An Open Letter to Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Dear Joseph Gordon-Levitt,
First of all, may I call you Joe? It's just that that's what all your friends call you, and I'd like to consider myself part of that circle, if only over the course of this letter. Plus, your full name is kind of a mouthful. Using it shatters this delusion I'm currently cultivating where you and I are dating and watch movies every other Friday, and you bring the popcorn and I bring the Junior Mints.
Anyway, Joe (if I may call you that), I could thank you for being such a fantastic actor and director, and for looking so dapper in suits. But I'm sure you get that all the time. You sure do know how to wear a suit. So I'm going to take this fan letter in a somewhat unprecedented direction, and I'm going to thank you instead for that one time you (inadvertently) saved me and my friend from a blizzard. Yes, I can sense your confusion. You obviously don't remember donning a parka and pulling somebody out of an avalanche... although if I'd had my way, it would've gone down like that instead of, well, playing out the way it actually did.
It was my sophomore year of college, and my friend, Tara, and I were heading home for spring break. It's a four-hour drive, but I had something that would help make it more endurable.
"Joseph Gordon-Levitt had a guest appearance on Loveline again," I told Tara before we left.
"Loveline?" she said.
"Dr. Drew's radio show where he gives relationship advice to callers. About 80% of it is sexual."
"Yeah, there's literally no way we're not listening to that," she said. "Wait until we get through the initial traffic jam, I don't want to rear-end somebody because I was too busy listening to JGL give sex advice."
It was while we were stuck in that initial traffic jam, however, that we started receiving foreboding signs. Our friend Allison texted us an ominous "DRIVE SAFELY," and my father called to tell us that if we needed to stop and spend the night in a hotel, he'd pay for it. And to make sure we had an emergency kit. And not to take chances.
"We'll keep that in mind, Dad," I said. I hung up the phone and said to Tara, "Apparently there's going to be a monster blizzard?" I looked outside; it was all blue skies and fifty-degree temperatures from where I was sitting, so I shrugged and said, "How bad could it possibly be?"
Cut to five hours later, at which point Tara was shouting at me, "YOU DID THIS! YOU JINXED IT! YOU BROUGHT THIS HELL UPON US!" while we skirted snow bluffs the size of some lesser mountains and screamed as snow and sleet pummeled the windshield. I'm going to level with you, Joe—we could not see the road. We weren't even sure we were on a road. It was essentially a free-for-all. Tara at one point decided to do something daring by turning the car a little bit, and we immediately plunged into a death-defying fishtail that had me yelling, "THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE END!" until we leveled out.
"Okay," said Tara in a would-be calm manner, "so we're not trying that again."
It bears mentioning that Tara and I had lived here all our lives. We were no strangers to inclement weather. We had once braved a snowstorm just to slide all the way to McDonald's on icy roads before they stopped serving breakfast. But this, well, this was a whole different animal. This was not so much a blizzard as it was a certain snowy doom. We couldn't actually discern signs, either, because they were covered in snow. The one saving grace was the GPS on my phone. When the GPS disconnected, I decided not to tell Tara. (I'm fairly sure she's reading this, though, so cat's out of the bag. I confess, Tara, I didn't actually know where we were going. I was just guessing. Whew. That feels good to get off my chest. Anyway.)
This is where you come in, Joe. It had been silent for a while. I think we were both just sitting there coming to terms with our mortality. We had long since turned off the radio, because if we crashed, neither of us, I think, wanted the last thing we heard on this earth to be "Whistle" by Flo Rida. Wordlessly, I plugged in my iPhone and put on the Loveline podcast, because if we did wind up dying, well, there are worse things to guide a person gently from this world to the next than your beautiful voice. We had both accepted that.
And you know what? It was weirdly helpful.
"Huh," said Tara. "This is actually kind of calming. Like, I'm focusing on the sultry tone of his voice and not our imminent death."
"This might be a bit premature to say," I said, "but I'm saying it anyway. I think we're going to make it."
Much to our surprise, the world had not become a post-apocalyptic scene of whitewashed desolation. The blizzard did blow over. We found ourselves puttering along on an empty street somewhere, and we were able to meander over to our hometown. So, basically, we attribute our survival to you, Joe. Who knows what would’ve happened otherwise? I’m fairly certain the silence and slowly building panic would have driven us both to madness, and within twenty minutes we’d have been knee-deep in snow next to our overturned car, shrieking and flailing. So maybe you didn't win that Critics' Choice Award for Looper, but you did once save two people from a blizzard using only your voice and sex know-how, and that's gotta be worth something, right? Tell that to Daniel Craig.
Your biggest fan (or at least your weirdest, and most prone to blizzard-related fiascos),
Has JGL ever saved YOUR life? He probably has, and you just didn't even realize it until now.