She was twentyish and full-lipped and Joanna Newsom-like and he was paunched and middle-aged and fighting off bitterness with sarcasm. They were standing in front of a vegan restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard. The smell of seitan filled the air. Yoga mat-clutching actresses giggled into their iPhones. Shiny black Range Rovers motored past.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” he asked her.
“An organic farmer,” she replied, and went on about kale and dandelion root and Brussel sprouts.
“What about you?” she asked.
“Celebrity. Don’t really care what kind. It could be like a Snookie or The Situation, that’d be fine with me.” He moved in close and cupped his mouth. “I’m in it for the endorsement deals,” he whispered. “I want to get as much money as I possibly can. I want to be as high profile as possible. Cases of Cristal will pack my seven-car garage. AVN award winning porn stars will fill my speed dial. My bling marriage to Belladonna will end a few days later in bitter divorce. Then it will be revealed on E that she’s pregnant with my child. Paps will stalk us. I’ll wear a black baseball cap and loose-fitting Adidas sweatpants and sip ventis in the Malibu Country Mart. In crowded elevators I’ll enunciate top-secret movie deals to my agent. I’ll be patronizingly friendly with the Hispanic busboys at the Ivy. A 15’ by 15’ Damien Hirst spot painting will preside over my silk-sheeted king-sized bed. I’ll be at the top of the waiting list for Richard Branson’s space travel. I’ll appear on Jon Stewart stoned and disheveled. I’ll be so hideously obnoxious, but I’ll be a reminder that the hideously obnoxious can actually do good in the world, ‘cause I’ll donate large chunks of money to humanitarian causes I know little about. My White American Savior Complex will be bigger than your White American Savior Complex. I’ll get with that Kony 2012 dude and run nude through the streets of San Diego. People’ll know me. You’ll know me.”