“Can I just tell you one time?”

Posted: November 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

Things are getting too full inside this ol’ noggin of mine; fragments have been swimming about, spinning, colliding into each other, knocking away things I ought to do and making me a bit scatterbrained. I’ve gotta start clearing house a little bit, even if these thoughts don’t come out as developed as I’d like.

“Can I just tell you one time?”Louie and Pamela

Tonight, while I was making my dinner, I put on an episode of Louie (season 2’s “Subway/Pamela” — potential spoilers follow), because some of the strongest moments on the show so far (I haven’t gotten to watch season 4 yet) have been between Louie and Pamela late in season 2. I hadn’t seen the episode in a while, so I’d forgotten just how strong the flea market confessional is, when Louie asks, “Can I just tell you one time the way I feel about you?” That scene and the airport scene in the season finale are two of my favorite moments in television, ever.

I love them for how remarkably bittersweet they are; the airport scene is somehow both grimly funny and heartbreaking, and the flea market scene just hits you… well, I’ll just let Louie’s expression do the talking:

This might also seem odd, but the flea market scene is, to me, very romantic — despite the obvious strains of a sort of realistic anti-romanticism that are also present.

I spent a fair bit of time thinking about what I counted as romantic after a conversation half a year ago in which I was sort of accused of not being a romantic — perhaps rightfully so: I don’t believe in love as being full of breathless declarations of “forever” with your prince/princess and dramatic gestures and Pride and Prejudice quotations. That’s all well and good, I s’pose, if it’s what you’re into, but I’ll be brutally honest: to me, it seems shallow. I suppose it’s because I’ve always been a “still waters run deep” kind of person. I believe in a love that is showing up every day, quiet but clear actions, perhaps fewer words but more original ones. I love that Louie’s words aren’t perfect; the simple and occasionally awkward honesty of “this is how I feel” is far better to me, because it’s more real, than the impossible eloquence of an Austen fantasy man.

Part of what hits me about the scene is that I know what it is to be brave and vulnerable with someone (I’m pretty sure I’ve stood in Louie’s shoes more often than Pamela’s). Like others who have started down such a path, I know the odd, insane momentum that comes from the action of being honest, how it makes you start to hope against all reason that baring your heart has made a difference, even when you know intellectually that you are about to hit the wall and crash and burn. I know the feeling that shows up when it doesn’t make a difference. But, when it does… well, that’s why the hope is there.

So, I value the people who risk the crash and burn, and I love Louie for blurting his mixture of clumsy clichés and wonderful originality to Pamela, for starting to tear up at the airport, and especially for that moment when he says, “Shut up. Let me tell you. Let me.”


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