Best. Comment. Ever.

1 Apr

There’s a kid on my tour named Dmitri.

I love everything about this kid. He is tall for an eighth grader, but unassuming, sweet, and unusually smart. He has all the answers but never gloats. And he laughs at everything I say. Greek gods sent this boy to me.

Tonight in a fake Italian restaurant in Little Italy, a place run by Albanians, this Greek kid was sitting directly across from me. We had wonderful conversations about the Greeks and Greece and red Easter eggs and how his name improbably had three syllables but only two vowels. Fun stuff. And then an alumna of their middle school showed up.

This was a young woman who came on the very same eighth grade trip some eight years ago, and now is living out her big bad Broadway dreams right here in NYC and for the moment right here in my face. She stood over me with the kind of fake actressy energy that I find exhausting, practically auditioning for these fourteen-year-old kids who in turn stared at her cockeyed as though she were an exotic in a zoo, she in her thick coat of greasepaint and fire-engine red lips. She talked of how she just booked a national tour but in a flurry of fingertips to lips told us she couldn’t yet divulge the details. You’d think she was embarking on a tour as a National Security advisor.

With a fake arm-twisting from the teacher and a faked coy moment of musical comedy embarrassment from this rising star, she nevertheless launched headlong into a five-minute up-tempo song and I am not exaggerating. She sang for five minutes. I timed her. In the middle of a crowded restaurant. There she was. Standing over me and belting out way too loudly for anyone’s comfort one of those miserable songs that sounds like every other goddam song in a bad Broadway musical from the last decade, running shitty riffs over what I supposed was once at best a shitty melody to begin with. It was interminable. I couldn’t believe I was in her spilled spotlight. I wanted to die.

She finally finished. I didn’t say a word. But Dmitri did.

He simply said, “She has a lot of confidence.”

And I fucking fell on the floor.

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