At that Moment Everything Was Truth

17 Jul

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There’s an episode of Girls this season where Marnie runs into her ex, Charlie.  Once upon a time Marnie and Charlie were in love, they were together, they were family.  Now Charlie is sitting by the side of the street and Marnie is wearing her sweatpants and it takes them a moment to recognize each other.

What follows is a beautiful sequence in truth and love and the things we let ourselves believe.

Marnie and Charlie spend the night in suspended reality.  Marnie at one point tells Charlie that she wrote half her album about him.  The tension is thick.  They have history.  They love each other.

They love each other?

They get back to Charlie’s apartment.  He has a trash bag over his window, a tattoo on his chest that says something about being “humble” and a false accent as part of his gig as a drug dealer.  Charlie is not what Marnie wants.

Marnie is married.

They talk.  “What am I going to do about you?” Marnie asks.  Charlie suggests they run away the next day.  That they move somewhere and start a general store, somewhere that has a general store.  Marnie smiles, Charlie smiles.  “You were my family,” she says.  He remembers her uncles names, the particulars of her life.

It’s intoxicating.

In the morning Charlie lies to Marnie about his drug use.  It’s the wake up call from the fugue state they’ve been in.  That night wasn’t real.  Well it was real, and the things they were saying were coming from deep places of hurt and loss and sadness and loneliness.  But it also wasn’t real.

It reminds me of a Brothers Karamazov quote a friend sent me years ago.  She’s the type of friend who signs her emails, “light” like I’ve just started signing mine “best.”

 

“That’s why I loved you, for your magnanimous heart!” escaped suddenly from Katya.  “and you do not need my forgiveness, nor I yours; it’s all the same whether you forgive or not, all my life you will remain a wound in my soul, and I in yours – that’s how it should be…,” she stopped to catch her breath. 

“Why have I come?” she began again, frenziedly and hastily.  “To embrace your feet, to squeeze your hands, like this, till it hurts – remember how I used to squeeze your hands, like this, till it hurts – remember how I used to squeeze them in Moscow? – to say to you that you are my God, my joy, to tell you that I love you madly.”  She nearly groaned from suffering, and suddenly, greedily pressed her lips to his hand.  Tears streamed from her eyes. 

Alyosha stood speechless and embarrassed; he had never expected to see what he was seeing.

“Love is gone Mitya!” Katya began again, “but what is gone is painfully dear to me.  Know that, for all eternity.  But now, for one minute, let it be as it might have been, “ she prattled with a twisted smile, again looking joyfully into his eyes.  “ you now love another, I love another, but still I shall love you eternally, and you me, did you know that?  Love me, do you hear, love me all your life!” she exclaimed with some sort of almost threatening tremor in her voice. 

“I shall love you, and you know, Katya,” Mitya also began to speak catching his breath at each word, “five days ago, that evening, you know, I loved you…when you collapsed, and they carried you out…all my life! It will be so, eternally so…”

Thus they prattled to each other, and their talk was frantic, almost senseless, and perhaps also not even truthful, but at that moment everything was truth, and they both utterly believed what they were saying. 

 

Yes.

Their talk was frantic, almost senseless, and perhaps also not even truthful, but at that moment everything was truth, and they both utterly believed what they were saying.

 

I’ve had a night like this, once, in my own upon a time.  The type of night that sticks with you because it was surreal and yet boundlessly important.  Because you made big decisions without thought and went back on them in the morning. Because it was truth and it was not truth.

 

Lena Dunham doesn’t always get it, but when she does, she’s freaking Dostoyevsky.

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