Unlikely happens, true. But this is a Mars bar changing shape, Angelina taking Pitt, Clooney divorcing, again. He’s smarter than that.
This is our Graduate moment, the time we define ourselves through a film we saw when we were young, didn’t understand and thought that this, now, was figuring out what it stood for, meant.
But we’re piecing together unfittable films and in the book it’s not an ambiguous drive, but an almost certain collapse after spurring moments that can’t last because snap decisions are Primark tights, good for one night.
If you think about people you’ve dated, you’ll always find one, five, four, you could’ve had more with. Doesn’t mean you should have.
It seems like a good idea now but get yourself a box set, see the sorts of problems these people have, reconsider. You may think an ultimatum like, “I’ll stop stripping if we get married,” is a win, an endgame, altering sentence, the sort TV royalty might say, but imagine Don Draper, think that Mary-Louise Parker character in Weeds. They couldn’t give a shit if you stripped or didn’t and rightly so. Who considers changing careers when a man asks? Anymore.
Our out loud jibes at the TV, Jack’s, “Are you fucking kidding me?” and mine “For God’s Sake,” are weekly and this episode Jack even says, “This isn’t Brokeback, it’s not a don’t know how to quit you kind of a situation,” and my agreeal, “They’re not Ross and Rachel,” and then I consider it: “But giving shit up is hard, unlike primary school isn’t a marked chart on the wall demonstrating classmate’s mistakes, when it was easy to win because everyone else’s opt out day wasn’t one for you: schools and churches have different rules according to denominations and where a Lent slip’s a simple Monday fix prayer to jewellery or statues at one, it’s full body immersion at the other. And giving up people for a set number of days won’t get you over them any more than quitting caffeine will stop your body craving it for years after.”
“Why do people bother?” Jack asks me.
“Clean slates,” I tell him. “Same as at New Year’s. A shifting scenery, possibilities, perspectives you might miss. Because being hopeful sucks but sometimes you just have to be however much the enthusiasm kills you.”
I ask Jack, “Are these stories you’d tell our kids, are they stories you’d tell yours?” and Jack says, “Sure. I keep a bit of a diary. Dates, lists. Girls’ numbers. And I think I’d make a good storyteller when it comes to it.” But I think there’s probably more to it, that what I want alone is a school sized exercise book with other men’s initials on the front because it’s not just once you meet the one you’ll spend forever with, that you really think is it. I’ve met about ten now, maybe eighteen, an extra two if you count Caitlin and Karen.
“Even that story about Barney wanting to suck his own dick?” I ask Jack. “You’d tell our kids that?”