“Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs.” -P.J. O’Rourke
I’m at work checking my usual news sites when a name catches my eye: it’s The Writer’s. Reading through the article, I learn that a name-actress has signed on to be attached to his brilliant script, which was bought a few years ago but has since been sitting in a pile thanks to industry nonsense. This is great news–it means that his movie will almost certainly be made. I’m so excited for him because while he plays his stoicism well, I know that The Writer really loves this script. It’s a piece of him.
Since I’m at work, I can’t call him, plus he’s probably busy. So I send him a “congrats” text. A couple of hours later, The Writer sends out an unrelated message online asking if anyone has access to a certain pay-site. (There’s a free trial period, but he’s already used it.) So I take it upon myself to enter my credit card info to sign up for a two-week free trial to the site and text The Writer my account info. A split second after sending it, I realize what I’ve done and panic crawls up my spine, making my whole upper body shutter. The Writer didn’t directly ask me to sign up for the trial and send him my account information, but I did it anyway. I’ve officially made myself too available. I’ve crossed a line.
I’m not sure how I’ve gotten to this point of desperation, especially so suddenly, when I’ve been successfully asphyxiating my feelings in a plastic bag incubator for the past week. What’s worse is the panic continues because The Writer doesn’t reply. I try to bury myself in my work and convince myself that he’s taking a nap. After all, he does that a lot. My attempts to be rational are wildly unsuccessful, and my resolute mania continues to rampage on. I make it through the workday and drive home, beating myself up (I’m good at that) for the duration of the commute. I don’t have much of an appetite, but it’s getting late, so I nibble on whatever is left in my fridge and my phone rings. My heart jumps so high that I’m pretty sure it bruises my collar bone, and I see it’s The Writer. Don’t mention the pay-site, I tell myself sternly. “Hello?” I say, answering the phone. “Hey. What’s up?” He replies. “Just eating. What’s up with you…well, I guess I already know what’s up with you…cause, yeah. Congratulations! That’s so exciting!” I’m gushing. Why am I gushing? “Yeah,” I can hear the cloaked excitement in his voice, “I’m still just worried something bad is going to happen.” “Nah! It’ll be great,” I assure him. “What are you up to tonight?” “I’m just leaving dinner with some friends,” he tells me. “Do you want to write?” He asks. “Sure, yeah. Where do you want to go?” I say, trying not to stumble over myself. “Well, do you mind if I come over there?” “Definitely. Yeah!” I nearly shout. He tells me he’ll head over after stopping at home, and we say goodbye.
Pause. The Writer, who as of today has a name-actress attached to his brilliant script that will now certainly be made, has asked to come to my apartment on said day. He wants to see me. He doesn’t want to go out. He wants to come here. I’m ready to cry from the overwhelming and vaguely positive emotions washing over me, but then I look around and realize what a wreck my apartment is, so instead I throw all of my crap in a closet. My next move confuses me…I prepare myself for the sex. No, I’m not leaving anything out–there are no overt signs that I’m getting laid tonight, but I’m on auto mode, and this was auto-decision. As I’m prepping, I realize The Writer might be hungry at some point and that the sad state of food variety in my residence must be corrected ASAP, so I throw some clothes on and run to the grocery, hoping he won’t arrive before I return.
When I get home, I throw together a plate of food, make myself a drink, and realize how tired I am. The Writer arrives with a sparkle in his eye, excited to tell me all of the exciting details and his potential concerns. He doesn’t want a drink and although he’s just come from dinner, he helps himself to some cookies. “Oh, and thanks for helping me out with that website today,” he says coolly. Relief at last! He has some work to do, so we both get to writing in my living room until he gets restless. “Do you have a comfortable bed?” He asks. “I think so,” I say. “Can we go sit in there?” “Sure,” I say, closing my computer, and we make our way to my bed.
I pick up the copy of Candy Girl he gave me last weekend and get to reading, but my eyes begin to droop. I’m probably a little buzzed. So I tell him I’m going to fall asleep, but that he can keep working if he wants. “Can I spend the night?” He asks. DUH. “Of course,” I say, so I give him a spare toothbrush, and he climbs into bed next to me. “I really am happy for you,” I tell him. “Me too,” he says. As I’m falling asleep, he tells me about his family and how messed up his childhood was. We both had fairly conservative upbringings, but his sounds as if it was a little wilder than mine–his stories are ridiculous. We laugh really hard for a few moments then he tells me, “That was the first time I’ve been able to laugh about all of that horrible shit.” “Would you ever have children?” I ask. He gives a complicated answer that boils down to a maybe, and I fall asleep in his arms.