March 26, 2012

a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils

To say I'm a big fan of words is a hyperbolic understatement. Words set the stage for life. Your use of words shapes how others see you, perceive you, respond to you. But for your words to have any worth, they have to come, not just from your mouth or your fingertips, but from inside who you are. Your words have to be real. Genuine.

That being said, I find the dialogue in most chick flicks to be fluff, and outside of a good pillow or a toasted marshmallow, I don't have much use for fluff. But great dialogue? Well, great dialogue has me still holding my eyes open at 1:30 a.m., completely enthralled with a sappy Nora Ephron movie I have seen at least a dozen times because of language like this:

Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, meant we were supposed to be together... and I knew it. I knew it the very first time we touched. It was like coming home... only to no home I'd ever known... It was like... magic.

'What will he say today?', I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects... and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: 'You've got mail'. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets ... just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you.

I would have asked for your number, and I wouldn't have been able to wait twenty-four hours before calling you and saying, "Hey, how about... oh, how about some coffee or, you know, drinks or dinner or a movie... for as long as we both shall live?" And you and I would have never been at war. And the only thing we'd argue about would be which video to rent on Saturday night.

I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell you on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

I've been thinking about you. Last night I went to meet you, and you weren't there. I wish I knew why. I felt so foolish.... Anyway I so wanted to talk to you. I hope you have a good reason for not being there. You don't seem like the kind of person who'd do something like that. The odd thing about this form of communication is that we're more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.

All I'm saying is that somewhere out there is the man you are supposed to marry. And if you don't get him first, somebody else will, and you'll have to spend the rest of your life knowing that somebody else is married to your husband.

People are always saying that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened. Someday, it'll be just a memory. But the truth is... I'm heartbroken. I feel as if a part of me has died ... and no one can ever make it right.

I'm gonna get out of bed every morning... and breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out... and, then after a while, I won't have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while.

Do you ever feel you've become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora's box of all the secret, hateful parts - your arrogance, your spite, your condescension - has sprung open?

Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So, good night, dear void.

And then the dream breaks into a million tiny pieces. The dream dies. Which leaves you with a choice: you can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Nora, you were brilliant and witty and funny, and I will miss you.
June 26, 2012, RIP.