Dr. Flicker says that the universe won’t be expanding for billions of years and we’ve got to try to enjoy ourselves while we’re here.
That wraps up my favorite flashback to Alvie Singer’s Brooklyn childhood in Annie Hall.
I post it here, in part, because you may not remember it, but mostly because I get pleasure out of seeing it on my blog, as if I might now boast a fraction of ownership in the thing.
So, here it is, in its uncomfortable hilarity:
Last night, I read this article in the Mercury News about climate change and its (now nearly) irreversible effects on the health of our oceans, and I began fretting to my husband about the many figurative ways in which I perceive a catastrophic expansion of the universe.
He may have felt like exclaiming: “WHAT IS THAT YOUR BUSINESS?”
He did not, but he did remind me that:
Brooklyn is not expanding.
I was sorry as soon as he said it. These words (so well worn at our house) place one party (me, this time) squarely in the role of neurotic child jockeying to get out of all manner of homework and, instead, delight in despair.
And the speaker unwittingly takes on the role of stolid, uncomprehending, positively Fellini-esque mother and therapist. Really, nobody comes off well.
And, then (I didn’t say this, but I thought it), what if things have actually gotten so bad that Brooklyn really is expanding? What then?
Is Brooklyn expanding?
Don’t you ever feel like slouching down on the couch, looking up at the adults sulkily through your thick-rimmed glasses, and demanding: “What’s the point?”