Forty in Five Years

In five years we’ll be different ages. Your haircut will be exactly the same. We’ll have appetisers before meals. We’ll switch our cartoon character cereal to bran and prunes and we’ll dial back the fruit juice and take up jogging and what bores us now will bore us more, the same way the stuff of our twenties irks us: Coldplay and Sideways and Ricky Gervais.

In ten years we’ll be dead or we won’t but people we know will be. I make you watch sad films for this reason. When we were kids you predicted me dying my hair yellow, that I’d end up liking Nirvana. On Ouija boards and off of them I spell messages for you that you’re still solving and one day you’ll have learnt enough to decipher them. I might die before you.

In twenty years we’ll hold CDs up in shaky hands and declare them music. We’ll ask kids if they remember VHS or a time before mobiles existed, and they’ll look at us the way we looked at our parents when they talked about Betamax, when they described gramophones. We’ll try to trace paths with movies and books and advert jingles back to the time this started but everything’s so referential, retro, throwing back to two other times at least, we can’t get a clean path, we won’t. I’ll ask, “Remember when we watched New Girl?” and you’ll say, Jack will, “We never fucking watched that. I’m not senile yet.”

Not Dead, Just Sleeping

We start a new show, one we’ve heard a lot about but the hype of which is subtle enough we’re not turned off before we watch it. We’ve not even seen the New Girl pilot.

“Remember we watched Glee before it broadcast here and we saw something unique in it, that it turned out everyone thought was unique, and it staggered past the half-way series cliffhanger? Well I don’t want that happening again. I’d rather hold off, wait, know if I really like it, check it’s not been cancelled before I commit.”

“Sure,” Jack replies. “And you’d rather watch a show in which people fall into pits, throw rubbish in it, petition it’s something better then desecrate it.”

“Exactly,” I reply. It’s enthusiasm I don’t understand, enthusiasm I can’t live with.

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Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Jack says, “You fit under that heading. If that’s a concept, a recurring character, the woman that writers write when they’re writing films, that’s you. You’re it.”

I ask him for definitions and he shows me Wikipedia and I say, “Well that’s hardly comprehensive,” and he laughs, says, “Sure, there are other films too, maybe a hundred more they’ve missed off this list.”

So we list them and after Jack runs a finger down my neck and says, “We should be specific about this. We should pin down each actress that’s played this, each person that’s made this film.” I ask what that’ll achieve and he shrugs.

I stare at the Artex-ed ceiling wondering what they have in common that I don’t have:

1. They’re all waifs.

2. They can act.

3. They’ve kissed Jim Carrey, Zach Braff, Orlando Bloom.

4. They advertise make-up in magazines.

5. They didn’t check their bank balance in 100 years.