The Three Times You Ran Into Ryan Gosling
The First Time
You were at the Smith on 3rd Avenue simply enjoying a simple dinner with a not-so-simple stripling. As you found out while you were dominating the butter-intensive mac-and-cheese and swallowing a myriad of mussels at a time, your friend was the youngest man to ever be signed by Wilhelmina. Trying to discreetly conceal any feelings of jealousy you solely focus on how that experience shaped him. Your endeavor to reconnoiter additional information focuses on questions pertinent to whether he did cocaine off of other models butts, or sporadically woke up in random Soho lofts on Wednesday mornings. No, Kyle wasn’t like that, and rather than falling in the trap of the easy-and-fast money he focused on school, successfully evading a mutinous lifestyle. You would never have done that were you to find yourself in his position. You envy him.
You pay the check, you get up to go. But prior to getting on the Vespa to ride back to the LES, your friend decides it is important to smoke one of his American Spirits. You get a Lucky Strike out, astutely expecting him to agitate you with a comment about the lack of filters in your cigarettes. As you light up a match, you see this beautiful dog. A mixed breed, with some British royalty in it you think. You focus on the dog, slowly becoming aware of the presence of the owner, his appealing bravura slowly affecting your aura. As you raise your eyes to compliment the dog you realize the dog’s owner is looking at you straight in the eye. He is looking at both you and your friend, almost flirting in a no-homo kind of manner, the kind of flirting that a heteronormative society idealizes in movies like Black Swan for LUGs and girls, but god-forbid would that be okay for men. He walks past you, a fit figure of confident posture and elegant air. “Jesus,” Kyle utters as Ryan Gosling is four steps away. “That was totally a famous actor that just walked past us.” You nod in agreement, regretting that you didn’t have the courage to adequately bro-flirt with him and/ or greet him in recognition, as his smirk implied he was expecting.
This very event becomes the center of your social media presence for the following two days. A segment of your female friends express resentment, you are told you’re living a “magic” life and you slowly begin to think people are overreacting. You walked past Ryan Gosling. Whatever.
You decide it is time to move on with your life regularly, as all good things come to an end. Ask Kirsten Dunst if you need further proof–you might run into her at LIT lounge on 2nd Ave by the way-or even Michelle Williams.
The Second Time
You’ve proceeded with your regular routines, your normal life of work and fun. It has been three days since you saw Ryan Gosling and the spark of the event seems to slowly be becoming an event of the past. Then, all of a sudden, as if you’re a male Rachel McAddams holding moleskines, here he comes again. This time walking with two other friends, he doesn’t necessarily pay attention to you, doesn’t make eye-contact; no bromance. He probably-definitely-for-sure isn’t cognizant of the fact your brain is going batshit, wondering how the fuck it is possible to run into Ryan Gosling twice in this short period of time. But you roll your eyes and think: “wow, I guess he’s really enjoying being in the city. He is walking around carefree, sans concerns of fans chasing him.” You almost look up to him for being one of those cool celebrities who don’t let their fame get to their head and alter their vies quotidiennes to utter extremes; he s still a normal human being. You are once again inspired to return to the gym for proper training, because this Ryan Gosling figure is somewhat of a contemporary Kouros walking and breathing around us mortals. Facial hair you’re not certain you can pull of yet, but next time you are certainly not getting your Trader Joe’s groceries delivered. You will carry them back and hopefully augment your physique. It is summer, the bitch-heat might make you feel languished, but you will do anything for an equally molded body.
The Third Time
It is a Friday night, marking the five-day period since you last saw Ryan Gosling. You are with Kyle–the model who chose a magnanimous lifestyle–and your roommate. A friend texts you to come meet them and do some blow at a lounge called “Stay.” You’ve never heard of any place called “Stay,” so you text back asking if he actually meant “Sway.” You like Sway because you love the music they play there. You’re easily satisfied with the Smiths, Morrissey and generally good 80s music. You do get in a cab heading to Sway after a mundane stunt at the Submercer. Suddenly you realize the unimaginable. Here he is once again. Ryan-omnipresent-Gosling walking with two friends again. You are willing to bet at this point he is walking towards where you are going. He literally looks into the cab, and does the “I’m beautiful and waiting for you to recognize me” look once again. Kyle agrees with you: he for sure looked into your cab and smiled at you. You aren’t delusional, and your feelings of being delusional are rapidly dwindling. He’s wearing a leather jacket and all three of you agree it is too hot for a leather jacket and pass a tiny amount of judgement his way. Not that he will ever care. Maybe he uses leather jacket as his accoutrement, who knows?
You get out of the cab, he enters Sway. You enter right behind him. You watch the crowd there slowly develop a peculiar energy of attention towards him. You feel his discomfort, and as you are literally a step away from each other you contemplate the eeriness of a statement such as: “Hi! You won’t believe this, but I’ve ran into you three times in the past 10 days.” You decide that would be above and beyond creepy, and even if feelings of discomfort recede when under the influence of alcohol, you choose to not say it.
You observe him get approached by any female in the bar: attractive or not, tan or fake-tan, fat or thin. They treat him like the best thing they can capture with their smartphone camera, almost like a monument or an object. This is the moment you decide you’d rather not disturb him at all. You have no reason to assume he has any interest at all in interacting with anyone but his true friends, the ones who accompanied him to the club in the first place.
The biggest irony of all was that you were supposed to go to “Stay” and not “Sway.” So you ponder the inscrutable nature of this last run-in.
A month goes by, and you haven’t seen him since Sway. You read that Chloe Sevigny had a great eye-screwed him in the East Village, despite the fact that he didn’t recognize her and realize how small this world is, as you’ve tried to eye-screw Chloe numerous times at the Opening Ceremony store she can be found. But before you all end up at your Favorite Party Ever on Wednesday at le Bain, you realize that you are not like them. They’re different, in a Gatsby-an sense. They’re not like you and me.
You wrote this to let Ryan Gosling know that in early July your fates truly wanted you to meet. Maybe he was meant to be your mentor. Maybe a friend. Maybe he was supposed to fall in love with your ex.
Maybe there will be a fourth time. Whatever.
A | A | A
If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”