Spoiler alert!

Peanuts_kane


“I was watching ‘Lord of the Rings’ last night,” Apollonia told me not long ago. “And don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful. But twelve hours! And then I was lying in bed and thinking about it. And all of a sudden I thought: Why couldn’t one of the eagles just have taken the ring and dropped it into Mount Doom? Wouldn’t it have been simpler?” She grimaced. “And then I realized that I have no imagination. I could never have written that story.”

 

 

“The goal is not the point of the story,” I said. “The journey is the point of the story.”

 

 

She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, yeah. I thought the point of the story was getting rid of the stupid ring.”

 

 

“Well,” I said, “now you know why I always read the last page of a book first. I can’t stand suspense. I want to get it over with.”

 

 

She recoiled, as if I’d told her something truly horrible, like “Robert Pattinson and Tilda Swinton are actually the same person,” or “’Twilight’ was actually co-written by Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachmann.” “How can you do that?” she squealed. “It goes against nature.”

 

 

“That’s me all over,” I beamed. “Against nature.”

 

 

Seriously, I can’t stand suspense. I like mystification and puzzles, but I noticed a long time ago that most dramatic situations end up having unsatisfactory conclusions at the end of the day. Remember “Twin Peaks”? I loved it. But then the writers thought that they actually had to explain what was going on, and everything fell apart. Ditto “The X-Files.”

 

 

 

Speaking of “The X-Files”: I was talking to my student assistant Noah the other day about the show. He’s never seen it, but he loves fantasy and science fiction and crime drama, and is planning to stream the whole series on Netflix. (These kids these days and their technology!) “There was this terrific sexual tension between Mulder and Sculley on the show,” I said. “And they never really resolved it, until -”

 

 

He covered his ears with his hands. “Lalalala!” he screamed. “Don’t tell me! I don’t want to know!”

 

 

See? Another one. Just like Apollonia.   

 

 

 

But sometimes I find an innocent victim.

 

 

Years ago, I was attending a Film Society event at Brown, and the girl taking money at the door had the Penguin edition of “Sense and Sensibility” lying on the desk in front of her as she made change for people. (This was back in the 1980s, before every single Jane Austen novel was made into a film.) “Enjoying it?” I said, nodding at the book.

 

 

“I really am,” she said earnestly. “She writes so well. And, you know, I’m only about halfway through, and I really don’t know what’s going to happen. I assume they’re both going to get married, but – ”

 

 

“Elinor marries Edward,” I said smoothly, “and Marianne marries Colonel Brandon.”

 

 

I have never forgotten the incredulity on her face. “Why did you tell me that – ”

 

 

But it was too late; I’d escaped.

 

 

This is one more thing I will have to account for on the Day of Judgment.

 

 

I’m against nature, remember?

 


 

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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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