Louie: I wanna be your friend and it’s okay with me that there’s nothing else. But can I just - can I just tell you one time the way I feel about you?
Pamela: You wanna tell me?
Louie: Yes! And I’ll be your friend and I won’t press you to be anything else, I promise, if you’d just let me get it out one time.
Pamela: You wanna tell me.
Louie: Yes… please.
Louie: Pamela, I’m in love with you.
Pamela: Oh, god.
Louie: Yeah, it’s that bad! You’re so beautiful to me -
Pamela: Ohh, oi, eww!
Louie: Shut up! Let me tell you. Let me! Every time I look at your face or even remember it, it wrecks me. And the way you are with me, and you’re just fun and you shit all over me, and you make fun of me, and you’re real. I don’t have enough time in any day to think about you enough. I feel like I’m gonna live a thousand years ‘cause that’s how long it’s gonna take me to have one thought about you, which is that I’m crazy about you, Pamela. I don’t wanna be with anybody else.
Louie: I don’t! I really don’t. I don’t think about women anymore; I think about you. I had a dream the other night that you and I were on a train and we were on this train and you were holding my hand. That’s the whole dream - you were holding my hand. And I felt you holding my hand. I woke up and I couldn’t believe it wasn’t real. I’m sick in love with you, Pamela. It’s like a condition, it’s like polio. I feel like I’m gonna die if I can’t be with you, and I can’t be with you, so I’m gonna die. And I don’t care, ‘cause I was brought into existence to know you and that’s enough. The idea that you would want me back? It’s, like, greedy… I’m doing a bad job with this.
Pamela: No, you’re not.
Louie: I’m not?
Pamela: No. It’s a good job. It’s a really good job.
Before I met Gerard, everything I knew about classical music I’d gleaned off the sound track record of The Turning Point. Now, however, I could hum Musetta’s Waltz for at least three bars. Now I owned all of Beethoven’s piano concertos. Now I knew that Percy Grainger had been married in the Hollywood Bowl. ‘But Brahms,’ said Gerard, ‘now Brahms never married.’
It’s not that I wanted to be married. It’s that I wanted a Marriage Equivalent, although I never knew exactly what that was, and often suspected that there was really no such thing. Yet I was convinced there had to be something better than the lonely farce living across town or hall could, with very little time, become.
Which made me feel guilty and bourgeois. So I comforted myself with Gerard’s faults: He was infantile; he always lost his keys; he was from Nebraska, like some horrible talk show host; he had grown up not far from one of the oldest service plazas on I-80; he told jokes that had the words ‘wiener’ and ‘fart’ in them’; he once referred to sex as ‘hiding the salami.’ He also had a habit of charging after small animals and frightening them. Actually, the first time he did this it was with a bird in the park, and I laughed, thinking it hilarious. Later, I realized it was weird: Gerard was thirty-one and charging after small mammals, sending them leaping into bushes, up trees, over furniture. He would then turn and grin, like a charmed maniac, a Puck with a Master’s degree. He liked also to water down the face and neck fur of cats and dogs, smoothing it back with his palms, like a hairdresser, saying it made them look like Judy Garland. I realized that life was too short for anyone honestly and thoroughly to outgrow anything, but it was clear that some people were making more of an effort than others."
Anagrams by Lorrie Moore
Reading this at the moment. For many reasons I’m like Benna, but more like Gerard. The last time I felt like this about a fictional couple, I was watching Blue Valentine.
I have spent the day in bed reading, yes, but also wondering when that gourmet donut shop will be opening up downtown. Because…
waldeinsamkeit. german. the feeling of being alone in the woods.
esprit de l’escalier. french. a witty remark that occurs to you too late. literally, “on the way down the stairs…”
meraki. greek. doing something with soul, creativity, or love.
pochemuchka. russian. a person who asks a lot of questions.
tingo. pascuense language of easter island. to borrow objects one by one from a neighbour’s house until there is nothing left.
forelsket. norwegian. the euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.
gheegle. filipino. the urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute.
ilunga. tshiluba, congo. a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time.
saudade. portugese, galician. the feeling one gets when realizing something one once had is lost and can never be had again.
sgriobn. gaelic. the itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whiskey.
My personal favorite:
tatonner. french. to feel or grope around in the dark for something.
Why Old Books Smell Good
Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us."
I’ve moved back home with my parents. It’s turned out to be a better decision than I thought it would be. I spent four hours driving my Insight, Jim, feeling thrilled, kind of like a little kid being granted special permission to hold the steering wheel - only I was in charge of the pedals, too. It was a childish sense of importance, of feeling more adult and grown-up. I liked it a lot. I felt like I was literally taking the helm of my own life and, for once, directing it where I thought it should go, and it was about time that happened. In every sense, I’ve been a late-bloomer, although I’m not sure why or how that came to be. Maybe I just got comfortable always being the youngest and didn’t really see a need to test the waters for myself when everyone had already tiptoed in or, in some cases, dove. Maybe I was just too chicken to make the same mistakes others had, and consequently wound up missing out on the early successes people make - personally, socially, romantically, whatever. Boys and cars seem to be the themes of my year thus far, and what I know I’ve had to learn quickly and on the fly. To me, the ensuing change from Old Me to New Me could probably be viewed as a sped-up time-lapse piece, but I’m sure I’m still snail-like to others. I’m okay with that.
I don’t feel much differently than I did before. I still have my little yarn ball of insecurities, doubts, curiosities and confusions, inside of me somewhere. But cohabiting with those is the nest of - I don’t know - confidence, maybe (though putting it that way doesn’t sound too confident) and experience and the very stubborn sunniness I’ve probably spent my whole life cultivating. Sometimes the world is overwhelming, but given its vastness, I figure it’s supposed to be. There are doors opening and closing all the time, as if the field of opportunity were one massive heart, all valves and chambers and people who either welcome you in or shut you out. So much of it is timing and luck and there are ways to influence both, I think, though I’m still clumsy at it. But, like driving, I’m guessing all it boils down to is practice.
And, since what I wrote strayed far and away from what I originally intended to write: Above is a picture of the new cuckoo clock hanging on one of our family room walls. It’s startling at times, but it’s lent a new kind of comedic element to living at home.
Pamela: Why did you wanna come here?
Louie: I thought it was a good place.
Pamela: Did you wanna take me here because it looks Frenchy and cool-looking?
Louie: No, I mean…
Pamela: Have you ever eaten here?
Pamela: When? Liar. You picked it because you thought that I would think you are cool but you’re not and you have to face it. You’re very, very uncool, Louie, and you’re very boring.
Louie: Well, you’re not exactly—
Pamela: Yes, I am “exactly”! C’mon, you think I’m awesome… I think you’re okay. That’s just the way it is. We need to admit that or just walk away.
Louie: I wish the food would come.
Louie: Because I’m starving.
Pamela: Really? You’re starving? You can’t just be hungry for a second? Is your life gonna end? You have to constantly shove bread in your hole?
Louie: Well, I don’t have to. I… have to.
"If I loved you, then I would love you in any way I could. And if we could not touch, then I would draw strength from your beauty. And if I went blind, then I would fill my soul with the sound of your voice and the contents of your thoughts until the last spark of my love for you lit the shabby darkness of my dying mind."
This show brings out the ridiculous romantic in me.
"Don’t Go Out Tonight" - Idiot Glee