If you’re confused about what’s happening here, go back and read the chapter called Rejection.
It’ll make more sense. (Can you believe I’ve actually been planning
this chapter since I wrote that one?? I never plan. I am so pleased
This is for PrincessKitty1 (over on AO3), the author of a wonderful (almost finished!!) fic called Lucky Us.
It is an important plot point in this story that the Dupain-Cheng
bakery closes for a month during the summer, and that the bakeries in
Paris have traditionally been required to stagger their summer holidays.
The idea is to ensure both that bakers are able to take a holiday, and
that Paris still has access to fresh baked bread on a daily basis. I
totally piggy-backed on that idea, and in my story, the Dupain-Chengs
get to take their holiday in July. :) If you have some free time and
want to read an awesome story, go read Lucky Us. You won’t be disappointed!!
Marinette dozed contentedly on her new boyfriend, her limbs tangled
with his on her chaise. The remnants of a plate of cookies sat
forgotten on her desk, next to a pair of empty glasses. The movie
they’d watched that afternoon had long since ended, but they’d been too
comfortable to move.
She was startled awake by a knock at her door. “Hmm, what?”
door opened, and her mother’s head appeared in the room. “Oh, I’m
sorry. I didn’t realize you had fallen asleep.” Then an odd
expression overtook the surprise on her face. “There’s, um, someone
here to see you, Marinette.”
“Who is it?” She sat up, ignoring Chat’s protests and stretching sleepily. “I told Alya I’d be busy this afternoon—”
“It’s not Alya. I think that you should come down, and see for yourself.”
frowned in confusion, and completely missed the fact that Chat had
tensed beside her. “Alright, I’ll be down in a minute.”
Sabine nodded and disappeared, pulling the door closed behind her.
“That was weird.” Marinette stretched again, and dropped a quick kiss on his mouth as she stood. “I’ll be right back, Chaton.”
“Yeah. Okay. I’ll be here.”
gave him an odd look, but he didn’t say anything else. With a shrug,
she lifted the door to and followed her mother down stairs, wondering
who in the world could have unsettled her mother. It began to make
sense when she saw Nathalie Sancoeur sitting stiffly at their dining
table, talking with her parents. She stumbled down the last few steps
in surprise, her mind racing.
“Mlle Sancoeur! I—Are you, uh, looking for Adrien? I’m not—”
“It’s fine, Marinette. This has nothing to do with Adrien. And please, call me Nathalie.”
She came to stand by the table, and glanced at her parents for
guidance, but they just shrugged. “How can I help you M-er, Nathalie?”
am here to deliver an invitation. I know you are familiar with the
Gabriel summer internship program, and that you were not selected to
participate this year. What you do not know, is that you were in fact
the committee’s first choice for the opportunity.”
Marinette felt her eyes go wide, and she sat heavily in the chair across from Nathalie. “F-first choice?”
However, someone brought your work to the attention of M. Agreste
himself the morning the announcement was to be made. He was
sufficiently impressed that he has taken an interest in your artistic
development. He does not want you to work with one of his other
designers, because he wants to see how your talent develops independent
of instruction.” She pulled a heavy envelope from her bag, and slid it
across the table to Marinette, who caught it reflexively. “This is a
letter from him, extending his invitation to you. He would like an
interview with you, an opportunity to view more of your work, and to
discuss the possibility of bringing you on as an apprentice once you graduate from lycée.”
gasped delightedly. “Oh, this is wonderful! Marinette, this is an
even better opportunity than you’d hoped for! Marinette, sweetheart?”
“A-apprentice? Me?” Marinette blinked stupidly, trying to wrap her head around what she’d just heard.
“The poor girl is in shock, Sabine.” He smiled warmly at his daughter. “Give her a minute to process.”
am sure that it is quite a lot to take in.” Nathalie turned her
attention to Marinette’s parents. “Perhaps we could take this
opportunity to schedule a meeting time that would be mutually
agreeable? As her parents, you are both welcome to be present during
“M. Agreste suggested a luncheon meeting, if that meets with your approval?”
“Of course. The bakery will be closed in July…”
As planners were consulted and a date set, Marinette sat in stunned silence. She was reeling. Gabriel Agreste wanted to meet her? He was considering taking her on as an apprentice? What? Who could possibly—Adrien. Her lips parted on an in-drawn breath. He must have gone to his father with pictures of her work.
That sneaky kitty!
She blinked, and found that Nathalie had come to stand next to her chair. Everyone was looking at her expectantly.
“I-I’m sorry. I’m a little overwhelmed.”
understand.” She dropped her professional façade for a moment, and
offered Marinette a genuine smile. “Congratulations, Marinette. This
opportunity is well deserved.”
“I-uh, th-thank you!”
“Good evening. I will see you in July.”
walked Nathalie to the door, and Sabine squeezed her daughter in a
happy hug. “So, are you still disappointed that you didn’t get the
“No! This—this is amazing!” She glanced toward the door to her attic room. “I need to—”
“Go on, dear.” Sabine nudged her toward the steps. “We can celebrate later.”
With barely a nod for her mother, Marinette raced up the steps and threw the trap door open.
“Oh my God, you crazy cat!”
please, let me explain. I had no idea you’d been chosen, and I never
meant for you to lose the spot, honestly, I just wanted to make sure
that he’d seen how wonderfully talented you are and—oomf!”
thrown herself at him hard enough to knock him off the chaise. They
landed in a heap on the floor, and she immediately began peppering his
face with kisses, murmuring happy words of praise in between.
“You sweet—wonderful—thoughtful—sneaky—ooh! This is the best thing—!”
caught her face and brought her mouth to his for a lingering, more
thorough kiss. When it ended, he stroked his thumbs over her cheeks
with a sheepish smile. “So, ah, I guess you’re ok with how it worked
“Yes!” She said emphatically, nuzzling into his neck. “Oh, I owe you one for this, Chaton.”
tipped his head back, allowing her better access to the sensitive skin
there. “Hng…! Keep doing that to my neck, and we’ll call it even.”
4 several hundred years, caribbean islanders named hurricanes after saints, but storm-naming was haphazard (in the 1850s an atlantic storm that wrecked a boat named Antje became “Antje’s hurricane”, another that hit florida on Labor Day was aptly named “Labor Day”). @ the end of the 19th century, clement wragge, an australian forecaster, tried to impose a system, naming storms after letters of the greek alphabet. when the Australian gov refused to recognize this, he began naming hurricanes after politicians instead. unsurprisingly, a system tht appeared to describe a politician as “causing great distress” or “wandering aimlessly about the Pacific” encountered resistance. another approach was to describe hurricanes by the latitude and longitude co-ordinates that had enabled meteorologists to track them, but this was unhelpful to those who lived on the coast and relied on succinct life-saving counsel over the radio
today’s official practice of naming hurricanes began in 1950, when storms were called after the phonetic alphabet then used by American servicemen (Able, Baker, Charlie). these names were short and rolled easily off tongues n keyboards. exchanging notes among thousands of scattered radio stations, ships at sea and coastal bases became easier. the new technique proved particularly useful when two storms of varying ferocity occurred at the same time. buuuut only two years later, in 1952, the new international phonetic alphabet was adopted (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, etc) causing some confusion. so, following naval meteorologists who named storms after their wives, the American National Hurricane Center started using feminine names. this was popular…….. and controversial. the media delighted in describing “tempestuous” female hurricanes, “teasing” and “flirting” with coastlines. activists campaigned against this, and ever since 1978, storm names have alternated between masculine and feminine !!
(such names matter more than one might expect…… in 2014 a study by researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Illinois found that hurricanes with feminine names killed more people than those with masculine ones…….this has little to do with their ferocity, which was randomly distributed, but rather with people’s reactions to them. tropical storms w traditionally feminine names were taken less seriously than those w masculine names)
im pretty sure this is common knowledge but theres a strict procedure now in place from the World Meteorological Organization….. masc and feminine names are used on a six-year rotation; the only time that there is a change is if a storm has wrought enough devastation that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate (there will never b another hurricane sandy or katrina & thank god). in the event that more than 21 named tropical storms occur in a season, any additional storms will take names from the greek alphabet :-)
The Twilight heartthrob seemed damned to be a brooding ex-vampire forever. But then he drove a stake through his career and got to work resurrecting it.
So it’s settled, says Rob Pattinson, we’re going to do ayahuasca together! Ayahuasca is an Amazonian hallucinogen that people take to journey to the center of themselves, usually with a shaman, usually on a retreat, and it is a totally normal and valid way for us to spend one of our two days together, I completely agree. Yes, Rob, let’s do it. For the great big stunt of our GQ cover story, let’s take great big doses of ayahuasca. Let’s slide down the gooey tunnels of our ids until we Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich. Then I look it up. There’s a really long period of your trip where you’re just vomiting. But we’re up for some vomiting! Nobody here is a newborn babe who can’t handle a little reverse peristalsis! We just met, after all, and what better way to get to know each other than a little kayak into each other’s insides? Me and Rob Pattinson! Vomiting up a storm! What a story! But—but—maybe all that vomiting would make it hard to talk? Maybe it would change our psyches irreparably and return us to our loved ones forever altered? It might, right? Back to the drawing board. But you know what they say: There are no wrong ideas in a brainstorm.
So it’s settled, says Rob Pattinson, we’re going to swim with sharks! No one’s done that, right? The best way we can get close to some edge of existence, he thinks, is to swim with sharks, daring them to eat us. I suggest that maybe ayahuasca brings us to the edge of existence, too? And wouldn’t it be hard for me to write this if one of us (me) got eaten by one of those sharks? Sure, sure, he gets it. Anyway, he says, “I’m afraid something will happen that makes me look like a pussy.” Which is fair, and so we’re not going to do it. So it’s settled, says Rob Pattinson, we’re going to a Russian spa in West Hollywood! Sure! Let’s sit together in a spa, me in my bathing suit and you, Rob Pattinson, in yours, and you can talk about your workout regimen, and I can tell you about the care and maintenance of my C-section scars! Both of them! Argh, but a friend told him he’d seen Justin Bieber there, and Pattinson was like, no way, he will not be Bieber-derivative, which I support. (And usually spas are gender-separated?)
So it’s settled, says Rob Pattinson, he’s gonna come to me! Yes, he wants to infiltrate my suburban life. How’s that for turning this whole thing on its head? He’ll come to where I have coffee every day, at the Able Baker, and we’ll have a latte and a cookie, then haul over to do camp pickup with the kids. Yes! Me and Rob Pattinson! In New Jersey! Yes, come on over, Rob. The kids get picked up at 3:50! Bring a snack or the younger one will bitch you out for hours! Shoot, no, he has to go to Paris to get photographed for his Dior campaign in two days, so that won’t work with my deadline.
Pattinson, bless him, brings an unfiltered, uncut fire to each idea. Me, I am getting whiplash from nodding vigorously as I consider them. I am excited just to bear witness to his enthusiasm for all the ways you could eat the world. But I am also inspired by him. He really wants us to walk out of here with an amazing plan. Here, incidentally, is a very quiet, virtually unknown café that he likes, just a few blocks from his house in some part of some part of Los Angeles. He asks that I don’t print where this is, since he comes here a lot, mostly because of the [privacy feature]. He sits here every day, same table, eating the same [house special scramble], hold the [thing that makes the scramble delicious], and he never sees anyone here, and he’d like to keep it that way. Sure, I say. Suddenly, his eyes are a fever. He knows what we’re going to do. “Let’s get fecal-matter transplants,” he says. This is roughly his ninth suggestion (I’ve spared you some) for how we might spend our time together, but it’s number one in experimental procedures that are not yet fully FDA-approved. He’s been reading about it—he reads about everything, from stories about psychology to linguistics to fecal matter—and he cannot stop thinking about the possibilities. “It works,” he insists. “You can have an athlete’s shit put inside you and then you’re an athlete afterwards.” Imagine that! An athlete’s shit! Turning you into an athlete! It’s real! It might be real. It’s probably not real. But he’s just read about a woman with chronic fatigue who did a DIY fecal transplant and now she is totally fine. In fact, someone Pattinson knows did it; he spoke to that someone just yesterday, and that someone’s life has changed materially as a result—he can’t tell me who it is, because that someone is someone, but my God, we need to do this. So here’s the deal: We’re going to transplant each other’s fecal matter! I will become more like Rob; Rob will become more like me. No one’s ever done that before, right?
I look up from my notebook and blink. He is rubbing the fine layer of stubble resting luckily on his jawline, which you could hang your dry cleaning on. We sit back and consider. You know, if this is too hard, we could just come here again, I say. Maybe we could just not do anything and just come here. He shakes his head. That won’t do. No, we’re going to do something. He stares at the iced coffee he ordered. He used to drink “a million” cups a day, but lately, since he turned 31, he finds that it’s making him crazy. “Yeah,” he says, “if I have a little bit too much, I’ll suddenly think the trapdoor in the bottom of my life is falling.” Plus, too much coffee is like truth serum for him (hey, what if we did truth serum?), but he still loves coffee. So far he’s had maybe one and a half fingers of a regular-size cup. He puts his fist up to his heart. “I already feel like I had a speedball.” He lets out a kind of cackling laugh after he says this—head back, launching upward—but it comes out almost like a moon-howl. He laughs like this after almost everything he says, which is an intense way to communicate. When he talks, he tugs on the chest hair near his clavicle so that the bits of skin attached to each follicle pull up and form a miniature mountain range. We sit perpendicular to each other, and he keeps on his Helmut Lang sunglasses. Sometimes he looks at me, but mostly he looks at his scramble and at his dog, Solo, whom he has brought along—he shares the dog with his romantic partner, the experimental British musician FKA Twigs—and who has a Mohawk. “I can commit so wholeheartedly because I think it’s so stressful being in a thing where you’re just constantly second-guessing everything all the time.” Okay, so a fecal transplant. Check. A doctor will creep his (or her!) way into our colons and replace our poop with each other’s poop. Why not? What do we have to risk, other than infection and death?
So it’s settled, I say. I am game for it. I was game for all the others, too, because this is exciting for me, for someone to be as into this as much as I am. Maybe he wants to do something he’s never done before, or see something he’s never seen before, or be someone he’s never been before. It seems like this is the only criterion for how he wants to spend our time, just as it seems to be the only common denominator among the movies he chooses to make now: It has to be something new. It has to deliver a real connection. It has to teach him something about himself and test him. His new movie—his first starring role in years, made by a pair of gifted young brothers named Ben and Josh Safdie—is definitely a test. It’s called Good Time, and it is a locomotive that will grab you by the chest hairs near your clavicle for 100 minutes; Pattinson classifies it as the “panic genre.” He plays a desperate low-level con artist in Queens trying to protect his little brother after a bank robbery gone wrong. Without giving too much away, let’s just say it’s intoxicating to watch someone never slow down over the course of 24 hours and not once in that time make a good decision. Yes, the new Rob Pattinson is defined by his willingness to go berserk or go home. But maybe it’s just on-screen. Already Pattinson is reconsidering the fecal matter. Fecal transplants probably aren’t something that can be arranged in a day, even when you’re Rob Pattinson. Probably you need a diagnosis code or something. They probably aren’t as easily accessible as a colonic, and at this point who hasn’t done a colonic with a journalist? Anyway, he adds, maybe with some menace, “if we did a swap, I don’t know if you’d be able to handle my shit.” As we continue to discuss ideas for our big something, I bat away my thought about what these ideas also have in common, which is that they all render me incapacitated, unable to ask him any questions, and him unable to answer any. We’d be in different rooms, or on a hallucinogen, or in the belly of a shark, or in surgery, for Chrissake. But no, it couldn’t be that. It has to be this: That after years of playing dead, Rob Pattinson feels alive again. Yes, that has to be it.
He spent his formative acting years suspended in Twilight, playing a vampire who mostly just stood there, brooding—an inert emo-reactor to his cis-mortal heroine, played by Kristen Stewart. If you’ve never heard of it, because you were in an underground prison with no access to the outside world, or even other prisoners, a brief recap: It’s about two co-dependent teenagers (one of whom has been a teenager for 100 years) in a super-toxic relationship that unfolds over five movies in the small town of Forks. The blood of this lonely, virginal teenage girl gives off a scent that is like heroin to this teenage vampire who lives there, meaning he wants to eat her but also that he wants to love her. By the end of the third movie, they still haven’t slept together. Finally, in movie four, the two have sex, which they feared might kill her. But she then immediately becomes pregnant, and that actually does kill her. What is the opposite of subtext? Did I mention the town where this takes place is called Forks? “When I find someone who I have an instinct about, I find it quite easy to completely give myself to that person.” When the cameras stopped rolling, Pattinson was surrounded by oceans of admirers who made his world small and paranoid. So you can maybe understand why, freed up by all of those coffins full of Twilight residuals, Pattinson is now doing what he’s always wanted to do: making movies that are relentless and dark and kinetic and subversive. He could’ve gone a lot of different ways after Twilight; the world loves a pallid British super-villain. But it would’ve been more standing still: the CGI, the green screens, the waiting around in his trailer. Plus, he says, “I think you have to have a specific type of confidence to be in those movies.” He was confident he didn’t. He couldn’t just stand there and be defiant, the way villains do. He couldn’t stay on one note and mean it.
Instead, he plunged himself into a series of gritty art-house movies, which, of course, is a strategy favored by just about every teen idol trying to go legit. But this is different in that he doesn’t appear to be picking these projects with a calculated eye toward prestige, or even edge. His recent films are unified primarily by the fact that they feature directors who are great and mostly unheralded, and characters who are a little scary to play. Hardly anyone saw any of these movies, and he says he never expected them to. The point wasn’t for people to see the movies. And so far, he’s been right nearly every time. So far, it appears that Rob Pattinson has killer taste. Cosmopolis, his first post-Twilight movie, gave him the chance to work with his lifelong hero and favorite director, David Cronenberg, and to try his hand at (a very dark sort of) comedy. His character, a nihilist finance bro in the age of Occupy Wall Street, sits in the back of a limo for the duration of the film. He loved Cronenberg. He loved working for his hero. But still, there wasn’t a lot of movement. Edward Cullen’s most notable attribute, besides his looks—powdered face, strong lip, clenched jaw, which would slice through his hand if he rested it there—was his stillness. After that, he wanted some motion. He wanted to floor it. He started noticing how supporting roles got to be wilder and more eccentric, how they weren’t subject to the stolid requirements of a leading man, so he went and did a bunch of those— The Rover, Queen of the Desert, The Lost City of Z —much smaller films that allowed him to move, tinker, alter his appearance. You could watch The Rover, a brutal Australian-made post-apocalyptic heist-revenge tale, without realizing until the credits roll that you’ve been watching Rob Pattinson the whole time. “Yeah?” he asks happily when I say this to him. He loves that. Hearing that is the best thing he could hear. Next up: a project with the visually sumptuous French filmmaker Claire Denis, someone he’s been wanting to work with forever. “It’s a lot about sexual fantasy,” he tells me, “and how your past intermingles, and this thing about kind of having your semen stolen from you in a spaceship and like forcibly impregnating people.” Look for it in theaters soon!
Pattinson came across the Safdie brothers in his endless reading. What caught his eye was a single still image from the last movie they directed, a much admired 2014 heroin-junkie drama called Heaven Knows What: It was a close-up of the film’s star, Arielle Holmes—stringy-haired and staring warily beneath a hot pink filter—whom the Safdies met one day in Manhattan’s Diamond District and decided to make a movie about. When Pattinson first saw the image, on a film-geek website, the movie wasn’t even out yet. But he couldn’t look away. He reached out to them immediately with a blind note saying he was a huge fan and that he wanted to be in their next project. Just to reiterate: He hadn’t even seen the movie yet. But he didn’t care. He was hooked. “I want to disappear into a role,” he told them. Good Time did not exist in any form until Pattinson reached out. The Safdies were in the middle of another movie when they got Pattinson’s note, but they invited him to talk and showed him the finished version of Heaven Knows What. “He said he just wanted to be part of that energy,” Josh Safdie told me. “Rob is constantly overturning rocks to see if he can find a worm to eat. He is genuinely interested in discovering things.” To prepare for Good Time, Pattinson spent weeks in New York just walking around Queens, asking friends of the Safdie brothers to read the lines from his script back to him until he got the accent right. He read The Executioner’s Song and In the Belly of the Beast because Josh mentioned them in passing. He lost weight, dyed his hair blond, got two actual earrings (he didn’t realize the holes never go away), and began to creep into the role of Connie, a petty criminal with dubious morals, redeemed only by his devotion to his intellectually disabled brother. One day, Pattinson and Ben Safdie, who plays the brother, went into a Dunkin’ Donuts in Yonkers, and Ben tried ordering coffee in character, getting more and more agitated, just as his character would. Pattinson, in character as well, tried not so gently to subdue him. “When I find someone who I have an instinct about,” Pattinson says, “who’s going to just push forward, I find it quite easy to completely give myself to that person. And I can commit so wholeheartedly because I think it’s so stressful being in a thing where you’re just constantly second-guessing everything all the time.” On the other hand, now that he’s the star, now that the movies are so much smaller than the franchise machines that run on their own power, like Twilight, he has a new set of responsibilities. He knows a movie like Good Time would not be the subject of much mainstream attention—remember, it probably wouldn’t even exist—without his name on it. He knows that he has reached the stage of his career where he can use his immense fame to bring attention to a very worthy, very difficult movie like this one. But now, sitting here, he realizes he doesn’t really know what to say to me about it. He doesn’t love this part, the selling part, and he’s struggling for the right words. “I’m not very good at sending a message,” he tells me. This is Rob Pattinson’s conundrum in 2017. He can disappear into roles. He can become someone new. But when he shows up to talk about the career he has now, the career of his dreams, people still mistake him for the tabloid tween sensation he was a few years ago, whose personal life was everywhere, who knew he was going to get asked about it in every interview and hated every second of it. He still does, which is why every minute we’re together I see him watching me warily, waiting for me to pounce.
Pattinson was cast in Twilight when he was 21, and throughout his four-year run, he and his co-stars would get dragged to shopping malls to do promotion. Those were the days when he spoke freely. Nervous girls would ask him everything from when Edward and Bella were finally going to bone to how he styled his hair. He told them, “I have 12-year-old virgins lick it.” He was hooded and dragged off to media training by studio executives, and from then on, in any interview he did, he was surrounded by several anxious publicists ready to tase him if he got out of line again. The paparazzi descended upon him in a way we hadn’t seen since Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were a thing. (They were once a thing!) Tabloids camped outside his home. “People were like, ‘It’s fine, who cares?’ ” he says now. “ ‘They’re just photos or whatever.’ They’ll say, ‘Just live your life.’ But that’s not life for me, if someone’s observing it.” During the height of the Twilight madness, he had each of his friends call Ubers while he traded outfits with them in the restaurant bathroom, so that photographers wouldn’t know which car he got into, and then he sent all the Ubers in different directions, because drop dead. He rode around in the trunks of cars “constantly,” he says, because fuck you. At one point he had five rental cars and kept them, along with a change of clothes, in parking lots around town. If he was being followed, he’d dip into one of the lots, switch his clothing and his car, and leave. One day, coming home from Venice, he realized he was being tailed. He drove around for hours because he didn’t want anyone to know where his new house was. Finally, as the sun came up, he pulled over and got out of the car and approached one of the photographers. “You’ve gotten your pictures,” he said. “Can I please just go home now?” “No,” the guy told him. “My boss says I can’t come back until I know where your new house is. Sorry, man.” Pattinson never tried to negotiate or appeal to their humanity again. “There are ways to disappear, like, fairly easily,” he tells me. “It just involves effort, and most people can’t be bothered to put the effort in.” Finally, he won. And he didn’t win because tabloids changed or because Twilight ended or even because he and Kristen Stewart broke up, a breakup instigated, of course, by the very paparazzi they had worked so hard to dodge (look it up). No, he won because he had more money than they did: They simply couldn’t afford the gas and unbillable hours that led to no billable shot. “As soon as I saw a tail, I would just disappear again. It worked after a while. They’re just like, ‘Oh, the guy is just a hassle.’ ” He had cracked the code; he was free. “There are ways to disappear, like, fairly easily,” he tells me. “But you have to be living a quite strange life. It just involves effort, and most people can’t really be bothered to put the effort in.” Things are easier now; not perfect, but easier. Just yesterday he was walking Solo—his girlfriend named the dog—and he saw a photographer, and he hid his face and then was angry at himself, because he knows that hiding your face is a story. As he tells me about it, he tightens that jaw that jaw that jaw, which you could luge down, but then he relaxes and remembers what it used to be like. Put it this way: He was walking his dog outside. He thinks Instagram has taken the heat off of him; it’s taken some of the fire out of the tabloids’ pursuit of movie stars. Now they chase the Insta-models and reality stars. Sometimes they chase one another. But he has no animosity for any of them, he says. “They’re just losers trying to do their jobs.”
What he is trying to say is—no offense to me personally, of course—he would rather not be here. “It’s technically part of my job, but I’ve never been very good at it,” he says. And anyway, “I’ve never been that concerned if someone sees the movie,” which he knows you’re not supposed to say aloud and maybe doesn’t entirely mean, but there you go. His eyes briefly shift toward me with suspicion. He’s sure this is what I’m after—something incendiary, maybe even something about his ex-girlfriend, or something about Twigs. (He only accidentally lets me know he calls her that—Twigs—twice: once in relation to who named the dog they both own and also in relation to the ugliness they both experienced when their relationship became public and people on Twitter spewed racist garbage about her.) In fact, Pattinson tells me, he went to therapy a few years ago during a low time, and the therapist often remarked how good he was at talking without saying anything. Now he applies this skill whenever he’s forced to hang out with people like me. “If I could stay silent,” he says, “I would.” He’s convinced that I’ll take whatever I learn and make his loved ones’ lives a hellscape. Back in the Twilight days, someone Googled his sisters’ names and started hounding them at work. He realized that he should never say anyone’s name—not his ex’s name, not Twigs’s name. (Just watch this. Me: “Are you getting married?” Him: “Eh…,” then laughs.) He tries to make a point in interviews of saying nothing that isn’t already known: “I always think the risk reward is very much weighted in the wrong direction.”
But it’s not just his personal life that he refuses to dive into. He’s also alarmed by the prospect that if he says the wrong thing about a film he’s trying to promote, it could be a disaster. “We live in very sensitive times,” he says. One false move, he says, and it becomes the story of the movie, undoing a lot of good people’s hard work. I surmise, but he will not confirm, that he is referring to several bits in the movie that might go over some p.c. line that the Internet has drawn. I ask him to give me an example—one example—of a movie where this happened, where a single remark or bit of gossip derailed the whole thing. He looks at me searchingly, shaking his head. He doesn’t want to name anything because he assumes that will get him into trouble, too, shitting on someone else’s movie. But I sit quietly and wait. I can wait all day. Finally, he’s got one. “Like Waterworld, for instance.” I look up from my notebook and squint. The Kevin Costner movie? “It’s one of the greatest movies ever made,” he continues, “and everyone said it was bad. And for years everyone was like, ‘This is a terrible movie.’ And now people are watching it and the veil is being taken away.” I am momentarily speechless. Then I confirm whether he’s actually seen Waterworld. He has. Later, I will check to make sure there isn’t a Sidney Lumet movie that’s also called Waterworld. There isn’t. Already he regrets saying this, invoking his beloved Waterworld. He looks down at the coffee. He gets a far-off look in his eyes, staring straight ahead, over my shoulder, at the restaurant wall. He looks at me again and pushes out a micro-sigh. He tells me a story about filming The Rover in 2014, in a town in Australia with a population of 90, several hours north of Adelaide. He could stand out in the open desert, taking a piss. “I know no one can see this,” he thought then. He could barely get his head around it. Just four years earlier, he was filming a movie in Central Park, and 3,000 people came out to watch. For anyone else it would be just a regular piss. For Pattinson, it was the urination of liberation.
So after all that, we end up playing golf, something he’s never done before and I’ve only done for other articles. It was his suggestion, as out of nowhere as the others. It stuck simply because it was the last thing he thought of before there was no time to think of anything else, so we got ourselves a last-minute tee time. He shows up this time in a gingham shirt, unbuttoned to just below the thorax, a baseball cap, and sneakers. He is less anxious than yesterday; he is happier when he is moving. Calmer, too. We rent a golf cart and make it through exactly one hole before it becomes clear that the combination of our ineptitude at golf and cackle-moon-howl laughter does not jibe well with the foul humor of the Angelenos who are available to play golf on a Friday afternoon at 3:12—a time that is called the Twilight slot, if you can believe it. We do not know quite where to put our tees. We do not know where we should be aiming our balls. There are people behind us and people in front of us, and perhaps we hadn’t considered how very, very seriously other people take golf. We decide to bail. I get into the golf cart with him, and he has to drive backward in order for us to make our escape. He does it at full speed, swerving in reverse with the confidence of a man who has been chased down by innocent-looking Priuses with devious-looking photographers hanging out the driver’s-side window. “We are going really fast,” I say.
He turns briefly toward me and gives me a funny look. “No, we’re not.” I was right all along, you know. Sure, yes, all the activities he suggested were about doing something cool he’d never done before, but mostly they were about not talking. Maybe I was being naive, but you have to know I go into each one of these with a heart clouded by optimism and a willingness to believe the best in everyone. He is searching for something new in his work and in his life—that’s all real. But his ulterior motive became unavoidable after we played one hole of golf. You try asking a question with a tape recorder jammed under your bra strap and your notepad under your armpit so that you can hit a ball nowhere near the hole.
“I want to be misunderstood. People are always changing, and the more you put something down in print, people form opinions and they’re constantly creating who they think you are.” After we return the cart, Pattinson and I hit the restaurant in the clubhouse. We sit with beers served in glasses the size of fishbowls and eat hot dogs (ketchup and mustard). I try again for even one iota of intimate conversation. But he just asks me why he would ever answer. So I think back on all the interviews I’ve done, and I tell him very honestly that I think it’s because people want to be heard. Most of us, even the most famous of us—sometimes especially the most famous of us—want to be understood. “I don’t,” he says. “I want to be misunderstood. People are always changing, and the more you put something down in print, people form opinions and they’re constantly creating who they think you are. If you do something that contradicts that, or if you do something which goes out of that box, then you can look like a liar or something like that.” He prefers to stay nimble, you see. There will be less to combat later if someone like me can’t throw his words in his face. It’s just not worth it, he says. Especially now. Especially now that he’s finally back among the living. Living is picking the movies you want, reacting to the world as it comes. Living is walking your dog. That’s why he isn’t giving me shit, he tells me. He hopes I understand. It’s for the best, he says. He’s alive again. Finally he’s alive again. Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a GQ correspondent. This story originally appeared in the September 2017 issue with the title "The Second Coming of Robert Pattinson.”
“Invisible Magic Friend”: How The Six Thatchers confirms what we we’ve been told since The Blind Banker
The answer to every question we’ve ever had solving Sherlock has been staring us in the face since The Blind Banker debuted in 2010. We heard them tell us but we ignored them. We saw but we did not observe. Until now.
One of Sherlock’s quirks is he talks to John even when John’s not there. This is first stated here in episode two:
We laughed at this, and continued to laugh when Sherlock did it again:
This is not played for laughs – this is happening because soon we’re going to get scenes from Sherlock’s point-of-view where the audience sees John and thinks John’s really there when he’s not. The writers have been setting this up for ages. They told us this happens. Now that we’ve taken a look at the mess that is The Six Thatchers, we know this is exactly what they’re doing. They even left us a bunch of clues in episode eleven to confirm it.
Take a look at the newspaper reading “be in two places at once?”:
This is the case of The Duplicate Man.
How about this moment, when John asks Sherlock to be the Godfather of his baby? Sherlock says God is an “invisible magic friend” that only stupid people look to for help.
Well, we know Sherlock absolutely does this in his life and has been doing this for seven years. He conjures images of John not only because he misses him, but because John helps him be a better detective. John channels his thoughts and makes him kinder. Sherlock becomes a great man because of John.
So you didn’t understand The Six Thatchers? I didn’t either until I realized this: We’ve been taking John Watson for granted. We see him on screen and assume he’s there. This is not true. We have slowly drifted further into Sherlock’s point-of-view ever since the The Blind Banker and we forgot that Sherlock conjures up false images of John. Frequently.
The Six Thatchers provides yet another clue of this:
This is a reference to “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane” – one of the very few Sherlock Holmes stories told from Sherlock’s point of view and which does not feature John Watson at all. This is directly telling us to question John’s involvement with the story. Also, note the “assassin lurking close by” is linked to John walking up the stairs, giving strength to the idea of John being out of this story except for when his sharp-shooter skills come in handy making for a big reveal coming up soon. (I’ll leave you to your deductions)
“But we saw so much of John in The Six Thatchers! What do you mean he wasn’t in it??” – John most definitely was in this episode, just not the way you think. John is the Duplicate Man. He’s in two places at once. That’s why we see some of his scenes play out twice. One version is real, one is him as an “invisible magic friend”. I explain it in great length here.
Sherlock explicitly says in Morocco he doesn’t have much experience with happy families. At the very end when Norbury says she’s always wanted a nice family, Mary looks over to Sherlock and then down to the ground, guiltily. Sherlock is the one who’s always wanted the family, the love, the happily ever after. Now that we can see John has been a figment of Sherlock’s desperate imagination this whole episode, we realize Sherlock has been inserting himself into Watson family moments he was never in because he wasn’t able to leave Baker Street. He’s the target. Targets wait.. That’s why he’s on his phone during all of them – he wasn’t ignoring his surroundings, he was trying to attend those moments through his phone. He was at Baker Street solving crimes – “the best antidote to sorrow” – while calling, texting, face-timing, trying everything he could to be included in the family.
So it begs the question: Was John Watson present for Mary’s death? Or were John’s reactions, complete lack of medical knowledge, and unearthly sounds all part of how Sherlock thought John would’ve acted had he been there? Is John Watson still a figment of Sherlock’s imagination when he said “You made a vow!”, meaning Sherlock saw Mary die and immediately thought “oh my god John is never going to forgive me for this”? Playing off of speculation from many others, if John wasn’t at Mary’s death scene in the way we saw, does that mean he was the assassin lurking in the shadows behind them? Just like the killer Jellyfish in the aquarium?
There are many questions this theory brings to the table for the next two episodes, but it closes many cases still left open. It solves how Sherlock survived the Reichenbach Fall.It helps us decode the discrepancies between His Last Vow and The Abominable Bride. It validates the concept behind Extended Mind Palace Theory, but instead of everything being in Sherlock’s head, Sherlock is projecting fake images into real places.
This theory is gigantic and hard to understand on first read through, but if this story line is something the writers have had in mind since day one – and it’s looking like it is – then the big reveal in The Final Problem will be moments of the actual timeline we’ve seen but been ignoring this whole time. This rug pull would be the greatest plot twist ever seen on television – a television show shooting extra scenes years in advance to hold on to, lie about, and then reveal at the climax just what story they’ve been meticulously planning from the beginning. A complex set of clues, red herrings, and puzzles all laid out for us.
You think it’s not possible? That this is just too hard to do? That the writers and producers don’t care to film scenes in advance to manipulate how the viewers understand time?
Nothing is too complicated coming from two men who also write Doctor Who.
With humor and humanity, Tangerine vividly captures a world unknown to most audiences.
“PARK CITY, UTAH — Too often, the focus at the annual Sundance Film Festival is on stars we already know telling stories we’ve already heard, usually involving white upper-middle-class ennui. But Tangerine, which made its debut at the fest this weekend, is none of those things.
It takes almost no time at all for the movie to announce itself as one of the most vital films at Sundance this year. It opens on transgender prostitutes Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor) splitting a doughnut at Donut Time, a real shop in Los Angeles, on Christmas Eve. Sin-Dee just got out of a 28-day stint in jail, and she is anxious to tell her best friend news about her boyfriend Chester (James Ransone), who also happens to be their pimp.
With a cast of trans actors playing trans characters — still all too rare in feature filmmaking — Tangerine brings a world unknown to most audiences to radiant life with humor and humanity. Director Sean Baker (Starlet) and his co-writer Chris Bergoch treat the fact that Sin-Dee and Alexandra are trans prostitutes as just that — a fact, not a gimmick or a “theme” that needs hand-holding explanation.
If you’ve heard anything about Tangerine, it’s probably that Baker shot the film entirely on the iPhone 5s. That may seem like a marketing gimmick, but Baker chose exactly the right technology to capture this particular story, giving it an immediacy and intimacy that I’m not sure he would have been able to achieve with a more sophisticated camera. Besides, the film looks fabulous. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for more than 12 years, and yet Baker is able to capture this particular section of the city with a gritty beauty I’ve never seen before.”
Imagine your OTP are superheroes and there’s a new villain in town… THE BAKER! As villains go, The Baker is really more a nuisance than a menace. Nobody really gets hurt, but nobody can renew their driver’s license when the DMV is completely filled with muffins. AGAIN.
And this is the third time this month your OTP have had to eat their way out a giant pie they were trapped in. It was really good pie…but spandex can only stretch so far. They’re going to pop a seam if they have to escape another baked good based trap. That kind of costume failure could expose their secret identities!
Will they be able to capture The Baker while they can still see their toes? Can our heroes convince the Baker to turn their skills to good and fill the local food pantry instead? And shouldn’t The Baker’s lair be pretty easy to find if he’s baking building sized pies? And how did he move that pie for that matter, was there a crane involved?
Be sure to pick up the next issue where none of those logistical issues are addressed and our heroes are confronted with an army of gingerbread men!
Must be getting early, clocks are running late. Paint by number morning sky, looks so phony. Dawn is breaking everywhere, light a candle, curse the glare Draw the curtains I don’t care ‘cause it’s alright I will get by, I will get by, I will get by, I will survive.
I see you’ve got your fists out, say your piece and get out. Guess I get the gist of it but it’s alright Sorry that you feel that way. The only thing there is to say Every silver lining’s got a touch of grey I will get by, I will get by, I will get by, I will survive.
It’s a lesson to me The Ables and the Bakers and the C’s The ABC’s we all must face To try to keep a little grace
It’s a lesson to me The Deltas and the East and the Freeze The ABC’s we all think of To try to give a little love
I know the rent is in arrears, the dog has not been fed in years It’s even worse than it appears but it’s alright
Cow is given kerosene, kid can’t read at seventeen The words he knows are all obscene but it’s alright I will get by, I will get by, I will get by, I will survive.
It’s a lesson to me The Deltas and the East and the Freeze The ABC’s we all think of To try to keep a little love
The shoe is on the hand it fits, there’s all there really nothing much to it Whistle through your teeth and spit 'cause it’s alright
Oh, well, a touch of gray, kinda suits you anyway, That’s was all I had to say but it’s alright I will get by, I will get by, I will get by, I will survive.
It’s a lesson to me, The deltas and the East and the free The ABC’s we all must face, Try to save a little grace.
We will get by. We will get by. We will get by. We will survive We will get by. We will get by. We will get by. We will survive
Kind of a strangely positive day. Shared for lilrowboat, for me, and anyone else who may be smiling through a slight case of a Touch of Grey. :)
So at Universal Studios there was this old guy from Ireland who was visiting America for the first time so he could be in Diagon Alley on opening day and I asked him what his favorite thing about his trip to America had been so far and all he said was
“Of course Diagon Alley is brilliant, but did you know that you can buy thirteen doughnuts for three dollars at Walmart???”
Imagine Drew meeting and falling love with another woman, and getting married. Imagine them having kids. Imagine all their kids being geniuses, maybe not all top IQ like their half brother Ralph, but all in the top few percent of the population.
Imagine Walter O’Brien trying to process Drew Baker consistently fathering super geniuses.
This is just a little drabble in my head that wouldn’t let me go. There were some lines in here that just begged me to write them down. So I did. I hope that you enjoy this little version of “The night I felt that thing again.”
It had been just an ordinary night, until suddenly it wasn’t.
Katniss had been laying in bed with Peeta for about half an hour, in that same spot with her head on his shoulder like always. He had taken to sleeping with his shirt off this past month or so, and she took advantage of the fact by lightly running her hand over the blonde hairs on his chest. Her baker had mentioned that he liked it when she did the motion, and his small moan now confirmed the fact. A smile crossed Katniss’ face knowing that she had that kind of effect of him.
This had become her favorite time of the day. Those moments of peaceful quiet in the moonlight together in their bed right before they went to sleep. They were at their most vulnerable, most open, in those times. They could finally feel comfortable enough to talk about the most difficult topics, and at the same time the most mundane.
“What did you do today?” his voice calls out quietly in the dark.
“I made it to the lake. Did some hunting around there. Took the rabbits I caught over to Greasy Sae’s.”
“Sounds like a good day.” Peeta replies
“How about you?” she asks.
“Well, as you know I baked the cheese buns that I left for you, and took the extra over to Haymitch, plus a few loaves to share with Delly and Thom. He and I then went over to a piece of land to see if it might be a good spot to rebuild the new bakery.” Peeta had just recently decided that he was ready to begin building his own business.
“Doesn’t sound bad at all.”
“No, not bad at all.” Every night this was the usual beginning to their conversation. To gauge how each other was doing by how they had followed their routines, as recommended by Dr. Aurelius.
Peeta began running his fingers up and down her arm. The motion brought with it those new shivery feelings that Katniss had become accustomed to these past few months. It was all building up to something, she knew.
When he had first come home, they spent the first few weeks just trying to get through the days without losing the tiny bit of sanity they had left. Eventually, they each began filling their days with doing the activities that were like therapy for them. Katniss hunted, and Peeta baked, and they shared their accomplishments with the new residents of District 12.
In the beginning they were living in their separate houses. But one night, her screams were so loud that Peeta instinctively ran over. Upon finding Katniss in her bedroom curled up and screaming, there was nothing else he could do but crawl in with her and place his arms around her body. As soon as he held Katniss close, she immediately reacted by relaxing and eventually falling asleep. He stayed until morning.
When the same actions had repeated themselves ten times over the next two weeks, they both knew they need to stop keeping up any pretenses. Peeta quietly moved his clothes, necessities, and favorite pieces of furniture over to Katniss’ house.
It was a glorious feeling being back in his arms again. Feeling safe for the first time in a long time, their nightly conversations began. They would always begin by discussing their respective days, then share anything else that was on their minds. Sometimes they would talk for only a few minutes, sometimes for hours. Those generally happened on the bad days.
They spent more time together during the day, too. Katniss would take Peeta to the lake, or long walks in the woods. Peeta, in turn, tried to teach her to bake, cook, and paint. Although they both tried, neither seemed to become in any way proficient in the other’s specialties. But it didn’t seem to matter. They both grew to just enjoy each other’s company, no matter what they were doing.
It was not a shock then when one night after saying goodnight to each other that Peeta took a step by giving her a kiss on the forehead. Katniss looked up into his crystal blue eyes, so full of warmth, and made the next move by kissing him on the lips. Although surprised, Peeta returned the kiss with fervor. Beginning the new chapter of their relationship.
Over the next weeks and months, kisses continued, and as they do deepened into more. Touches began to accompany them, at first above clothing, and then underneath. Katniss found that each little step only made her crave more. Peeta, of course, never pushed, but let her decide how far to go.
In the last month, they saw each other naked for the first time. She let him take in her scars, and he let her massage the stump of his leg. They continued to protect each other, and make the other feel safe. Always talking.
“Is this okay?”
“It’s hideous, isn’t it?”
“You don’t have to do this yet.”
“I want to. Trust me?”
“I trust you.”
Every step was punctuated with reaffirmation from the other. Touches led to experimentation.
“Does that feel good?”
“Try this here.”
“Yes, just like that.”
So tonight, they stood on the cusp of something big. Something wonderful. Peeta begins to run his fingers through her hair.
“That feels so nice.” Katniss sighs.
“I remember playing with your hair before the Quarter Quell.” Peeta observes.
She smiles. “Yes, you did. You made of crown of flowers and practiced knots.”
“And I wanted to freeze that moment forever.” he says.
“That’s right.” Katniss leans up on her arms to look down at him. “Today’s been a good day too. And right now, I wish I could freeze it, too. Just to be here with you.”
Peeta brings his hand up to push her hair back, then he leans up for a kiss. And while the kiss begins as soft as always, it soon is demanding more and more.
And she feels that thing again. The one that felt like hunger when they were on the beach. But now she actually has a name for it…desire. Not only did she need Peeta like she told him that night, but she wanted him. She knew without a doubt that no matter whether they had been through the games or not, that this would have happened. Somehow they would have found each other. She and Gale would have consumed each other with their fire. Peeta was the light and hope she needed to survive the days and nights. The master baker able to mold the fire to create something good.
So, she continues on. They kiss and kiss and touch in all kinds of places until Katniss finds that all their clothes are on the floor and Peeta is right there on top of her. They had done so many things to lead up to this one moment, and right now there was only one final step left to take.
He lifts up on his arms slightly off of her and looks down lovingly. “Are you sure?”
Katniss still isn’t good with words, so she can only nod her assent. He comes back down, and from there she feels a discomfort, a little pain, followed by a moment of stillness along with soft kisses. Eventually, there is movement, and the discomfort somehow amazingly becomes pleasure. It builds and builds until she feels like she could almost be up in the clouds.
She was the Mockingjay, but only as Katniss lets go does she truly know what it is like to fly.
When their breathing calms, and she is again lying in Peeta’s arms, he asks the important question. And Katniss finds that, with confidence, she can finally get out the one word to tell him how she feels.