Imagine you are sitting in front of a wide-eyed audience and everyone is waiting for your answer. They'd want you to reply with a snarky remark, something humorous. But in reality, there isn't anything funny about the tragedy that occurred just a year ago today.
The beaming spotlights flicker, rudely reminding you that you're live on television. You turn to Ellen DeGeneres and cast her a coy smile. "Ellen, who wouldn't want to be stuck on a deserted island with Leonardo DiCaprio?"
"B-but seriously," Ellen says. "How did you feel when you looked over and realized that you were on an island with one of the biggest movie stars in the---in the world?" She crosses her legs and eagerly rubs her fingers together.
"Well, I was in complete shock."
"Yeah, I would be too," Ellen interjects. "Like, petrified that I'd never get to poop or pee again with Leo standing right there." She thumbs over to mock the situation.
You laugh because that exact thought had crossed your mind when you dragged his unconscious body onto the cold wet shore, all the while questioning whether he was dead or alive. "Yeah, that was actually kind of awkward. For him and me. But Leonardo, he's an environmentalist and a minimalist by heart, so he knows how to live...without toilets."
"And did you know how to live without toilets?"
"No." You reply definitively. The audience laughs. "I had to learn a lot from him, and vice versa. We sort of looked after each other for five years. We were like, Dual Survivor---you know, that television show? He's the cool-headed, laid back Matt Graham and I'm the irritable one, Joe Teti."
"Yeah." Ellen nods. "You're the anal-retentive one."
"But seriously," Ellen continues, "if that show had aired, I would have watched it. I'd especially liked to know how you both dealt with the no-toilet-tissue part. You said you were irritable, how so? I know I'd go crazy if I was stuck on a deserted island for five years."
"Well, I thought no one would ever find us. It was very easy to lose hope that we'd return home. For a while there, I went a little---a little mad."
You rub your forehead, but you don't know why. Perhaps it's because "little" is a major understatement. You recall running toward the freezing water that morning, the pain from the miscarriage still throbbing in your womb. You were grief-stricken; ready to end it all---like your dead child.
The waves pummeled into you, pushing you back to shore but you claw forward to no avail. Mother Nature cruelly reminded you that even she has control over your own death wish.
Leo rushed in after you and pinned your body against his as he dragged you back to shore. You fought him, yelling and swinging your elbows into muscle. When he pulled you to shore, you caught a glimpse of his deep blue eyes and you saw --
"Yeah, I'd go mad myself," Ellen says. "I'd be searching for that same buzzer Britney used."
You chuckle. When Leo headed off into the horizon in search of help, you did pull your hair out while waiting endlessly in that dark cave. That was the saddest day of your life when you watched the man you love drift out to sea. At first he's there, bobbing up and down on that makeshift raft, then he's gone---a speck in the horizon. And you experienced the darkest moment of your life, knowing that you may never see him again, that you'll die alone on this island. The memory still haunts you even though you're sitting in this brightly lit studio.
"I remember at one point, I told Leo all I wanted was a whopper." Your lips press into a line. "Then I'd go. I'd be ready to die."
Ellen nods. "I think Burger King found their new spokesperson."