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Home: The Toast

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, you’d wake up early on the weekends. In fact, you’d find it easy to wake up early, buoyed out of unconsciousness by her radiant loveliness.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, you’d slide out of your recently laundered sheets, and go into the kitchen. You’d have one of those big marble kitchen islands. You can’t remember when or how it got there, but it’s there now in the middle of your kitchen. And all your kitchenware matches and your kettle is like a sculpture. You’d get all the ingredients for brunch that you bought from the farmer’s market out of the fridge. You’d get out the bowl of hollandaise sauce that you prepared yesterday, because now that Sarah Paulson is your girlfriend you pre-make sauces. As you started to poach the eggs you’d smile because you’d know that as she lifts her still-heavy eyelids to take her first, fresh look at the world that morning she’ll say, “I’m hungry.” And here you are, making her brunch.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend you’d routinely finish things before the deadline; that’s just how your life would go. You wouldn’t send them in when you’d finished them because that would feel a bit too much like boasting, but you’d send them in a couple of hours early.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend you’d have an office and a well-organised alphanumeric filing system for your finances, your medical documents, and your personal correspondence. You’d keep all your receipts properly filed for your tax return. You’d buy a shredder, and never again worry about someone stealing your identity and bank-frauding you.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, you’d always know where your keys were.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, sometimes Marcia Clark would come over for dinner. Before Marcia arrived, Sarah would worry that what she’s doing with her life isn’t worthy enough. Once Marcia was there you’d all drink martinis and set the world to rights. You’d go to bed because you never drink too much anymore, but Sarah and Marcia would carry on. How can Sarah hold her drink so well when she has that slight, elegant frame? You don’t know; you only know that’s she’s perfect.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, she’d tell you that she wished that she could get a queerer hairstyle. “I’d love to get an undercut,” she’d say, “but I can’t because of work”. The two of you would imagine what she’d get done if she wasn’t a working actor. As you tuck her hair behind her ear she’d tell you she’d dye it too, pink or purple or blue.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, you’d be sitting on the sofa together late one evening, you’d stroke her thigh and whisper “put the wig on, baby”.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, they’d put you on the list of noted alumni from your school and university. And it would be because you do Important Work. Perhaps the most important work of anyone who ever went to your school and university.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend you’d look good in unstructured clothing. 

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, when you felt sad she would give you a pep talk, and in the pep talk she would use a lot of words beginning with the letter ‘s’. The sound of that gentle sibilant lisp would make your heart sing in your chest. And at the end of the talk she’d look into your eyes and say, “you knock my socks off.” And your heart would hit the high note, the particular frequency that makes happiness resonate, sending waves of happiness off around the world and you’d know that everything was going to be just fine.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, you’d always take your makeup off before going to bed. In fact, you’d take each other’s makeup off. As you softly wiped her face with a high-end cleanser, she’d say, “everything is so easy with you.”

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, men and women would open doors for you, but in a way that felt genteel, not institutionally sexist or weird.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, all your pitches would get accepted. People would fight to make your sitcom or get you in their writers’ room. At meetings, everyone would fall silent when you started to speak. You would never again have to bear the injustice of one of your jokes not being laughed at.

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, late one evening you’d be in the car driving home, listening to the new Tegan and Sara album in blissful silence. That’s the thing with you and Sarah Paulson; you don’t have to fill all the silences. When you arrived home, she’d turn to you. And you’d know what she meant, because you two would just be so in tune. You’d go in and up to the bedroom and this time you’d put on the wig and the power suit. She’d open her mouth to speak, and you’d press a finger to her lips and say, “shhhhhh, it’s my turn to be Marcia now.”

If Sarah Paulson were your girlfriend, you would learn all the names of the stars. You’d go for nighttime hikes in the Hollywood Hills. Both of you would lie down and you’d point out all the constellations to her. And you wouldn’t be afraid of mountain lions. Not anymore. You wouldn’t be afraid of anything.

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Alice Sanders is a writer and improviser from London. She writes articles, scripts, fiction, and audio description.

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