The actor from The 40 Year Old Virgin was best friends with my former best friend. My ex-bff talked about Shelley Malil a lot. They met at an audition and became fast friends, which was weird to me since my friend was gay and Shelley was straight. There aren't a lot of het males who hang with gay men, so I thought Shelley must have been a pretty cool guy.
My ex-bff was also friends with Shelley's wife Suvarna, a beautiful Indian woman. They had an adorable little girl and then a few years later Shelley told his wife he had never been in love with her. That Indian women weren't his type. He told her he preferred blondes with big breasts. Why don't people just shut the fuck up when they leave?
So they divorced.
About a year after their divorce I met Suvarna at her brother's wedding and she was not only gorgeous but had a terrific personality. Smart, funny and warm. As enlightened as I thought Shelley might have been, I thought he was also crazy to have dumped her. Suvarna eventually met and married an Australian and moved there. At the time Shelley was extremely upset by this since his daughter was going to be so far away from him. But he was not murderous.
One day my ex-bff decided that Shelley and I should finally meet. So we arranged a lunch and a movie date. This happened before I went to India, which was in 2006, so I wasn't familiar with the customs of the Indian male. We started to eat and I thought Shelley was very nice.
I said something. I don't remember what exactly, but it was in response to whatever topic we were discussing. I must have gotten about 15 words out when Shelley turned to my ex-bff and started talking. About something else entirely. At first I was taken aback but thought ok, let him speak. Maybe it's important. Like he has that thing that animals have and he knows an earthquake is coming and is just sounding the alarm. Or maybe my friend's head has just fallen to the ground while I was putting pepper on my pasta and Shelley wanted to point that out to me.
The conversation continued, I made a comment and about 5 words in Shelley did it again. Cut me off, talked over me, pretended I didn't exist.
In the real world I would have walked away from a guy like that. Just left. But this was one of the best friends of my best friend so I didn't say anything.
"So ex-bff, do you like cars?" Shelley asked my friend.
"Do you know anything about cars?"
The only thing ex-bff knew about cars was always get one with a Bose stereo.
"I know a little about cars." I ventured.
"How come you don't know anything about cars?" Shelley continued to my ex-bff. X stared into space secretly hoping the conversation would turn to Cher and her extensions.
"I know about cars." I said a little louder.
"Didn't you have a cool car growing up?" Shelley asked my friend.
Yeah, a Barbie Dream Car, driven by G.I Joe.
"I DROVE A FORMULA ONE CAR." I lied. Didn't matter; Shelley had dismissed me entirely. He would rather talk cars with RuPaul than me.
We walked across the street to the movie and Shelley pointed out the Lamborghini Countach that sat three spots down from his car. He turned to my ex-bff and pointed out the dual overhead cam V-12.
"It's a pretty color." X said.
"Fucking look at this baby."
I looked under the chassis, exbff checked the side mirror to see if his forehead was shiny.
"X, check out the interior."
"Huh-uh." X said and looked at his watch.
"That's Italian lamb in there." I said to Shelley.
"Shell, we're going to be late for the movie," X said.
Shelley never spoke one word to me the rest of the day. At the time I just thought he was an asshole. Then I went to India and realized that women are very much second class citizens in their culture. They're available to cook and clean unless they're from the upper castes and then they can hire other women to do that. Men must be deferred to at all times. No matter what caste women are in.
I yelled at my Indian doctors one day for ignoring a request of mine and said "I'm an American woman, you can't treat me the way you treat these Indian women; I won't allow it." And they never did it again.
I picture the woman that Shelley stabbed dumping him. I see him getting enraged. I imagine her calming him down and telling him they could still see each other, for instance on picnics, like the one they went on the weekend before he tried to kill her.
I picture her getting on with her life with enormous relief.
I picture her bleeding with the lower part of her face ripped off by a knife blade.
I picture him begging his cellmate not to fuck him.
I've worked hard my entire life to be in show business. No other industry comes close to how difficult and soul draining it is. The insults you suffer, the praise you hope is true, the money you spend on 8x10's and coaching and gasoline. When I think how many stupid jobs I took just to get the credit, the money or the experience. And then finally a big gig, one that puts you on the map. And to throw it all away because a man dumped me? No way.
End of chat.