I don’t know how many of you out there watch Californication, but it’s one of my favourite TV series and has been since I watched the first episode.
I was instantly hooked because as a writer I identified with the main character Hank Moody (David Duchovny), and couldn’t help but like him because he destroys the stereotype many people have of writers as secluded introverts who sit diligently in their pyjamas every morning with a steaming cup of coffee, lovingly coaxing words out of their laptops while small birds tweet outside.
Hank Moody is a different kind of writer. He’s like a modern-day Byron (only not bi-sexual) and has this kind of easy-going, cocky-funny charm that makes him irresistible to women.
The thing about Hank is that he’s got a good heart underneath it all and that’s what draws women to him. Hank doesn’t chase women, he’s 100% devoted to Karen (Natascha McElhone), the love of his life and the mother of his daughter, even though at the beginning of the series she wants nothing more to do with Hank and is engaged to Bill (Damian Young) who Hank affectionately refers to as ‘the dial tone’.
Ironically, the women in the series seem to sense Hank’s emotional unavailability, and pursue him with greater urgency the more he tries to brush them off. What makes it believable is that Hank doesn’t fall into bed with every woman that offers herself to him and also, not every woman he sleeps with is super-model gorgeous.
J-Rab and I have just finished watching the third season of Californication, which was probably the weakest season thus far, except for two things. The first was this awesome explanation Hank gives Felicia, the Dean’s wife at the varsity where Hank starts teaching, as to what it is about women that fascinates him:
‘It’s my purgatory really, dinner, drinks, whatever. I’m never really all that interested but I find myself telling her how beautiful she is anyway cause it’s true. All women are, in one way or another. There’s always something about every damn one of you, there’s a smile, a curve, a secret. You ladies really are the most amazing creatures, my life’s work. But then there’s the morning after, the hangover and the realisation that I’m not quite as available as the night before. And then she’s gone and I’m haunted by yet another road not taken…’
Powerful words. There is something about every single one of you, I agree 100% and it’s part of the reason why I never understood men who hate women or speak about them in derogatory terms. I never identified with guys like that because I suspect that they are secretly scared of women, but are too fucking stupid and proud to ever admit that fact.
Fucking mouth-breathers. But anyway, like I was saying…
The second thing that saved season three for me was the final episode. Throughout the season, Hank has his usual encounters with numerous females of the species, encounters which become less and less believable as the season progresses until he finds himself in a situation that is so ridiculous it’s difficult to take the show seriously.
To make things worse, Karen just forgives him for all his transgressions, despite the fact that they are supposed to be starting a new life together in (SPOILER ALERT!) New York.
But then the last episode hits and it hits pretty damn hard. To go into any kind of detail would be to give everything away, which I hate doing. Instead, you should get your hands on seasons 1, 2 and 3, and watch them all, you’ll be doing yourself a favour.
After the episode ended, J-Rab and I lay in silence for a good long while, both lost in our thoughts. It was a really strange moment, nothing we’ve ever watched together has had that effect on us, it cut right to the bone and got me thinking a lot about the things her and I have been through and how it really is true that sometimes in life you end up hurting the people you love the most.
If you follow this blog and have been doing so for awhile, you probably have an idea of J-Rab and my relationship through the things I post, but what I realised last night was that perception is probably skewed.
Simple fact is I would never air our dirty laundry on this site, it’s just not a boundary I’d ever want to cross. As such our relationship might come across as all rainbows and lollipops and I can’t abide that, because it just isn’t true and the last thing I wanted when I started this blog was to spin a bunch of bullshit as the truth.
The reality of our relationship is that like most couples, we’ve been through a lot of heartache, we’ve fought with each other, screamed at one another, thrown shit all over the place and all but strangled each other to death more than once during our two and a half years together and the honest truth is if I had to go back in time I would do it all again, exactly the same, because it’s made us who we are.
Sometimes I look at other couples, the way they tip toe around one another, the way they’re full of fake smiles and forced familiarity when they’re around other people, and I feel really sorry for them because none of it’s real. I don’t know why, but people have this weird way of making a huge public spectacle of their ‘happiness’ in order to somehow affirm it which I always thought was total bullshit.
I love the Leonard Cohen song ‘Hallelujah’ because it says it exactly like it is:
‘I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch / Love is not a victory march / It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah.’
We’ve been there. I know exactly what that cold and broken Hallelujah feels like, what it feels like to reach that point where all hope has died and you wonder how the hell you’re ever going to be able to look that person in the eyes again, never mind save your relationship.
But J-Rab and me, we found a way. We toughed it out, we fought until there wasn’t any fight left in us and then we started down the long, hard road of forgiveness and I’m glad we did because she’s the best goddamn thing that ever happened to me.
I’m not interested in fluffy toys and heart-shaped chocolate boxes and ‘I love you pumpkin’ messages on Facebook. I want a companion, I want a lioness, as ferocious as she is kind, someone who’s got my back and keeps me on my toes, someone I can laugh with and share this life with and grow old alongside and J-Rab is all those things to me.
Don’t tell her I said this, but I never knew how I got so goddamn lucky.
She means the world to me, and if that’s not worth fighting for, I don’t know what is.