While out this weekend, someone started talking to me about The Universe. It was a dude just trying to impress me, but I’m elitist and pretentious and if you want to talk about the universe, then okay, let’s talk about the universe.
However, I think the real story here is that if you’re trying to impress me, it’s already too late to try to date me.
I need good banter. I need snappy My Girl, Friday kind of quips. I need some Woody Allen-esque, Diablo Cody-ish, Marx brothers-quick bon mots. And if you can’t keep up with me and you don’t even wear horn-rimmed glasses (my weakness), then step aside.
“Like, everyone gets upset over stupid s**t, you know? Okay, you don’t have Siri on your phone, but there are people dying other places, you know?” This guy nods to himself, he totally agrees with what he’s saying, and he’s breathing all over me and I’m trying desperately to find a pocket of air that isn’t either Marlboro flavored or just his CO2. He goes on, “The universe is huge and it’s expanding. People seem to forget that. They forget about everyone else. People are selfish.”
I really thought we’d be talking about The Universe in a Stephen Hawking kind of way, so imagine my disappointment. I didn’t want to talk about people dying at this bar any more than this guy probably wanted to talk about my menstrual cycle.
“When I was in India,” he mouth breathes on me some more and by this time, I’m losing consciousness practically from the lack of oxygen, “I learned a lot about what it takes to really be a man, you know? I learned what it means to be human. You have to really go to Mumbai.”
I have no idea if I’m even in 2012 anymore, because I feel like I was sucked into a party on a college campus in 1974.
“You really must join the Peace Corps or you’ll never fully grasp the meaning of life. Have you heard the new Neil Young?”
He takes a swig of his PBR and mouth breathes once more for good measure. “Really, you have to get in to dharma, too,” he tells me, out of nowhere.
“Right,” I say.
“I mean it,” he blows his smoke through his nose, “And look up at the night sky more. Find the constellations. Point them out. You’ll see that you’re so small. So insignificant, you know? That there’s really no free will. Just fate.”
I laugh, not at the idea, but at the fact that he’s trying so hard, and accidentally inhale his smoke, so it turns into a cough.
“What’s so funny? How is the galaxy funny?” he asks accusingly. Finally. Asking me something, but as it pertains to him.
“I just think, that, yeah, the universe is really infinite and huge and people do forget that they are just one person part of one planet, but really, we’re all connected. Every little thing we do matters in some way.”
The guy nods, “Exactly. I knew you were smart. I could tell by your bangs,” he says. As if this makes sense, that my bangs should hold all my education and power. He adds, “The universe is vast and only getting bigger.”
He doesn’t seem to know much, this all sounds very rehearsed, and I’m running low on oxygen and patience. I press on, “Yeah, the universe is always expanding, but I have to think, if the universe is constantly expanding, what the hell is that doing to my ass?”
He blinks and flicks his cigarette away and I try to take a deep breath before he lights another one and I have to stop breathing again, “I don’t get it,” he says and takes another cigarette from the pack as I roll my eyes involuntarily.
I politely excuse myself and find a place at the outside bar where I can get some fresh air and check out the stars.