…so i know i am right not to settle, but it doesn’t make me feel better as my friends pair off and i stay home on friday night with a bottle of wine and make myself an extravagant meal and tell myself this is perfect, as if i’m the one dating me. as i go to endless rounds of parties and bar nights, perfumed and sprayed and hopeful, rotating myself around the room like some dubious dessert. i go on dates with men who are nice an good-looking and smart -perfect-on-paper men who make me feel like i’m in a foreign land, trying to explain myself, trying to make myself known. because isn’t that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? he gets me. she gets me. isn’t that the simple magic phrase?
so you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man -the stutter of jokes misunderstood with witty remarks lobbed and missed. or maybe he understands that you’ve made a witty remark but unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of controversial phlegm he will wipe away later. you spend another hour with each other, to recognize each other, you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. and your life is a long line of fine.
and then you run into nick dunne on seventh avenue as you’re buying diced canteloupe and pow, you are known, you’re recognized, the both of you. you both find the exact same things worth remembering (just one olive, though). you have the same rhythm. click. you just know each other. all of a sudden you see reading in bed with waffles on sunday and laughing at nothing and his mouth on yours. and it’s so far beyond fine that you know you can never go back to fine. that fast you think: oh, here is the rest of my life. it’s finally arrived.
gone girl | gillian flynn | pg. 29-30
the juxtaposition of the rom-com-esque quality of the above-listed paragraphs and the remaining 400(ish) pages of gone girl is quite baffling to me. what begins as a soliloquy of a single twenty-something living in NYC -a piece you’d imagine kate hudson narrating at the beginning of a predictable boy-meets-girl-and-falls-in-love screenplay -becomes something different entirely.
let me say this: this book is not for the faint of heart. it is haunting in a law & order: SVU episode kind of way. it probably shouldn’t be read past 3:00 p.m. or while alone if you plan on getting some nightmare-free shut eye. in fact, for that reason, it was actually the perfect book for the plane (well-lit cabins and plenty of people around). but if you appreciate good story-telling and thrive on the use of calculated vocabulary, syntax, and imagery, and can get past just how twisted the premise of the novel really is, it is an engaging read. so much so that it is being turned into a movie (because i feel that’s what happens to all good/popular books) starring the likes of ben affleck and neil patrick harris.
so if you’re looking for an entertaining thriller to get you through your next cross-country flight, i highly recommend gone girl.