Woody is my best friend. He’s seen me through a broken heart and a broken toe. About a month or so into living together, I left a burner on overnight and nearly gassed us to death. Not only did he forgive me for it but he covered it up to the authorities, blaming the incident on faulty wiring. (Our hospice neighbor called the fire department. When they came to the door, I was too groggy to move so I just waved from my bed.)
In The Spring of 2006, Woody proposed The Initiative. Its premise was simple: I was tired of incestuous intra-MFA dating. I wanted a boyfriend. The Initiative showed immediate promise because we modeled it after the top-secret government research project on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 4. You know, when Riley is capturing “hostiles” and experimenting on them in the name of Science?
Actually, our Initiative had very little to do with vampire rehabilitation or the construction of a robotic Meta Human. Our target was simple: a dog walking actor who frequented my local coffee shop and carried plastic baggies of cheese in his pockets. Woody contributed light reconnaissance work and a healthy dose of wing man.
The point of this embarrassing, embarrassing story is that The Initiative worked. (Well, for awhile at least. It folded on Buffy, too, which I didn’t know.)
The time has come for me to repay the favor.
So far, this is the only extant picture, and thus proof, of my Sunday night bartending shift with Woody (also known as The WB–Woody and Becca). I appear to have a Poltergeist arm that can spin around and pour beer on its own. We also look a bit like a daguerreotype. Like we got suckered into taking one of those souvenir sepia photos at The State Fair.
I have always enjoyed betting. On anything. With unfavorable odds. Apparently so does Woody. In a besodden moment of bravado, the Wild Bill Hickcock to my saucy saloon girl bet our good friend John that he could get Mary Louise Parker into the bar. In under two weeks. Woody doesn’t even know Mary Louise Parker. It’s like me betting that I can call up Michael Ondaatje and say, “Hey! We’ve got a new session beer on tap you might like.” Wait a second…
The bet, recorded in The Pacific Standard wager book, involves a ridiculous and chaffing outcome for the loser. Yes, chafing.
That’s why Woody needs The Initiative II. I’ve decided to bring him Mary Louise. The first step is calling her Mary Louise.
I’ve drawn a Van diagram to better illustrate all confirmed Woody/Mary Louise intersection. Actually, I’ve just drawn a bunch of circles. Is that a Van diagram? It would be quite funny and hipster to draw Vans, lots of connected sneakers, but I’m no artist.
For those of you more responsive to bullet points:
*Woody worked at The Oscar Wilde Bookstore. The owner of The Oscar Wilde lives in Mary Louise’s building.
*My Poet is known to be one of Mary Louise’s favorite writers.
*I am now friends with a woman who went to High School with Mary Louise. She has shown me shoebox photos of the two of them making dramatic, Angela Chase-like poses in mall parking lots. (That was really insensitive since Claire Danes played Angela–sorry ML!) They haven’t spoken in three or four years.
*I worked at The Actor’s Playhouse. Mary Louise came to see Gutenberg! The Musical! She bought a bottled water from Concessions and tipped. Unfortunately, I was not there that night.
Ahem, so, as you can see, Woody has been casting a wide net with big holes. But the clock is ticking. And, to complicate matters further, over the weekend Mary Louise adopted a baby girl from Africa. It’s hard enough getting my friends who don’t have babies to come to Brooklyn.
Anyone out there know Mary Louise and want to invite her for a drink? It’s on the house.