Monday, July 02, 2007


Last night at Craft (three point five stars, one of the best meals I’ve had in NYC), I was appalled by the behavior of the group sitting next to us. They were dressed in blue jeans and baseball caps, and they weren’t even talking, as they were too busy playing with their new iPhones. “They’re trying not to be recognized,” our waiter informed us.

Upon closer inspection, I was sitting five feet away from Leonardo DiCaprio, who was eating dinner with Q-Tip, which almost caused the beet risotto to jump from my stomach. Leonardo DiCaprio, the sole recipient of my desire as a 15-year-old! His image used to be plastered all over the walls of my bedroom, not to mention my heart.

And what a useful infatuation to have at fifteen years old, since it also served as my alibi. When Titanic came out, it’s true I saw it once and loved every minute. But then every Friday for an entire month, I told my parents I was going to dinner with friends and seeing Titanic, yet again. That gave me a five hour time slot to ride around in cars with boys and do other harmless acts that were strictly banned from my 8th grade repertoire, only feeling slightly guilty when my grandmother presented to me a Leonardo DiCaprio fan book on my birthday.

Yet now we’ve both aged a bit, Leo and me, and that spark is gone. How Leo managed to make me swoon so hard, I no longer know. Maybe it was his crude table manners – he actually used his knife as a fork – or maybe I am just jealous of his iPhone. But, really, idolized screen stars are not meant to be seen in real life.

The real is always weak; the imagination is by nature platonic. It concentrates and fills in the missing parts, making everything, everybody better looking. So that even when I saw his version of Romeo, along with every other lovesick teenybopper, we were all filling in what was not there on the screen. And it’s the filling that first falls apart against the sight of the real.

Oh Leo, you hurt me so.


Blogger Claire said...

leo aged really poorly. he got super puffy for a couple years there, and he's slightly more hittable now, but i think there's a big difference between what we imagined adult relationships will be like in 1997 and the dirty reality of it. except not always, cody just gave me a pink nintendo ds for our three year anniversary. i know, i know, toby, feel free to puke all over me. I miss you. Come back to Seattle.

12:24 AM  

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