DR. SELMAN: We saw each other before Christmas, right?
GEORGE: I think we’ve had a relatively stable time. Hilly flew down to North Carolina, and I drove—got to know Hilly’s parents and brother.
HILLY: It was so much fun, for my dad especially, because Georgie showed up and I think they have similar interests. George had this documentary about Toscanini, and my dad was thrilled and we watched it with him, and it featured all these friends of my dad’s that he hadn’t seen in years, and it was so cute watching him. And then, I just knew he would love it, so I said, “Well, Dad, you think you could show George, you know, how you play your bassoon?” He said, “Sure!”
GEORGE: Her mom was wonderful, the best cook, and her brother’s hilarious. I’d gone into this thinking—because I’d heard stories from Hilly saying how “weird” they are—but it turns out that she’s the weird one. They’re totally normal.
HILLY: I’ve never really thought that my dad was weird, but my mom and brother have always thought that he was the weird one.
GEORGE: Hilly’s the nut, but it’s O.K.
HILLY: And then one night we played Trivial Pursuit, and I was so excited because George knew all the answers.
GEORGE: I did all right. Your mom won.
HILLY: I think we let her.
GEORGE: It was just fascinating to me to see a nuclear family that’s together, parents still married.
HILLY: It’s nice, though, isn’t it?
GEORGE: Yeah. Yeah.
DR. SELMAN: A happily married couple.
GEORGE: No kidding! You know the demon inside me, the Ugly Spirit—that’s a William Burroughs term—that part of me has always had thoughts like, I think a perfect arrangement would be like Taki’s. Remember that guy?
GEORGE: Well, he has his wife—I don’t know if this is still the case—but he was allowed to kind of see young girls. They’d come and go, and he’d always go back to his wife. They had this understanding. What’s your reaction?
HILLY: Sorry, I wasn’t listening.
GEORGE: And the Ugly Spirit says, I wonder if, a hundred years from now, a study will prove that the healthiest arrangement—not just for the man, but for the woman, too—is for the man to be allowed, once a quarter, to have a fling for a day or two. And then the woman would be like, “O.K., it’s June, go for it—but then that’s it for the rest the summer.” Maybe that would keep the relationship together and increase the longevity of the man.
DR. SELMAN: Actually, it’s the other way around, according to a theory, “sperm competition”—that in order for the gene pool to have turned out the way it did, that it was women, over the course of millennia, who were not monogamous.
GEORGE: So how about the man and a woman both be real upfront about it? Don’t women live longer? Maybe that’s what’s going on: They’re cheating and they’re living longer. And that word “cheating”— maybe that’s a misnomer.
HILLY: Wait, all of a sudden you’re Tim Robbins.
GEORGE: What does that mean?
HILLY: That whole theory—aside from your carnal desires—doesn’t make sense with any other values that you have in your life.
GEORGE: Me, personally?
GEORGE: I don’t get it.
HILLY: I mean, you’re so con-ser-va-tive and you’re anti-ab-or-tion—and so quick to judge other people, to condemn the movie Children of Men—
DR. SELMAN: She does have a certain point.
GEORGE: I tend to agree with you. I’m sort of happy with—we’re having—we’re going to bed together like once or twice a week. You said before that it should be at least once a day, and I really think that if you’re going out with someone for five years—and I’ve done some research into this, talked to some couples—and I never believe those surveys that say the average American man has sex 138 times a year. Maybe if he’s some 22-year-old, or if he’s on Cialis. I just don’t believe that people have that much sex. And I’m fine with it.
DR. SELMAN: So what’s your concern?
GEORGE: Well, the Ugly Spirit makes me have those fantasies!
HILLY: I can tell you right now, if I were married, I would have a lot more sex.
DR. SELMAN: With whom?
HILLY: With George. I’d want to.
GEORGE: Oh, interesting.
DR. SELMAN: And why is that?
HILLY: Or at least, I guess, engaged. Recently, I feel like I’ve been holding back personally—especially since, right before Christmas, I’ve just been in a really negative state of mind, feeling down about myself. And the fact is, I’m at this stage in my life and at an age—despite every other thing that happens every day—when that’s always going to be weighing on my mind. Just yesterday, we were talking about evil spinster bitches—
DR. SELMAN: You’re saying—
HILLY: If I were engaged, I would have a helluva lot more self-confidence.
GEORGE: Can you talk about the evil spinster bitches?
HILLY: I think they couldn’t really get by existing anywhere but New York. It starts around my age—actually, it starts in their late 20’s—and they convince themselves that they are really happy and their job comes first and they have lots of friends and their friends are really special and the problem with guys is that “they just don’t understand that my job is my priority, so I just had to kick that one to the curb! But my friends are just really great.”
GEORGE: And what do they start to look like when they’re around 45?
DR. SELMAN: We’re kind of off on a tangent ….
GEORGE: She’s worried she could end up like this.
HILLY: No, there was a time, yes, when I was concerned, but I don’t think I could ever become that—
GEORGE: Your mom said you’re going to become this crazy cat lady if—
HILLY: —if you were to run off and I would never hear from you again.
HILLY: It would be extremely difficult, and I can’t even begin to fathom it, but I would have to move on.
DR. SELMAN: Hilly, are you saying that you’ve been down?
HILLY: Yes, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with Georgie at all—he’s been an angel.
DR. SELMAN: Do you have any symptoms?
HILLY: Yes, my skin has broken out and I’m really fat and irritable.
GEORGE: What are you talking about? Please.
DR. SELMAN: How are you sleeping?
HILLY: I can’t wake up in the morning. I was invited to a Golden Globes party with every single celebrity you could ever imagine and I couldn’t even put my dress on; I was in bed by 9:45. I couldn’t even stay awake for the season premiere of 24.
GEORGE: You were supposed to wait, to watch that with me on DVD next year.
HILLY: That’s another story.
DR. SELMAN: Where are you getting the Prozac?
HILLY: My doctor.
DR. SELMAN: Maybe you need an adjustment or an addition—
HILLY: I just upped my dosage to 40 milligrams.
DR. SELMAN: Would you consider the introduction of a second antidepressant?
HILLY: I’ve been down that road, and the bottom line is: I’ve been taking antidepressants for way too long. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve come to rely on Prozac. But I’ve been doing really well on 20 milligrams—down from 80 milligrams a year ago. It’s just different circumstances, a little bit of everything—hormones, the weather—bringing me down.
GEORGE: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I haven’t noticed this at all.
HILLY: Oh, George, my God—I walk around like an animal, complaining that I’m fat in my big flannel pants—
GEORGE: You always seem cheerful to me. I’m at my computer and she’s in her room, she’s got this little miniature TV her dad gave her for Christmas, and I hear her cackling watching Will and Grace. Me, I have a flat-out sleeping disorder. I can’t go to bed before 7 a.m. Monday night I was working, and I got this call at 1 a.m.—“Hey, it’s my birthday, come on down to Siberia, yeah whoo!” So I go and get home at 7:15. So I guess that kind of sets my sleeping pattern.
DR. SELMAN: 7:15 in the morning?
GEORGE: Yes. I go to bed at 7 and get up around 1:30 p.m.
DR. SELMAN: Did you ever try the Lamictal?
GEORGE: No, I’m sticking with the Yankee Doodle marijuana. But I’m running out and I might get some Jack Frost. But I yelled at Hilly last night, out of frustration. I wanted her to watch Thunderbolt and Lightfoot with me and she wanted to putter around. And then you were looking for a cord for your TV and I was trying to work, and I just kind of yelled: “You gotta be quiet or I have to get my own apartment!” Sorry about that. My temper in my 20’s was sort of bad. I used to do this thing where if I was walking down the street and a car got too close to me, I would swat at it. One time I was crossing the street and this car got a little too close, so I kicked it, and the guy jumped out, came running after me, leapt up into the air—it was like this slow-motion martial-arts kick—and right before he was about to kick me in the chest, he pulled back. Then he went back to his car and he turned around and said, “Faggot!” And I happened to have a Chapstick in my pocket and I threw it at his head, and he ducked and gave me this funny look. Not like he was impressed, not like, “Well, touché …. ” He was just puzzled: “Chapstick?”
HILLY: I kicked a taxi once after some witch stole it from me. People are just animals. People can just be so downright despicable and just full of sleaze, and that’s what’s depressing.
DR. SELMAN: Well, George, you tell me you’re having insomnia. Maybe there’s something we could do for that. [to HILLY] You’re depressed.
HILLY: I appreciate your opinion, but I feel like I’ve been through similar stages, and I feel like things are about to turn around.
DR. SELMAN: Maybe we could sort of revisit the medication issue. Maybe there are better things out there.
HILLY: I don’t want to try anything else. I really don’t want to.
GEORGE: You don’t want to be a laboratory—
HILLY: And I won’t. It’s like when I was a little girl, when I said, “I’m not going to eat it,” and I would sit there with my mouth sealed shut—and my mom would try to shove the steak into my mouth. I won’t try anything else. I just won’t do it.
GEORGE: I feel the same. That’s why I don’t want to try Lamictal. If I had two months and something to make me feel really good—like a huge financial windfall or opium—then I might experiment with an antidepressant.
DR. SELMAN: Sometimes Prozac kind of loses its effect. It’s called the Prozac poop-out.
HILLY: You and your poop!
GEORGE: We’ve been really upset lately because there are these people in Brooklyn who make little mini-flags of the President and stick them into dog poop on the street, then take pictures of the flags in the poop and put them on the Internet.
HILLY: That’s another fine example of the sleaze that is all over this world. I mean, what a waste of time and thought and … and you made me watch that horrible movie.
GEORGE: Jackass Number Two. Sorry. O.K., we’re going to San Francisco tomorrow. Clang-clang-clang goes the trolley! Right? Guess that was St. Louis.
DR. SELMAN: How long are you going for?
GEORGE: Six days. She’s going for work, and I’m just going to—
HILLY: And my birthday!
GEORGE: And our fifth anniversary. And we’re going to hang out with my friend Bruce, who’s recently divorced, has kids, and has this amazing bachelor pad overlooking something or other—
DR. SELMAN: Where are you staying?
GEORGE: The Palace Hotel and then some fancier hotel. But Bruce has this plan for Saturday: He’s going to rally his friend Tim for a sail around the bay, go by Alcatraz, then go see the freaks on Haight Street. And then walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, see if this girl, Big-Breasted Amy, wants to go out. Cocktails at Specs, a trip down the crooked street at high speed, then he is going to take me to Telegraph Avenue, give me a couple hits of acid, and then we’re going to go to Muir Beach, walk through the Muir woods, hit the Mitchell Brothers porn palace and the Lusty Lady, which is a strip bar with these hipster tattooed—
DR. SELMAN: You’re going to do this all in one day?
GEORGE: I think it might be the weekend.
DR. SELMAN: Are you going to participate?
HILLY: Absolutely not. And I swear to God, if he even comes near George with acid, he’s got another thing coming, because I will not allow that on my birthday weekend. I will not spend my birthday with you sitting in bed and whining and complaining and begging for scratchy and shoulder rubs.
GEORGE: Why would I—
HILLY: You’re going to get up and you’re going to come with me to Neiman-Marcus and we’re going to take trolleys and we’re going to go to Chinatown, and were going to have a fun jolly nice time.
GEORGE: She seems fine, right? You don’t seem like you’re depressed.
DR. SELMAN: She says she’s depressed.
GEORGE: I like the dark side.
DR. SELMAN: You could try Lamictal—
HILLY: No! Stop! You’re like a pusher. I’ve met guys like you, but they don’t have doctors’ licenses.
GEORGE: He’s just trying to get you on something that might work better.
HILLY: I know, but I just—
DR. SELMAN: You might be able to go off Prozac.
HILLY: Listen, I don’t want to take another dose of something else—unless you buy me that really chic weekly pill-decanter thing from Asprey, but it’s like $900. It’s so beautiful.
GEORGE: Do you realize that in two months I’m going to have no money? And you still haven’t paid this month’s rent, your share, and that’s not going to happen, is it?
HILLY [wearily]: I’ll pay it. I don’t care.
GEORGE: Well, tell about some good times recently.
HILLY: Oh, there’s this really cute thing that George does, we saw it on Conan O’Brien, with this girl from a movie called Hustle and Flow—she does a kind of home-girl cheer, and George has been imitating it.
GEORGE: Conan asked her, “Why are all these female rap songs about how, Oh I got what you want, take a look, here it is, but you’re never gonna get it?” So I do some version of that, and it makes her happy.
DR. SELMAN: Do you want to perform it right now?
[GEORGE performs the routine.]
GEORGE: This is what you want—but you’re never gonna get it ….
DR. SELMAN: You could say that to Hilly about not getting married, and you could actually mean it.
[To be continued.]
George and Hilly published 01/15/07
George and Hilly published 12/11/06
George and Hilly published 09/18/06
George and Hilly published 08/14/06
George and Hilly published 09/11/06
George and Hilly published 08/14/06
George and Hilly published 08/07/06
George and Hilly published 07/31/06
George and Hilly published 07/24/06
George and Hilly published 07/17/06
George and Hilly published 06/26/06
George and Hilly published 06/19/06
George and Hilly published 05/29/06
George and Hilly published 05/15/06
George and Hilly published 05/08/06
George and Hilly published 05/01/06
George and Hilly published 04/17/06
George and Hilly published 04/03/06
George and Hilly published 03/20/06
George and Hilly published 02/6/06
George and Hilly published 01/23/06
George and Hilly published 01/16/06
George and Hilly published 12/26/05
George and Hilly published 11/14/05
George and Hilly published 11/07/05
George and Hilly published 10/24/05
George and Hilly published 10/17/05
George and Hilly published 10/10/05
George and Hilly published 10/03/05
George ’n’ Hilly, Back in Couples, Turn on the Doc published 09/26/05
But Should We Get Married? Part III published 08/29/05
But Should We Get Married? published 08/15/05
Should I Get Married? My Hilly Joining Me In Couples Session published 08/08/05