It started off as just a normal day. I got dressed and went to Publix to buy a canned soup, like every morning. As I turned into the soup aisle I saw someone I recognized staring at the cans of Progresso. At first, I didn’t know how I knew her, but then it clicked: It was Joan Cusack, but like a young Joan Cusack. Like Joan Cusack from Stars and Bars.
Normally I’m not one to approach a celebrity, but the curiosity of seeing a mid-20's Joan Cusack in the soup aisle of a Kendall Publix got the better of me, especially since as far as I’m aware she doesn’t even live in Miami. So I approached and asked, "Hey, aren’t you Joan Cusack, but like Joan Cusack from Stars and Bars?" She seemed flattered but said that no, she was actually Joan Cusack from Married to the Mob. I asked her how she looked so young, since I’d seen her in School of Rock and she definitely looked older than 26 in that, and that movie is at least 7 years old (Editors Note: School of Rock came out in 2003), and whether she came via time travel or if she was just getting progressively younger. She just smiled and gave that classic Joan Cusack shrug that made her so famous. I was in love.
So we got to talking. She regaled me with childhood stories about growing up with John. I joked about how cruel her parents must have been to go with a John/Joan naming scheme. She told me all sorts of onset stories about what it was like working with John Hughes. I told her what a great job she was going to do in Working Girl. The minutes we spent together felt like hours and before I knew it we were in each other’s young supple arms. We made love up against a wall of Campbell's Soup. Minestrone cans fell to the floor. A voice called out: “Mommy, what is that man doing to a young Joan Cusack? Is he hurting her?” None of that bothered us. We were in the moment.
It wasn’t until someone threatened to call the cops that young Joan Cusack finally pushed me away. Before I knew it she was running away from the aisle and away from my life. I understood, of course. She had her career to worry about. But I can’t help but miss her all the same. Now, every morning when I go to Publix I find myself lingering in the soup aisle for just a few seconds longer, hoping to run into young Joan Cusack again. But I never do. Day after day I check, but the aisle remains empty. Modern-day Susan Sarandon is there occasionally, but its not the same. Such is life.
By Marcos Garcia of Villain Theater