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In My Fantasy, I Caught Up To Reality | With Richard Jenkins

2018-01-16 | 🔗

Richard Jenkins ("The Shape of Water") reads John Gfroerer's essay about going to the gym to cope with loss.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love, the pod cast a supported by before the work messages begin to pour in let's gift ourselves a good morning, a good morning as a moment to pause and ease into the day. It's meant to run and chased the sunrise or its gently settlement The routine a good morning Is a moment to be present to find clarity and beeg As for the day ahead, good days start with good mornings and good mornings start with yogi tea. Yogi tea tease me to do more than tastes, good produced by the Eyelash w b. You are Boston.
Oh, the from the New York Times and WB. You are Boston. This is modern. The stories of love loss and redemption. I'm your host magnetron puberty. The fantasies can help us escape for John. the fair, a fantasy helped him carry on. Your Jenkins received a golden globe nomination for his performance in the shape of water here the John's essay in my fantasy I caught up to reality. Lisa said it wasn't me. She said I was the love of her life, but some I needed to change, explained.
and I was in the way, social, the our six year old, adopted daughter and went to Florida vowing not to return. Maybe I should have seen it coming. I knew how she struggled through New Hampshire Winters, the long nights, the cold. I knew the loss of identity she suffered by not having a job. She liked. I knew the ways she relied on me that I often couldn't be relied upon, but it was June. Winter was over summer was beginning. We had gotten through, we were dealing or so I thought. We been living together for more than ten years, but we were not married. She had adopt. our daughter, daughters, a single mother, so I was a father with no parental rights. My relationship with LISA as well,
as my role as a father existed in every aspect of our lives, except on paper. The only legal bond between LISA and me was a house and the mortgage that went with it. but legal bonds wouldn't have changed the emotional facts. So it was that on a rainy, cold wintery day in june- snapped. We woke up, Good morning, together by They were gone. I was alone grasping for something solid. Amid the debris. I began going to the gym. at first. It wasn't really about exercise about staying ahead of the emptiness, Was something I could control and I needed to feel
I could still control something a routine took, shape. two three four times a week. I go to the gym after work. I liked how every measurement of the workout was monitored. Distance, run, stairs, climbed calories, burned, levels of difficulty, surpassed, minutes of emptiness, blame and sadness subdued my heart. May have been wounded, but I took comfort in how hard I could make it pump my family was gone running. Bring them back still. If I could catch up Run along beside them for a moment, close my eyes and hope. Maybe I would find myself in a place where perhaps there would be another chance.
I was chasing hope. I hope, was running faster than I could go, What I really had was an hour of time not to have to face the empty beds, the empty house. The empty child car seat. It was a few weeks into the routine. I began to notice her at first it was just one of the stops my eyes made as they roamed around the room. While I ran like the clock, the calorie counter, the aerobics class on the gym floor. She was part of the scenery. If she was running just like me, A simple perfection to her body healthy without being overdone effortlessly flaunting itself, as she ran.
it was the kind of body people go to the gym for. There was also an unusual intensity to our workout out. Seem to be about more than good health and a perfect body She ran as if chasing something off to avoid being consumed by it, so we began dating nothing. Formal in fact, I think she knew about it. We would meet several evenings a week for work workout, we had matching schedules, or perhaps it was more of a matching lack of commitments, We both appear to be unattached with lives empty enough to allow for this, regular free time after work. Nothing to rush home, for it seemed a good base for beginning
She became the standard against which I measured myself, who ran Ass to who ran longer, who would be? First, this law, she always one, but that was all right. My challenge was to get a little closer with each try. It was a way of adding distance. To my run, stamina, to my workout. A dream for the rare nights I was able to sleep. Men often approached her. Their conversations were out of range, but body language can speak volumes. Her pace would never slow her focus, never shift. The exchanges were brief, never initiated by her. She was
What's there to find a relationship or friends, there was something else. It was the mystery of that something else that nurtured my attraction. Was there a husband, a boyfriend Ex husband Ex boyfriend girlfriend was at work. What kind of work a lawyer doctor commodities trader Farrell maybe it was health. Maybe a doctor said: do this or die. Or maybe she wasn't running from or to anything, maybe should just like to run. whatever the case a play. And for a more formal relationship took shape. In my mind, it was patterned on the BO peep theory. Leave her alone and she will come all it would take, was patience.
Patients may have been failing to bring LISA and our daughter home from Florida, but as one proceeded. Perhaps another could advance. that anything could develop between the woman at the gym and me was absurd and I knew it. She was the alpha woman of the exercise room. Drawing interest of nearly every man in there and then there was me. Not alpha in any sense and, although not old enough to be your father,. I was old enough to be old. And she was young enough to be young, but I wasn't really looking. I was mourning. And one more hopeless situation didn't feel like an added burden. I was going to the gym anyway, I could control where my ran, but not where my mind wandered.
Indulging the fantasy became my little secret overtime. My weight dropped, my heart rate improved my stamina, increased anger turned to regret summer to autumn and any hoped at least it would return, became buried in the back yard, with each falling leaf. Our daughters birthday was approaching. Lisa asked if I would come down to spend it with the little girl who missed Dad and every part of me said no, it was everything I didn't want in my relationship with her hotel rooms and restaurants, but no home and no family. Just a single father and a daughter he no longer saw every day trying to origin, new life from pieces, but I couldn't say no. I love.
The weekend after her birthday, I made the trip. Went to the zoo in the water park. The aquarium we laughed saying, read stories swam in the hotel pool. We had fleeting moments of our old life. On the third day I drove her back. Renew new life, not knowing when I would see her again crossing the bridge spanning Tampa Bay, she fell asleep in her car. I put my hand on her arm and cry quietly as I drove.
I found the beach where we were supposed to meet her mother for the exchange. I wanted to drop and run no longer goodbye just end it quickly and go LISA wanted to talk, She said I want to come home. I was surprised. And then I felt surprisingly reluctant hesitant. perhaps I was happier in my loneliness, then I realized. Perhaps I was afraid, perhaps all the little quirks that I didn't Like about her had finally come to outweigh all that, I loved since hesitation. She asked: is there someone else? I thought of my courtship at the gym. Did that count?
The fantasy carry weight in real life. No, there wasn't anybody else for months apart had not diminish my love for either of them. I missed LISA our daughter family or Our future, if she was feeling the same, if she was ready to try again give me and us another chance. Then the answer was clear:. I flew back to New Hampshire, the next day a scheduled. Soon a plan was made. I would. fly to Florida in two weeks, and we would, drive home together I began to prepare the house for their return and I felt lighter in my step. I ran faster at the gym. I couldn't wait.
The exercise routine that had come to be part of my life was also going to change. I would have a family to come home to again. I would miss my day. The gym and the woman who, however, obliviously had kept me going for so many months. Two days before I was to fly to Florida, went to the gym for the last time. She was there too. Our relationship was nearing an end. But only I knew it. I imagine she was watching me charting my next move, and of two and a half miles. I stepped off the treadmill as I walk Across the gym floor she stopped her run and also headed toward the locker room we,
reach the entrances together, looked at each other and said hello. It was the first time we'd ever exchanged words. She went to her locker room, I into mine, I collected my street clothes and jacket and headed out and there she was This time we started talking, we introduced ourselves shook hands, looked into each other's eyes. We talked as we walked to the parking lot taking each other's measure. said goodbye. I didn't tell her about my family coming home
and tell her my evenings at the gym were about to change. I didn't ask her out for dinner. I didn't find out what made her run, I didn't wonder if it was too late to tell LISA to stay in Florida. The fantasy of escape is a powerful thing of starting fresh in a new place or with a new person. Yet if LISA could return to the difficult thing to the real thing, and so could I, There were no second thoughts, two days later, as I boarded the plane to Florida two minutes before midnight. in the terminal of the Tampa Airport we put our arms around one another and became a family again,
Richard Jenkins reading John refers essay in my fantasy. I caught up to reality. De Johns relationship survive. The separation will check in with him after the break yeah, This pocket
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me and my dad. We likes this time you together and I wish cuz it out it J, J, C K, P, o T It's a jackpot, yeah nice. I'm same is risky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at annoying times dot com. Flash games, One clearly remembers the day. Lisa said she was leaving for Florida. Seasonal affective disorder had pushed her to a breaking point. I can tell you that it was a Thursday morning and we are in the camp learn and least said. I can't stay anymore, I have to leave and it was just a total shocked me. And I remember the counselor sitting there saying: well, that's a new piece of information and I thought you jerk. That's a new piece of information
that night LISA and their daughter Brinkley were gone. I remember thinking that she wouldn't leave. 'em coming home calling first and only answer the phone then going home finding the house empty and not knowing where Sheer Brinkley were and I know I didn't sleep John did get to see Brinkley several times during the separation. He remained telling her on one visit that maybe things would work out, a visit near the backseat say no dad. I don't think that's going to happen. My five year old. No doubt that's not going to happen get over it. I don't think I ever completely gave up hope, but it was it at some point. You have to move on and it's not so much giving up hope is making the distance. ok, this road, isn't it anywhere you gotta make an exit, but LISA did decide to come back the whole family
drove from Florida to New Hampshire together and they walked into a house that friends had decorated for their return. I said: go out and fill the house with flowers on the day we're going to come home, so house was full of flowers and then the neighbors got into it signs. That said, welcome home and yeah the whole neighborhood got together, but the the house was full of welcome. Was all that it was really for all of us. It wasn't just for them. It was for me too. After and Brinkley came home. John still went to the gym, but his fantasy about the woman was over when we got back together as a family, the hours changed of when I would do that in the frequency with which I do that. So I would not see her that often I do embracing her a couple of times on the street, but it was just kind of like walking into a store out of a store and I think we ve set high and kept on going but that was LISA and John still are not married. John says that they don't feel the need
codify the love they have for each other. Their daughter Brinkley is a freshman at Harvard and John says the time that they were separated has never shadowed his relationship with LISA. It's not something! That's back. that we dwell upon it's just it's out there. We know what happened We know we move beyond and we've had moments where it almost again, but we have most of the time where we live in harmony, should I say, but clearly the biggest factor. I sang together, was our daughter. You know that we recognize that this was the right thing for Brinkley and it certainly bucks. She's flourished and is a remarkable young lady and I've always felt that both for LISA in myself our daughter, never questioned our love John Genre he's a documentary
homemaker living in Concord, New Hampshire, after the break Jenkins, on what drew him to John's peace and modern love editor Daniel Jones The Carmax gives you the freedom to shop, however, you, like, you, can shop for a car online and on the lot, once you find the right car you can buy. However, you want buy online. And get home delivery in select markets or by a mine inches express pick up at car max and no matter how. You by your car comes with a thirty day. Money back guarantee up to fifteen hundred miles, learn more and start shopping at car MAX Dotcom Car MAX Carbine reimbursed.
And I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually. And not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in salary It may have happened again. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words. Then I was get nervous. I sent it to my parents or something me and my dad. We likes this time you together and I wish cuz it out it. J, a c k, p, o t it's a jackpot Yeah, nice I'm same as earth's sky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com, slash games, then
says he was struck by the way John responded to LISA's decision to leave. There wasn't passivity, it was just an acceptance of you can't you can't get people to do what you want them to do and love it's not. You know that you don't care you're, not fighting. It's that you don't fighting as being productive and trying to convince someone to stay when when she clearly doesn't want to Is really a moving story about a man who'd, isn't aggressive essentially about his love life. fantasy or his love life reality, and how that approach makes it worse, for him in the end. Anyway, we asked Richard Jenkins, where he chose to read this essay they got inside the authors brain and we all understand how important
I see in our lives to keep us sane and fantasy in this case led to a beautiful outcome. Richard Jenkins You see him now in Guillermo Del Toro's, film, the shape of water. Next week, Andrea Martin from the NBC, show great news. She reads: an essay about a woman's relationship with her doctor but I also knew that if I was still alive, it was because of him bravery mannered. When mine faltered, his mantra, you are fine You are fine cut through my day. When it seemed there, was no light. Modern love is the production of the New York Times and W. You are Boston, NPR station, its produced directly. an edited by Jessica Albert John parading M receive written and Caitlin Oki yet,
here for the modern cast was conceived by LISA told it Adler's. Our executive producer, Daniel Jones is the editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the show music for the podcast, courtesy of a p dot m. I'm making the birdie we'll see you next week the.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-17.