It’s the end of February in 2009 and my friend Brian and I have been planning a little Oscar party to have. These are a big deal in LA, it’s kind of like a Royal Wedding, a Melbourne Cup and Eurovision all rolled into one.
And you have to gather your friends for it, vote on it, see how many you got right. Fantasy league for the fantasy industry.
So we decide to go and hit the bars the night before the Oscars to just, you know, hang out.
It’s then that we meet David for the first time. David is straight off the boat from Fort Lauderdale and has moved to LA to become a screenwriter. He is also the sexiest man I have seen in quite some time. I begin chatting this guy up so hard I injure my teeth.
He’s a sweetie, he’s new, he’s having a blast so far, living with his best friend. He’s got some great ideas for films. I think he’s actually going to be a great writer. Maybe as great a writer as I’m imagining how great a naked person he would be. We seem to really hit it off and when he goes to the bar to get another round of drinks, Brian closes in for some cheerleading.
Brian: You have got to close this deal, Karl.
Me: I’m trying mate, I’m trying. But I just don’t think he’s that into me.
Brian: Are you kidding? He’s engrossed.
Me: Oh yeah, the conversation’s great, but I think I took a wrong turn and I’ve entered the friend zone.
Brian virulently shakes his head.
Brian: You can do this. Here he comes.
David’s back with drinks and the conversation continues. So we talk and talk away. And as much as I try to push the thought out, I’m back in the chair in front of Claire in Sydney.
Claire is a psychic that I went to see in Sydney before I moved to LA. I wouldn’t say that I moved to the States because she told me to, but she confirmed the boldest plan that I had in my head hatched, but that I didn’t have the balls to carry out.
And when it came to my love life, she was very much of one mind. Claire insisted that I was going to meet a writer. Absolutely. A writer. It’s going to be a writer.
I’ve been read by Claire every time I go back to Australia, once a year basically since I moved here in the first place and she has been on it every time. Writer, writer, writer. The one caveat though: he’s not going to be the same type of writer that I am.
In my heart I know that this means he won’t be a screenwriter, but I push that to one side. You don’t meet any other kinds of writers here in LA.
So there I am back in the bar in LA, thinking this might be the guy that Claire told me about. Brian’s on the side doing cheers with pom poms and I’m wondering when the best time is to put the hard word on.
Then Michael walks in. Michael Babin I have written about before here on these pages. He’s a great mate who took me to his home town of New Orleans and we ripped it up one Halloween there. He’s a lovely kind of man and a true friend and we have a big hug as he comes over to say hi.
Michael: Hey bubba, who’s your friend?
I turn to introduce David only he’s hard to see because of the stars circling his head and the glow he is exuding from every pore. I look back at Michael who’s looking at David. Stars, glow. That will be the look I’ve been waiting for.
I introduced the two of them, but I doubt that either of them heard me because I had literally just evaporated. The three of us continue talking but I’m definitely on the outer. And sadly, had to admit defeat.
Michael even pulls me to one side, he feels weird about it, I was talking to David first and Michael and I are friends, but you have to take one for the team sometimes and step off the field. So I tell Michael to go for it and slide to where Brian’s standing.
This scenario kind of brings out everything about myself that I don’t like; I’m into bears, I don’t look like a bear, bears like bears, they don’t like me and I follow this train of thought to the logical conclusion where I die like Orson Welles in a castle in the Hollywood Hills in Citizen Kane whispering, “Rose-bear.”
Brian and I clink glasses and I think about tomorrow night instead. Oscar party, that’s going to be a blast.
And fade up on a new day where I wake up, feel mildly better and get a few things before driving over Brian’s. Then Brian calls me.
Brian: Dude, you invited David today.
Me: Oh yeah, is he coming?
Brian: He’s here.
Me: Oh, cool.
Brian: With Michael.
Me: Michael was going to a different party.
Brian: Someone stayed for breakfast. Mmm-kay…
I park outside Brian’s, take a deep breath and walk inside. And there are my old friend and new friend who are now best friends on the couch together, breathless and stuck together, all smiles. Deep breath in and, … Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhck.
This is going to be a long party. Brian’s kind of hilarious, every one of his eyebrow moves contains a million messages and despite the fact that I feel like crap, Bri keeps me laughing though out the day. I mean, really what are you going to do?
So with one eye on the screen and one eye on the love story on the couch, I spend the day watching people trying to thank the world in 45 seconds before they get played off.
Announcer: And the winner for best non-bear in a supporting role goes to… Karl Dunn!
I ascend the stage, collect trophy, wave to the audience. The applause dies down…
Me: Well, I’d like to thank the Academy, but I knew I was going to win this. It’s no surprise at all. None. I think this is my third or fourth statue now. I’d like to that my friend Brian who keeps me smiling, couldn’t do it without you. And I’d like to dedicate this statue to everyone out there who walks around all day feeling like they don’t fit in. Who spends their days looking through the windows and never being inside. Who likes themselves, but wishes that they looked totally different. Who’s tired of being invisible. Who has so much love to give and nowhere to put it.
This one is for you.