Imaginary Ryan was born in a snowstorm, by a garden window, filled with Christmas decorations. Over local wine, a witches’ brew, catching up and shooting the shit evolved into a drunken bliss. I was explaining twitter and bravo and who the Ryan I make so many jokes about was.
“I swear, Cynthia, it’s like he’s imaginary to most of them! I mean, to be fair, if I describe him, he sounds like the hero of a Harlequin romance… tall, good looking, snazzy pocket squares…Sometimes I wonder what would happen if his fans saw Ryan in a normal context, like a date, or at a supermarket, how they would react? Would they still think Imaginary Ryan is the most perfect man ever? I mean I know he’s an actor, probably a rich kid, he’s probably a jerk, I mean, a fun, silly jerk, but a self-centered jerk, nonetheless.”
“Sounds like a great story to me.”
“A self-centered TFB?”
“No! You just said it.”
“What would happen if the audience saw Imaginary Ryan in a normal context? Is Imaginary Ryan the most perfect man ever?” Redefining the term leaning in for me, forever, Cynthia sips wine and demands, “Tell me this story.”
“Haha! They’d all freak out. Imaginary Ryan would the perfect boyfriend, the best date, sensitive, the soul of a dreamer, and a moneymaker, kind to old ladies and children, a hero who saves lives and oh yeah, you’re his princess, so he’d take exquisite care of you. He’d take you on a date or three dates, specifically, before sex. Because this relationship is by the book–the book of our expectations of what relationships should be.”
“Perfection! I wanna know what kind of dates this guy takes you on.”
“Aaah–No one is perfect, Cyn. I can’t see that happening. I’d punch a guy that perfect in the face.”
“I was there the last time you did that and he wasn’t perfect, Kim. It’s a story. What would it take for you to tell this story?”
“I’d tell the dates like they are really happening, but the pictures would be awful, terrible shop jobs, like obviously. Then I’d DM people, drop hints that I think it’s real, like Nascar Girl. (old school LiveJournal crazy busted for stalking crazy.) Full on convince people that I am crazy crazy. We do the whole relationship in a month and just when you think he’s gonna propose….”
“He turns into a purple dragon, flies around my apartment, destroying everything and then directly into my TV, shattering it in an explosion of electrical shazams–sparks!”
“It’d be a tribute to Andy Kaufman.”
“Andy Kaufman climbs out of the broken television set. It’s the clip from Saturday Night Live with Mighty Mouse. It plays. Scene.
“Ha! No one will get it. It’s been 40 years since Taxi and 20 years since the Jim Carrey film.”
“OMG…Taxi was still on when I was a kid…feeling some feels here…”
“You’re not that old…not as old as me…so how do you say Andy Kaufman to people your age?”
I lean back and really let the scene fill my brain. I nod slowly when an image emerges.
“When Andy Kaufman puts the needle on the record, the clip instantly changes to this:
And then the words, THE END”
“So we know it’s over? Like in elementary school?”
I lean back and, as if on a subway car, I take all the room needed for my enormous ovaries by spreading my legs…wide. Then, crossing my legs, I fold my arms behind my head. “It’s motherfuckin’ mythic, baby. It’s a goddamned mythical ending.”
“You should totally do that.”