Scenes From My Imaginary Friendship With Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson -The Toast

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375px-Dwayne_Johnson_at_the_2009_Tribeca_Film_FestivalLiz Watson’s previous work for The Toast can be found here.

1. I lend Kafka on the Shore to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and he doesn’t care for it and I’m not even mad because I like and respect him enough to trust his reasoning.

2. His assistant always forwards my calls to him and knows when it’s my birthday and suggests presents for me to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson which are always perfectly attuned to my taste.

3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s on The Tonight Show and references an inside joke that we have, and Jimmy Fallon laughs like he gets it and I’m at home watching like, “No you don’t, you overgrown Playmobil Boy Scout.” I immediately text this to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and it becomes a new inside joke.

4. We are playing D&D over Skype with our DM Vin Diesel, who is filming on location in Fiji. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is playing as a war-mage, and keeps trying to cast “Storm of Smegma”. The first two times Vin Diesel checks for the spell in the manual. The third time our giggling tips him off and he sighs, “It’s not going to be worth it to coordinate around the time difference if you guys don’t take this seriously.”

5. When I am immersed in a subsuming fit of unhappiness, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson does not act inconvenienced or burdened. Nor does he ignore it. I don’t know how he handles it, but I know he does so perfectly.

6. We are on the phone talking and watching Casablanca in our separate homes and it’s exactly like in When Harry Met Sally except we never, ever wind up sleeping together.

7. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson never, EVER flakes on plans 10 minutes before you’re due to meet so that you’re left sweaty and wondering how much longer you need to sit at this bar to make it look like you’re there on purpose and not because you got stood up. This is despite the fact that he has the perfect excuse to flake, being the recipient of the 2001 ‘Choice Sleazebag’ Teen Choice Award for his role in The Scorpion King.

8. One year we go as Fezzik and Inigo for Halloween. The next year we go as Asterix and Obelix, and both years we have to explain our costumes to way too many people.

9. He tries to take me to the gym and I bitch about it. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson does not think this is funny. Not because he thinks I need to lose weight, but because he wants me to take better care of myself.

10. When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson calls by accident at 3am because he’s filming in Tunisia and his internal clock’s all messed up, I’m not angry. I just listen. “How are you?” I ask. There’s a long pause before he quietly says, “I’m gonna be honest. I’m not too great.”

11. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson calls me over for his cheat days and I don’t let him pick the toppings off his pizza, not matter how many shirtless scenes he has to film.

12. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the very first person outside my bloodline—friends, lovers, anyone—I bring to North Carolina to see my grandmother, whose mind Alzheimer’s made a meal of long ago. And as she lays there, rictus and groaning/wheezing like a living Halloween decoration, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson successfully conceals whatever pity or fear or disgust he feels and pulls out his guitar (like so) and he and I sing to her for about 35 minutes, which is as long as I can spend in her company without absolutely losing it. In the car, he doesn’t say anything and I’m so grateful for this I could kiss his hand. (On the same North Carolina trip, he eats real barbeque for the first time and flips out.) (Then we go to Carowinds.)

13. His girlfriend, Lauren Hashian, and my boyfriend are really cool with each other and actually make a pretty great team on Time Crisis II when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and I are battling for air hockey supremacy at the arcade. (In this fantasy, arcades are a central part of any adult social gathering.)

14. I hate driving, so I almost never visit him in LA. We have a huge fight about this and it’s not cute and some really awful stuff is said. We don’t talk for a long time, until one day we do. Forgiveness is given freely and wordlessly.

15. Once—just once—he locks his arm at a 90 degree angle and lets me do a pull-up on his bicep. This is my profile picture for about six weeks.

Liz Watson is a writer living in New York. She enjoys comic books and the music of Dolly Parton. You can follow her on Twitter.

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