"Angela. It's Rayanne," I twirl a DayGlo braid knot just outside of my cell phone. "We need to go now. I totally need to stop and get an abortion on our way to the Frozen Embryos concert. I kinda got knocked up last night."
"Omigod. Was it Jordan Catalano?" she whimpers.
"Yeah. But we did it in the car so it doesn't mean anything."
"I don't know if I can be friends with you now," she sways her bob from a few blocks away. "This totally changes everything."
"No it doesn't! I'll clean it out, re-braid my hair, huff a can of paint and we'll pretend it never happened!" I snort it all away.
"OK! Can I bring Rickie?"
More than a decade after the flannel-draped cultural blip of My So-Called Life, those of us too lazy to graduate to Gilmore Girls are still role-playing Angela Chase and Rayanne Graff along the path to obscurity, or a bar. You don't know who they were? Pity. For they were everything (and nothing); the tear-soaked polar opposites of the giant teenage philosophical maxi-pad, doomed to network cancellation because they were too amazing and nobody really understood, and stuff. Jordan Catalano, the hot red spotting in the middle, was a fop of few words.
But so-called lives have given way to bloated lives and Jared Leto (aka Jordan!) has gone on to lose limbs and face in any number of big Hollywood roles. The so-called signature, "Why are you like that?" is now answering itself with a "because I suck and nobody likes me." God knows I don't.
A few years ago, I had the stalker opportunity to interview Leto over the phone. The caveat was that I was not to ask about his acting career, namely as my backseat boyfriend Jordan Catalano, and that I had to ask him only questions about his band, 30 Seconds to Mars (akin to interviewing Scott Baio about his painting career). As legend would have it, I overstepped the line and drew some stammered hems and haws when I tried to fuck him over the phone. I, you should know, was just doing my job. By the time the column was published, I received a mysterious e-mail from a "Jared Leto" that called me "pathetic." Duh.
My friends Anna (Angela) and Eddie (Rickie) are onboard for what I'm scripting as a dramatic confrontation this evening. Leto is set to do an in-store at Park Ave CDs on Corinne Drive prior to his band's "sold-out" performance at the Hard Rock Live, and, short of being pregnant with his child, I can't think of a better way to confront him.
"Angela, I think the abortion took. Let's go! Now!" I belch as we toss back a pre-show tequila shot at the Peacock Room.
"Omigod. We're going to miss the Frozen Embryos … unplugged!" She loves the '90s.
Presumably because I'm me, or at least because I think "me" means something, we're allowed early entry into the record store, while the others — a motley crew of 75 or so deceptively flawed people — have to wait outside. In between girlish giggles, we attempt to immerse ourselves in our own flawed characters by thumbing through the bins for Juliana Hatfield (the Christmas episode!) and Buffalo Tom (the concert episode!) points of reference.
"God, if he doesn't hurry up, I'm so going to overdose in the bathtub," I Rayanne.
Within moments, he appears like Rex Manning, and we're beginning to have trouble discerning our Empire Records moments from our So-Called ones. Guitarist in tow, he quickly attempts a sound check, because obviously everybody's here for the music. A few strums of an old Police song and he's already complaining.
"There's not much sustain," he knobs.
No, there isn't. Jared's put on weight, reportedly for an upcoming film. In order to disguise his bloat, he's sporting both a black baseball cap and a black hoodie, hood up ("I'm so cold," he fools no one). His supertight black jeans reveal not much of a package, and frankly, I'm considering cancellation myself. In a bathtub.
"He's a grower, not a shower," Anna dreams.
He's not growing on me. Jared decides that he's kind of in tune, and throws a stare in my direction. "I guess we're ready … if these three are," he rolls his unfortunate eyes.
"Frozen Embryos," I mouth, deliberately, rolling my big perfect eyes.
What follows is a small study in tragedy: horrible MOR, one nail heavier than Christian rock and one nail shy of nine inches. A packed scattering of devotees snaps pictures and pretends to sing along while Leto does his best impression of Rick Springfield, only more affected. Random onstage chatter ranges from a discussion of pubic hair to a discussion of prophylactics, all littered with more cred knee-jerkery like "Fuck yeah!" and "Shit yeah!"
"Anybody have any requests?" Leto projects an insignificant echo over the short bus audience.
And here's where we do our bit.
"‘Red'!" Anna demands the Embryos song that Angela thought was about her, but was actually about Jordan's car. Or something. I write "Frozen Embryos" on my pad and hold it up next to her face. She blushes, he stares angrily and we've completed our mission.
"Whose car did you and Jordan do it in?" Anna grills me on our way out the door. "It wasn't Jordan's, because it wasn't red."
"I don't know. It must have been Tino's," I wipe my nose. "I'm just glad the abortion took."firstname.lastname@example.org