Because the Beast is trying to gain 10 lb. and I am trying to lose 10 lb., settling on dinner has become a bit trying.
I’ve taken to starving myself during the day: drinking black coffee for breakfast, eating a shitty low-calorie salad or soup for lunch, gorging on whatever I want for dinner and washing it down with half a bottle of wine. I’ve finally started riding my bike again and am running on Saturday and Sundays. So far I’ve lost two-and-a-half pounds.
Meanwhile, the Beast, who never eats breakfast or lunch during the work week–he just drinks black coffee and smokes cigarettes–bought some dark chocolate, bagel chips, cereal and whole milk to increase his calorie intake. He has remained the same weight, despite getting back on track with his weight-lifting because he wants a ripped and toned body come summertime.
The other night I decided on a healthy dinner: an eggplant, tomato and chickpea casserole, using this recipe that my friend Katie passed on to me years ago, and salmon.
While the casserole baked, I decided to fold the laundry while enjoying a little Netflix. I watched about 30 minutes of Masterpiece Theatre’s Virgin Queen. Tom Hardy plays Robert Dudley. I was enchanted. Then I started watching Warrior, also starring Tom Hardy. He is a brooding war vet who comes home and starts fighting UFC and in a big match he ends competing against his own brother!
The Beast got home just as it finished. I told him we could watch Warrior again. I didn’t mind at all. But I’d also rented four movies–Jane Eyre (Fassbender one), Cassavetes’ Husbands, Frank Capra’s You Can’t Take it with You and Rossellini’s Journey to Italy–in an attempt to stop watching so much shit on Netflix and slow down the process of becoming sub-mental.
We decided on Husbands.
Foodie: I can’t believe I’ve never seen this before.
Beast: You’ve never seen this before?
Foodie: No. That’s what I just said. How many times have you seen it?
Beast: At least four or five. You’ve never seen this?
Foodie: No! I mean, I love Cassavetes–I just haven’t seen this one. What did he die of, anyway?
Beast: Lung cancer, I think.
Foodie: We are not smoking anymore.
Beast [looking up Cassavetes on my phone]: He lived a good, long life. He died when he was 59.
Foodie: What are you talking about ?!?!?! That is so young!
Beast: I don’t plan on living past 60. Wait–he died of cirrhosis of the liver. I guess we’re not drinking anymore.
Foodie: We are not giving up drinking [pouring last of wine into glass]. We don’t drink that much.
Beast: [eating bagel chips and drinking straight gin]
Foodie: Those bagel chips would make great croutons in a salad.
Beast: Post modern croutons.
After the scene in Husbands when the three men, who are mourning the death of their fourth friend, are extremely drunk in a bar and force a women to keep singing It Was Just a Little Love Affair until she gets it right.
Foodie: Haha, yeah post modern croutons. [Pause] I hate to say it, but these guys are not being very nice to that woman.
Beast [sarcastically]: Ah, you do know that characters don’t have to be 100 per cent redemptive in order to be good and not entirely morally corrupt, right?
Foodie [sarcastically and really straight-faced]: Oh, really? Thank you for that lesson in film. Because this is the first movie I’ve ever watched. I mean, it’s not like I’ve probably seen at least 400 more movies than you’ve ever dreamed of seeing.
Beast: The Lego Movie doesn’t count. You know Cassavetes was a feminist, right?
Foodie: You know that A Women Under the Influence is one of my favourite films, right? It’s not that I don’t get Cassavetes. It’s just that I think this one might be geared towards a more masculine audience. And you know I don’t say that a lot. You know I’m blind to gender.
Beast: What are we fighting over right now?
Foodie: We’re not fighting. Where the shit did all the wine go and how do I get another glass?
After the scene where the three friends, still drunk and mourning their recently deceased friend, get on a plane and fly to London, go gambling and bring three women back to their hotel room. (They are all married.)
Foodie [while quickly checking Twitter]: Well, I don’t think they’re treating these women very nicely either.
Beast: All you care about is curating your life on social media and I can’t believe that you don’t understand Cassavetes!
Foodie: Well, you’d probably go to London and sleep with women and drink and gamble and use Cassavetes as an excuse!
Beast: I would never do that! You are the one who would do that and you’d use Sofia Coppola as an excuse, only the stories wouldn’t be as good and there would be a shittier soundtrack! All you talk about is having sex with Brad Pitt and feeling Tom Hardy on top of you!
Foodie: I had sex with Brad Pitt in a dream! That is not my fault! You can’t control dreams. And I don’t want to have sex with Tom Hardy! I just want to know what it feels like to have that kind of man on top of me! I can’t help that you look like Matthew McConaughey’s body double from Dallas Buyers Club!
Beast: I AM TRYING TO GAIN WEIGHT AND MAYBE I COULD IF YOU DIDN’T EAT ALL THE FUCKING BAGEL CHIPS!
The conversation continues upstairs in the bedroom after the movie finishes:
Foodie: Where are you going?
Beast: I’m going to finish my drink and have a cigarette.
Foodie: Well, I’m sorry for not intuitively understanding Cassavetes. It’s just that Husbands is not what I expected. I thought it was about three guys who talk about death and grief and the human condition.
Beast: THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT IT IS ABOUT! These are three grown men who love each other! They don’t know how to express that. They don’t know how to deal with grief. They are lost. They are floundering. They are looking for meaning. There is nothing in their external lives that equals the internal. If that’s not the most honest conversation about grief that you’ve ever seen then I just don’t know what is.
Foodie: They didn’t even talk about their grief though!
Beast: What did you want them to say??!?! “I feel so sad.” “I miss my friend.” “Life is fucking difficult.” “I miss my wife at home.” “What am I doing?” There is no conversation! There’s just behaviour, which is what happens after words and rational thought fail to express what you feel. That’s grief for you, right there.
Foodie [pause]: Well, when you put it that way, but don’t make me feel stupid because I didn’t get. I’m actually really grateful that we’re talking about this. But I don’t like it when you make me feel sub-mental just because I liked Warrior and because–and may I add for the first time ever–I just felt Husbands may have been a little masculine. I wanted to like it. I did like it, now that we’ve talked about it. I actually want to watch it again, but not right now. In a few years, maybe. Or maybe I should have seen it when I was younger. I don’t know.
Beast: I’m sorry. I would never want to make you feel stupid. Really. I didn’t mean to do that. It’s just that this movie meant–and still means–a lot to me.
Beast: What’s so funny?
Foodie: It’s just that you like Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat right now.