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Simon's Crushes on Celebrities Come to Fruition

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“Ben”, Simon said, practicing his attempt at confidence by looking straight into Ben’s eyes, “Ben; I will not go to your play.”
Ben stared back.
“No, Ben, I can’t. It’s too embarrassing. I’ll die. I’ll die of terror, and no one will notice because I’ll be skulking around in the back of the theatre like a creepy wraith. Or spectre. A wraith-spectre with a big Jew-nose.”
Ben said nothing but his gaze indicated he was Not Impressed. Either that or he was hungry. Simon couldn’t tell.
“I know you will be radiantly tortured and your beauty will shine through your art and every word you whisper I will strain to hear and it would be so worth it but then I will look at you and I’ll think “Oh god, you’ve met my mother. I came out of her vagina. I called you by your full name and told you your clothes were trendy.” And then I will die sad and alone. No, Ben, it’s best for the both of us if I just stay in tonight.” Met by awkward silence, Simon could no longer even attempt to contain his desperate turmoil. He moved closer to Ben, looking imploringly into his eyes. “Ben. Ben. Please. I want to go. I want to go but what if you spot me and then feel awkward and then I’ll ruin the play. What if I ruin the play? Everyone will hate me. I’ll hate me. What if you hate me? Ben? What if Ben hates me?” as Simon’s hysteria increased, Ben looked progressively more impatient.
“Mrow” said Ben.
“Please don’t hurt me” said Simon. “I’ll go. I’ll go to your play and you will be ethereal, like a skinny Oberon.”
“No, I can’t bring him back here. He won’t want to come here, I’m terrible. Plus, he’s not allowed to meet you. I told him your name was Prince Harry Pinter.”
Ben launched himself bodily at Simon’s face where he was crouched by the bed, at eye level to the cat.
“AUUGH! NO! BEN! I’M SORRY! Claws! No claws! I’m sorry I told Ben Theodore your name was Prince Harry Pinter after Harold Pinter and Prince. Don’t give me cat-AIDS! Please don’t give me cat-AIDS!”


Several hours and an uneventful and extremely awkward time spent hunched in a seat in the dimly lit back of a theatre while gazing longingly and regretfully at the waifish form of Ben Theodore gesturing softly at his character’s lady-love, Simon found himself wondering how to leave the building. Should he leave immediately and pretend he had never shown his face there in shame? Wait a bit and leave later, but risk looking like a creepy stalker? Wait a moderate amount and leave faux-casually and risk running into Ben Theodore and actually being a creepy stalker? As he debated this, a man tapped him on the shoulder.
“Hi” said the man. “Are you, uh, lost?”
Simon (may have) yelped, startled out of his reverie. “Ah! Uh, no. Yes? Hello.”
“You look like Josh Gravan” said Simon, because he had a broken mind-to-mouth filter, and because the man did indeed have clean and shiny hair in waves and a chiseled jaw and very nice eyes and nice-guy good looks much like the singer beloved by mothers across the globe.
“I am Josh Gravan” said Josh Gravan.
Simon was not prepared for that.
“aundj” said Simon.
“Cute” said Josh Gravan.
“Excuse me?” Simon’s mind (and mouth) said. His mind was also saying “Oh my god I am a god-mind. I have placed Josh Gravan here with my god-mind.”
“You looked a bit confused. Have I seen you before? I think I’ve seen you before.”
“Ah, er, yes, I have a.. I had a show. A show.. thing. I was on a show. Before.” Simon stammered, while his mind yelled AHHH. AHHHH. I HAVE SO MUCH POWER.
“Right! I saw you when I was watching it in my hotel room the other night. I knew you looked familiar” Josh was nodding helpfully. “What’s your name again?”
WHAT IS MY NAME Simon’s mind yelled, but he managed to stammer out “Yes, it’s… I’m Simon” after a couple seconds of fear and confusion. “You’re Josh Gravan.”
“Yes”, said Josh Gravan, “that’s my name. You can just call me Josh, if you’d like.”
AQWWHAH said Simon’s mind.
“Yes, alright. Thank you Josh Gravan.”
The singer laughed. He had very beautiful teeth. “You’re a funny guy.”
“Yes! I am. I’m funny; I’m quite funny.” Simon hated himself a little bit.
“So Simon, I’ve been invited to this dinner thing with some of the guys from the show,” the man continued, seemingly oblivious to Simon’s terrible social awkwardness, “did you want to come with?”


Josh Gravan was very pretty. And nice. He was nice and pretty and had the confidence and beautiful teeth of a man who knew what he was doing. In essence, the opposite of Simon. This was weird, because Simon normally fell for guys who were more like him, as in, skinny and sarcastic; but better. Less mean, maybe. Or maybe his type was good-looking artsy men. Or any man who was good-looking and spoke to him rationally or did not resent his rudeness. Or just any man.
“You’re very good at singing. You have a very nice voice.” Simon said over dinner, with Josh sat across the table from him. “Also you are quite attractive, aren’t you?”
Josh laughed again, as if Simon was telling a joke and was not actually just saying things. Poor Josh, thought Simon, poor misguided Josh who does not know what he is getting into. I’m crazy. I’m a crazed man. I’m very anguished right now.
“…have you been doing since you quit the show?” Josh had apparently actually still been attempting a normal conversation with him but he had not realized, Simon realized.
“Me? I’ve been mostly just… writing things. And… visiting family. I wrote a play, it’s not very good. It’s... metaphorical. About eggs. Mostly I just talk to my cat. He attacked me this morning.”
“Ouch. I love cats, but they can be evil, huh?”
“To be fair I was looking at him. He prefers not to be looked at.” Simon responded, though he was unsure why he was defending the devil-creature. Probably because he was very lonely; and the cat was named Ben. Which reminded him how he’d come to be in this situation in the first place. “I’ve got a picture on my phone, if you’d like to see.”
Josh peered at phone. “Gorgeous. What’s his name?”
“Um. Ben.”
“Mmm.” The musician nodded, making a noise of acknowledgment. Simon felt a bit tingly. Suddenly, he felt a breath ghost over the back of his ear.
“I thought he was named… Prince?” a soft voice from behind him inquired. Ben Theodore was standing behind him, and had apparently just arrived to join the group for dinner. Which, of course, thought Simon, of course. My god-mind is too powerful. It must be stopped. Did I do this? I’ve done this. With my god-mind. With great power comes great responsibility and now we’re all going to die.
“Ah.” said Simon, mind screaming AAHHHHHHHHHHHH in anguish, “Hello Ben Theodore. Um. Yes.” AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH it was still screaming, anguished. “ Actually, about that. I should explain.” He did not know how to explain. “I don’t know how to explain.”
“Your cat’s name is Prince?” asked Josh, peering thoughtfully at Ben.
“No,” Simon moaned, “He’s Ben.”
Real Ben was silent (oh god, I’ve broken him, thought Simon. He is fragile and beautiful and I’ve broken him with my callous ways), and Josh continued to look contemplative while Simon’s past and current regrets hit him in the face. He hid his face with his hands.
“Is he named after this Ben?” Josh asked with an unreadable tone, pointing at Ben Theodore.
“Is your cat… named after me?” Ben murmured, bringing a hand gently to his neck and cocking his head slowly.
Simon was going to die alone and unloved. He was going to hell. He was going to get cat-AIDS, and die, and go to hell. “Yes. I’m sorry.”
“Oh.” said Josh Gravan.
“Oh.” said Ben Theodore. “Um.”
“I’ll leave now” said Simon, getting out of his chair.
“No, wait,” Josh grabbed his arm, stopping him at a half-standing position with his butt hovering awkwardly above the seat, then turned to Ben; “are you free tonight Ben?”
“I’m, um… I think I might… be free” Ben was mumbling.
“Well,” said Josh Gravan, looking at both Simon and Ben, “I’m very open-minded”.
He was.