If I Were Javier Bardem…


I’d have chiseled, masculine features, for one thing.

I’d be suave.

I could unbutton my shirt a few extra buttons and no one could say anything.

And I’d look great in a suit.

If I were Javier Bardem, I could have you. I’d wrap you around my finger. I’d buy you a gin and tonic with top-shelf gin. I’d be able to afford it with what they paid me for that James Bond movie. I’d buy you five, though I wouldn’t need to. My charming accent would be sufficiently intoxicating.

I’d be outgoing, sociable. It’d be easy.

I’d have an impressive resume ranging a variety of roles, each of which tinged with the care and nuance that only I can provide. I’d be on a first name basis with Woody Allen, John Malkovich, and the Coen brothers. But I wouldn’t brag about it. I wouldn’t even mention it. And if you mentioned it, I’d humor you, graciously, and change the subject. I wouldn’t need the fanfare. Well, I would, but I wouldn’t want you to know that I would.

I’d be humble because I could afford to be.

I’d talk to you for three minutes and you’d fall in love with me. You wouldn’t have a choice. I’d have things to say too. I wouldn’t be one of those vapid hollywood whores who compensates for his milquetoast with perfect teeth and a powerful jawbone. I’d have those things, but I’d also have things to say. I’d tell you that Spain produces 44 percent of the world’s olive oil and that we invented the mop. I’d smile and you’d laugh on cue. I’d tell you how AC/DC helped me learn English. I’d tell you about how I was raised Catholic and how it made me an atheist. I’d tell you how fame is uncomfortable for me–this would sound self-serving, but it’d actually be true. You’d eat it up, regardless. I’d talk ingloriously about my failed career as an artist. I’d make a joke of it. You’d tell me acting is an art and we’d kiss.

I’d be impressive, and you’d overlook my shortcomings. You’d watch Eat, Pray, Love when you got home and you’d feel lucky.

If I were Javier Bardem, I’d be able to keep you. I’d want to. I wouldn’t have to think about it. I’d be so much more than a pretty face. I’d engage. I’d ask you questions and care about the answer. I’d open up even if it terrified me because if I were Javier Bardem, I’d know that where there’s no potential for pain, there’s no potential for love. I’d use that word without italics if I were Javier Bardem. And I’d know what I meant when I said it. And you’d believe me when I said it–not because you’d worship the ground I walk on, but because you’d have seen the real Javier, not the Javier with scripted lines and a hair/makeup team, but the petty Javier; the vain Javier; the Javier who checks facebook incessantly, but wants you to think he doesn’t; the Javier who takes his coffee black because it’s good for his image;  the Javier who watches his own films regularly, not as an exercise, but because seeing himself on screen is better than sex; the Javier who clears his browser history daily; the Javier who consults a thesaurus for text messages; the Javier whose anxiety causes erectile dysfunction; the Javier who stews with quiet, irrational anger–the kind that breeds hatred for close friends; the Javier who doesn’t have any close friends (not anymore, anyway); the Javier who, quite often, prefers to be alone.

I’d let you into my world and you’d adore me for it. You’d forget about my Golden Globe and my Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

I’d forget about my masculine, chiseled features and how good I look in a suit. Well, not really. It’d matter way less, though.

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