Golden Boy

/ Isaac Kopstein (Writer), Kelly Tran (Illustrator)

Fiction3 min reading time

No. 1

White and yellow feathers fall down the illustration. Two goose heads stick into the poster, with the lower goose wearing a pair of shades.

When you get down to brass tacks, I’m just a goose. It sounds a little funny to say out loud, but mostly it's just liberating. When fame hits, you start to get all these expectations of yourself. It becomes easier and easier to feel like you need to be what other people expect you to be. I’m trying to fight that, though, and start normalizing my life again. So yeah, honestly, I ain’t nothing more than a goose. Sometimes I lay golden eggs. No big deal, really. I can lay normal ones, too. That’s what a lot of people don’t realize. They’re so quick to put me in this box as “The Golden Goose” but they never even consider that I enjoy doing regular goose things, too. It’s not all red carpets and cameos. I still catch my own fish and harass random passersby for bread during my spare time.

After I laid that first golden egg, when all the magazines and newspapers came running, life was pretty good, not gonna lie. I was doing interviews left and right, really capitalizing on the publicity. Everywhere I’d go they’d ask me to do my shtick—​ I was that popular! I’d show up to a mall opening: boom, I’d lay a golden egg. When I hosted the Oscars: boom, golden egg. Invited to a house party? Egg. I was riding high. Everyone was getting rich off me. I had a reality TV show, for Christ’s sake! It was around that time that I fired Jack as my agent. Best decision of my life. We’d always been friends but this was business and that guy was a nobody. I stayed with him early because he kinda “discovered me” but I quickly realized that my star was much brighter than his. We didn’t part on bad terms, though. After letting him go I gave him a full basket of eggs. There must have been at least three dozen in there. Not golden ones, though. Farm Fresh, extra large. I gottem at Costco.

Things started to go downhill after the DUI. You spend one too many nights out with Keith Richards and you think you can party like Keith Richards. Obviously I can’t because I’m a goose. I don’t even know who let me drive the car. I don’t have hands. I probably gave the valet kid three golden eggs just to grab something flashy from the lot. Those were my wild days. I was dropping eggs left and right. Most of it went to cocaine and booze, not gonna lie. So I’m not really surprised that it all caught up to me eventually. The whole thing might have blown over if it wasn’t recorded on the officer’s body camera. When he was trying to fit the cuffs around my wings I said some... some pretty hurtful things about his wife... and religious beliefs. He and I have talked privately and I’ve since apologized. He’s a nice man. Beautiful wife.

But yeah, I lost everything; my show, my sponsors, my movie deal with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It’s been maybe ten years since all that. I’m just trying to live a normal goose life right now. Occasionally someone will recognize me on the street and ask for a picture. I don’t mind, as long as they lean down to my level for it. Some of these jokers will ask me to lay a golden egg “like I used to.” I tell them I’m not about that life anymore. It’s going pretty well, to be honest. Things are quiet and I really feel like I’ve been able to thrive as the goose I want to be rather than the goose people see me as. And yeah, there was that TMZ video a few years back of me getting my head caught in a plastic cup. But plenty of other geese do that every day.

Can’t I?