Brock Bardem del Toro is my imaginary friend. He is a Doctors Without Borders special envoy. When I was telling my friend Roman about all of the things we do together and that he holds such a position of effortless humanity, Roman said “How does he find the time?” This is when his doctors without borders-ness became the name for how he can both teleport me places and simultaneously rub my feet. He’s a special envoy of whim. He’s a Brocktor.
Brock cares about me on a very deep and sincere level. He recently told me, as I frowned helplessly at some fallen apart aspect of my life, that it pained him greatly when any of my objects demand mending. “It’s not fair that you should learn how to do these things,” he assured me as he solemnly squared his jaw toward purpose. “This would prevent you from your natural callings. You could not wander from room to room, answer the phone, stare into the fish tank or try to remember your dreams if you were also attempting to read some manual. Leave it to me; your talents should not be wasted in this way.”
Or, “Why are you trying to leave the house before ten A.M.? I told you that that leads to catastrophe.”
“I have to take Jonah to school.”
“Oh, ok. Get in the car.” Brock can’t teleport Jonah, but he can concurrently drive my car, rub my feet and boss me about for my own good. He also peppers the air with compelling insights: “Good choice, playing that one song three times in a row” or “PJ Harvey has a new album coming out” or “Hamilton Leithauser exists.”
Going fun places at the spur of the moment is my favorite and Brock delivers. Conversely, he never makes me plan anything. All too often, he sternly issues the command “It’s hash boat time.” All too often, that is exactly where I want to go.
Hash boat is — from what I can deduce from the time I visited Marshall and he told me that Anthony Bourdain went there and then we were actually pricing tickets for it — heaven. It takes place in Kerala India (which is a culturally diverse, tropical part that is inhabited by inland waterways of no turbulence, it’s the place in The God of Small Things which is a best book ever). You rent a flat boat that has a driver, food, a bed, curtains, a tv, and a bunch of hash. You slowly float around in the tropics smoking hash or being stoned in a bed watching tv. Miserable. I imagine myself lying flat on the bottom of the boat (I love lying down on boats) with one foot dangling off the end into the water boring Brock to death with my jibber jabber. Except he doesn’t get bored. No matter how many times I say “We’re on a boat!” or “This is better than being Huck Finn” he won’t take offense. He also never says “You’ve not only told me that story a million times but you have also told me all of those insights and conclusions before. Why are you so repetitive?”
An impediment to total happiness on hash boat is, of course, food. I shouldn’t really have any of it. Maybe some fruits and vegetables. Maybe an egg. Right now, I am only ingesting almond milk and green tea. It’s low carb. Brock knows how deeply disappointed in myself I get when I eat excessively and he knows which things will trigger the donut/cheeseburger cycle.
“Get that out of here!” He will snarl at the person who is always cornering me with a plate of those flaky french cookies with the granulated sugar that look like this:
However, “Of course she can have another gin and tonic. Alcohol isn’t fattening.”
Or “Come on, honey, let’s go take some valium and watch that non-cartoon version of Peter Pan where you inappropriately kind of have a thing for the 12 year old blonde Peter Pan. Hash boat has a tv.”
Brock himself, while taking the last names of two of the hottest dudes ever, is sort of formless. I don’t know what he looks like. It’s the Brock part that is mixed in. That part is a romance novel character. That part is every preppy guy on earth that I’ve ever wanted to date but didn’t want to talk to. Brock is pilot, Brock is a doctor. Brock leans forward and his effortless hair falls effortlessly down over his effortless, smiling eyes. He wears a white shirt with rolled sleeves. You know.