I Remember, By Joe Brainard, If Joe Brainard Was A Spoiled Rich Kid Who Attended The Same High School As Bret Easton Ellis
I remember standing with a group of people in the parking lot of my high school and Drew Barrymore, only a few years older than she was in E.T., walking up to me and asking me if she could bum a cigarette even though I wasn’t smoking, and telling her that I didn’t smoke and her asking me if I had any good-looking friends, and me asking why, and her putting her fist up to her cheek and then poking her tongue into the side of her other cheek and then making a motion with her fist, back and forth, and her tongue going in and out, and me not understanding what she trying to say, and feeling stupid and walking away from her and the group of people I was standing with and almost getting run over by Matthew Perry, who was driving his red Mustang way too fast through the parking lot.
I remember Stephen Stills’ illegitimate son, Jesse, pantsing me in front of everyone during lunch, and me not doing anything about it, even though he was, at 18, almost totally bald and so short he was legally defined as a midget, according to the Dean of Student Affairs, who, when I was walking past his office one day, told me to come in, and then locked the door, pulled out a bottle of Grand Marnier, heated up his snifter, lit a cigar, and started telling me stories about his childhood in Wales, which sounded idyllic, at least up until the part where he decided to quit school and follow Fairport Convention around while they toured the world, an adventure that ended with him in a Tangiers jail, seated next to Paul Bowles, who was in jail not because he was under arrest, but because he just liked hanging out in jail.
I remember Alyssa Milano screaming to get out of the way as she ran down the hallway, obviously late for class, and me apologizing to her even though I wasn’t in her way.
I remember Sara Gilbert asking me why I was wearing eyeliner and me telling her I didn’t know why I was wearing eyeliner, even though I wasn’t wearing any eyeliner.
I remember sitting in the passenger seat of Matthew Perry’s red Mustang while he drove like a maniac on Mulholland Drive, and how foggy it was, and how there must have been close to zero visibility, and me begging him to slow down and him telling me to relax, and how I closed my eyes and began to pray to God that we didn’t drive over the side and down into the canyons below, and Matthew Perry asking me what I was doing, and me telling him I was praying, and him looking at me for way too long as he blindly negotiated some very hairy curves and saying, There’s no God, and the way he said it, like it was a fact, and me knowing he was probably right, and me becoming very calm for the rest of the ride, and Matthew Perry telling me about a party he was going to later that night at some friends’ house boat in Marina Del Rey, and how he didn’t ask me to come with him.
I remember standing with my girlfriend outside of the gymnasium after our graduation and my girlfriend taking off her graduation gown and seeing what she was wearing, which was a pink spandex halter mini dress, and thinking she looked exactly like Kelly Bundy on the episode of Married…with Children where Kelly, with Bud acting as her agent, gets a job being a rock video slut, and then Yakov Smirnoff, who was our commencement speaker, coming up to me and pulling me to the side and asking me if the girl I was standing with was my girlfriend and me saying yes, she was, and Yakov Smirnoff asking me if she was eighteen yet, and me saying no, she wouldn’t turn eighteen until the end of the summer, and Yakov Smirnoff asking me if it would still be okay if he took a shot at her, and me not saying anything, which he must have interpreted as a yes, because a few minutes later I saw him talking to my girlfriend, and watching them exchange phone numbers, and then a few months later, right before I started college, asking my girlfriend whatever happened with her and Yakov Smirnoff, and her not saying anything, just smirking, and me getting really upset and crying, and my girlfriend telling me to not get so emotional, that it was unattractive, and her saying that what happened was in the past, and that the past was history, and that like Yakov Smirnoff had told her, we were at the end of history, so let’s party.