That honeymoon glow
Early in the 1989 flick Sea of Love, Al Pacino's character, a cop, indulges in a bit of thinking-out-loud with his partner (John Goodman). Pacino paints the picture of a first date for Goodman. Guy wines and dines the girl, gets her back to his apartment, does the wonder of me routine -- The wonder of me. When Karen and I first saw Sea of Love, that phrase jolted us out of our grad school-numbed complacency. For in those words, she saw me, and I saw myself. Yes, I had done this to Karen on our first date. Oh how I did it to her on our first date. Hose down your minds, please. Wonder of me refers to that state of being ON. You're trotting out all your best stories. You've cranked your wit to the whip-cracking-snapping point. Baby, your cortex had better glisten, especially since the gal you're dating takes Complex Analysis for fun (that's mathematics, folks, not Freud). It never lasts. Eventually, someone (me) develops a cortical flat tire, and some moronic, indefensible opinion slips the lips. You hope this happens after she's fallen in love with you. And it gets worse. One day, you realize you've run out of schtick. You have no more stories to tell, and before long you find yourself breaking up lengthy silent pauses at restaurants with, "Isn't it nice that we can just be together and not have to say anything to one another?" And she says, "Yes, it really is," but you know she's thinking, Christ, what happened to him? That's when you start making shit up. That is the birth of fiction. Well folks, I'm here to tell you, we're still dating, and I haven't run out of schtick yet. Tomorrow: my close brush with man-titties. D.