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“The whale! The ship!”

from Moby Dick by Herman Melville


Dear young lady on the train, talking into a cell phone:

I’m not mad at all. I don’t mind listening to your conversation. After all, this is not the quiet car. Actually, I want to climb over the seat and hold your hand. I want to tell you there’s nothing you can do about all the hurt you’re gonna feel when the man you were with last night doesn’t call. I can hear how excited you are. Your friend is very nice to talk to you for . . . look! It’s already been an hour and five minutes. To tell it in full detail is to relive it. I remember that. And then . . .and then . . . ¬†and then you landed in his arms. She’s a good listener, your friend, but I know you’d do the same for her. As I did in my day. Now I’m married bla bla bla.

What I want you to know is there’s nothing in the world you can do to make him THE ONE if he’s not THE ONE. And even if he is THE ONE, that’s no lifetime guarantee. That’s going to be up to the gods as well. Just please don’t get mad at yourself over things you said or didn’t say. Don’t worry about your next move. You’re really not in charge of what happens, so relax.

It’s probably not going to work out. You know this yourself, but you won’t admit it, because you think it’s your job to make him love you. Darling girl, that’s not your job. It’s beyond your control. I can’t back this up with tea leaves or star charts, but I know it.

Still. It’s rolling. See where it goes.


film clip is from Dangerous Liaisons, directed by Stephen Frears, 1988