She asks would I want to know? I was pre-disposed, would end up with an auto-immune inevitably, a blunt knife best at scraping the cheese slice off its plastic wrapper when it’s stuck, but never getting all.
She says, “Shouldn’t you, like, for your kids’ sake, the ones you don’t have or you do?” I tell her no but it’s not enough, like a one size fits 50 Bible verse supposed to quash doubts about all the stuff that seems alright but every voice in church says WRONG.
I explain that life’s lucky dip-ness is the only thing going for it, that without a Poundland surprise, someone buying drinks you didn’t ask for, a person changing everything, inexplicably, sort of mind-blowingly at a worst time possible, days would outright suck.
But her, she wants to know, wants the test, result, an indication upfront of what she’ll be at 40. But I’ve lived limbo. I barely loved a second. But I don’t need to know I’ll get a detrimental brain disease anymore than whether I’ll know you next week or in August. The things I picked out for your birthday? You can have them. I’ve got what I’ve got forever. And you’re an appendix.
I won’t waver. Change, you sense like strangers’ star signs, like the contents of meals in restaurants, spice slipped.
Once, we got drunk together. We forget it happened, won’t mention imprints the other left.
I’ve been alone, often, and in six years you’re the only. In bed your legs look like Alicia Silverstone’s on the cover of Clueless and don’t just say that’s a viewpoint. I’ve seen you standing up too.
I like your back best, shirts skimming shoulder bones, unkempt weight. We’re not even programmed to remember what we’ve seen most, necessarily. I worked at Subway for six years and all that’s left is the smell, lingering in pits of cotton.
I watch my trailer door, even when you’re not coming. I want you to come, believe I’m not the 2006 version. That was years and so much has changed, that I know you feel in contours, cards. I’ve read your blog. And if James Van Der Beek’s due a revival, why not me?
Jack says, “I don’t get why terrorists in films, hit men on TV, have such nondescript accents, could be from any country in Europe really, and sometimes it’s not implied where they’re from or why they’re doing what they are.”
“What’s worse,” I tell him, “are the sideline story lines, the inconsequential ones, taking place next to kidnappings or shootings, that involve reality TV show actors and their real life girlfriends trying to make names for themselves as the series curtails, 3 seasons after the leads left, and we already know they couldn’t get everyone back, that cutting deals was tough, that Chad will be back wife-less and Nathan’s in less episodes then everyone else, so we can only assume he’s dead, or partially buried at the least.”
By season 9 it’s a struggle to think, “If this character didn’t die, if Dan doesn’t shoot them, then what might they do, where would they be now?”
By season 9 you start wondering, “Is 9 years too much, too many to care about? And when some of the ensemble leave to start families with secondary characters from other TV shows, will the audience care who you introduce next? That guy from Laguna Beach or the one from Lipstick Jungle?”
So when Jack asks if he’s like Jason Bourne, even remotely, the answer should be, “Matt Damon’s not even Bourne now, and if he’s not, the slot’s open, it’s a conveyor belt anyway, which might just work if you wake up on roundabouts.”