GEORGE: This a new couch?
DR. SELMAN: So what brings you back?
GEORGE: Well, it’s been six months.
GEORGE: I’m a little groggy, I have to admit, because I had to work last night. Went to this benefit at the Central Park Zoo. What animal did you like best?
HILLY: This huge porcupine and the little fox and an owl that was just gorgeous.
GEORGE: And Al Gore was there.
DR. SELMAN: Personally, I’ll leave the petting of wild animals to other people, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
GEORGE: And then as usual, I started getting a little rambunctious, didn’t want to go home, so I put Hilly in a cab round midnight, and ended up in some apartment sitting around with kids half my age playing this game I invented. Got home at 7 a.m., I’m sorry to say.
DR. SELMAN: Why are you sorry to say?
GEORGE: I don’t really know if it was worth it.
HILLY [impatiently]: O.K., well there are a couple of things that have been going on recently—and I think for the most part, I’ve been very happy and I think you have, too—of course there are the ups and downs—but I’ve noticed this sort of return recently—since George turned 40. First of all, he wasn’t looking forward to turning 40, and he kept on saying over and over, ‘Don’t do anything, I don’t want any surprises.’ But something clicked in my mind, and I thought, Wait a second, I think everyone says that, but you have to do something. So I ended up organizing a surprise party—and I’m telling you there was a limit to the number of people, so I was really militant with the guests—I even told the editor in chief of a major publication, because he couldn’t commit—I was like, ‘I’m sorry, you may be standing out on the sidewalk because George is a popular guy.’ And he got scared of me, I’m telling you. Anyway, out of 60 people, 50 of them came. It was the most incredible thing. It was a little hippie lovefest for George.
DR. SELMAN: I actually read about it on Page Six.
GEORGE: I’ll never forget it. It was amazing how I was lured down there to the nightclub The whole time I was trying to get out of it, like ‘Nah, I really just wanna go home, I don’t want to drink tonight.’ Hilly and Jack were being real persistent and anyone in his right mind might have suspected something was up. I start up the stairs and see a friend of mine from high school and think, Oh, Henry just happens to be here. … And then I walked in and there were 50 people staring at me and moving in on me—it wasn’t no surprise party, it was fucking terrifying. It was like getting mugged or attacked by 50 people, but in a good way. I was so overwhelmed, my first instinct was to leave—bye, see ya! But after about four screwdrivers, I managed to smile.
DR. SELMAN: Well, what’s the problem here?
GEORGE: Let’s get all the good stuff out of the way. We also saw Van Halen, another big recent highlight.
HILLY: Wait. So the party was great. And the next day he was really happy, and I tried to show him my planning Excel sheet with all the names of the people in case—
GEORGE: So what does this have to do with our relationship?
HILLY: Well, one of the things I gave him for his birthday was a book of some of my favorite articles he’s written. I scanned all of them and put them into a computer format, and into a book form—
HILLY: So that they can be e-mailed, and they’re divided them into chapters—
HILLY: This is to make you seem more professional and organized, even though you’re an extremely charming person—that’s not the only reason all those people were there.
HILLY: It’s a combination of your talent and your intelligence and I don’t want you to lose the momentum of ego boost.
GEORGE: Lasted about a week. Why don’t we have a surprise party for me once a month?
HILLY: You need to make some money.
DR. SELMAN [to GEORGE]: Did you thank her, too?
HILLY: Oh, yeah!
GEORGE: I’ve always wanted to do that, have a monthly party and get all my socializing out of the way: If you want to see me, then be here.
HILLY: Well, another reason that I’m bringing this up is maybe you’ll be inspired to do something on your own. But that hasn’t happened.
DR. SELMAN: What do you mean?
HILLY: Taking the initiative to try to do something.
GEORGE: I can be pretty lazy.
DR. SELMAN: You thought that the effects of the party would somehow wear off on George.
HILLY: I think you could make an effort to maintain contact with some of those people, so they help keep your spirits up. When you’re sitting around feeling depressed about yourself, maybe it’s an extra sort of ego boost to give you the confidence to try to do something a little harder.
GEORGE [to DR. SELMAN]: I feel like a pig shat in my head.
DR. SELMAN: You feel how?
GEORGE: Like a pig shat in my head.
DR. SELMAN: Like a pig …?
GEORGE: Went to the bathroom in my head.