Monday, February 12, 2007

FOOD! Glorious Food! (Except not food...)

On the commentary for the movie "As Good As It Gets", Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt talk about the restaurant scene they share late in the movie. For a reaction shot, Helen says, "I asked Jack to say something funny to make me laugh". What did Jack say that broke up Helen?

Jack: I said, "Tits".

I love that word, tits. It's a wonderful, evocative and provocative word. The hard consonant sound that explodes like a shock and then the sibilant that lingers like an ellipsis. I use the word when I can, which is not often enough because, sadly, it's not a word for polite company.

Tits.

Not only a delightful word, but a joy to behold. Again however, polite company frowns upon that kind of enjoyment. Also called "staring".

Also called, "leering".

It's like an eclipse of the sun, advises a certain Mr. Seinfeld, offering an unofficial compromising compromise.

You get a sense of it and then look away.

George and Jerry are like the id and the ego. I'm tugged in different directions (read into that what you will). The id wants the eyes to linger, the soul to sing, to bathe in the calmness and comfort of offered d├ęcolletage. Plunging necklines and open collars offer - perhaps encourage - an appreciative glance or glimpse. One's attention is drawn to an aesthetic geometry, a single tangent to two adjoining curves where the eye is drawn to follow the line down to tantalizing shadows.

Ego (or is it the superego?) and polite society advise otherwise.

I was talking across the table to a woman the other day and as I talked, she closed her hand around the top of her neckline. At this point I realize two or three or four things: that she has a somewhat revealing open neck sweater and that she's concerned about me looking down it. I think to myself, Did she think I was looking down her sweater? Was I looking down her sweater? Why did she wear that sweater if she was concerned with people looking down her sweater? Would I have noticed the tops of her tits (which were very pretty, by the way) if she hadn't moved to close the top of her sweater?

What's a poor boy to do? They are both our nature and our nurture, tits.

Now that I'm on the meds I feel less inhibited - which is more dangerous. At the risk of forever following the path down the slippery slope that is "dirty old man" ... 

("What am I, waiting to win an Oscar here? This is all I have in my life."

... I've decided to adopt a friendly arrangement: You show, I'll look.

Some of it has to do with getting old (although not all, as I recall witnessing a small group of teen-aged boys who were taking a break from their ball game to chat with - and grope - the high school sex kitten who had wandered by; gropers were rewarded with an elbow in the guts which elicited only more grins). You reach a point when you approach and then pass forty years old and you become acutely aware that (a) you're definitely going to die and it might not be very fun; and (b)  you are still attracted to pretty girls aged 20 and 30 (just like always) but they are never going to find you attractive again. "If they ever did," chimes in a voice from the peanut gallery. 

You are likely never again to know the passion of that first kiss. The heady feel of a young body next to yours.

In most circles, the resulting cycle of desperation and denial is known as the "Mid-Life Crisis" and it explains a lot about why men my age do some pretty stupid things.

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