The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday, Marriage Story, Lewis Ginter Lights


Actually Very Simple
By Jay Deshpande

He came back from halfway around the world like that,
tongue tied around him like a scarf. Everything set before him
set to bursting. The fear that what he’d seen—
what had been inside him—that one
clear note—now would slip away. He’d go back
to an electric life, stupid with administration.
How does one re-enter a calendar?
He was still in love with the yellow dirt seen at the hour
of the museum’s closing, two weeks before the Palio.
With the sound he almost certainly heard his blood make
as he ate the last bite of liver toast
and finished off his wine, at night, in a tower beside
a total field. Or the remarkable look
a girl had given the bushes at 3 a.m.
on a hill above the Aegean before she let him
pull her pool-soaked dress up above her thighs.
He was still in love with all the cataclysms in his flesh.
Even though none of that was real anymore.
And it was his human duty to go onward, forget it all,
get caught back up in the cloud of the thing.
The next morning he woke up, fully home,
ignorant as ever, just perhaps a light along the edge
of responsibility, the tasks that called him by a name.
As if their stress and weight existed only didn’t.
A brief glimpse, and then that part of what’s just in the mind
scampering back into undergrowth. (They called it capriola,
which was perfect.) And then—drawing himself out of bed
and lacing up his shoes. Getting out and running among
buildings, the stacked reds and blues of Brooklyn. Gaping
at the faces of his neighbors, or the way a leaf hangs,
or a swatch of pavement wet between parked cars.
Huffing widely at it, and running a little slower.
Gathering it all up into his mouth.

--------

I had a sonogram on Tuesday, which was no big deal medically -- my doctor just wanted to check some stuff, and the ultrasound doctor said everything looked okay -- but they kept me waiting 20 minutes past my appointment time for nearly 20 minutes, which is even longer than last time, and next time I am going to pee all over the waiting room and the smug little receptionist chatting with the accountant about things they're buying for themselves for Christmas can clean it up. Of course I'd rather have a bad waiting room experience than a bad examining room experience, but it still sucked intensely at the time.

By the time I got out, Goldberg's Bagels was about to close (they sell fresh bagels made that day and close at 3), so I raced over to get some, then went to Dunkin' for a Beyond Sausage sandwich. Then I did a Terrakion raid (I think no Pokemon has ever hated me as much as he does) and came home to do chores. Paul made peanut stew for dinner, which was awesome.

Then we watched Marriage Story, not the happiest of movies to watch with one's spouse. Parts of it are moving and the acting is exceptional, but the screenplay pissed me off repeatedly. Are all the male critics who slobbered over it so used to women being satisfied with playing supporting roles in their own lives, and so accustomed to accepting all the things Scarlett Johansson's character says she hates in herself, that they feel justified in talking about what a nuanced portrait of a couple this is?

"You don't want a voice, you just want to complain about not having a voice," Adam Driver says to her at one point, and she very admirably does not shoot him; then he says that every day he wishes she was dead, and the film wants us to feel sorry for his man-pain so badly, it even makes her character feel sorry for him! Why is this movie so much more about him than her when he's the one who broke the marriage in the first place? There's so much Gary Stu going on that I found it stifling. On a happier note, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's holiday lights:

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