The Final Episode

Written by Amy Sohn on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts.


“No,

donut,” he said. “It’s the tv. I rented the Neil LaBute movie,
Your Friends & Neighbors.”


I stood
up, went into the living room and turned the volume up. Jason Patric was sitting
in a steam room with two other guys telling them the best sex he ever had was
when he was 12 and raped a boy in his class. The camera was dollying in slow
toward his face and he looked jaded and callous and cruel. I shut off the tv,
went into the bedroom and lay down with my back to Paul.


“What
is it, poundcake?” he said.


“That
monologue kind of took me out of the mood.”


“I
can understand that.” We lay there quietly for a long time and then we
both got kind of listless. We were too weirded out for nookie but we didn’t
want to lie still either.


“Maybe
we should do something,” I said.


“What?”


“I
guess we could finish watching the movie.” I knew it was sick but a part
of me was curious about Jason Patric’s loathsome character. I wanted to
see how much more diabolical he could get. So Paul and I put on our clothes,
sat on the couch and watched a lot of uptight white people be mean to each other
and have bad sex. Jason Patric kicked a girl out of his apartment for getting
her period on his high-thread-count sheets, Catherine Keener screamed at Ben
Stiller for talking during the act and Nastassja Kinski was so needy and shrill
I wanted to clock her. By the time the film was over I felt like showering for
a week.


“Why
do people watch that shit?” I said to Paul.


“I
couldn’t tell you,” he said. “That movie missed me by a mile.”


We took
our clothes off and got into bed, but something about the film made us toss
and turn. “Crumbcake?” he whispered.


“Yeah?”
I said, turning to face him.


“What
are you thinking about?”


“How
depressing that movie was.”


“Me
too.”


We blinked
at each other and then he put his hand on my hip and a few minutes later we
were knocking boots. I was quiet the whole time through. Usually I talk a great
deal during sex, every minute practically, but that Keener monologue made me
scared my verbosity was a turnoff. After a while I noticed Paul was being pretty
quiet too. It’s not like he usually talks a lot but this time he seemed
miles away. From a physical perspective, though, we were both doing fine, so
instead of suggesting we stop I stayed mum and a little while later we finished
what we’d started.


“How
was it?” I said, rolling onto my back.


“Weird,”
he said. “I hate that Neil LaBute.”


“I
do too!” I shouted. “He’s ruining sex lives all over the country!
Arthouse hipsters everywhere are paying nine bucks to see his movies, thinking
he’s the future of cinema, then going home and having strange and silent
sex. He should be blacklisted.”


“He
really should.”


Just then
I felt something warm down below. It wasn’t Paul’s hand. I bolted
out of the bed and ran to the bathroom. “What is it?” he called.


“Something
came early and I don’t have any supplies,” I said, cowering. I was
afraid I’d stained the bed and even though Paul’s sheets have very
low thread count I wondered if he might subconsciously turn assholic because
of the film.


“Reach
under the sink!” he said. I leaned over and opened the cabinet and there,
right behind the Ajax, was a small green box of Super Absorbent Tampax Tampons.


“Why
do you have those?” I said.


“Someone
left them here.” I knew they were his most recent ex-girlfriend’s
and at first it upset me to think of her lingering presence but then I decided
to count myself lucky she’d left them behind. I plugged myself up and went
back into the bedroom.


“Aren’t
you glad I had them?” he said.


“So
glad,” I said. “You’re no Jason Patric. You’re my menstrual
hero.”


“Anything
for you, rumball,” he said, nuzzling my nose.


Several
weeks later I decided we should see Eyes Wide Shut. Although Francesca
said it sucked and my brother called it “the worst movie ever made,”
I wanted to go so I could judge for myself which side of the banquet table Tom
sat on.


The tickets
were for the 11 o’clock show on a Saturday night. “I’ll pick
you up at 10,” I told Paul on the phone. “Then we can grab a bite
and get there early. Eyes Wide Shut is a popular flick and we want to
be sure to get seats.”


“Yes,
babydoll,” he said, sighing. He thinks I’m a nerd. When I went out
with Novel Lover he was the nerdy one, but with Paul, I am. He always mocks
me for wanting to get to places early and for reiterating our plans 10 times
over, but it’s important to be thorough and I don’t care what he thinks.


I picked
him up at 10 and we went to the Italian cafe by his apartment. We finished eating
at 10:40 but it took another 10 minutes to get the check, and another five to
figure out how much to tip. By the time we walked into the theater, at 11:01,
the film had begun and almost every goddamn seat was taken. I scanned the room,
spotted two empties way to the left in the third row, grabbed Paul’s arm
and raced him over. The angle was horrible–we had to turn our heads almost
45 degrees just to see the screen. Then I looked behind us and saw two empty
seats. There was just enough room by the wall for us to slither through, but
right as we planted our asses the girl next to us said, “These are saved.”
We grunted and headed back to our originals, but just as we were arriving, two
Bridge and Tunnels snagged them from under our noses. So we slid in next to
them, farther to the left than we were at the beginning, and had to angle our
heads a million times more.


“We
should have stayed where we were,” said Paul. “Qui va a la chasse
perd sa place
.” Paul’s parents are French and sometimes he comes
out with these weird quotes.


“What
does that mean?”


“A
bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”


“Don’t
talk dirty,” I said, looking over toward the screen. Nicole Kidman was
dancing with this cheesy gray-haired guy and the acting was so stiff I couldn’t
focus. Instead I began peering around the room in search of better seats. And
there was so little leg room that my legs kept getting cramped so every 20 seconds
I’d uncross them, then cross them again.


“Are
you happy where we’re sitting?” I finally whispered, hoping he’d
say no so we could leave.


“Yes.”


“You
sure?”


“Yep.”


“Because
I’m not.”


“Muffin,”
he said tightly.


“What?”


“You’re
giving me agita.”


That stung.
I’d never had a guy complain of agita before. It was such a low blow. I
pouted, cracked my neck and watched the film. Overall I thought it was slow,
awkward and scarily puritanical, but I didn’t get really mad till halfway
through. I’d enjoyed seeing Nicole’s taut arched nips, I’d gotten
a kick out of Leelee Sobieski’s pubescent buds and I’d even gotten
some pleasure out of the naked druggie chick. But by the time we got to the
orgy scene I was aching for some dick. This scene had been more hyped than any
other in the film. Surely Stan would show some shaft. I kept squinting during
the pans for a glimpse of some stick but no matter how hard I looked, no heads
were reared. It wasn’t like I expected to see Cruise Cock, but I’d
been hoping at the least some extras would display.


When the
movie was over Paul said, “What did you think?”


“They
didn’t show any dick,” I whined. “Didn’t that bother you?”


“Honestly?
No.”


“But
don’t you think equal-opportunity nudity is important?”


“No.
You like watching dick. I like watching tits.”


I sighed
and we walked out of the theater. As soon as we got to his place we climbed
right into bed. Despite the cock lack, something about the movie had fired me
up. We lunged for each other fast and charged. We were so yuppie kink. So Manhattan
married. We did a bad, bad thing. I knew he was probably thinking about the
ivory-skinned, generic-looking chippies in the orgy scene but that was all right,
because a few minutes in I started thinking about them too. I imagined I was
one. And then Tom became Paul, approaching me in a corner, and finally, finally,
I got some Dick.


“That
was nice,” said Paul, when it was over.


“Yeah,”
I said. “To hell with Neil. Long live Stanley.”


“Long
live Stanley,” said Paul, and then we fell asleep.


As you might
have gleaned, this is my last column for NYPress. I wrote my first story
for the paper in May 1996, when I was 22, and began getting hate mail the following
week. I was a temp then and I’d read “The Mail” each Wednesday
on my lunch break, sob and bite my fist. But then I took a lesson from the hottest
Jewish guy ever, Jesus, and learned to love my attackers. Not that all the mail
was bad. Two Park Slope lesbians wrote me to say they were diehard fans, an
anonymous male said he’d jerked off to a photo of me that ran in The
New York Times
and a young actor sent a headshot with all his vital statistics–and
the words “I’m goyim”–printed neatly on the back.


In the end,
though, it’s you putzes I’ll remember the most. The ones who wrote
in week after week to lambaste every conceivable aspect of my person and pussy.
Who rejoiced at each of my downfalls and booed each of my triumphs. Who never
failed to call me skeaze and skag on the one or two occasions my photo appeared
in these pages. I won’t name you here, because it would gratify your spindly
little limp inadequate egos, but you know who you are and I won’t forget
you. Friends come and go, but enemies are forever.


Over the
course of the three-plus years of “Female Trouble,” I’ve profiled
many men (and women) who have brought me shame, heartache, misery and, once
in a long while, love. Here are a few updates on where they are now:


YOUNG DIRECTOR
is proud father to a one-month-old boy, BABY DIRECTOR. He and his fiancee BETH,
Baby’s mom, currently reside in a Tribeca loft and plan to marry in the
fall.


MR. DIRECTOR,
Young’s dad, still lives in Boston, where he watches dirty films, lunches
with New England glitterati and practices tasergun skills on his groundskeeper
Kevin.


SOCIAL SATIRIST
is working on a book, fighting his libidinous urges and mocking hypocrisy in
very clever ways.


CALIFORNIA
COCK moved to Los Angeles to be near his girlfriend and continues to labor in
graphic design. He still doesn’t know what Milton Berle looks like.


AUTEUR JEW
has not read my novel and probably won’t be directing the film version
any time soon.


DEREK from
the pilot recently landed a regular role on the new Barry Levinson cop show
The Beat
, and is looking for a one-bedroom apartment downtown.


COMIC CYNIC
and I have not spoken since the Green Mountain Film Festival.


FRANCESCA
is still my best friend, still smokes Camel Filters and is currently dating
a very good egg.


NOVEL LOVER
is enjoying great professional success. Although he recently began seeing someone
new, he readily admits that he still has “some intimacy issues.”


Despite
the fact that PAUL remains my boyfriend, I still have a few intimacy issues
myself. For example, we’ve been together more than five months and I’m
terrified to pop the words for fear he might not say it back. Plus he’s
going out of town for two weeks to do some film work, and on top of that my
therapist’s on vacation till Labor Day so I can’t work any of this
crap out with her and…but enough about me.


..