I wanted to catch some rays on my day off so I grabbed my water shoes and speedo and headed to the beach. As I sat humbly before the sea, I started thinking about a TEDTalk I’d recently seen about dark energy, which said that even empty space has energy. So how much energy exists in crowded spaces, I wondered, and can we even handle this overload or is the world bursting at its seams and about to EXPLODE?! (Woody put these thoughts in my head place.) I looked forward to pondering this further until it happened. Well they happened. This family, the only other humans occupying the small piece of beach I’d just claimed minutes before by sticking a small American flag in the sand by my Spider-Man towel. This stupid, stupid family who was now wading in the shallowest depths of the beautiful sea.
MOM IN STUPID ONE PIECE SWIMSUIT
Leave it alone!
DAD IN STUPID JEAN SHORTS shakes an iPhone.
MOM IN STUPID ONE PIECE SWIMSUIT
Honey! Listen to me!! Why aren’t you listening to me???!!!
Dad In Stupid Jhorts shakes it harder.
SON IN STUPID SPEEDO
It’s like you’re invisible Mom. Ha.
(quietly under my breath)
Cell phone. In. Water. Stupid. Americans. Can’t. Handle. It.
Dad In Stupid Jhorts drops the cell phone in the water mid-shake. It sinks, never to be seen again. Then:
MOM IN ONE PIECE SWIMSUIT
Why did you drop it in the water you stupid, stupid man?! We could’ve gotten it fixed!!
I felt trapped in this awful moment. Kind of like Rapunzel who was stuck in that f-ing tower waiting for life to begin, except I didn’t have a handsome prince who was coming to save me. But my mom has brainwashed me with that Secret shit (both the book and the movie), so I decided to shut my eyes and let the positive thoughts flow in a desperate attempt to communicate with the universe: “Get me out of here. Preferably via an animated dragon like in How To Train Your Dragon. And preferably one that has a handsome prince on it. And by handsome prince I mean Ryan Gosling.”
And then, dear reader(s), the impossible happened. I spoke to the universe and it talked back. The wind started picking up, creating faint ripples in the sea.
Mom In Stupid One Piece Swimsuit inched slowly toward Dad In Stupid Jhorts, as if the husband she just seriously insulted was going to save her from tornado-like winds.
And then I saw it.
A purplish spot in the sky was rushing toward me, growing bigger as each second passed by. Before I knew it, an animated purple and red dragon was standing right in front of me, puffing air out of its nostrils that smelled like one dozen red velvet cupcakes.
“Hop on,” a deep voice said.
I looked up, and poking his head out from behind the dragon’s was…ellipsis for dramatic effect…Ryan Gosling. Alan Bosley from Remember the Titans was talking to ME. In one motion he picked me up by the arm, swung me onto the dragon’s back, and then took off, leaving the stupid family gripping one another down below, gaping at the magical sight unfolding before their obnoxious American eyes.
Considering it’s pretty damn noisy whilst riding on a dragon’s back (Whodathunkit?!), Ryan couldn’t hear me as I yelled to him that I’d forgotten my beloved Spidey towel on the beach. I eventually gave up and clutched him tighter as we seemed to be preparing for an impromptu landing on the roof of a nearby castle. Before me lay a Spider-Man blanket covered in mountains of red velvet cupcakes. I should’ve known. Heaven, in this moment, became just a little more tangible.
Ryan gestured toward the blanket, silently ushering me to take a seat. I did, and he did, too. He picked up a cupcake and pulled back the wrapper slowly. He brought it close to my face and I took a bite, but not before getting the slightest dab of icing on my nose. I giggled a Woody Allen giggle, e.g., the innocent schoolgirl kind. As I finished the cupcake, Ryan looked down. He had something on his mind.
He looked up.
“I know the secret to everything incomprehensible in all of human existence,” he said. “And I want to share it with you.”
Then he leaned it and told me the secret to the world. And in that moment, on the roof of a castle in France with Ryan Gosling, a.k.a Alan Bosley, with a purple and red dragon hovering idly by, my life was complete because I, too, now knew the secret to the world.
As he gestured toward the dragon, I knew it was time for me to go. What else was there to discuss when we both knew, well, everything? I felt forever in debt to him so I was compelled to give him something in return. I looked down at my wrist, slowly removed my Velcro Spider-Man watch, and placed it in his hands. He stared back at me silently, but his eyes said, “Thank you. You beautiful, beautiful human being.” I smiled back.
As I walked back to my hotel that night, dragon escort trailing safely behind (Ryan INSISTED I take him with me for “protection.” He’s such a worrywart.) I wondered if he was still looking at the watch I’d given him, turning it in his hands like he was doing after we said goodbye. Because, in truth, what else would he have been doing?
It’s one helluva watch, belonging to the only two people who know the secret to the world.
NEXT UP: The Cannes Experience I Didn’t Have: The Final Chapter (a.k.a, The Return of Woody and the Neck Pillow Douchebag)