Jack Dunphy is a filmmaker, animator, actor and writer from Chicago whose short films Serenity and Chekhov have played at Sundance, AFI and festivals around the world. He was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker magazine. His short film Revelations premiered at Slamdance and went on to play The Champs-Élysées Film Festival in Paris, France. His short film Brontosaurus played the True/False, Nashville, Florida, Philadelphia and Cucalorus film festivals. He starred in Peter Vack’s Assholes, which won the audience award at SXSW. He also co-wrote Stinking Heaven, which premiered at the International Festival of Rotterdam, with Nathan Silver, and wrote, edited and produced Silver’s The Great Pretender, which played Tribeca, AFI and festivals around the world. His latest short film, Sex & Other Memories, recently premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival. He is currently directing a feature film and developing a podcast for Talkhouse.
September 12, 2020:
This is the moment in which I relapse. Many times during the course of one of my “sobriety breaks” (as AA people would condescendingly refer to them), which usually last for six to nine months, there are many moments in which I think I am going to relapse. The challenge is then to not relapse, to instead push through the urge to drink or use until the urge subsides, like when you’re running and you hit the “wall” as they say, yet you keep running until you once again find your groove and sink into a runner’s high and think, “Wow, I can’t believe I almost gave up.” But then comes the moment which is unlike the other moments, the moment in which you know, you know, you know you are going to relapse. It is similar to the moment when you cheat on your partner, when you lean in to that forbidden kiss and think, Fuck it. I can’t sway on the edge of this diving board forever. I’m jumping.
And I did jump. Recently. I mean, I kissed a girl that wasn’t my girlfriend. Fidelity has never come easily to me. It has never come to me at all. It’s a character defect that I cannot justify or defend. Still, I keep finding myself in long term “monogamous” relationships with high emotional stakes, each one tainted by the secrets I keep. I’ve tried to be faithful. I’ve wanted to be. But just as the glowing neon sign of a ratty dive challenges my resolve, so do a new set of arms and all the promise I imagine they bring. Consequently, my “fidelity breaks” last about as long as my sobriety breaks. My ability to lead a double life is one I inherited from my father, who was a closet smoker. I remember watching from the top of the stairwell as my mother held a crumpled pack of non-filtered Camel cigarettes in his face yelling at a near deafening volume, “Stop lying, Mark! You’ve been caught!”
“They’re not mine,” he would say in a, cool, calm, collected tone.
“Are you crazy?! What world are you living in?! I’m holding the cigarettes right now!”
“They’re my friend’s,” he would say, like a career criminal who had the words, “deny, deny, deny” hardwired into his brain. My mom would then storm into the kitchen. She knew further interrogation was useless — he wasn’t going to break. He never broke. I know he lied about other things. Nothing malicious, he just didn’t want anyone to know the harm he was causing to himself — his chain-smoking, his reckless intake of coffee and his refusal to sleep, the occasional theft of my Adderall when I had it, his inclination to self-medicate with marijuana — these were things he kept close to his chest. One time I asked him, “If you knew you were terminally ill, would you tell anyone?” His answer was swift:
Years later, he suffered a stroke. While in the hospital, it was revealed that he was in fact terminally ill and that he had been for some time. Looking back, there was no evidence to suggest that he concretely knew he was dying and deliberately didn’t tell anyone, but I think he knew — on some level, he must have known.
I think about my dad whenever I’m at my aunt’s farm. He loved country sunsets. That’s where I am now, at my aunt’s farm. Just moments ago, my ass was planted firmly in her recliner, reshaping her ass groove (which I imagine will annoy her on a subconscious level), watching Charlie Kaufman’s latest offering, I’m Thinking of Ending Things. I already watched it once with my girlfriend who I live with in another part of the country. She’s brilliant, caring, cute as a button, oozing with love and compassion. She’s taken care of me and saved me from combustion numerous times. She sent me hot sauce when I was in rehab. And it’s over between us. I’ve known this for months. In Kaufman’s new film, the protagonist (well, “protagonist” is a strong word — even the word character seems ill-fitting) played brilliantly by Jessie Buckley continually punctuates her meandering voiceover with the words, “I’m thinking of ending things.” Watching this beside my girlfriend, who I am thinking of ending things with, was an intense and darkly comic experience. I don’t think the words, I’m thinking of ending things, which reiterate the film’s theme of one partner secretly wanting to break up with the other, had any effect on my girlfriend whatsoever. Partly because she was only watching the movie as a favor to me (she would much rather have been watching Big Daddy or Mr. Deeds, despite her proclamation that our favorite actor, Adam Sandler, is “cancelled” in our house after I told her he is a Republican — a boycott she instantly forgot about) but mostly, and this pains me to write, because she is clueless as to my true feelings regarding our relationship.
I’m mainly writing this review to distract myself from the documentary I’m making about my dear friend, the late, great unknown artist John Cibula. That’s why I’m out here on this little editing retreat in the country. My progress on the film comes in drips and drops. Watching John’s bloated, teddy-bear face on a loop, gazing into his eyes which used to shine so brightly, archiving his art (much of it unfinished), listening to his old voicemails — it’s driving me insane. Why do I keep making movies about death? Because I must. This much I know.
But I can’t focus on Kaufman’s loose adaptation of Ian Reid’s novel. As much as I want to like it, I find it overly-referential, hollow and confused. But Kaufman’s films are designed to be watched more than once. I wasn’t crazy about Synecdoche, New York when I first saw it either, and now it’s one of my favorite movies. I try to lock in on the wordy whirlwind that is I’m Thinking of Ending Things, but its exploration of solipsism through relentless voiceover, claustrophobic framing and jarring editing – which make the characters seem worlds apart, despite being physically close together – only reinforces my own solipsism. A sense of grief over my dead friend surges through my body. I lament the relationship that never was between me and the copper brown-skinned girl I cheated on my girlfriend with. I dread committing the criminal act of breaking my girlfriend’s heart, which I must soon do. I hear a literal ringing in my ears, like the tinnitus Toni Collette’s character (a real strong point in the film) suffers from in I’m Thinking of Ending Things.
I pause the movie and retreat into the kitchen. I turn on theoretically calming music, light a cigarette (I was recently diagnosed with diabetes and am definitely not supposed to be smoking) and try not to look at the shrine my aunt keeps above her kitchen island for all the people we’ve lost in life (including, but not limited to, my father and John). My aunt is gone for a couple days, which means I can fall apart without disruption, if I want. I press my face against the window and watch the fireflies illuminate the side of my aunt’s machine shed. I think about how cupping them in my hands used to fill me with the same elation that kissing a new face does now. I turn from the window and see a postcard from John’s funeral staring back at me – his high-school yearbook photo. He looks so young in the picture. I remember the day it was taken. Snap. I’m jumping.
I down my seven remaining Klonopin (a downer), find a half-drunk bottle of cucumber-infused vodka under the sink, twist the cap off and throw it across the room like a condom I have no intention of using, and down the clear liquid. The disgusting taste calms my nerves. I close my eyes and savor the moment. I put on Hank Williams III’s furious metal-infused country album Straight To Hell, my relapse theme music for the past seven years, and lean into the weighty buzz. Mhmmm. Honey, I’m home! I let the fast-paced Hellbilly score bulldoze over my hard-earned sobriety time like a monster truck driven by Satan, who in my mind’s eye looks like David Thewlis in I’m Thinking of Ending Things (another strong point in the film). Hank 3’s fatalistic lyrics deliver me from suffering to temporary relief.
I’m going straight to hell … Ain’t nothin slowin’ me down … I’m going straight to hell … So you just better get me one more round …
With a wobbly step, I prop the front door open with my aunt’s loaded semi-automatic shotgun. Roy, her newest and therefore favorite, cat escapes into the night. Damn it. The one condition of staying at my aunt’s farm alone was not to let Roy out. That and not to mess around with her gun. I have now broken both rules. Tonight’s mission is now a joint one — to use the gun simply as a phallic stress ball and not as a means to kill myself and to make sure Roy gets back in the house safe and sound. If I do decide to kill myself, I have to at least get Roy back in first. My poor ol’ aunt can’t suffer two tragedies at once.
After searching for Roy for a while, I drag a metal chair from the picnic table to behind the barn, plant it firmly in front of the cornfield, set the shotgun down beside my portable speaker and take another swig. I scroll through my phone and look for girls to call (a shameful drunken habit of mine since I was 14). Usually I make a point of not calling girls I have actual feelings for. But tonight, the same voice that told me to drink is telling me to call the girl with copper-brown skin I cheated on my girlfriend with. I haven’t talked to her since I accidentally sent a text message intended for my girlfriend to her, a message which included a lie as to where I was followed by the words “love you” and a heart emoji (the heart emoji was clearly the most revolting part), thus bringing whatever semblance of a relationship we may have had to a screeching halt.
I stare a hole through her number — another trigger I mustn’t pull. I set down my phone, gaze into the mysterious black-blue night and continue to listen to Hank 3. I think about how much more emotionally honest and raw Hank 3’s lyrics are than any of the heady dialogue in I’m Thinking of Ending Things. I’m on the seventh track of the album now, “Pills I Took.” It’s a song about pills he took. I relate to it more than any song on the album.
Well, I don’t know what they were an’ I don’t know where I got ‘em … But they sure did make me feel good … They kept my heart from feelin’ blue, an’ kept my thoughts away from you …
My dad hated Hank 3 so much. My mom and I would blast him on our drives from Chicago to the farm on Thanksgiving just to drive him insane. We loved watching him squirm and scoff at the vulgar lyrics. The song “Cunt of a Bitch” really pushed him over the edge. Making him uncomfortable made me and my mom laugh so hard — it was a bonding thing between us. After years of this abuse, he got his revenge. On the milestone drive from my childhood home to college he said, “Hey, hand me thank Hank 3 CD.” I said, “I thought you hated Hank 3?” “No,” he said. “I’m actually really starting to get into him.” I handed him the CD. He chucked it out the window immediately. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. God, I’m giggling now just thinking about it. The crickets seem to be laughing along with me.
It was my dad who planted me in front of the TV and made me watch Being John Malkovich, Kaufman’s iconic debut, for the first time. It blew my mind. I’m forever grateful to my dad for showing me that movie. Maybe my love for Kaufman is tied up with nostalgia for my father.
One might assume a son’s natural response to having a father who lied about the things he was ashamed of would be to behave differently in his own life — to be honest at all costs, even when being honest is the hardest thing to do. The inverse is true of me. From an early age, I saw lying – specifically self-preservation type lying, the type of lying designed to protect oneself from the emotional backlash of others – as a sign of manliness. Men lie. They let themselves become heavy with secrecy and guilt, they let themselves be killed by it — this is an ethos my father would be loath to know he passed on to me, but which he inadvertently did. If my girlfriend looked me in the eyes and asked me point blank if I cheated on her (this was a common occurrence), I would think back to my mom holding that crumpled pack of non-filtered Camel cigarettes in my dad’s face. “No,” I would say robotically. I would hear my father’s voice in the back of my head: Keep a straight face — don’t let up. It doesn’t matter if they’re holding the pack of cigarettes right in front of you or incriminating texts from another girl — Deny, deny, deny, even in the face of a smoking gun. Men lie — and not just for their own sake. Men lie to protect the feelings of others. (These are not things my father ever said to me — these are things his behavior said to me.)
I finish my seltzer chaser, drink the vodka straight, wipe my lips — (belch). Ya know, another thing I don’t like about I’m Thinking of Ending Things is how over-edited it is. When a film is that dialogue heavy, as much as a play, you have to respect the performances enough to let them play out relatively uninterrupted, like in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Otherwise there’s no way for a viewer to really plug in. I want to watch every tic and twitch Toni Collette’s face has to offer — get your editing dick out of my face. Just let the scene play out, don’t disrupt it with —
“Hello,” she says. Huh? I guess I did call her — the girl with the copper-brown skin.
I hear a party behind her. Parties seem to accompany her everywhere. To say her tone is deadpan would imply too much character, too much deliberateness on her part. Her voice is simply monotone, in no way affected or ironic. It is simply a flatline on an EKG machine. It is not comforting or soothing until it is, at which point it is the only thing I want to hear.
“I was actually thinking about calling you,” she blurts out after a long, natural pause.
“Why didn’t you?”
“I don’t know.”
I can see her face now and it matches her voice. When she’s frowning (and she is almost always frowning), she looks like a carp fish. But when she does smile, it is infectious, all the more gratifying if you yourself have caused it. The party escalates behind her. When she smiles, her cheeks push upward against her eyes, which are usually saucer-shaped and express nothing but vague discomfort. Her eyes become obscured, almost squinted. Only the best people smile with their eyes; I read that in a children’s book once, I think. My dad smiled with his eyes. John smiled with his eyes. I watch a possum scurry into the machine shed. I think about shooting it, but then I remember that possums “clean up” a farm, meaning they eat ticks and other unwanted things.
“I was actually thinking about going to an AA meeting,” she says.
“Yeah. Well. I was gonna see if you wanted to go with me.”
I stroke the shotgun rhythmically.
“I would, but I’m not in New York.”
“You’re at your aunt’s farm?”
She was as heavy a drinker as me. That was one of the things that drew me to her — that and her chain-smoking, her general melancholy, her fondness for Don’t Look Back, the Pennebaker documentary about Bob Dylan, and her sneakers, which were white and perfectly accentuated the shape of her feet.
“I slipped pretty hard,” I say. “I mean, I’m drinking.”
“I figured. If you’re calling me, ya know?”
I hear a plate or a glass shatter on her end. Somehow I know she diverted her saucer eyes to address the situation.
After a lot of pushing and pulling in New York — we knew we liked each other, but I was in a relationship and she was obsessed with some pretty boy DJ fuckface— we kissed outside of a bar. Up close, her face looked like a gateway into an entirely new planet, a planet where I could be someone else and feel things more strongly and beautifully than I could here on Earth. Maybe on this new planet, I weighed 150 pounds and didn’t have so many fucking addictions. Maybe on this new planet, everything didn’t feel so fucking heavy and art could be made without the precursor of intense pain. Her skin was squishy.
During our necking, she said sensually, “You’ve wanted this for so long.” It struck me as an odd thing to say — clearly a proclamation of having the upper hand. But it didn’t bother me. I accepted my position, my rank, because it was true: I had wanted it for so long. And these moments — these face-to-face moments, where noses brush up against each other and lips interlock for the first time — these are the moments I live for. These are the markers by which I measure all other events in life. These are the moments that serve as a wellspring of creativity for me.
“I was doin’ real good,” I say in a prolonged exhale. “Six months. Now I’m worried. I mean, I’m real worried — about what I did tonight.”
“It’s OK,” she says in a tone that is suddenly soft and compassionate. This is why you have to put in the time with her. Because eventually she’ll reward vulnerability and show her true self —or at least a more pleasant side of herself.
“You had to do it and now you did it and everything’s gonna be fine. Tomorrow’s another day.”
“Yeah,” I say, legitimately comforted. “Look,” I say, mustering some liquid courage. “I think about you all the time — ” Now her friend Liz is screaming into the phone.
“Jaaaaack!” She’s drunk.
“Hi Liz,” I say, perturbed.
“Oh my god, I was just watching the new Andy Kaufman movie on Netflix,” she says, “And I totally thought of you. It’s like, very you. Definitely a mindfuck!”
“Why are you always trying to drive a wedge between me and Martha?!” I yell, suddenly furious.
“Oh my God, I’m not!” She screams back.
“Every time we talk, you have to get in the middle or push her away, like I’m not good enough for her or something!” I slur.
“Oh my God, Jaaaaack, you have a girlfriend — ”
Martha cuts her off.
“Just let me finish talking to him, I’ll be out in a minute.”
Liz ditches the conversation. I hear her laughing about something unrelated within seconds.
“What are you doing?” Martha says coldly.
“Ugh. I’m trying to finish this documentary on my friend John who died. It’s weighing on me — ”
“I know,” she says. She knows? Knows what? How? Moving on:
“And I’m trying to write this review of the new movie by Charlie Kaufman. He’s the guy who wrote Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine — ”
“I know who Charlie Kaufman is.”
“Oh. Well anyway, I feel like a traitor writing a review of anything at all. I don’t know where to start — ”
“You should just put yourself in the review. That would be the most Kaufman thing to do.”
“Yeah,” I sigh. “Thanks, but I like coming up with my own ideas.”
She stays on the phone longer than she told Liz she would. We reveal things. I stare into the black-blue cornfield that looms over me. I lose myself in its ominous beauty and fail to hear the words that slurp out of my mouth.
“Look, you know I’m attracted to you,” she says in response to something I don’t remember saying.
“So what do you want to do about it?” I say.
“I want to be friends.”
“I want to be friends and see where it goes.”
“Well, then I don’t know what to tell you.”
“Let’s go on a trip.”
“No. I don’t have any money.”
“I’ll pay for it. We’ll go to Michigan.”
“I don’t want to go to Michigan with you. I want to hang out with you here in New York.”
“Come out here to the farm.”
“I just need to see where life takes me.”
“Well, all roads lead back to me.”
She giggles, despite herself.
“All roads lead back to you?” She repeats in a tone that I interrupt as flirtatious.
I rub the chamber of the gun with my index finger as sort of an involuntary, celebratory gesture.
“Look, I should go, but … We’ll talk soon.”
“No we won’t,” I whine.
“Yeah, we will. In a few days.”
I switch my gaze from the cornfield to the gun.
“OK,” I mutter, knowing full well we won’t.
“Send me that song,” she says. I don’t remember what song she’s talking about.
We ping-pong boring byes back and forth and suddenly I’m alone again with only the crickets to bitch to. Fuck. I think to myself. I have to find Roy. I must. I must. I pick up the gun and resume the search.
It occurs to me that there’s something off about two male writers, Reid and Kaufman, trying to express the interiority of a woman and her difficulty and therefore all women’s difficulty in relating to men. Lines like, “The occupational hazard of being a female — you can’t even go for a drink, always being looked at,” and “Being a woman, the only way a guy leaves you alone is when you’re with another guy, like you’ve been claimed, like you’re property,” these are fine lines and all, but they don’t feel felt. Or nuanced. Or revelatory. They don’t feel like they’re coming from inside of a woman. They feel like they are coming from inside a man doing a bit of guesswork. I don’t believe a writer can’t successfully write about an experience that is not their own — not for a second. Kaufman did a pretty good job of expressing a woman’s complicated relationship with her own gender through Cameron Diaz’s character in Being John Malkovich (I’m told). She only gets off when she becomes John Malkovich, a man, but that doesn’t mean she has to identify as either male or female, lesbian or —
How the fuck did I get this far into the cornfield? I’ll just keep calling out for Roy.
Cats have a good sense of direction until they get into cornfields, at which point all they can see is light and dark. Maybe that’s my problem: I can only see light or dark — in life, I mean. I can only see it in extremes — as beautiful or ugly, as a gift or as a curse. I can’t live in that grey middle ground that is stability. Who was it who said that in life you have to choose between suffering and boredom?
Where is that goddamn cat…?
The thought doesn’t occur to me that the sight of a 200-pound man (let’s just say 200) using a shotgun as a walking stick, shouting at the top of his lungs might not encourage a scared little cat to reveal himself.
As much as I hate littering, I abandon the empty vodka bottle amidst the stalks of corn so my aunt won’t find it.
Stumbling back to the house, swinging the gun back and forth, hollering for Roy, I see Jessie Buckley’s freckled face in the moon above me, which is almost full. In fairness, the movie is chock full of rich and compelling ideas which circle and swirl around the borders of the film like the fireflies I’m seeing tonight. Perhaps ol’ Charlie just wasn’t able to cup them in his hands this time.
And who is this movie for? Is it really fair to a viewer unfamiliar with Pauline Kael’s review of A Woman Under the Influence to have it repeated in its entirety by a character with no context or explanation? Sure, it’s a bold and somewhat interesting choice, but what does it add up to for someone who isn’t immersed in the world of film theory? It certainly didn’t mean anything to my girlfriend, who knows little about film. Similarly, the choice to have the poem that Jessie Buckley’s character claims to have written actually be written by real-life poet Eva H.D didn’t mean diddly squat to me. My girlfriend’s a poet and knows who the hell Eva H.D. is. Therefore she got more out of the scene than I did. I know as much about poetry as she knows about film, so while I was affected by Buckley’s piercing brown eyes staring directly into the camera as she performs the poem, the deeper meaning of this choice – or at least the double meaning of it – was lost on me. It reminds me of an Ernest Hemingway quote:
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.”
I love Martha. Maybe I could be faithful to her. Maybe we could get married and be normal.
But fuck Hemingway. There are many ways of making art. His anti-elitism can easily become its own form of elitism. Plus, it’s his brand of macho bullshit that has me swinging a gun from side to side and killing myself with booze. I developed this bullshit self-destructive manly artist complex by reading guys like him too early in life. One of the things I’ve always admired about Kaufman is his lack of macho bullshit, both in his public persona and in his art, the kind of macho bullshit that killed so many of my other artistic heroes — Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams, John Cassavetes. What horrible role models for a young artist to have. But perhaps in I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Kaufman demonstrates own brand of macho-ness — intellectual macho-ness.
Roy! You fucking asshole! Come forward!
Toxic masculinity — it’s a real thing. But the part of toxic masculinity nobody talks about is that it is not only toxic to women and children but also to the men themselves. Toxic masculinity can be exhibited alone in a room for no one’s benefit but the man himself, if only to perpetuate his own perverted sense of self, e.g., me toting a gun, chugging vodka, drunk-dialing woman after woman, begging them to fill an unfillable hole, lying, lying, lying, because that’s what my dad did.
I’m trapped in my head and I always will be. I’m thinking of ending things.
I wrap my mouth around the barrel of the gun, just to see what it tastes like. It’s a lot bigger than my mouth so it takes a bit of effort to wrap my whole mouth around it. It’s cold, tastes like metal and oil and … I don’t know, salt? Pretty much what you’d expect. Maybe before I pull the trigger, I’ll text Martha and tell her it was all her fault. Haha. No. That’s not fair. She didn’t do anything. I did this to myself. My index finger hovers above the trigger. Is this really happening or is this just a story I’m telling? There’s only one way to find out. I close my eyes and feel a sweaty sort of panic.
I want a Twinkie. I want a Twinkie bad.
I lower the gun and proceed to the garage. That’s where the Twinkies are. My aunt keeps them in the freezer. They taste better that way, I guess. Or maybe they just last longer? I don’t even like Twinkies. I just know they’re the only sweets in the house —
I’m face down on the grass with the chamber of the gun pressed tightly against my chest and the barrel pointed outward. I tripped and shot a tree. Night birds scatter. I have the sense memory of riding a moped off a cliff when I was 13. I came to in a ravine with a broken wrist — my right wrist. This forever doomed me to masturbate with my left hand. I remember distracting myself from the pain of the broken wrist by repeating the words, Thank God I’m alive, thank God I’m alive, until my great uncle found me and hoisted me out of the muck. I’m repeating those same words now. Thank God I’m alive. I have so much more to do. I don’t want to leave behind a mound of unfinished art, like John. I have so much more to do. And how could I do this to my family?
I hold the front door open for hours trying to lure Roy in. He stares at me, but every time I inch forward to catch him, he dashes back into darkness. I’m sobering up now and am so uncomfortable and sweaty and filled with stress and despair. I’ve lost him, my aunt’s favorite cat. I’ve done a lot of bad things but how could I have done this?
I grab the box of Twinkies from the garage freezer and head into the kitchen. I’ve pretty much accepted that Roy is gone. It occurs to me to open the side kitchen door instead of the front door. I open it and Roy shoots inside with the speed of that bullet I accidentally fired. I take a deep breath. He’s used to coming in the side door. Of course. I could have saved myself so much time by thinking of this earlier.
I plant myself back in my aunt’s ass groove — it’s really our groove now — and press play on the Roku remote. I’m at the part where Jessie Buckley recites the Pauline Kale review. Ah, fuck it. I can’t force myself to like this. I call my girlfriend, the final act of my nighttime routine.
“Hi, handsome!” She’s so chipper. She always is.
“Heeeeey,” I wheeze.
“You sound tired. Ya headed to bed?”
I stare down at the box of Twinkies propped up on my fat, diabetes-belly. I’m killing myself. I’m killing myself on a sweet I don’t even like.
“How was your day?” I say, because that’s what I always say.
“Pretty good, the new girl we hired is a bit of a head-case. We just barely made our day…” We small talk. It’s not really about what we’re saying, it’s just that we’re saying things at all. The conversation ends around the five-minute mark, like it always does.
“I love you,” she says.
I hate myself.
“I love you too,” I say. And I mean it. I look across the room and see Roy licking himself.
I take a sigh of relief. At least Roy’s in.