Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Death And Dancing And Death-Wise

This is Christina Applegate. She’s an actress.

She was born ten years after me so she is not ‘of’ my generation, she’s one generation younger, but I always think of her as the most beautiful actress of my generation.

Oddly, I’ve never had any kind of show business crush on her, never thought of her as iconic in the same sense as Anna Kournikova or Mischa Barton. But I’ve always singled her out in my mind as something special, both for her portrayal of ‘Kelly Bundy’ on “Married With Children” and because she’s just so incredibly beautiful.

She is also associated with the only piece of Hollywood gossip from modern times that strikes me as memorable.

I have no idea if this gossip is true. I’ve looked around the web a little and I don’t see the story repeated, but years ago I read and heard this story more than once.

The story—as I’ve read it and heard it—is that Christina Applegate and someone else were with River Phoenix the night he died. The three of them walked out of the Viper Club and River Phoenix collapsed to the sidewalk and began convulsing. Christina Applegate looked down, watched River Phoenix convulsing and thought he was doing some kind of break-dancing schtick, sidewalk dancing. The story is that as River Phoenix died, convulsing on the sidewalk, Christina Applegate got down on the sidewalk next to him, and flopped around herself doing faux break-dancing schtick.

I don’t really care about the background to the story. Drugs or shallowness or stupidity. I don’t care. I’ve always been struck—almost hypnotized—but the simple reality of the story, if in fact it is really true.

Imagine dying, spazing out into the afterlife, while the most beautiful woman of your era flops around next to you, spazes out herself pretending to dance with you...

That’s a pretty cool way to die.

Maybe I’m nuts. I don’t know. But I think that’s a pretty cool way to die.

This puts a weird kind of pressure on me. When I meet women, when I go out, I’m always judging my date not on whether she is smart or sexy or cool or beautiful—I’m searching through my evaluations of her trying to decide if she is or isn’t that just right combination of weird-in-so-many-ways that in some kind of life and death situation she could be counted on to, well, you know, act weird even in the face of the Grim Reaper.

Because that’s what I’m looking for.

I want to know that when the Grim Reaper is standing there—come for me—all grim with his scythe and vulture and all that silence, the woman with me will be just oblivious to the grim and will react in some kind of spazing-into-the-afterlife pretend dancing kind of way.

I don’t know what the details will be. I’m pretty sure for me it won’t be a bad trip outside some club and convulsing on the sidewalk.

But that’s what I’m looking for.

A woman who will just flip her hair to the Grim Reaper and be so sincerely weird that the whole spazing-into-the-after life pretend dancing thing will come off just right.

Like it did for River Phoenix with Christina Applegate, if that story is true.

Everybody dies. Sometimes it turns into something like art. The sports car and scarf thing for Isadora. The sidewalk dancing thing for River Phoenix and Christina Applegate, if that story is true.

That’s what I’m looking for. Death-wise I mean.

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