I woke to the smell of coffee and the sound of my boyfriend’s meditated breathing from his yoga routine. I looked at the clock: 8:30 on the dot, as usual. I knew better than to interrupt him…two and a half years of living together meant that we knew each other’s schedules better than we knew our own.
As I lay there, contemplating the strange relationship I had entered into all those months ago — the yo-yo dieting, the weird fashion disasters, the constant moodiness — I wondered how we ever managed to get through his rough periods. All those secrets we had to hide from the public…well at least now he’s back to looking normal, I thought. That weird beard of bees thing did not suit him at all, and to be honest, put a real damper on our sex life.
“Hey babe, you up?” Joaquin asked, sauntering over to our shared bed with two mugs: chamomile tea for him and light and sweet Colombian grind for me. “Look…I have some bad news,” he began.
I sat up, “Come on, no…not today.”
“I’m sorry babe. Casey wanted to come by and go over my latest ‘track,’” Joaquin rolled his eyes at the thought of his ridiculous concept rap album that his friend was forcing him into, “and he’s going to be wondering why I wasn’t photographed doing cocaine off of Lindsay Lohan’s stomach last night.”
“So what, you’re telling me I have to leave?” I asked incredulously. This was such bullshit. Last night had been so wonderful, just the two of us in the apartment, ordering in from our favorite Chinese spot and watching a TiVo’d episode of Lost. Now because of that shithead friend of his, Casey Affleck, my boyfriend would have to morph from the man I loved into the crazy person his stupid puppet-master thought he should be.
“I’m so sorry, I know today was supposed to be our day together, and I promise, we’ll go to the Met some other time. But Casey says I’m at this really precarious place right now ever since I fought him on the whole ‘fat bearded guy’ thing after Letterman, and if I’m not careful, people might forget I’m a celebrity at all.”
“Look…” Joaquin began, but before he could finish there was a knock at the door. “Shit! Shit! I thought he wasn’t coming till noon!” My boyfriend began to look around the room frantically where he could possibly hide me, while simultaneously running to the kitchen and throwing open the drawers that contained empty bottles of vodka, mirrors dusted with white baby powder, and razor blades that we owned specifically for moments like these. He barely had time to overturn our dresser, throw some of the bottles against the wall, and sprinkle Dorritos all over our Gamma Italian leather couch before the door opened (Casey had his own key, wtf), and the bane of my existence entered.
“Yo, Jay!” Casey Affleck fist-pounded his best friend while Joaquin tried to look suitably stoned. He was such a good actor, I wouldn’t have been able to tell he had been sober for 5 years if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes. “Where the fuck were you last night? And who is she?” Despite his miniature stature, Casey Affleck was a bully, through and through. We had never met face to face, but he was single-handedly ruining my sane, normal relationship for the sake of some half-baked “art project” he had thought of two years ago while high on a methamphetamine bender. “If Joaquin had a little more backbone,” I thought for the billionth time, “he could have told Casey to go fuck himself…if he wanted to ‘punk TMZ’ so bad by ‘faking’ a ‘celebrity meltdown’ he could have done it himself.” Whatever the purpose for Joaquin’s humiliating public behavior had never been fully explained, and I suspected Affleck himself had long ago lost any footage of his friend’s real-life method acting in the role of a self-aggrandizing weirdo psycho creep (who sometimes rapped).
“Oooh, this chick?” Joaquin lolled his head in my direction as if seeing me for the first time, “She’s just like…a fan or something.” This was not the voice of the man I loved, it was the slurred mumblings of someone on too much Thorazine, which Casey insisted that his friend take every day. We had a stockpile of the unused prescriptions somewhere in the back of our closet.
“Yo girl…you have sex with my man Joaquin last night?” Casey asked, coming over to the bed. I knew this was a trick question, and adopted a slurred, heroin-addled tone myself. “Naaah…he’s like…weird man. Said his dick didn’t work after like, Warner Hertz-factory or someone pulled him from a car-wreck. He just wanted me to like, get naked and rub baby-lotion over myself while he sat in the corner and cried.”
“Cool, cool,” Casey nodded, “Yo Joaquin, I’m trying to book you another Letterman gig. Maybe try to pick some new weird thing you could be into by next week. Scientology? Or whatever. Your family had a weird religion thing, right? You still practice that?”
Finally, Casey Affleck left. Avoiding my eyes, Joaquin began to reorganize his apartment, brushing off the couch and taking the Swiffer out of hiding to get the floor clean. “It’s just for a little while longer, babe,” he said sadly.
“That’s a little while longer I can’t wait, Joaquin.” I went to our Luminaire dresser and began pulling out my clothes. “I’ll have my sister get the rest of the stuff later. I’m sorry, Joaquin Phoenix, but it’s over.”
–By Drew Grant