1974. Jeff Goldblum appears in his first film role, as Freak #1 in Death Wish. Eight years later, Freak #2 is born, and that little freak is me.
1990. As a child, I alarm friends and family by requesting to attend local funerals. Little do they know that I spend my nights watching The Big Chill after everyone is asleep. My parents make me attend therapy.
1991. I discover a VHS of The Fly in my older brother’s room. I now understand that there is something wrong with me. Those bristly hairs. That corrosive vomit. The uncontrollable impulses. Oh Brundlefly. Ours is a love that dares not speak its name.
1993. My mother tells all of our relatives that I’m “very into dinosaurs now.” I ask the elementary school guidance counselor to advise me on how to become a Chaotician. She tells me that this is not a real career, which in retrospect feels like a microaggression.
1995. I develop a specific fantasy that a physics teacher with a black v-neck and an almost unbearable sexual energy will discover my intellectual gifts and supernatural IQ. Perhaps, after all, I was struck by lightning in utero like the guy in Powder. It’s possible. I continue to pursue a career in STEM, though I may stray from the Chaotician track.
1996. I pray for the aliens to come.
1997. I go to see Jurassic Park: The Lost World with a boy from my high school graduating class. Perhaps he was also quietly sublimating his lust. Who can say? I have eyes for only Jeff.
1998. Jeff Goldblum lends his voice talents to animated film The Prince of Egypt. What I do with that movie playing in the background is something I’ll take to the grave.
2001. One day, among the shelves in my University library, I dare to ask a close friend if she sometimes finds Jeff Goldblum attractive, you know, in a weird way. Our eyes meet. She whispers yes. For the first time, I begin to wonder if I’m really so alone.
2003. In the halls, I see students with “I Heart Geeks” t-shirts. Glasses are getting bolder. Something is happening all around me. A shift. With trembling hands, I hang a photo of David Levinson from Independence Day in my dorm. When a friend asks if I’m into action movies, I respond with “Sure. Sure. Sure, yeah. Sure.”
2004. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou leads to the adoption of a fish named Alistair. To my dismay, the fish — like the film itself — is critically panned by my roommates. I bury my feelings for Jeff deeper. Will I ever be able to share my true self?
2007. I learn that Jeff Goldblum had a bit role in Annie Hall. The movie, however, does nothing for me.
2009. Here it is. The exact moment I lay eyes on the first meme. His naked torso. Those rich, sultry eyes boring into my own. The memes keep coming. What’s happening? Are they jokes? Jokes that mask a universal truth? Are they emboldening others to explore their own feelings? In any case, it feels like a movement.
2010. Jeff Goldblum stars in Morning Glory, a film about a young daytime talk show producer desperate to please Jeff Goldblum. Sometimes, we rely on art to express that which we cannot say ourselves.
2011. I pine. I ache. I watch Portlandia. I pursue a degree in Library Science. It feels right. One day a coworker refers to Jeff Goldblum as a “sex icon” and the force of my irritation surprises me. I wonder, has my desire been based on secrecy all along? Was I in it for the sneaking around? I explore new infatuations: Tim Curry, or maybe Benicio Del Toro, but it’s no use. Jeff Goldblum has my heart in his long, elegant hands.
2014. Jeff Goldblum in 1:1 aspect ratio is almost too much for me. I create special blinders to frame my field of vision in a square. I wonder: should I develop an app for this? I redo the interior of my apartment to look like a European police deputy’s office.
2015. Against all odds, the film Mortdecai is released in theaters by Lionsgate. I exchange glances with the only other woman in the theater on opening night. Are we here for the same reasons? And more importantly, are we here for the right reasons?
2016. I replace my nightly reading of “Best Women’s Erotica of 2016” with a nightly scroll-through of the twitter thread “Jeff Goldblum as tea kettles.”
2017. When I stumble across a viral photo of JG at a nightclub, his hand playfully encircling a woman’s throat, I need to go lie down with a cool lavender cloth over my face.
At the premiere of Thor: Ragnarok I am but one of many, all of us gazing up at his stunning eyeliner with adoration. He towers above the city in that hologram, and the audience goes wild. Some of us are drunk, or perhaps simply drunk with desire. My failure to predict this phenomenon makes me question my understanding of chaos theory. Would I ever have cut it as a mathematician?
2018. Seeing Jeff Goldblum read his thirst tweets aloud shakes me to my core. The singularity is here. His hotness has achieved sentience. I turn off my phone, power down my computer, drive until the city is far behind me. I walk into the forest, birdsong all around. A baby deer gambols nearby, its inky, glittering eyes not unlike those of Jeff Goldblum. I splash water from a stream onto my fevered brow.
2019. Summer. I am an outdoor screening of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Everyone around me shrieks with undisguised lust whenever Jeff Goldblum is onscreen, and I lose myself in the collective passion. Looking back at the evolution of my desire, if there’s one thing it’s taught me is that it can’t be contained. It breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously. Life… finds a way. I imagine my childhood self peering into the future to this moment, and am overcome.
I am empowered to change my Twitter background to Jeff Goldblum wearing a sweater.
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Emma Brewer is a humor and fiction writer whose work has appeared in McSweeney’s, Points in Case, Weekly Humorist, Jellyfish Review, and elsewhere. She’s working on a short story collection. Find her on Twitter @emargaretbrewer