A Short Story by Du Kirpalani
Every four years, the movie star Johnny Depp gives back to his fans and selects one young man to mentor. Not to be an actor, singer, or canvas for tattoos, but to be ‘Beautiful’. I was lucky enough to be Johnny Depp’s second student. The previous man, I hear exploded from too much beauty and is now a distant planet.
It was a Tuesday morning. I arrived at his stunningly gorgeous villa. I walked towards the front door, my heart smiled like a Beverly Hills dentist. DING DONG. I rang the grandiose doorbell. Everything felt right, but there was no answer. Seven cigarettes later, I summoned the courage to ring the doorbell again. I press it ever so gently, as if I had any control over its volume. Thirty seven minutes later, I seriously needed the bathroom. This was getting a bit much. Perhaps the doorbell was being muffled by all the Handsome that was waiting for me inside.
My bladder couldn’t take it anymore. I turned around to look for a plant to triumphantly piss on, and there he was… Johnny Depp. He had been standing behind me in all his beauty the entire time. Now I’m not a man into men, however Johnny Depp is a classic beauty. If Johnny was a car, he’d make other cars feel beautiful just for driving in the lane beside him. His angelic face stared right though my soul and then in his poetic deep voice, he uttered, “Are you going to urinate in my garden?”
I responded, “Of course not Mr. Depp.” But I hadn’t peed in hours and I just drank an entire bottle of Smart Water. Those skinny bottles can be deceiving. Johnny curved a blessing smile and replied, “I’m not letting you inside just yet.” he continued, “From true vulnerability, beauty is born.”
I didn’t understand what this had to do with my peeing. Johnny then placed his hand on my shoulder and silently said, “Psssssssssss.” Two seconds later, my bladder let loose. As the warm urine leaked through my socks, Johnny added, “A man is at his most vulnerable when he is peeing in the presence of an actor. Therefore your journey to true beauty has now begun.”
It made complete sense. Johnny snatched back his hand from my shoulder and then embraced me. A little pee trickled on his left boot.
Moments later, Johnny held his hand to his front door and it magically creaked open. The collection of warm colors, textures and furniture sucked me right in. It was as if gypsies and Zen monks had agreed on the same interior decorator. “Who designed this place?” I asked. “Never mind that, my friend, how about taking a shower before your wee-wee begins to create a fowl stench.” Johnny then flipped his perfect hair and directed me to the nearest bathroom. Twenty two minutes later, I showered, put on a fresh change of clothes and together we went grocery shopping.
At the local farmer’s market, Johnny whistled the theme song of Mr. Belvedere. “What are we doing here?” I asked. “We’re buying all the eggs.” Johnny replied. That’s right, we loaded one hundred and twenty give dozen eggs into Johnny’s Mercedes jeep and with one salute to the manager, our wholesale purchase of eggs was made. I learned that Johnny owned a small share of this particular farmer’s market. (Just the eggs aisle.)
At Johnny’s private vineyard; Depp Wines in Santa Barbara. There was a hot tub bang in the middle of the vineyard and Johnny quietly said, “My dear man, both compliments and insults must roll off your back as if they were the one and the same.” I agreed and then took off my shirt.
This hot tub however, was not meant for bubbling our troubles away, but being soft boiled with the three hundred dozen eggs. It was the egg cleansing ritual to teach me that compliments and insults should have no effect on my inner beauty. Also chicken eggs to Johnny were the sexiest beings on earth. Johnny sprinkled some salt in the tub and added that salt raises the boiling temperature. I explained that the tub doesn’t even reach boiling temperature, so the salt doesn’t do anything. Johnny smiled. He then called me, “Beautiful.” I blushed and shooed his compliment away like a little girl. “You failed on that compliment. Simmer in this egg tub for three more hours.” barked Johnny. Feeling safe with him, I took a nap.
Hours later, I awoke to Johnny Depp’s menacing yet heroic cries. I jumped out of the tub and saw Johnny lizard running, as he does, around a two story tall replica of the Eiffel tower. Did he need my help? Was my helping him meant to be an elaborate way to help myself? And how did he look so good even when he’s trying to look stupid? I jumped out of the hot tub and chased after him. “Johnny! Johnny!” I called out. He was a fast runner, but the beauty inside gave me strength. He screamed, “I can’t stop running until you tackle me to the ground!” So I tackled him to the ground like an NFL point guard. “Are you okay?” I asked. Johnny confessed that he needed help. Already feeling twice as beautiful, I said, “Just name it man. Name it.”
Johnny wanted me to play Superman while he re-enacted Lex Luthor from the Tim Burton remake of the Superman movie that was never made. “How is that going to help either of us?” I asked. “It’s simple.” He replied. “One, I’ve never based a character on a newly promoted TSA officer before and two, you flying will be your final test of beauty.” I replied, “Dude, but that’s a Tim Burton movie and it never happened. Tim Burton would have used wires and ropes. Also, Tim Burton isn’t…” He covered my mouth and his shoulders sank in defeat. “Oh you’ve done it now.” “Done what?” I asked. “You said Tim Burton three times.” POOF! Then from a cloud of dust, Tim Burton appeared out of nowhere.
Mr. Burton stood there wearing large sunglasses, his student filmmaker hairstyle and a crooked smile. Johnny explained, “When you say Tim Burton three times, he appears out of nowhere and I have to sign a movie contract if I want him to leave.” Tim Burton glanced at me and shrugged, ‘yeah’.
Burton held out a five page document in front of the handsome actor. Without reading a word, Johnny signed it with a scrunched up face. A second later, POOF Tim Burton vanished. I asked Johnny, “What movie did you just sign with that director?” Notice, how I didn’t say Tim Burton even once? Johnny sighed, “It doesn’t matter anymore. After not casting me in Big Fish, that guy can shove it.”
As an apology to Johnny for summoning Tim Burton, I agreed to play Superman. I stuffed a pink towel down the back of my shirt and chased after Johnny singing the John Williams theme song, not the Hans Zimmer one. His theme song sounded more like a hundred dozen drummers. I also didn’t understand why Zod had to be a DJ and use dub step and gravity to destroy the world, but enough about iTunes. Johnny then insisted that I go up the replica of the Eiffel tower and leap from the top. He was crazy, but so good looking and rich, I have to use to the words eccentric and trustworthy. Johnny calmly announced, “Look my dear man, I know it sounds crazy, but you have to be mad. It’s the only way to stay sane in a mad, mad world.”
Johnny then popped open his shirt and revealed a tattoo of a butterfly. Underneath its wings, it read, ‘Beauty is the acceptance to live for a day.’ Once again, Johnny made complete sense and his sun-kissed chest was quite fetching. However, I didn’t want to die beautiful. I wanted to live beautiful. I asked if we could do this on a smaller replica of the Eiffel tower, maybe I could draw one up on the floor. Johnny said, “Just hold my hand and we’ll jump together.” I looked deep into Depp’s eyes. I wanted to trust him, I really did. Johnny sensed my cowardice, bailed on me and took the elevator to the second story all by himself. It tore my insides up, until the elevator got stuck. From my soul I heard Johnny’s cries. “Superman, Superman! Will you save me?”
I knew what I had to do. I then closed my eyes and said, “Tim Burton, Tim Burton, Tim Burton.” Johnny screamed so loud, the honeymooning Pakistani couple in the adjacent vineyard started screaming back. As Tim Burton appeared, I snatched the all-black Superman costume from his arms and put it on as fast as I could. Tim then held out a contract for me to sign. Without looking, I signed it and now will be a featured extra on his next movie. POOF. Tim Burton was gone, but Johnny’s screams continued.
I shut my eyes and as love, fear, power, anger, courage entered my soul I felt a wind gather beneath my feet. A heart beat later, I began to take off. It was a miracle. The wind in my face, I was an unstoppable force of beauty. A pigeon then crashed into my face and died. After shaking his feathers off, I went back to being beautiful and saved my mentor of beauty, Johnny Depp.
Johnny summed up his lesson. “So you see, we are all miracles of beauty waiting to embrace ourselves.” I wanted to heighten this moment of beauty, but I didn’t feel like peeing in my pants again. As Johnny and I said our goodbyes with a hug and two perfect hair flips. Together or apart, we were poetry in motion.
You may want to stay at home in the summer of 2019. That will be the year Tim Burton’s Aquaman will release in theaters and Johnny Depp will reluctantly play Aquaman’s evil step brother.
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