His hair looking refreshingly sheenful, his smile as dazzling as a card trick to a four-year-old, Jason Castro expounded at some length (for him) about the American Idol Finale that the whole nation just enjoyed:
“It was cool. The outfits were cool. I hung around with my buds. Yeah, it was great.”
Then he paused, stared hard into the Pond’s ripples and said: “Who am I trying to kid, man? I have got so good at saying nothing that I’ve forgotten what it actually felt like to say something. Anything. See, you go on a show like this and you really don’t know just how much it’s going to affect you.
It’s like the first time you sniff a girl’s neck, you know. Or, you know, some other parts. I mean, you think it’s going to be nothing. And then, WHOA! You’re not the same again. I hope I’ll be the same again. Some time.
I like grits more than I like Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was like being talked to by the Queen of England. Which, for all I know, he is. I thought it was Elton John, but these things change, don’t they? Does she have a colostomy bag, by the way? Or was that her Mom?
I mean, Lloyd Webber talked to me like I was a worm. Do people talk to worms? No, they just tread on them. And all he wanted to do was tread on me. Like a worm. He talked to me like I was a rock. From a box.
And I really wanted Cookie to win. Because Archie, well, you know. That hat his Dad wears. That is not cool. You should not wear that kind of hat. Not even Dr. Seuss wore that kind of hat. And he was a doctor.
See, there I go again. Trying to say nothing. Because the media want something. And I don’t want the media to have my something. And other than my something, I got nothing, So they get nothing. Does that make me nothing? Or something? Or something else?
You see, American Idol turns some people into philosophers. I mean, what were we supposed to get from this Final? Sorry, FIN-AH-LE? Cookie got to sing with ZZTop, Archie got to sing with One Republic. Syesha got to sing with Seal. And I got to sing with a stool.
What are they trying to tell the world? And what are they trying to tell me? That I’m not worth singing with someone famous? That I’m only cool for stool?
See, life is short and the world is rough and if you wanna boogie, boy, you gotta get tough. Hell, that wheatgrass was strong. No, wait. I want you to understand this. The producers wanted someone cool to win. See, American Idol had become so not cool.
So really it was between me and Cookie. Because we were the only two cool ones, right? Because Archie and cool, well, that’s like spaghetti and lightbulbs, you know? Ever eaten that? Not cool.
Well, if I’m really honest, I’m cooler than Cookie. You know, he could lose a few pounds. And the nose is a bit crooked. But he sings better than me. I know that.
And did you see Fantasia yesterday, driving herself home in a little blue Toyota, while Carrie Underwood got a limo?
I don’t ever want to be in a position where I’m missing my limo. I’m never gonna want a limo. That way I won’t miss mine.
I’m going on this Tour now. Singing the same songs every night. Boston. Kansas. Why did they name so many cities after bands?
Anyways, I’ve had enough of talking. Time to sing. Time to write songs. Cool songs.
I just saw some posters they were preparing for the Miami gig.
They said: “Castro invades Florida.” Cool or what?
I’m going to the party now. It’ll be cool. I’ll be cool. You gotta stay in cool, kids. OK?”
And with that he was dashing for the exit, determined not to be idolized, determined to have nothing left to say and knowing that he had kept his cool, when, all around him, everyone had lost theirs.
The Pond thanks Circo De Invierno for fulfilling her vow of silence.