Kirsten Dunst and James Franco: my freedom and their inevitable romance
I was doing my daily inquiry into the search terms that lead people to my blog, and I saw six or so variations of “James Franco and Kirsten Dunst.” Uh-oh, I thought. I wondered if she’d dumped that pretty Garrett dude, her Platonic ideal of a boyfriend, for you.
That’s not the case. The big news is you’ve confessed that you had a crush on her during the Spiderman years. You were envious of Toby.
I have a suggestion. I think it’s in your best interest—that is, you and Kirsten—to fuck like pigs for a few days, get it out of your systems, then go on a one week vacation together. Personally, I think fate wants you two together. But fate’s insecure; it needs to be convinced of its own design. Garrett will understand.
So do the nasty. Then, for the “let’s get to know each other again” vacation, go somewhere uncomfortable. Fuck Maui. To hell with the Bahamas. Bordeaux, France can suck it. Instead, go to a place that insists its ugliness is your fault, that your standards are unreasonable, that your sense of entitlement actually hinders you from having fun, that the horrendousness you see isn’t inherent to the location, but a projection of everything that sucks about you.
Spend a week in Cincinnati with Kirsten. If you can survive the vacation without scratching each other’s eyes out; without sublimating your frustrations into doggy-style bed-breaking, you’re made for each other.
Franco and Dunst fans are rooting for you. You’d make good couple. Personally, I need it to happen. Listen: over the last twelve years I’ve written maybe one-hundred short stories, three novellas, and I’ve got three novels on my plate in various states of revision. I’ve abandoned probably ten novels halfway into them. Out of the two-hundred or more projects I’ve embarked upon, only two involve my exploitation of celebrities as creative writing prompts: this blog (you), and the novel My Helicopter Heart (a failed pharmacist stalks Kirsten Dunst during the Christian apocalypse). I have a vested interest in both of you getting together, not because I need more inspirational material, but because your union would rob me of whatever the fuck compels me to target James Franco and Kirsten Dunst.
I’ll explain. Have you read Stephen King’s “On Writing”? Throughout the book, King argues that writing effectively involves an uncompromised awareness of (and empathy toward) the reader’s experience. He recommends having an ideal reader in mind, a specific person whom you’re writing to. An ideal reader will force you to become more objective, to see your “Everything I write is amazing, compelling, and relevant!” illusion for the crock of egotistical crap that it really is. Six years ago, I decided to pick the most far-flung ideal reader imaginable—someone I only knew from movies, interviews, and gossip. I’d already written to my wife, and as much as I’d like to believe there’s a correlation between my writing and her sexual arousal, that’s probably not the case. In the past, I’d used other girlfriends and exes as ideal readers, hoping my amazing writing might seduce them. I should have just bought them flowers and chocolates. Hell, if I’d scoured the clearance bins at CVS and presented them with gifts of cheap batteries, toilet paper, tweezers, and zit cream, I’d at least have gotten a peck on the cheek, something more than hundreds of shitty poems would have elicited.
Six years ago, when I decided that Kirsten Dunst was my ideal reader, I wasn’t writing with the hope that one day, the two of us would bounce brillo pads. I’d chosen her arbitrarily; I was challenging myself. It was a bad move: she’s too distant. Still, I believed that empathy—if it’s powerful enough—transcends social, economic, temporal, and spatial barriers. In an effort to bridge the massive gap between my middleclass white dude world and her unreachable Hollywood paradise, I strove to create something with a critical mass of empathetic power. I overcompensated and banged out a 638 page manuscript. It has taken years off my life, and now, having invested so much time in writing to someone I don’t know (and will never know), I struggle to divorce myself from the unobtainable ideal reader. Kirsten Dunst has become my ground state, my imagined audience who will not leave the theater. To top that off, I created this blog, which is another self-defeating maneuver: no matter what I say, it has to relate to you somehow. Now I’ve got two ideal readers who are, in my world, abstract.
Here’s the solution. If you two get married, I’d see that as a merging of ideal readers. I wouldn’t be able to write toward Kirsten without considering you. To say, “Kirsten Dunst” would also be an indirect address to James Franco, a conceptual violation of the two different mediums through which I write (blog and novel), a violation of the two differing agendas behind both celebrity-exploiting projects. I’d be stuck talking to both of you. For example, if I say such-and-such to Kirsten, it must also apply to you, because, alas, when people get married, they become one. So I’d cower at the complications, and stop this nonsense all together.
Please. Fall in love with her. Hopefully, she’ll fall in love with you. The minute you slip that ring on her finger, I’m free. I can go find another ideal reader (In my imaginary mind-theater, I’ve currently got Steve Almond chained to a radiator backstage).