“I told him I hoped we would die at the same time in the mouth of a lion.” – Lena Dunham
I’m late. I should have been here an hour ago. That was the plan. At least, according to the alarm I set last night, the plan projected hopes for a 4 AM wake-up, a 4:20 table read. But, lo, I overslept. The direct consequence of staying up late to watch another episode of Girls and to read another chapter of Tim O’Brien. Seems like a random combination – Girls and The Things They Carried – but they’re not so crazily different. In one, you’ve got four hip chicks blazing through New York’s concrete jungle, endlessly obsessed with humping and their fear of boys. In the other, you’ve got a platoon of men romping through Vietnam’s bush and ghost jungle, drastically aware of what their humping (different humping) and their fear of boys. Heck, there’s even war in both stories. In Girls, all the girls are at war: Hannah’s at war with her relational paranoia and Adam’s disregard of her in the face of her need for him; Marnie’s at war with her own vision of true love and a boyfriend who loves her “too much”; Jessa’s at war with her body and what her body’s producing and what she wishes her body could still do for her; and Shoshanna, bless her heart, is at war with her own inexperience, which fuels her hopes for a fairytale life with friends and, eventually, lovers. All the girls on Girls are at war, even if their war is different than O’Brien’s war against ghosts and mud fields and the men left behind and the things they’ve humped home and his butt and his hatred towards Jorgensen for letting his butt rot. It almost sounds too neat, too cliché: we’re all at war! War is kind! War is hell! Hot shot Lena Dunham and sure shot Tim O’Brien joined in a holy matrimony of my morning words about war, but the battles are there in the text, in the characters, in the pages of scripts and manuscripts and the undying need to get beyond this next hill, be it vaginas or Vietcong, there’s a hill to take and conquer and leave behind, all with the potential to circle back around and take the hill again. My life feels similar – distant and identical hills, plastic battles and honest fighting. Just this morning the cool, stretch of bed sheets wrapping my legs waged war against the alarm clock calling me to this table read. So the theme of today is war. War war war. Internal. External. Winners. Losers. Nation vs. nation. Spirit vs. flesh. Naughty vs. nice. Life vs. death. Best Coast vs. Britney Spears. Even my little pug-dog just now scampered down the steps yawning with a little swath of sleep in the corner eyes, firing pug-lovely missiles at me from his dirty eyeballs, swearing at me to get back in bed where the burrito warmth of our two bodies can cuddle together and fight off the cold reality of a new morning. He’s a wise pug-dog, but I need to be here even as silly as the outcomes might weigh. Jotting words, quickly and thoughtlessly here, I gird myself for the day ahead because, glory hallelujah, the war rages on!