I tried to remember the last time I’d run into an open body of water, or danced at a club, or sung a pop song, without a layer of self-irony undermining the sincerity of it all, without the need to let people know that “it was obviously a joke” through exaggerated body language or an overly accentuated Cher impression. I, in my anxious, sarcastic, self-parodying state, have never been and never will be the kind of person to “take it and run.”
I’m not in love with my body. We have a low-commitment, no-strings relationship. We get on well, we serve each other’s needs – but that’s it. There is nothing romantic about our entanglement. And there needn’t be. I am okay with my imperfections.
It wasn’t enough to simply dislike the film, to sit patiently, wait until the end and later inform your friends, ‘alas, not really my cup of tea!’. We couldn’t just let CATS be. We had to destroy it. It became a game to see who could leave the most scathing review, who could launch the most ruthless attack.
You see him around Oxford a few times. You smile. He looks at you awkwardly, gives you a stiff nod and later sends you a “You up?” message on Grindr at 2am. You down a can of G&T, dowse yourself in Febreze and head over to his place.
I was going to impress them with my perfectly-selected, painstakingly-crafted witty phrases. They would laugh, perhaps engage in my verbal sparring. We’d do this for about five minutes or so. Then they’d look deeply into my eyes and ask me to come on tour with them.
Viewing celebrities as the sum total of the struggles they faced strips them of their nuance and their complexities. Their life becomes a tragedy in five acts, one we don’t fully engage with.