Monday, September 1, 2008

Superfluous, or a necessary flavor?

"when i say you sucked my brain out
the english translation
is i am in love with you"
- Ani Difranco, Dialate

In a most recent discussion re: crushes with a dear pal, the question was posed: So, really, how much of your brain power was spent thinking about this person all day?

The answer was scary.

In a very recent movie I watched but can't remember (Dan in Real Life or Charlie Bartlett, maybe?) one of the lines went something like this: "You know that if you think about someone for a total of 20 minutes a day you have a crush on them?" I was sheepishly self conscious after hearing that line echoed from the silver screen, namely because I've blown that number out of the water a few times on fantastic people who barely knew me.

Besides the fact that it's nice to have lovely distractions about a person that may or may not know that you exist, something so removed from reality that it makes your heart flutter with that sweet nectar that feeds the love centers in your brain, why do some of us feel like we need another to the point that it occupies that much brain power?

"If I had a nickel for every time I thought of you..."

In biology courses in undergrad, we learned that the males are dispensable. It only takes one well equipped dude to do the necessary deed with a handful of females to propagate the species. Of course, that's just purely procreation. So what about the recreation part makes this interplay of desire so fixated and paramount? Are we really nothing more than genetically programmed hormones?

In the beginning (and end) of the movie-musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch (highly recommended), there's a tale of a circle that's cut in two and is constantly searching for it's other half. Hedwig has a musical soliloquy at one point that goes like this:

"It is clear that I must find my other half. But is it a he or a she? What does this person look like? Identical to me? Or somehow complimentary? Does my other half have what I don't? Did he get the looks? The luck? The love? Were we really separated forcibly or did he just run off with the good stuff? Or did I? Will this person embarrass me? What about sex? Is that how we put ourselves back together again? Or can two people actually become one again?"

Getting back to the most recent conversation with the dear pal that brought up this blogoriffic rumble-tumble: the other question posed was "What would it take for us to NOT have a desire to find another, or be preoccupied with another? I mean, we're fine alone, etc., but why - what is this...need? Especially, when (as we are well aware) relationships take work and are not easy and no one's perfect and people change and for some reason even if there is enough to build a relationship on it still doesn't always work out, and some of us can't stop thinking about guys who are assholes and have done us wrong, so wrong... [etc. etc. etc.]."

My mind searched the Sex & the City episode catalog with no recollection of this specific question, which seemed unlikely, and (note to self) required further research. But, on this topic: consider for a moment the Carrie and Big plot. In the meantime, it would be nice to have an 'off' switch for those thoughts that play in loops till it's madness in your head.

Is this life ever without a love story? Is bittersweet always the flavor? Desire - Eros - is a verb. It moves. It never stops, and there we are in it's wake.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have found in life, that all questions can and have been answered in the 6 seasons of Sex and the City.

Below is a link to the Episode Guide and some episodes I find relevant and soul soothing...

Episode 14 - "The Awful Truth"
"Practically all the relationships I know are based on a foundation of lies and mutually accepted delusion." -Samantha

Are there certain things in a relationship that one should never say? Carrie invites Mr. Big to her birthday party; Samantha struggles to tell her boyfriend about his shortcomings; Charlotte gets a puppy as a "man replacement"; and Miranda musters up the courage to talk dirty with her lover -- until she says something a little too revealing.

Episode 23 - "Evolution"
"It's like I had one too many items and I was being kicked out of the relationship express lane." -Carrie

Have New Yorkers evolved past relationships? Carrie tries (unsuccessfully) to leave a few feminine items at Big's; Miranda finds out she has a "lazy" ovary; Charlotte is unsure about her new beau being a "gay-straight" or "straight-gay"; Samantha's revenge plan on an ex fails.

Episode 49 - "The Agony and the 'Ex'-tacy"
"If two people have only one thought between them, something is very wrong." - Carrie

The girls get ready for a Saturday night out at an engagement party, but are dismayed when they see the invitation - it announces that the couple has "Two souls, one thought." After the party, Charlotte shows up at Trey's apartment wanting to talk. When she includes "sex life" under their list of problems, Trey tries to convince her otherwise. But instead of being convinced by Trey's passionate advances, Charlotte ends up with an unpleasant surprise on her leg. At the coffee shop, the girls discuss the concept of "soulmates." Afterwards, Samantha spies a hot priest outside a church. The next day, she spends her afternoon masturbating to "her priest." Over drinks, the girls discuss masturbation fantasies, and Charlotte admits that recently she masturbates to only one man - Trey. Samantha takes some canned peas to her priest, but is disappointed when he tells her that his life is about "other joys" than sex. Carrie wonders: "Are soulmates a reality, or a torture device?"

Samantha decides to throw Carrie a "fabulous lite" 35th birthday get-together at Il Cantinori. When all her friends are late, Carrie is left at a table for ten all alone. At the coffee shop, Carrie admits that while she was sitting alone at the table, she felt sad that she was 35 and had no special man in her life. Charlotte suggests that the girls could be each other's soulmates - and men could just be in their lives for fun. Returning home, Carrie spots Big's car. He's brought her red balloons and champagne. They sit in his car and talk about "soulmates."

Episode 61 - "The Good Fight"
"That's the thing about needs. Sometimes when you get them met, you don't need them anymore." Carrie

As Aidan and all his stuff officially move into Carrie's apartment, Carrie starts feeling increasingly claustrophobic. Carrie complains to the girls that without any private space, she can't indulge in SSB or "secret single behavior." Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte tease Samantha about her affection for her client and lover Richard. Samantha insists that her emotions are intact and that Richard is simply "Dick-alicious." Miranda, meanwhile, would love to get laid by her blind date, Walker Lewis, but is conflicted about having sex while pregnant. She wonders if it's her last chance for sex.

Carrie panics when she finds out that she and Aidan won't be able to take over the apartment next door for another month. When Aidan proposes cleaning out her closet, she panics even more. As she watches Aidan move her precious Manolos and designer garb and when Pete starts gnawing on one of her stilettos, a heated argument ensues. After much yelling, Carrie storms out with her laptop and wonders: When it comes to relationships, what are we fighting for? Things aren't much better in the shaky marital abode of Charlotte and Trey. When Trey brings Charlotte a surprise present - a cardboard baby, Charlotte is appalled and also storms out. Carrie and Aidan's silent war lasts three days without any apologies.

Meanwhile, Samantha meets Richard and is taken aback by the romantic scene he's set up. She reminds him that they're about work and sex and nothing more. After some skinny dipping and hot sex, Richard asks Samantha to dance. She tries to make it sexual, but Richard resists and Samantha gives in.

Carrie finally apologizes to Aidan and confesses that she needs him to not talk to her for one whole hour. He agrees but after a minute she returns to him, realizing that sometimes when you get your needs met, you don't need them anymore. Miranda decides she definitely needs sex and indulges her pregnant sexual cravings with Walker.