A few weeks ago – back when "blogging" might still be listed on my Facebook profile under "activities" – Brooke got an invite to a book launch party for an author named Joshua Braff, brother of Zach Braff, who, hardly-incidentally-at-all, was hosting his brother's book launch party. Brooke forwarded the invite to me with a note saying, "We have to go to this, right?" to which I responded, "No duh."
The party was called for 9 p.m., and Brooke and I found ourselves standing on his corner at 8:55 p.m., due more to poor planning then uncontrollable excitement. Don't get me wrong, I really liked Scrubs. In 2004. And despite whatever revisionist hipster historians have to say about how Garden State is "quirkier than a coxcomb with a dandelion in his bonnet" (my ridiculous quote, not theirs), I still find it to be an entertaining movie. He rides a scooter! Anyway.
While Brooke and I are biding our time before going in, Brooke turns to me and says, "I bet it's not really Zach Braff's apartment. I bet it's some rental and they'll hang up movie posters and pretend it's his. He probably won't even be there." Cut to an elevator door opening onto "Zach Braff's" expansive apartment. If I had to describe it, I would say Wood. There was wood everywhere. Hardwood floors, wood barn doors, reclaimed wood walls, wood beams on the ceiling. Just lots of nice wood.
Brooke and I exit the elevator and are met by a tall guy wearing a tan fedora nearly identical to the one Brooke is wearing. He extends his hand for a shake: "I'm Zach Braff. Welcome. " Brooke, somewhat taken aback by the fact that it is indeed Zach Braff and he is indeed copying her signature style, shakes his hand and says, "Hi, wow. I didn't think this would really be your house." To which he responded somewhat confusedly, "Yes, this is my home. Have you met my brother Josh yet?"
Two things about this: One, rarely does a celebrity have the opportunity to be called a liar to his face in his own home by a complete stranger. (How quirky!) Two, the transition from "Hi, I'm Zach Braff" to "Have you met my brother Josh yet?" was way too obvious and curt. I get it, you don't want to be hogging the spotlight on your bro's big night. I think that's very astute of him. Admirable even. But here's the thing: You're Zach Braff. For better or worse, you're the reason most of these strange people came to your home tonight. No one was like, "We must go to Josh Braff's book party tonight. Too bad it's being held at his big brother Zach's apartment. Oh well." Just didn't happen. I mean, come on:
Is that the way it should be? Of course not. Maybe Josh's novel is very good. In fact, he said he wrote the book ". . . after hearing a story about a man who was an orthodox Jew, living in Long Island, who commuted to Times Square to run peep houses." I'm intrigued! But there's a reason the average person can name ten times as many current actors as they can current authors – because books are what we do to make pretend we don't love TV as much as we do.
So I shake Zach's hand and thank him for having us, and by doing so hope to plant the subconscious seed that he personally invited us to his home. (Brooke had to talk me out of bringing a bottle of wine, though I still contend that doing so would have gotten us invites to future parties, or at least a handwritten thank you note, to which I would have replied with another hand written thank you note thanking him for the thank you note, and so on and so forth until he broke down and took us to dinner.) Zach then said, "There's a bar over in the corner, please help yourself." He gets me!
After that we mingled a bit, gave ourselves the grand tour (his bedroom is separated from the large kitchen/living room by huge double doors – must be nice), and played with his dog (Brooke: "Do you think this is Zach Braff's dog?" Me: "Do you think that matters?"). After half an hour, the party filled up and I realized that my plan of becoming Zach's GF (Great Friend) was going down the tubes. We decided to leave, so we called for the elevator. After a few minutes, the elevator still hadn't arrived. Zach came by to see if everything was alright, and when Brooke told him that the elevator seemed to be stuck, Zach became visibly perturbed. I felt like kicking Brooke under an imaginary table and saying through gritted teeth, "Don't insult the man's elevator, we won't be invited back!" but it was too late. He was already on the phone with the front desk trying to get things sorted out. Sorted out for the two cranky guests who needed to leave RIGHT NOW even though Zach hadn't even BROUGHT OUT DESSERT YET. As I looked at him across the richly wooded room, politely negotiating a treaty to release the stagnant elevator, I realized Zach Braff and I would never be friends, unless maybe his sister designed a clothing line or his dad launched a line of artisinal colognes. So I did what any respectable guy would do: went to the bathroom, snapped a picture, then took the stairs.
It is a really romantic bathroom.