Dream On, Dream On, Dream On,
Dream until your dreams come true!”
For a minute, it doesn’t register at all; I’m too entranced by the impossibility of the situation.
Then the realization dawns on me — but it’s not what you think. It’s not the whole absurdity of making out with a celebrity while her father croons in the background. No, it’s actually something even weirder; it’s the strange mental problem I start to experience when I realize that she has no problem at all with that.
I mean, sure, it weirds me out; but that it doesn’t weird her out actually weirds me out even more.
Immediately, the magic evaporates. I’m no longer a fictional character enrapt by Arwen Undómiel, the beautiful half-elven from Tolkein’s Third Age; I’m Jim Dee again, paralyzed by an absurd moment of Oedipal / Freudian confusion and self-conscious distress.
How could she have no problem with that?! What in the fuck was I even thinking?! This whole fantasy is so lame; I’m not even going to post it.
✍🏻 Jim Dee maintains three blogs, publishes nonfiction and fiction all over the web, and writes books. His latest novel, the literary-comedic adventure “CHROO,” is a guaranteed joyride. Connect at JPDbooks.com.