I was looking for worthless things to ask for for a secret Santa thing and I came upon a director’s chair which sparked a memory. And since it felt like something worth more than a couple hundreds characters, here we are…
I’m kinda fat. There’s no real way of masking this especially in this Zoom call filled reality. Bless the normies who aren’t used to working remotely and who peer pressure everyone else into being cameras on when we could be, at any time, quietly eating cereal at our desks. Anyway, fat! I’ve been this way most of my life so I’m used to it. Doesn’t mean I’m happy with it, but moving around a bit as a kid with a little extra junk in my trunk certainly helped me learn to accept it and not let it define me. Which kinda weirds people out sometimes. Which I sort of love. Anyway, I don’t know how to really turn me off so I’m self-deprecating about it. The literal elephant in the room.
Back to the story: I’m at the Roxy Hotel a few years ago during Tribeca and I’m about to walk into an interview with Matt Smith, the former Doctor Who and The Crown star who was promoting his turn in a Robert Mapplethorpe biopic. It was going to be a quick one but I had composed my thoughts and I was ready to go. When they lead me into the room, though, I was confronted with a fat person’s worst nightmare — an obviously breakable chair. In this case, a cloth director’s chair. Now, I am always aware of where I’m about to plant my great big ass. What’s it made of? What does it look like it can hold? This is the internal calculus at play before I take a leap of faith and lower myself down. And while I’ll sometimes roll the dice, this wasn’t one of those times.
This all may sound like an awkward moment, and If I’d overthought it, I suppose it would have been, but the mouth ran all stop lights and after saying the word “hello” the following statement rolled out of my face: “Oh I will absolutely destroy that chair.” And I would have, possibly causing me to fall on and flatten Matt Smith, a treasure to audiences on at least two continents. But here’s the point: the publicist sort of froze for a split second and Matt Smith, the goddamn Doctor, sprung from his seat and looked around the room telling me he’d find me a suitable chair. In the midst of a press tour and a parade of impersonal half conversations, Matt Smith demonstrated a touch of class and empathy for a fat guy just looking to first do no harm to a seat. Anyway, seeing a cloth director’s chair on a gift guide sparked this. And though I’ve lost about 30 pounds since that day, I’m not gonna roll the dice on this one either.