We don't laugh the way we used to.
I think we should see other people.
Can we still be friends?
The break up was inevitable. Two people thrown together by circumstance, clinging together for survival through thick and thin. Although, had that been us on the Titanic – you would have jumped in the lifeboat first – and I would have let you. I have always loved you Jack, more than life itself.
But, who am I kidding? It was bound to get monotonous. After all, this has been the longest relationship I have ever been in. And let's face it – I haven't been the easiest person to live with – so hat's off to you for sticking around. Mind you, I've been the sole breadwinner while you flitted through life, blowing my hard-earned money like a horny salesman in Vegas.
But my love was unconditional.
So what finally pushed us over the edge? Was it the vacuum of nothingness created by a sudden excess of free time. Or was it simply, The Clash of the Titans?
I do recall it went something like this:
"I really want to go to a movie, but Sam has to work, and no one else can go." He said, flopping down on the couch.
"I'll go!" I said, excitedly, already tucking into my mental bucket of large popcorn, double layered with real butter. I haven't had a carb since January, and I was already drooling. "I haven't seen a movie in ages!"
And that's when it happened.
"That's okay. I'll just play Xbox." The Little Bastard said, reaching between the cushions for the controller.
The unsinkable hit the iceberg.
"So... you'd rather NOT go to a movie, than go to a movie with me?" I asked, intercepting the invisible beam that travels from the sofa to the Xbox. "Is that what you're saying?"
The Little Bastard looked at me, then he tried to look around me.
"Listen, Scooby Doo... do you have any idea how many brain cells I have destroyed over the past 16 years, sitting though your stupid movies?" I asked, point blank.
And out it came.
"Do you think I actually liked Flubber? Because, remember when you were all cute, and covered with red dye from an $11 box of Skittles, and you said, 'Mom, wasn't that funny?' Well, I lied. I hated every stupid second of Flubber!"
I was just getting started.
"I hated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Fockers. Cody Banks. Snakes on a Plane. Clifford's Really Big Stupid Movie. Thunderbirds. Daddy Stupid Daycare. Fat Albert!" They were beginning to flow like fake topping on a kiddie pack. "I bit my tongue all the way through Eddie Murphy screwing up Doctor Dolittle? How stupid do they think children are!? Big Momma's House?!"
"That wasn't Eddie Murphy" he said. "That was Martin Lawrence."
"Who cares?!" I screamed. "I sat, no I tried to sit through Rugrats Go Wild – completely sober – and practically had a breakdown pacing back and forth in front of the concession stand." I was beginning to sweat. "No one... not even I have to pee 14 times during a 90-minute movie!"
I wasn't done yet.
"The Santa Clause. Spy Kids 3D. Oh! And what about MVP: Most Valuable Primate? A hockey playing monkey? You loved that piece of shit!" I hollered at the now stone-faced seed of Chucky. "I don't remember that little cinematic gem walking away with any Academy Awards."
But the night was still young.
"I sat through fucking Pokémon for fuck's sake. Pokémon: The Longest Most Plotless Movie EVER! I sat through that Japanime retaliation for Hiroshima desperately trying to make eye contact with other parents, with hopes of sliding out to the parking lot to drop acid. And let's not forget The Rescue Heroes. Baby Genuises. Inspector Gadget!" I spat.
And I wasn't finished.
"Alvin and the Chipmunks! Kung Fu Panda! Snow Dogs! Air Bud! Digimon! Mr. Popper's Penguins! Thomas the Stupid Gay Fucking Tank Engine! And what about that insipid waste of film with the stupid metal giant." I crescendoed. "I only went to that piece of drivel, because you said Vin Diesel was in it. And it was animated!!!" I said, waving my arms around.
"Iron Giant." he muttered.
"You owe me a movie, you ungrateful little shit!"
I was exhausted, and quite frankly I couldn't drag any more film titles out of my suppressed emotional data base.
Or so I thought.
Just then, a flashback to a place in time more horrific than childbirth, suddenly reeled its ugly and enormous breech head – and with my last dying breath – I screamed, "SPONGE BOB FUCKING SQUAREPANTS!"
And with that, I left the room.
I fell to my knees in the living room, and went about building a fire – crumpling up old newspapers and last semester's chemistry notes. I caught a glimpse of Movie Times in The Chronicle Herald and reached for the Bic lighter.
"Want me to do that?" The Little Bastard had come a grovelling. "Need me to carry up some more wood or anything?"
"No, I'm good." I said, forever stubborn.
"Mom, if you really want to go to a movie, let's go." He surrendered.
"Okay." I said, meekly. "Maybe there's something we both want to see."
"Wrath of the Titans starts in half an hour." He said. "It's a sequel."
I just stared at the smoking kindling.
"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is playing at the Oxford." I said. "Lots of leg room in the balcony. You like fishing."
And with a whoosh my fire ignited, breaking the awkward silence that had fallen over the room.
"You know what, I don't really feel like popcorn. Let's just stay in." I said, tossing in a log.
And with that, the final sparks of a beautiful relationship flew up the chimney – and I faced up to something I'd known for a really long time.
The little boy who used to spill his $7 dollar Mountain Dew reaching his chubby, buttery hand over to find mine – in the dark, during the scary parts – had drifted away. Soon, it would be Home Alone 5.
Time to find my own lifeboat.