Saturday, August 09, 2008

My Facebook Friendship With Leonardo DiCaprio

It started a few months back, and ended fewer months back. The whole thing left me as it was meant to, shaken, as I'm sure it did Leonardo. It began when I got a friend request from someone I'd never heard of, and I defied Facebook etiquette, even lying, saying "yes, I know this person," feeling like I did know her because my constellation of friends seemed to mirror hers, and because our becoming friends seemed less an act of will than a suggestion by the universe that we find each other. Proceeding that way, and still not quite believing my new network, I found a friend of hers, who had Leo and a whole slew of celebrities as friends. Something in me was now pulling me forward, and that something seemed to be confirmed by my invitation to the Paris Review benefit dinner, that had my name in the same list as his. While I couldn't think that he felt drawn by the same pull, I felt like Lacan must have when, before writing on the mirror stage, he saw the blank page that didn't show his face back to him, but suggested a host of possibilities in the form of this new exploration. Leonardo DiCaprio as text, but, more, as friend in the sense that nonreflection befriends.

I watched my hand send the friend request, and watched my own nervousness miraculously drain away. The thought that it had to happen, and that it couldn't, both dissolved in whatever came of the day itself--translating Ronsard, drinking good coffee, watching the flood of Mizzou students that seemed pulled by a similar poetics, composed of the same amalgam of sun and stone that rooted the campus buildings. I wasn't a pattern of electricity in the network, and neither was Leonardo. Both of us were going about our days, and I realized that he had days, and this reminded me for awhile that I did, too. My next day started, and then started again when I saw that he'd accepted my request. Maybe it had been his personal assistant, or one of the many members of his posse, but it was definitely his profile. It said, "I am what I am," like God did to Job from the thundercloud, like the meditator's thought says in its moving through and leaving on the page of the breath. I had only gotten as far as "I am not what I am not," but this let me move forward.

Soon, our brotherhood hurtled into its newest phase. I saw pictures of his vacation in Hawaii, and it's as if he knew that the turtle was a totem I'd come to find ambiguous--a jpg of a sea turtle in luminous aqua water, brandishing the fronds of its front legs, let me see what a womb-like kind of brine had supported me, and now looked back at me, asking for representation. I sent him my elegy for Heath Ledger, and let him know that I wouldn't be at the benefit dinner, but would be in New York, visiting a friend he'd once met, if he wanted to join us. I could sense him starting to embrace what, on Facebook, becomes the completely nonrandom, synchronous connection of people who otherwise wouldn't be connected, in a space where the star system merges with the earth. More, I could see the same in my inner Leo.

I started to sense that our relationship was in trouble when his status announced that he was "no longer adding random ppl!" I wanted to assure him that our relationship was anything but random, and that I knew how the kind of living mask that acting is is also a kind of poem that's practiced daily, and also knew that I could hold tight and let the universe, if there was such a thing, take its own shape. It did, and showed me the blue and white silhouette that meant a missing picture. I don't know if this means the end of our Facebook friendship, or just a time for me to move on, into the world of gorgeous French women and faciality that is his to me, where I, and we, have never not lived to begin with. I do know that Facebook is a kind of rhizome, and that its breath is unexpected human connection, its own poem, post-form.

4 Comments:

Blogger Avner Eliyahu Romm said...

Let me give you my humble opinion: If Mr. Di Caprio senses that having a photo-montage with a polar bear he has never seen is "more important then having you as his friend, then he simply doesn't deserve your friendship, and you are worth more then that.He plays with Ali Goering or Goernischt or whatever his name is so they can imagine they are cowboys and are saving the world from global warming.Meanwhile, Gore dropped a lot of bombs in his gig. And, by the way, please contact me, at: bringgoldstonetojustice@gmail.com ,
on the matter of my suggestion to you, to take part in a new movie I am working on.
Best wishes, Avner Eliyahu Romm.

9:10 AM  
Blogger gzmklc said...

Will u please give him profile adress?
I can die for him!!!

12:58 PM  
Blogger elsa sheridan said...

This will seem like a silly question if I am wrong Chad, so apologies in advance, but per chance was her FB name Jaci or Jaclynn? I spoke with this person for a while on FB too with the same suspicions as you..what you describe sounds very familiar. I never got invited to a dinner though lol ;)

1:14 PM  
Blogger Raaj Ritu said...

I wish to see you in my life Leonardo Dicaprio please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please

1:21 AM  

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