'Season 4 Opener' by Shan Fahey
here is my first little unedited, unfiltered essay for you, i hope u luv it. xx
My journal was once held hostage by a 30 yr old line cook from point breeze. I left it there, accidentally, after we had sex. This was the first time I was having sex with a stranger in about 3 years. It was fun because not only was I wasted on city wides and cigarettes, But i was also recently doing this thing where I reframed the interpretation of my own life as if it were a beloved HBO dramedy. What a great way to start a new season! Everyone loves when the season premiere has a sex scene cold open! Although, my journal was not actually being held hostage. There was no ransom nor a SWAT team on the scene. The guy was honestly kind of nice about it and even dropped it off at my place of work without having to look at me in the light of day. I truly am just being OTT about leaving some things behind at a recent one night stand because that is in fact what a lead in a queer female-led sitcom about being a suffering artist in their late 20’s would do.
Enter side character: He doesn’t get a name. His bio said he was a non-smoker (but he does indeed smoke) he is pansexual and has a photography BA from a “stoner college” in Seattle. His pictures, artfully DIY and coy, made it obvious he smelled like a mixture of deli meat and Marlboros (Mmmmhm hot). I also make the assumption that he has a coke problem. But i’m truly only saying this because his casting notes will call for a resemblance to Charlie from Its Always sunny IN Philadelphia. This resemblance, however, should be in the behavior-paradigm of “coke head cook” rather than looks alone.
He told me I have “Zoe Deschanel energy” (I don’t) he also told me I looked like Natalie Portman (I really don’t). Myself in season one or two would have fallen head over heels for him right then and there. Sign sealed delivered he’d be like a cool vintage pair of pants i thrifted for a dollar that just needed a little mending. Instead I was going into this knowing he sucked, and I sucked for knowing he sucked and still sucking his dick. (I imagine this alliteration would be an interesting piece of dialog within my show)
This is the part that i’m not even try to explain because- you know, blah blah blah… when were heartbroken I guess we’ll do anything to try and fix it (gag). I’m sorry, This explanation is oozing Lena Dunham energy. I say this so that you’re aware that I’m aware and actively in therapy to work whatever shit that means out, okay?...cool. Also please just give me a teensy break because i was indeed getting a universal punishment by leaving my precious journal/diary behind in a mans house I was planning on never having to see again.
Before we undressed, i had to take my contacts out…Since turning 27 i am caught nowhere without travel-sized self-care necessities. Besides… is it even sex if you have the contemporary version of “glasses”, (aka: modern version of “socks”) on?. As i rummaged through my bag trying to find my TSA approved bottle of contact solution, I placed my journal on the stack of milk crates that was being passed off as a coffee table. She didn't stand a chance of being remembered the next morning since the next 2 hours of my time was spent in a subconscious realm where journals don't really exist.
Setting: The facade of the ceiling of the living room where we boned had a bright blue sky painted on it. Truly, it looked kinda dope. I am assuming this was illegally done by a past tenant or maybe even my date, but i didn’t ask... Although the exterior was charming, the physical infrastructure of the ceiling was crumbling and through the cloud cladded drywall peaked a patch of rotting wooden beams, this dying architecture held up the second floor where I could hear his roommate practicing drums… at 2 am.
Since this is in fact a season 4 opener to the television series of my 20s, it would have to have some theatrical, Julie Taymor-ish production design. I’m imagining the space im being fucked in transforming from a run down DIY house living room into a diorama that references Maxfield Parrish’s Daybreak. Our sweaty pink glob bodies covered in stick and pokes transform into monochromatic limestone. The cracking drywall swirls outward and magically becomes a row of Ionic columns. The DIY ceiling mural opens up and surrounds the scene with its sparkly Parrish-blue magnificence. I imagine this would be done by a cool female director who’s making this series happen, and therefore the execution would reference Parrish just enough for the art-heads at home to slap their knee, but also not too much so that it could still hold its own up against Euphoria ratings and relevance with Gen Z. I’m sure If Parrish could flash forward 100 years to the present. I’m sure the beloved American illustrator would love to see that his wildly beloved magnum opus was being parodied by a 27 year old recent cosmetology school graduate having sex on a couch from the street.
Although we’re using arguably one of the most popular and classically romantic art prints of the 20th century to paint this sex scene cold open, I cannot stress to you enough how ~unromantic~ this encounter was. Imagine the most unromantic thing you can think of, let’s just say a Jehovah's Witness leaflet, Now imagine that thing on the floor of a subway at the end of rush hour on a rainy day in the middle of West Philadelphia. That’s more the reality of this moment and I hope whomever translates this to film can capture both.
As i’m transporting myself into my Across the Universe fantasy realness, I think “I should probably write this down”. I glance over to my journal and imagine reaching over and quickly jotting down a few notes to remember this thought later while i am being penetrated by a man i met 4 hours ago. Although that would be an absolute psychotic move i actually dont think he would have noticed. And maybe If i did go thorough with this intrusive thought I would’ve remembered to grab my journal when I left.
The journal itself wasn’t anything special but of course it’s content was where the value lied. This was indeed my “comedy journal” where i jot down all sorts of stupid things i think could possibly one day be a joke. I also have stand up set lists written out in different orders in the likely case someone will ask me to say a joke on the spot. These lists usually just contain the key points of my punchlines.. These lists sort of end up being little “honey do” notes to my future on stage self.
I imagine the B plot scene in which my dead beat tinder date discovers that my journal was left behind. I’d imagine that since it was quite obvious I was being casted as a boring manic pixie dream girl in his own series (his was prob on amazon prime though), he was expecting to open up this tiny yellow moleskin to find kitschy drawings of flowers with little faces on it and sad poems about never being able to find “the one”. I imagine that maybe he’s going through a “magical thinking” sort of phase when everything around him means something really important to him. I’m sure as he latched his dirty finger underneath the elastic band and pulled back the front cover he had glimmer of hope that beneath the cover lied pages and pages of sweet signs from the universe that I was the perfect person he’s always been dreaming of. Instead he found pages upon pages that looked like this:
euphoria pants- just got them
ass bruise / breakup
high-fiving = lesbian sex
How disappointing for him. Even though this could very well open up to an interesting plot line about what it means to be this minor character in my life, I’m gonna Brother Chuck him by the end of this season 4 premiere. Which means I will never speak to him again in reality. I will probably ghost him because he was in fact just a side character thrown in to prove a point. This season was about realizing my worth and that it is not at all defined by emotionally unavailable “cool” people with a misleading instagram aesthetic.
I’m not really sure how the rest of this season premiere ends. In all honesty it probably doesn’t have an ending that is satisfying for everyone. Theres a lot of ways in which I can wrap this episode up. There’s a chance that this could be the first episode of the final season and our audience is aware. In that case I would leave you on some incredible cliff hanger that would keep you hooked for the rest of the season. But it could also be a disappointing flop episode in a cult classic that has a few more years to reach its target audience. There’s a lot to unpack here.
In general, I felt like shit after having sex with this man. And i completely take full responsibility for that. In my last relationship I was so ready to “season finale” it up, if you will. I wanted the wedding episode of The Office and the OTP tumblr fan pages. Unfortunately that relationship was more like Glee. First two seasons, perfect television, and when it just went on for WAY too long. (this is a vulnerable and brave take, i am open to your ideas on glee)
Thank you for reading the first edition of my little essay newsletter shenanigans. Im not gonna over edit these or try and make them perfect, i’m just gonna hashtag be real and hashtag be open because its hashtag fun.
P.S. : i am 10000000% A LESBIAN and i dont claim this evergy ever again xo
P.P.S happy pride
I watched the first two seasons of Glee for all of the wrong reasons. (Pretty people making pop.. art...art.. pop?) Then I just couldn't handle it any more.
i love this journey