Lena Dunham has made me a better Man. Because she made me a better Woman. Namely, in the way that I had a sex dream about her the other night following those three nearly flawless episodes of GIRLS (“American Bitch”, “Painful Evacuation” & “Gummies”). If you told me five years ago that I’d be REMing L.D. in my childhood bed after she pulled off the trifecta in two season six eps, I’dve said “Yeah, RIIIght. A.) I’ll be sleeping in my own house in a future bed but I’ll hardly be sleeping because I’ll have just adopted that black baby I’ve been talking about, and b.) No way that entitled twit-nit gets six seasons.” But. I’m not and I didn’t. And she isn’t and she did. For that I am grateful. I love Lena Dunham and we are lucky AF to have her.
“…made me a better Woman” was not an effort in hyperbole to garner wry smiles or showcase my half-baked feminism. “Better Woman” and “getting older” or “earning air” are synonymous in this machine (of me) because, by and large, dudes don’t have the capacity to sustainably fuse the peckeral and cranial attraction like dames do. I’ve always envied that in the opposite sex (yes, yes – grow up, Thompson, it is 2017, there are no opposites, we are all on a fragmented spool of muddled neo-linear choose-your-own sexuality (you chose wrong, none is right) sexes like the time/space/communication construct in Arrival), the innate alliance between brain and loin. Not to say that that relationship in the male body is adversarial – deflategates in articles of annoyance run amok in the synapses of this machine. But, again, by and large (as I by and large like to speak in by and larges in here in an effort to offend the tens of tens who click), the sexual male’s vetting process is unduly archaic, an embarrassing relic of bullshit braggadocio that led us to this fuck-faced death-fork in America. I’ve never once gotten political and I ain’t gonna start now. I’m just saying that my nearly six-year relationship with Lena Dunham culminated in a strange and beautiful REMing and I woke up terrified yet reassured: There will never be another male President of the United States. I woke up evolved.
***Listen: I dislike women nearly almost as much as I dislike dudes. Most dudes make me look good, which is nice, but everyone is mostly terrible, their requirements for with whom to partner off shameful or conniving, on a sliding scale of soullessness. What’s the use, Arrival, etc., etc.
I’ve secretly aligned myself with Lena Dunham, but, like, totally acknowledge that I’m Gerry and the Pacemakers here, with none of the rivaled early successes, and Gerry and the Pacemakers without their early successes is like…exactly: we can’t even have forgotten about them because they never were. But in the early stages, the content (LD’s and mine, not Gerry and the Pacemakers’) was swaddled in shock: I said “jizz” a lot, she was taking sex dumps in millennial BK caricature, we both loved being shirtless. I love/hated her in the way that I love/hated Conor Oberst’s early Bright Eyes cannon – her bratty, self-serving callousness to the world around her, her town crier self-loathing, Oberst’s indulgent sanctimonious anguish, his manic depressive grappling with sincerity: This was my shit, Man. It was a show I watched alone, as I only listened to “Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground” at night on a DiscMan, walking home from class. To watch her whine and jiggle with other viewers, to listen to that affected quarble in a car with people – I would have had to have my eye-rolls artificially flavored, manufactured and packaged at the ready instead of seeing what my organic garden of masochism would grow. It was plenty irritating (viewing) alone – in the first season after Hannah says “No one could ever hate me as much as I hate myself, okay? So any mean thing someone is going to think of to say about me, I’ve already said to me, about me, probably in the last half hour,” I almost tried to call one of those Hollywood attorneys on the bus benches for telepathic copyright infringement. I’m guessing those guys got a lot of almost calls that day from many-a-sad-sack in Shit City.
There is a tired bit here to mine; the ebbs and flows of a relationship with a show – liken it to any relationship that’s worth fighting for for those intangible reasons, yadayadyada. Out of the gates, in those first few seasons, I dug her balls and her brains. I respected what she was doing, because I really had no choice. And once or twice an episode, she would get me. She would usually peeve me leagues more than she would hit me beneath the sternum or between the ears, my eye-roll migraines always in the bullpen. But I stuck around because I knew she was good for me. I respected her.
And then, in three words, I eternally love(d) her. “I’m tryin’, Brother,” she says to Elijah (in “Gummies” – ep. 5, season 6) after he says…it doesn’t fucking matter what he said, or what made her say it – if the words came from the fingers of writer Sarah Heyward or just spilled from L.D.’s mouth while the camera was still on. In those words and in that delivery, she indiscriminately crash-landed in the peat bog of empathy, a place she’d been ardently dodging, flipping the bird at in those early seasons when she’d always opt for the lake of fire, the place where my respect for her was borne.
“I’m tryin’, Brother.” And she was suddenly beautiful. Yeah, sure, I’m a fuckin’ asshole, “she’s always been beautiful” and so on and so forth. But it is subjective, and dudes are awful, our Venn diagram sweet-spot of Loin-Brain-Heart is, as stated earlier, oft times Jurassic. “I’m tryin’, Brother.” She was, she is, and she won’t stop. And it is exhausting, no matter the budget. So I went to bed and had sex with her.
In this season, she’s displaying her Vet skill set in full force (“They gotta be able to cure a lizard, a chicken, a pig, a frog - all on the same day.”). Luckily, the episode following the flawless three was kinda garbage, which was quite a relief. And a few have been forgettable. But fuck me - I’m not a telly critic and I don’t feel like talking about the specifics (although, the “American Bitch” ep is where I would point anyone who questions her brilliance as a writer and where she became my favorite feminist in her refusal to let “feminism” be hard-lined). In “Gummies” and “Painful Evacuation”, though, in twenty some-odd minutes, back-to-back episodes, she pulled off the trifecta: Made my sorry ass Laugh, Cringe, and Cry…repeat. All I ever wanted.
I’m not gonna miss the show - she’ll be bettering me by besting me till I die. What was once a half-chagrined respect has evolved into a lionized admiration and adoration, a nocturnal REMing, and the gateway to becoming the Woman I need to be. Because, fuckin A: I’m tryin’, Sister.