I drank too much last night. What, I'm not supposed to tell you the truth all the time anymore? Look, that is my role in this economy, you can take it or leave it, and sure, there are truth-tellers out there who don't have any alcohol dependency issues, but if they try to tell you they have no dependency issues, my friend, that truth they are peddling is Lite, and Lite tastes like shit to me, all of which I say, ha ha ha, in "lite" of a NY Times story out today, on how the poor economy is slowing down women's "progress" in the workforce, sending them home to their families and threatening our struggle to achieve parity in the quantifiable ways we can use to calculate the slope of the trajectory of our emancipation. And it was to that, last night, that I drank. And it was to dependence, or rather, interdependence, the operating principle of this floundering economy and all human civilization, and the pragmatic foundation of all that hippie humanism shit I talk about when people call me a bad influence.
So women, for the first time in the past seven economic contractions, are exiting the workforce. Will they do anything? Will someone need them? What about their needs? Because, as I told a guy on Sunday, in a town where everyone you know is an "independent contractor" and "codependence" is a slur and "energy independence" is a goal is, like, a society totally in denial about this basic fact of human nature which is that we need to be needed.
I had, that same day, already cried upon seeing The Wackness, a movie about the codependent relationship of a psychiatrist and his pot dealer, two highly indispensable men, men whose remuneration is commensurate with the urgency of the need for the the things they provide and are, for that very reason, sad. Because those things, duh, are drugs. And dependence on drugs — or alcohol or money or the simulacrum of buddyship — is not enough. "It's not enough, not nearly enough," Luke's dad says, matter-of-factly, when he returns home to find his family in the process of being evicted and tries frantically to offer up the $26,000 he's earned hustling all summer to save the cause. And you're like, huh? But it's nineteen ninety four!
But see, that's the point; Luke's dad's face is resigned, relieved even. People get evicted. All the time, especially now, and especially then, in New York in the nineties, when all the talk was growth and prosperity and liquidity. That's the thing about "progress", it doesn't have to be a zero-sum game if there's some thought given to the interdependence of things, like eking out a sixteen cent a share earnings increase from a lucky harvest or training the staff on a more efficient piece of software or switching accounting standards or closing a factory, and when it's that latter one some folks get evicted.
So anyway, Luke's family sleeps in motel, Luke in a cot beside his parents' bed, where he lies awake at night and watches, in a grossly manipulative gratuitous tearjerkoff of a scene that is like almost too corny to tell you about but:
His dad puts an arm around his mom in his sleep. They "spoon" or whatever.
I was one of two people in the theater, so I really don't know if anyone else completely lost it in this scene. I am thinking no, because I have issues with crying, in that I can't generally do it unless I am watching a movie in which case Jersey Girl has been known to do the job. The last time I cried not in a movie context I was coming down (up? away?) from Vicodin. It was that night I was at that wedding, the night of the great Tampon miscalculation, at 30th Street Station, and when I say "night" I mean around 5:30 a.m., when I gave up trying to sleep because it was just too damn cold, which was my fault for pairing a strapless bridesmaid's gown with nothing a cardigan I'd burned a dinner plate-sized hole while dulling my senses on the Vicodin. Anyhow, so I got a hot water at McDonald's and sat in a booth and let the tears start in confidence the usual 5:30 a.m. crew would be too preoccupied brokering peace accords between their various personalities to notice.