That Nobody Thing
I was in a car with David Letterman when he quite unexpectedly proposed marriage. He did it in that offhand, ironic, deadpan, winning way of his, but I could see that he was serious. "Well, all right, I guess," I said. "But," I added in afterthought, "I'm not gay, and I didn't think you were either." David took a puff of his cigar and assured me that he was not gay, and that he chose me partially because I wasn't gay. And that, he said, his voice rising excitedly, was the beauty of it! When the news was released, the media would surely portray us as pioneering heros: two men who, even though straight, chose to marry each other. The show's ratings would go through the roof. David would suddenly become the most admired celebrity in the world, immune to criticism. And the fact that he was marrying, not a Hollywood type, but a nobody, would only add to his luster. Here he turned to me and apologized, "For that nobody thing — Sorry." I told him it was all right; I was a nobody.
We were stopped at a light, and when I looked around I saw that all the other cars were being driven by animals of some kind — a moose eyed me morosely from the wheel of a Hummer to our right, an Emperor Penguin stood upright in the P.T. Cruiser windshield behind us, and so on. "David," I began, hesitantly. "Will we…will we sleep in the same bed?" There was a horrible screech as tires gnawed asphalt and David wove, needle-like, through traffic, finally lurching to a halt amid dust and flung gravel on the shoulder. He turned his large, red face to me. "Don't you ever," he said, "speak such filth in my car — my beautiful car — again." "Ok, ok, ok," I said. "Take a chill pill." Back in the flow of traffic it was very quiet, and I had time to meditate on several pressing issues, such as: Had I been wrong to say yes so quickly? And: This universe is strange and fleeting, but is it really that much more so than the one I call my life? And: That orangutan, the one in the silver Jetta, did he or did he not just give us the finger?