Saturday, December 6, 2008
Increasing the Odds
The following was the impetus of a piece called 'Number 12'. Sometimes I write things before getting what I always knew. (I hope someday to write a play without love, but fear it's impossible). This one was for Matt, and for me, I just needed to catch up.
JOHN (28, Statistician, sidewalk outside of a speed-dating session)
I don’t know that I believe in love anymore. No no no don’t feel sorry for me. Not in an ‘I’ve given up on love kind of way’. I just think maybe its different than I thought. Like this idea. This idea that we are all destined for one person. I used to buy into that, and maybe I’m jaded or something but I’m not so sure about it. Maybe it’s a series of different people. If you really worked at it, really worked at it you could be compatible with just about anyone right? Yeah so what so you both really like Woody Allen , Thai food and the Mets …that’s just conditional. I mean if one of you grew up in New Guinea and you didn’t speak the same language you’d have no mutual frame of reference right? The physical stuff that’s inexplicable, and it comes and goes, attraction comes and goes. I mean that’s like marriage counseling in a nutshell right? But love. I think if you looked really hard you could find things in anyone that you could love.
Love, love is like the basis for all good storytelling. It’s like this beautiful lie we’ve built everything around, our whole societal purpose, everything we do boils down to the need for it. Show me a story that’s not about love. I took this acting class in college. Liberal arts. And I had this teacher, and she was southern, very ‘grand’. Everything you’d imagine. And we’d get up do these scenes. And she’d say ‘Wait wait What are you fightin for?” I’m not an actor so I don’t do it very well. “what are you fightin for?” and we’d stand there and give these long winded answers that we want this or that, and she’d just look at us and say “You’re fightin for love. What are you fightin for? You’re fightin for love”. Every scene this happened. ‘What are you fightin for?” “well I think I’m fighting for my job and my..” “No No You’re fightin for love”. So finally last class she asks this kid what he’s fighting for, and he says “Uhmm I’m fighting for love?” “No” She says “This is the one scene I gave you where you aren’t fighting for love.” But it’s all just the same. And it is. I mean psychologically don’t they say that all of our actions are built around, motivated by the need for approval, security, and control. And that’s just love. Right? The want for it, ingrained need for it. Like to feel that you aren’t alone in this world to feel that another human being chooses you. To be someone’s somebody. But why is that? Why is it this value on their choosing you over everyone else? The one. Why can’t we choose everyone. I’m not a swinger or anything like that… I have just been a lot of different people in my life, Tomorrow I’ll be someone else, my core will be the same but my experiences will be different. and this concept this myth that there is only one person out their for each of us negates everyone I’ve been and am going to be. And I guess some would say it’s cynical but if anything I think it’s opening up the possibility for romance, For constant possibility. I’m a numbers guy. I’m just increasing the odds.