No. 7: 🕺🏻📸🫂
Your first TV show stars Luke Perry. You’ve never heard of Luke Perry, but you like him from the moment you meet at your first table read. His dimpled smile and warm handshake put your nerves at ease, and you can tell by his charming confidence that he’s been putting people at ease for a while.
He’s ’90s famous but you don’t know who he is because you weren’t allowed to watch 90210, or Friends, or Sex and the City, or any other pop culture show all of your friends reference like a language you will never understand. You try watching Seinfeld one time and you hate it. You’re not even sorry, although the personal, hurt reactions from everyone around you tells you that you ought to be. What can you say, humor is subjective.
But Luke Perry. He dances with you at the NBC Christmas party. You’re wearing a 1950s black dress, bejeweled heels, and a self-attempted chignon. “Smashing,” he calls you. “Come take a photo with me.” He twirls you to a photo booth set up in the corner. You have a crush on someone, but you can see why all the ladies have crushes on Luke. You keep the photo on your fridge with a magnet.
The last time you see Luke is in 2015. You’re in line at the post office in Sherman Oaks, the one on Magnolia by Harvest Moon that has the sweet and spicy bacon you always add to your grilled cheese. Luke is wearing a ballcap, but you’d know those dimples anywhere, currently beaming at the clerk. Only Luke could make that crabby lady smile.
You’re not sure he’d remember you, and when he goes to leave, you nervously call out, “Luke!” He turns. “I don’t know if you remem—”
“Alice!!” He rushes over to give you a hug, squeezing you almost off the floor. “Of course I remember you, wow, what’s it been, like a dozen years?”
You laugh and talk and laugh and hug goodbye. As always, he leaves you feeling better than before.
When you hear of his untimely death, you take a moment to remember the kind man who spun you around at the NBC Christmas party, the man who never lost an ounce of charisma delivering a three-page monologue take after take, the man who called you “smashing.” May he RIP. #HappyBirthdayLukePerry