Wednesday, January 28, 2009


"No," she says, the words spoken with the casual indifference of somebody opening a box of crackers or folding socks, something requiring no thought at all. Clearly this subject is of no importance.

Surprised, he essentially repeats the question in the form of a statement. "We used to talk about having a kid."

She flips channels, TBS, Discovery, Lifetime, TNT. "We used to talk about a lot of things."

"Yeah, but specifically, we used to talk about this. It was something we were always going to do."

She stops on AMC, then sets the remote down on the slightly-widening gap between them on the couch. "It was something...Do you really want to talk about this?"

"Well, I don't know. It's just something I've been thinking about lately."

"But do you want to talk about this? Or is it enough to know that I don't want to have a kid right now. Or ever, probably."


"Not...I know you think I can be flighty or unfocused or ditsy or whatever you want to call it--"

"I've never said that."

"--but this is something I'm certain about: I don't want a kid." She sighs heavily. "With you."

"Me? I'm...What...does that mean?"

She sighs again, sitting absolutely still. "Look. Okay. It's like this. In all the time we've been together, I've never quite I feel, exactly. It's not that I don't love you. I do. And I know you love me, but with's all on the surface, you know? It's nothing grand, nothing passionate, if you left tomorrow, I'd maybe cry a little, but I'd basically be okay.

"And that's...kind of what I wanted when we first met. I wanted a relationship that was committed but...disposable. I wanted to feel like I could pull up roots at any time and go away, start all over, be a whole new person. And if that didn't happen, if I didn't do that, I wanted it to be because I'd fallen deeply in love."

Her eyes stare at him, mercilessly but not unkindly. "Two years. I didn't plan on being with you this long. And after all this time, I'm still not sure how I feel. About you, and everything else. The same job, the same town, the same friends. It's not how I imagined my life, and I don't know...anything right now. But I do know if we started pumping out kids right now, I'd resent them, and I'd resent you, and I'd blame you for making me choose a life I never wanted." She begins to cry, and he makes no move to comfort her.

Her tears play out, and all is silence, except for the TV: Kevin Kline is smugly self-important, Jeff Goldblum is self-consciously eccentric, Glenn Close is whiny. "Jesus," he says at last. "Are we actually sitting through The Big Chill?"

"Yeah," she says, wiping her eyes. "I just noticed that myself."

"Maybe we should shut it off." He forces a half-smile. "We need to talk."