Anywhere But Here: Middle School Edition

Fridays often give me a big case of the Anywhere But Here’s. Here’s one I thought of while wishing my day would fly by a little faster. 

This is a real life anywhere but here I had when I was like 13. If we are of the same generation, it is likely you also had a Leonardo Dicaprio crush when you were in middle school, starting after Titanic’s release (if not before). This was my first real celeb crush. Never before had I needed posters of boys on my wall although I did occasionally gaze at photos Jonathon Taylor Thomas in Tiger Beat.

But this was serious. I watched Titanic five times in theaters (well, one was a drive in but it counts too). I pre-ordered the two VHS set from Blockbuster. It was love.

Of course, around this same time I also was daydreaming about being a full fledged grown up and all that might incur. Like driving. So imagine a beautiful summer’s day. I’m in California, Los Angeles, in fact. I’m driving a too-cute convertible through the worst traffic jam in the history of mankind. I’m pissed. I’m probably going to miss an appointment for work because I’m a hotshot something. Who cares what. It looks like it’s going to be hours so people start getting out of there cars, leaning or milling about. I am in the far right lane which is going no where fast. I notice the man to my left, who would be going the opposite direction if we were going anywhere, is staring at me. Who is it but Leo, my one true love?! We are the same age, of course, because I am an adult now and have finally gotten boobs.

After a lengthy conversation during the world’s worst traffic jam, the cars start to move. I let him pull a U-turn in front of me so I can follow him to a restaurant where all celebrities go. After dinner we sit on the car at the top of a hill that is always in movies about LA where we can look out over the city as if we were looking at the stars.

It won’t be long before he asks me to move into his million dollar mansion on the beach. Oh, the good life.

Anywhere But Here

Today I had a case of the anywhere but here’s. Are you familiar with this? If you have a job, then I’m sure you are. So earlier today, as I thought about where I’d rather be than doing than formatting, I started reminiscing about some of my past life fantasies. Perhaps it will help pass the week for you a little too.

So the fantasy is set in NYC. Imagine a day in early fall when you are still eager to pull out a warm sweater and knit cap but barely need them. My days are hectic. I get up early to catch the subway to Random House Publishing House. I’m the receptionist there (my fantasy starts semi-realistic) but have already established myself as a hardworking go-getter, who spends her spare time reading the slush pile (unsolicited manuscripts that no one else has time to read) and writing notes for those bottom-of-the-rung assistant editors. I read in my spare time at work and at home. In this fantasy, I have enormous amounts of time to spare although I am always running around frantically in the way New Yorkers always seem to do.

I have a second job, because how else do you survive in the Big Apple? My second job is manning the front desk and cleaning studios at the dance school you see in the movie Center Stage. Not the American Ballet Academy, but the one Jody isn’t supposed to be attending. The fun one. I take dance classes for free there and am extremely fit and sexy (duh).

After discovering new and exciting works of literature and dancing myself silly, I audit classes at Columbia or NYU (or both perhaps?). I audit creative writing classes and write all the time. Once, on my way to a reading at the 92nd Y, I run smack into James Franco. He taking some of the same classes and we chat about writing styles and our favorite authors. He invites me to a reading by Joyce Carol Oates.

This was before I read James Franco’s poem about Obama- read here. If you have ever been enchanted by him, this may hurt that a little.

All my fantasy days in NYC start to swirl together, filled with run-ins with famous authors and poets. It is always autumn and I am always writing, getting better, getting closer to the dream of being reviewed in the New York Times Book Review.

Oh, sweet dreams.


More “Anywhere But Here” fantasies soon to come. Image