This week's episode of Girls features only one major character, Hannah, who's basically snapped at this point in her young life. There's a brief snippet of Ray, crabby as ever, perhaps even more so now that he's decided the only way to save himself from the quicksand of life is using 21-year-old Shoshanna as a vine, which means that romance is nothing short of doomed. Other recurring characters featured in the episode "One Man's Trash" include Hannah's left breast (Lenny) and her right breast (Squiggy) who both get more airtime than usual. This week's special guest star is Patrick Wilson, cast as a handsome 42-year-old doctor named Joshua who lives in a perfect brownstone just around the corner from Cafe Grumpy. You may remember Wilson from his role as the Prom King in the film version of Tom Perotta's Little Children but I'm sure the reason he was cast in Girls this season is because he's the only son of Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson and 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson. Not a fact.
Moving on: Joshua infiltrates the Girls' universe after he heads over to Grumpy's to complain about the person who keeps throwing soggy coffee grounds and old pastries into his garbage can on several occasions. He politely asks Ray to solve this problem and to control his employees from doing so since it's pretty annoying. Ray's not having it, though, because he's miserable and has no time for yuppity haranguing today or any day. They bro-off a bit inside the shop without a sound resolution. Joshua storms out. Hannah bore witness to this whole exchange and made numerous facial expressions throughout indicating that she knows who keeps fucking with Joshua's trash. Instead of confessing to Ray she seizes this opportunity for self-immolation, quits her job, and storms out. Ray's still in macho mode so he lets Hannah go and makes sure the door wallops her in the ass on her way out. The customers stare at Ray and he feels their eyes. "Go back to watching your panda videos!" he commands. He knows his customers so this is a sick burn.
Hannah decides to begin her new jobless freedom with an apology. She toddles over to the brownstone with the garbage cans full of Grumpy detritus and rings the doorbell. Oh, look, it's the handsome guy in the doorway. Hello? Hello. He does not remember her from Grumpy's. Anyway, would Hannah like to come in? Better judgment takes a backseat and Hannah marches in and, wow, look at all this grown-up stuff this guy has: shiny wood floors, coat racks, nice couches, mantles full of vases and busts, a fruit bowl with real fruit, and a piano tucked away in a corner that's most likely there because it helps even out the room or for when old rich people want to show off their "Greensleeves" renditions at cocktail parties. There is not a speck of dust.
She admits she's the one who kept stuffing his precious garbage cans full of Grumpy shit. She did this initially because she kept forgetting the key to the dumpster at Grumpy's and needed to dispose of the trash. Then she began to do it habitually because it made her feel rebellious. "The moment you drop it in, the moment you run away," she says. Deep. For some reason this makes sense to the handsome man and he offers her a glass of lemonade which sounds delightful. She follows him into the kitchen. He stares, she averts her eyes, begins to mumble, looks up, silent flirting, game on.
Hannah kisses. He kisses back. Then he picks up her by the armpits and plops her onto a countertop or a kitchen island. Grope-fest. They exchange names before the real boning begins. He's Joshua. She's Hannah. Lenny and Squiggy burst through Hannah's top. HALLO.
They spend the whole day in perpetual dream state, snuggling and fucking and eating steaks. Joshua shares that he's separated. Hannah presses for a reason why, but it's boring. Upstairs Joshua takes his shirt off and flops on the bed. He tells Hannah to make him come/cum. Hannah's super-confident by now and says no you make me come/cum. She's on her back. Lenny and Squiggy assume the position. Joshua shows off his finger-bang technique to the delight of everyone. HALLO. They continue their days of guilt-free adventure because the end of the world starts in Greenpoint brownstones. Ping-pong is played in Joshua's fancy ping-pong room, topless, in their underwear. Hannah sucks at ping-pong but uses self-deprecation to prepare Joshua for this unsurprising reality. Joshua is at the other end of the table and he bounces on the balls of his feet to show Hannah that he's competitive and has played organized sports before. Hannah muffs the serve. Lenny and Squiggy flop away on the bench and are probably better ping-pong players than Hannah. Maybe next time, guys. Cut to Hannah and Joshua boning on top of the ping-pong table. Cut to more lousy ping-pong joy.
Let's skip to the weird stuff. Hannah takes a shower in Joshua's fancy shower full of glistening showerheads and digital temperature adjustment buttons and Hannah proceeds to press a button until it's scalding to get some steam. There's too much steam, though, and she faints. Joshua finds her, saves her, puts her in an expensive robe and moves her to the bedroom. Hannah starts to lose it a bit and wants some real talk time. "Please don't tell anyone this, but I just want to be happy," she admits, startling herself with this revelation. Joshua says something cluelessly grown-up about everyone wanting to be happy and deserving it but he's not on the same level as Hannah. No, dude, you don't understand. Hannah reveals more:
"One time I asked someone to punch me in the chest and then come on that spot," she says.
"When I was three, I told my mom my babysitter had touched me on the vagina in the bath." She may have been lying about that, even.
Joshua empathizes. "One time when I was nine I let this kid jerk me off."
So one time when I was 11 I was at a sleepover at my friend Nick Franzioni's house. (This is not his real name. But it's close enough. I'd hate to fuck up this dude's Google.) We had a sweet VHS tape of the cheap-o porn cable version of Young Lady Chatterly's Lover Part 6 or some shit and watched it after his parents went to bed. In the middle of it, I got up to go to the bathroom and I had one of those out of control 11-year-old erections that can't be tamed. I attempt to urinate as usual but due to my severe engorgement the stream just missed the bowl. I completely soaked the walls of the Franzioni bathroom. It was was all over the fancy soaps and the candle sitting on the back of the toilet. It was on the floor. It was on the hand towels which were there for decoration only and not to be used for drying. I panicked. I tried to mop up some of the piss with one of the already wet cloth hand towels but not enough. I just left it there and went back home the next day without any problems. Later that afternoon, Mrs. Franzioni called my mom and told her about the mess I made. She told my mother I was no longer allowed to sleepover anymore. My mom just stared at me and had no idea what to say. What could she say?
When I was 18 at a worked as a busboy at a restaurant in Holland, Pa. It was the first time I'd ever met real-life gay people. One of them was a creepy-ass bartender named Ricky who had a weird bouffant of black hair with a skunk patch right in the middle. I was told he was gay but he was so nice to me and didn't act gay so yeah, what's the big deal? I used to give Ricky money and he would go to the shitty bar and buy me six-packs of beer after work. Molson Ice, even. He was cool. One time Ricky invited me up to his apartment after our shifts to hang out and smoke pot. He would buy the beer this time. Cool, Ricky, sure. His apartment was small and sad and it seemed too sloppy for a dude pushing 40. I sat on the couch and we smoked pot out of a tinfoil bowl. We watched something weird on television and didn't say much. Then Ricky moved over to the couch and asked if he could get me another beer. Sure, Ricky. He tapped my leg. I was stoned. WHAT THE FUCK WAS GOING ON. I wasn't staying around to find out. I got up and ran to the door. "I GOT TO GET HOME RICKY!" I heard him protesting from the kitchen- "No, wait! Don't go..."- as I ran down the stairs. I drunk-drove for ten miles that night back to my parents' house. That was the longest I'd ever driven while hammered and was impressed at how lucky I was. The next day I tried to convince myself that I was just stoned and paranoid and a homophobe.
The following week we had a staff Christmas party which was a bus trip to Atlantic City. I sat in the back with the owner, Paul, who was also gay. He looked like the chubby magazine guy from Beetlejuice who sat around the table during the Day-O scene. He revealed so much to me that night and seemed like my friend. Paul's cool, I thought. He's gay, too. But he knows I'm not gay. Then Paul moved to the back and talked to other people because he didn't want it to seem like he was paying too much attention to me. He tapped my leg too, before he went to the back of the bus. Just like Ricky did. As soon as Paul left, Ricky moved up to take his seat. He was really drunk. "Listen, I'll give you $150 to suck your dick. You don't have to do anything. I just want to suck your dick." I moved up to the front of the bus and sat there with the old waitresses to talk about their bratty daughters and how much they hated their lives instead. I quit the busboy job soon after the trip because I couldn't take it anymore and, you know, No Homo. Ricky called and left a message on my parent's answering machine a couple days later and apologized if he was the reason I quit. I deleted it before my parents could hear the message. My dad would fucking kill him. XO, A.J.
Hannah wakes up the next morning in Joshua's giant bed alone. She stretches, looks around, takes in the opulence. She grabs the New York Times off his front stoop. She makes herself toast and jam and reads the paper on his veranda. She cleans up and and leaves in the same outfit she wore to his apartment two days ago. Before she heads out the door, she grabs a full trash bag from the kitchen. She drops it in his can, quickly walks away and makes sure that no one saw her leave because that's what made this fun to begin with.
[Image by Jim Cooke]