Imagine, if you will, the Pillsbury Doughboy with Peter Brady’s haircut and Truman Capote’s voice. Add a sprinkling of the fear of being touched and the social anxiety of a shy Chihuahua. That was me at 18, and in December 2008, that guy decided it was a good idea to take a trip to New York City all by himself.
To reiterate why this cultural experiment was destined for failure, I should mention I was born and raised in Clovis, Calif., a small town in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley — you know, where they end up in “The Grapes of Wrath.” Clovis is a place of spacious farmland, quiet suburbs, ample street parking and trucks with testicle ornaments. It couldn’t be more different from the Big Apple, which is probably why I spent much of my adolescence wishing Kristin Chenoweth would show up in Glinda the Good Witch’s bubble and take me there.
Lea [Michele]’s Rachel was going to have become a big Broadway star, the role she was born to play. Finn was going to have become a teacher, settled down happily in Ohio, at peace with his choice and no longer feeling like a Lima loser. The very last line of dialogue was to be this: Rachel comes back to Ohio, fulfilled and yet not, and walks into Finn’s glee club. “What are you doing here?” he would ask. “I’m home,” she would reply. Fade out. The end.