Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You (34 page)

BOOK: Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You

Key Scenes or Sequences from a Documentary about Him and Zoey (
Muses in Love
, or Something like That) Darren Pictures While Hanging Out in the Poochie's Parking Lot


It'll open with Darren and his band playing before a pretty huge audience. Actually, not so much huge as just totally and utterly ecstatic. And it will be shot from the edge of the stage. It's not clear who else would be in the band. Maybe Nate, maybe not. The music would be kind of jazz and kind of rock, but not fusion and not any other kinds of jazz-rock hybrids, because most of those are pretty lame. It'll be something new and amazing that hasn't been invented yet, because the whole point—no, half the point of the movie is that this music is some kind of key development in music history.

And Darren's at the center of it, obviously.

So the opening is just an example of this music. No, it's more than an example, because this footage will be from some famous concert (in New York or L.A. or maybe even Chicago) that established the band and their music as a big deal. Like, about three seconds in—no, before the concert is even shown, when the screen is still black, it will say in white letters on a black screen, something like
March 24, 2021
, and then the name of some famous club in New York or wherever.


And then right after a whole song, or most of a song, is shown, just to establish how awesome the band is and how totally mesmerized every last person in the crowd was, it will switch to Zoey being interviewed. And she'll say something like, “Did I know what I was capturing that night? No. How could I? No one could have. I just wanted to capture it, because I wanted to capture everything he was doing. That show was one of about twenty I filmed that spring. Because I couldn't get enough.”

Of course, this will be a much older Zoey speaking. Maybe she'll even have a little gray streak running through her hair. Like, she might even be forty by then. But she'll still be beautiful, maybe even more, somehow. And she'll be sitting on a couch in their cool Brooklyn apartment. Or maybe on some porch with one of those L.A. canyons in the background, if that's where they live. It will just be Zoey talking, even though they'll still be together then. Because they'll interview Darren separately, because that's what you do when you're making a stellar documentary.


The parts with Darren, his interviews, will start with him looking through a scrapbook with Zoey's first drawings. But it won't be clear at first that it's Darren looking through it, because the camera will just be doing a close-up on the drawings. The first of which will be the letter with them holding hands, and designs on their arms. Then he'll turn the page and it'll be the second one, the one with all the stars at night. And then he'll turn the page again, revealing the one that arrived on the afternoon of his sixteenth birthday: the self-portrait, the one with the heavy shadow covering up half her face.

But not the spot on her lip, which is clearly the focal point of the entire drawing. And you'll see Darren pointing at it and him saying (while he sort of laughs in disbelief), “The amazing thing is, she didn't know yet how I felt about that spot. But she focused on it anyway.” The camera pulls back and there's older Darren, his hair a little less crazy but still curly, some gray hairs here and there. A kind of noticeable potbelly, but who cares. Somehow not even Darren cares. There are instruments and mixing boards behind him, he's in some sort of recording studio. “Like she already knew.”

And what showing these early drawings will make clear is that they're all by the same person, but a person who's getting way better at drawing from picture to picture. Later on in the documentary, gallery owners and other famous artists will look at Zoey's work and explain why it matters so much in fancy, technical art terms. But this scene is just so everyone can get a look at her first works, and learn when and where and why and for whom she started drawing.

And, just as a little extra bonus, one of the songs from the first playlist he sent her will be playing in the background.


Later on they'll interview some dude who's an expert on creative couples. Because there's an expert for everything. He'll be talking in front of a huge bookshelf, of course. And he'll just look crazily smart, with intense eyes and black-framed glasses and probably a beard or something. And it will say his name at the bottom of the screen, along with “author of ” and then the name of some book that will make it clear he's an (maybe
) expert on the subject. And right away he'll be talking, excitedly, using his hands like crazy.

“There are, of course, no shortage of famous creative couples, creative pairs,” he'll say. “Lennon-McCartney is probably the best-known example. But what's truly remarkable about the Jacobs-Lovell case is, well”—he'll laugh—“there are a number of remarkable features. One, the two of them worked, have worked, continue to work, and excel, in two fairly distinct fields. Jacobs in music, Lovell in the visual arts. For more than two decades now. Two, they each made truly astronomic leaps at around the same time, in their late teens and early twenties. Three, their work was, in many senses,
the other. Four, even after each was quite famous, they continued working in close proximity to each other, Lovell traveling with Jacobs's band, Jacobs writing and recording in a studio literally attached to Lovell's studio. And, most of all, five, they have been a couple, a
couple the entire time. And their relationship has survived!” The guy smiles and shakes his head. “There's truly no precedent for this.”


Of course there will be a bunch of other stuff in the middle of the movie. But the best part will be near the very end, after all the history has been shown and all the experts talked to. It'll be in their house or apartment or whatever, which will be super cool and awesome (because obviously they'll be totally loaded) but without being too fancy or anything. Funky art on the wall, though probably not Zoey's stuff. Plus some pretty kick-ass furniture. Maybe they'll even have a kid or two; yeah, they probably will, but the kids won't be in the movie.

The point of this scene would seem to be the two of them somehow explaining how they've been able to be so creative separately while staying in love at the same time. Like maybe the filmmaker will even ask them point-blank at the beginning of the scene. But neither of them will answer the question at all. They won't even try, really.

They'll just be laughing, or giggling, even. Zoey will be really happy by that point. Will have been for years. Not all the time, because how can you be happy all the time, but she'll smile this great smile of hers a lot, plus she'll have this amazing laugh that Darren, the sixteen-year-old Darren, still hasn't heard.

But okay, the point is, they won't answer the question. Instead, Darren will be playing a ukulele, trying to get Zoey to sing some harmony with him, but she's pretty bad with harmonies when it comes to singing. Of course, it won't matter, because the whole point of the scene is just to make it clear that they're still totally in love. Totally crazy about each other. Everyone else is trying to figure out their secret, but the two of them couldn't care less. And between their love and them not caring about the rest, it's sort of like anyone who sees the movie will be super jealous of them but will still like them anyway.

Voice Messages Waiting for Darren on His Phone


[“Happy Birthday” sung in some kind of harmony that might be intended to be funny]. Craig:
Hi, Darren, we hope you have a sweet, sweet sixteenth, kiddo. We put something in the mail, but it might only get there Monday. Love ya. Eli! Come here and wish your cousin a happy birthday. Is he coming? Yes or no? Okay, well, looks like Eli will call you later. Have a great day. Bye-bye.


Happy birthday, sweetie! I hope you're having a wonderful, special day so far. I cannot believe you're sixteen. My God, my baby's sixteen. Unbelievable. Anyway, I'll be getting in around noon, I'll call you then. And I have a special present for you, and it's not a night at that motel near the Denver Airport, trust me. What a dump! Okay, I love you very, very, very, very, very, very, very much. Happy birthday!


Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Darrr-rren, happy birthday to you. OMG that you're sixteen. And boo that I'm not there. Or that you're not here. Completely unfair. So, okay, you won't believe this, or maybe you will, but I've been working on something for you. I better get it done by this afternoon. Just check your e-mail in a few hours. Okay? Okay. Oh, and remind me to tell you about Monica yesterday. Crazy. And check Facebook. Okay, okay, I know I'm rambling. Happy birthday. I miss you!


[Somewhat incoherent message delivered in a few different voices, including (probably): sultry female, generic foreigner, and urban gangster type].
Good morning, Darren Jacobs, you sexy bastard. I'm calling to
you a happy, happy, happy sixteenth birthday. I'm getting so hot just thinking about what a man you must be today, oh God. And I thinky so many, so many
hug and kissah your face to tell you I'm loving you, so many!
[three to four seconds of unclear noises, definitely not speech, possibly beat-boxing]
Because, straight-up mofo, we's gonna bring it today to celebrate your motherfucking sixteenth, bee-utch! So call me. Love, your brother. I'm out.

Text Fragments Delivered in Quick Succession

Crazy idea. Any interest in picking me up at airport? Should get in at 12:17. Won't be too much traffic this time on Saturday. You can just GPS O'Hare from our house. Takes about 30

min. United flight 839. OK if you don't want to. I can take cab. Really. But thought might be fun on your 16th to do some driving. If you got license already. Sure you did. Will pay you $30 plus

tip. Seriously. And more time together then. Can take my car or Nate's. Text me if you can do it. Didn't check bags, so should be outside bit after 1230. Terminal 1. Just follow signs for

arrivals. The Dawg House on way home! Love you very much. Excited to see you. XO.

Pros from the Pros and Cons Deliberations over Whether He Should Pick Up His Mom That by around #5 Have Already Overwhelmed the Cons

 It will make his mom very happy.

 Thirty dollars plus tip.

 It's sunny, so the roads won't be a problem.

 She said there won't be much traffic, either.

 Plus, highway driving is actually easier overall than city-street driving, assuming you can merge onto it without crashing into another car and dying.

 He'd be a moron not to take Ray's car on the highway while he's got it.

 If he doesn't kill himself and/or destroy Ray's car, it might make him a more confident driver, which he'd really like to be.

 It's not like he's got a lot planned today, other than heading over to the house to see Nate, so it's something to do.

 She might even say it makes her proud, something that always embarrasses him when she says it, but he still sort of likes it when she says it.

 The Dawg House.

Recurring Developments in Darren's Various Fantasies about Zoey (and Him, Too)

 It becomes much easier for him to picture her talking freely once she gets to around age twenty-five.

 She removes most of her piercings during college, which isn't to say he's sure she's actually going to college.

 The older she gets, the happier she gets.

 And the same with him, now that he thinks about it.

Reasons Darren Does Not Turn Right on Red at the Corner of Gross Point and Touhy

 There's a sign that says,

 Darren doesn't really like turning right on red even when it's legal, because if, for some reason, he doesn't notice a car coming that way, then he's going to get into an accident that will definitely be his fault (something that would be about three hundred times worse in Ray's car).

 Screw the guy behind him.

Douche Bag Who Clearly Feels Differently about Darren's Decision Not to Turn Right on Red at the Corner of Gross Point and Touhy

 The douche bag behind him, who honked quickly once, then waited maybe two seconds, then honked about five more times, with the last one going on for about three seconds. Plus, Darren could see when he looked in the rearview mirror, the guy is super pissed.

Forces Nevertheless Allowing Darren to Resist Any Urge to Turn Right on Red at the Corner of Gross Point and Touhy


It's 12:12 p.m., dickwad.


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