Monday, November 30, 2009

My Own Neil Simon Play

So, anyone who reads this blog for any length of time knows that one of my all-time favorite movies is Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl. And not that shitty remake - the original Marsha Mason/Richard Dreyfuss classic.

It never fails. At the end of the movie, when Marsha Mason declares, "Well, look at me, I'm all grown up. A man is walking out that door and for the first time I am not falling to pieces," I feel a surge of pride. And then when Elliot Garfield calls from their leaky phone booth and asks Paula, "Do me a favor, will you? Have my guitar restrung?" I cry like a child.

It's because, for the first time, Paula has her own sense of self. And it is that sense of self that allows her to experience a true love with Elliot. And whether or not he actually comes back, she'll be okay.

Or something.

Anyway, I know that real life is not a Neil Simon play. ("You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.") But, I did have a brief Goddbye Girl moment.

You see, today, GoodBuddy officially hit the road. He's in NJ in some Bates Motel as we speak. And I didn't cry. Not once. Not at all. Yes, granted, I cried a boat load last week, but to my credit, I did have a bunch of massive traumatic events hit me at once. Despite that meltdown, I do feel like my time with GB, for better or worse, has helped me to understand myself at a deeper level. To know that I at times have conflicting needs and desires and that there are more facets to my identity - both light and dark - than I had previously been ready to acknowledge. And, so, I have been feeling a bit a if I've had my own awakening. Which makes this fact a bit more poignant...

He left seven Bud Lights in my fridge.

Long ago, I used to joke that I knew he was officially mad at me if he took all his beer in the morning, leaving none for the next time he came 'round. As a result, he would often leave one or two as a "starter kit" for the next visit.

I'm sure GB isn't the romantic I would love him to be. I'm quite certain he's never seen The Goodbye Girl. I'm also pretty sure that he left the beer more as an oversight than as a gesture.

Still ... you have to admit that the irony and the situation is a bit uncanny.