407. Time and Punishment
Once Aidan and I were back together, it seemed like nothing had ever happened to break us apart.
- It's me. Go ahead. - Hey, kid. What's shaking? I'm back in town. Call me, baby.
- I'm not... - Yean. Yeah.
A little machine with a big message.
- Ok. Something happened. - Something bad?
- Big called while Aidan and l were making love. - Something bad.
- The machine picked up. - What did you do?
Nothing. We just kept making love.
He could keep going after that? He's a keeper.
- Never mind him. How did you do? - I finished.
- You did? - I had to. I haven't worked that hard at anything since my SATs.
This is awful. Did you talk about it?
No. We just went to sleep. When I woke up, Aidan was on the other side of the bed. Usually he sleeps next to me. You know, like, right here. And I just, I get in his little nook.
Maybe he's just sleeping differently.
Maybe, or maybe he'll never forget what happened and every time the phone rings, he'll think that it's Big calling to start affair number two.
That's a big maybe.
I was just hoping that we could just start fresh and now I think we're gonna have to talk about it.
What are you gonna do, sit Aidan down and explain about Big?
Unless Hallmark makes a "Sorry I Cheated" card.
No one wants to hear about their lover's past lovers. What happened was in the past, leave it there.
It's on my answering machine. I have to talk about it.
- Here you go, this is yours. - Thank you.
- Can I change the subject? - I'll pay you a million dollars.
- I'm thinking about quitting my job. - Did you get an offer from a better gallery?
- No, I mean, stopping working. Altogether. - Really?
Yeah. I've been driving myself crazy lately just trying to get everything done and Trey suggested…
He mentioned that maybe I might quit. And I mean, really, I have just been driving myself crazy. And for what? The gallery? What has the gallery ever done for me?
- But you love your job. - I know. But there's so much more I could do with my life.
Soon I'll be pregnant, and that'll be huge. Plus, we’re redecorating the new apartment and I always wanted to take those Indian cooking classes and sometimes I'll walk by one of those
Color Me Mine pottery places and I'll see a woman having just a lovely afternoon glazing a bowl. That'd be a nice change. And I wanted to volunteer at Trey's hospital. And help raise money for the new Pediatric AIDS wing.
The cooking and the AIDS stuff is great, but Color Me Mine, sweetie If I was walking by and I saw you in there I'd just keep on walking.
Anyway, that's what I'm thinking.
You sure you're not just having a bad work week?
No, that's not it. I'm quitting, that's what I want to do, yep. I'm quitting.
Well, be damn sure before you get off the Ferris wheel because the women waiting to get on are 22, perky, and ruthless.
- You seem to have a lot of opinions today. - I'm telling you just forget it ever happened.
Later that day, I got to thinking about relationships and partial lobotomies. Two seemingly different ideas that might be perfect together like chocolate and peanut butter. Think how much easier it would all be if there was some swift surgical procedure to whisk away all the ugly memories and mistakes and leave only the fun trips and special holidays. But until that day arrives, what to do? Rely on the same old needlepoint philosophy of "forgive and forget"? And even if a couple can manage the forgiveness, has any ever really conquered the forgetness? Can you ever really forgive, if you can't forget?
To Samantha Jones, some things were unforgivable. And taking someone else's cab was right at the top of her list.
- I was here first! - Sorry!
- I don't think so. Get out! - I'm not getting out.
West 12th and 9th Avenue, please. I hope you enjoy the ride.
He did. And in a far less friendly bed uptown I was even farther from the nook. Yet, I still wasn't sure, maybe I was overreacting.
- 8:10? I gotta get to the gym. - You don't have to go to the gym right now.
- Do you want me to get all soft again? - I liked you all soft.
- I didn't. - Give me a good morning kiss.
You might want to brush your teeth first.
Well, that settled it. He wasn't forgiving or forgetting.
And speaking of not forgetting…
- Hello? - You were so judgmental at the coffee shop yesterday.
- Excuse me? - You think I'm one of those women.
What? One of what women?
One of those women we hate who just works until she gets married.
- Charlotte, it's 8:15. - That's not a response.
It's an 8:15 in the morning response.
The women's movement is supposed to be about choice. And if I choose to quit my job, that is my choice.
The women's movement? Jesus Christ, I haven't even had coffee yet.
It's my life and my choice.
Ok, Charlotte? This isn't about me, this is your stuff.
Admit it! You were being very judgmental.
I'm dripping all over my bathroom and you're calling me judgmental. If you have a problem with quitting your job, maybe you should take it up with your husband.
See, there it is, "your husband." There's nothing wrong with having a husband!
Charlotte, I'm hanging up.
Don't you dare hang up! And stop saying Charlotte like that. I am quitting my job to make my life better and do something worthwhile like have a baby and cure AIDS.
Oh! You're gonna cure AIDS? Good for you. Just don't be too disappointed if all you wind up with is a pretty ceramic mug with Trey's name on it.
- Take that back! - I'm hanging up.
Don't you dare hang up! I'm interviewing girls to replace me and I really need you to get behind my choice.
You get behind your choice.
I am behind my choice. I choose my choice.
I don't have time for this. I have to go to work. Some of us still have to go to work.
- I choose my choice! I choose my choice! - Fuck! Jesus!
When in a hostile situation, some women, like Charlotte, confront it head on while others...
- Fresh juice? - Where'd you get that?
- I ran down to the Korean. - Dressed like that?
It caused quite the stir. Will you help me patch up, buddy? I got a big tense meeting with my editor in about an hour. It feels like a two patch day. You notice how much better I'm doing this time? No cheating. I think I finally kicked that bad habit. Now I'm practically perfect, don't you think? That kinda hurt. What was that?
I was just making sure it was on good and tight.
- Are you mad at me or something? - Why would I be mad at you? Excuse me.
About the other night
What the fuck? This goddamn milk is bad. You just fucking let it sit in there? Look, it's not you. I'm just a little pissed off because of work. I got to strip these pieces all weekend, the chemicals are toxic, I can't get anybody to watch Pete.
- I'll watch Pete. - Come on, dog walking is not your favorite thing to do, Carrie.
You love Pete, I love Pete. That's just the kind of girlfriend I am. How 'bout I take my tall drink of water out to dinner tonight? Someplace super nice where the milk is fresh.
I was gonna hook up with some of my buddies over at Steve's bar.
Is it a night with the guys, or can girlfriends crash?
You can come, don't come whatever, do what you like.
No, you go have fun with the guys. Hello?
My neck is out. Charlotte called and I was drying my hair, my whole body is fucked up because of the marathon.
I'm sorry, can I do something?
I don't know. It hurts to even hold the phone. Come over.
- Ok, I have a … - Thanks! Fuck!
Shit. Miranda's neck is out. She can't move and I'm just I'm worried that it's too late for me to cancel my meeting.
I'll go check on Miranda for you.
- You would? - Sure.
Thank you. You are a great, great boyfriend. You know that? I mean it, you're the best.
Where are the keys?
Twenty minutes later Miranda's neck had gone from bad to worse.
- Carrie? - No, it's Aidan, Carrie sent me.
- No! No, don't come in, I'm naked! - What? Jesus.
My neck pulled again and this is the only way I felt comfortable. I'll get up.
- Ok, don't get up, I'm coming in. - No, don't come in, I'm fine! I can't get up.
- Ok, I'm coming in. - Oh, God. I am mortified.
Just relax, darling, I'm looking the other way. I'm going to lift you up.
No, you'll see everything.
- Nothing I haven't seen before, ok. Nice smell, that's the April Fresh stuff, right? - Yeah.
- All right. You ready to be lifted? - Ok.
Ok, here we go. All right, put your… There you go. All right. Let's get you up now, on three. One, two, three. Ok, how you doing?
- I'm fine. - Snug as a bug in a rug.
Samantha was right. It seemed every aspiring "gallerina" in New York wanted Charlotte's job. She was determined to find the perfect replacement. Someone bright, someone smart, someone like Charlotte.
B.A. In Art History, minor in Finance. Same as me. Career objectives: To own my own gallery. Oh, my God, that is amazing. I think I had the same objective on my first resume.
Did you ever own one?
No. I found I loved it here so much, that it felt like my gallery.
You've done an amazing job. It's my favorite space.
I probably shouldn't tell you this with a line of people out there, but you're hired.
I am? Thank you, thank you!
So, do you have any questions?
Just one. Why are you leaving this fantastic job?
I'm married, and we're planning on a baby. Also I'm on the board of the Lenox Hill Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Charlotte heard herself lie. She just couldn't bring herself to tell the girl that her new resume objective would read: Wife, mother, and part-time bowl glazer.
That night, I decided to interrupt Guys' Night to give Aidan a quick thank you for helping Miranda kiss.
- You're my hero. - What's new, pussy cat?
Not only are you great to me, but you're great to my friends as well. Who's a better boyfriend than you?
- I'm back. Where were we? - I was up to three peanuts.
- You think you're such hot stuff? - Yeah!
Yeah, Shayna here is teaching me how to play jacks with the peanuts. I'm at threesies.
- Hi, I'm Carrie. - Carrie. Hi.
- I'm sorry. That's Shayna. - Hi. Can I get you a drink?
No thanks, I'm not staying. I don't want to interrupt the night with the guys. So, where are the guys?
Man, the guys blew me off at the last minute. So, I came down here to hang out with my buddy, Steve.
And Steve. I'm sorry, where's Steve?
It's kinda slow, so Steve went to get a burrito. Shayna and I are looking out for the joint.
- All right, I'm up. Twosies. - Twosies!
- Look out. - That was good.
That was very good.
So, Miranda says that you were amazing. He helped my girlfriend today. He took her to the chiropractor.
- We got us a nice guy, here. - Shucks, ma'am.
So, how was Miranda?
No work or running for a week. And she has to wear one of those foam collars. What do you call four?
- Foursies. - Foursies! Yeah!
- Ok, well, I'm gonna go. - What, yeah?
- Yeah. Can you excuse us for a second? - Sure.
- What is going on? - What's up?
You tell me. Ok you do your thing. Listen, I don't have to work tomorrow so, come on over if you want.
I'll come over.
- Good luck with foursies. It was nice to meet you, Shayna. - Yeah.
I'll see you later.
- Let's go. - Ok. Watch and learn, young buck.
But Aidan never showed up. And at about 3:00 a.m., it became very clear that I was being punished for my big mistake.
That cowl neck look is on the way out. You heard it here first. How are you, sweetie?
- I had to sleep sitting up like the Elephant Man. - I brought you bagels to cheer you up.
That's so nice of you.
Aidan never came over last night. He said he would, but he didn't. And I called him this morning. He said he thought that come over meant today not last night.
- You know what? This is bullshit. - Yeah, that's what I think.
No, you! You are bullshit! You and your bullshit cheer me up bagels. They're just a decoy so you could talk about Aidan. Look, you didn't even bring cream cheese.
I got the good bagels.
It's bad enough you send your boy friend to help me when I called you, but now, the bullshit bagels!
So what are you saying, you don't want one?
If you fell or something I would never send my boyfriend to help you and yes, I know, I don't have a boyfriend.
What's the problem?
Aidan's better in a crisis than I am. I can't even remember your cream cheese.
He saw me naked. Your boyfriend saw me naked on the floor, lying on a bathmat! Did he tell you that?
- No, he's a gentleman. - Well, He did!
- All right, I get it, I'm sorry. I will never send a boyfriend to do my job again. - Ok.
- Do you want toasted? - Ok.
If I still even have a boyfriend, I think he's having an affair with a waitress at Scout.
Just because you cheated on him does not mean he would cheat on you.
- I'm gonna burn your bagel. - Don't.
If he hasn't, it's just a matter of time.
He's not having an affair. Aidan isn't like that. He's a good guy.
Yeah, he's the good guy and I'm the bad guy. And the bad guy just has to take it, right? I mean you should've seen the way he was acting in front of me. He's torturing me for what I did to him. And I deserve it. I deserve it, right?
- I'd shrug, but it hurts. - Got any jelly?
I wish I knew the name of that cab driver. I'd send him a bottle of wine or something. That was really great.
You're a wild man.
Yeah, speaking of wild, it's getting a little too wild down there, might be time for a wax. See you soon.
It's my week between waxes. I have three errant hairs and the asshole thinks I'm George of the Jungle.
You should see the bush on him. I need a weed whacker just to find his dick.
Could you please keep it down? We're on the Upper East Side.
Men. We have to run to "Helga the hot waxer" every other week, but them? How would they like it if we told them to shape their hedge, trim their trunk?
Plant their bulbs? I’m sorry. We are talking about gardening, aren’t we?
Don't get me started on his back hair.
Ok, please, wait a second, Pete has to go.
This is lovely. Why are you even walking this mongrel?
Because I'm proving to my boyfriend that I am trustworthy and loving, and kindly, do not take your anger out on Pete.
So, watching his dog take a dump is going to make the memory of Big fade away?
- It couldn't hurt. - Come on. The dog, the waitress.
I don't know that anything happened with the waitress.
How much longer are you gonna punish yourself?
- Until I'm back in the nook. - You may never get back in the nook.
- Don't say that. I know it's true, but don't say it. - I'm not a dog expert, but is that normal?
- No! He's got the runs. Poor Pete. - Poor me.
Oh, God! He must be sick or something.
Honey, I love you, but this is not my scene. I'll call you.
- You're not gonna just leave me here? - Byebye.
Pete, no. Don't walk, you're not done, honey.
- Pick up after your dog! - He's not my dog!
It was right about then I wondered just how much shit was I willing to put up with for my mistake. Poor Pete's poopoo platter continued for so many blocks I got worried and decided it was time to take him home.
- Here, your dog got sick, I'm leaving. Taxi! - Will you hold this? Carrie, stop! What are you doing?
- Toxic chemicals? - I'm taking a break.
- And she just happened to be there with coffee? I diapered your dog! - Keep your voice down.
- What are you doing? - Nothing. It's my friend. We're friends.
Why don't you just fuck her? Then we can both be bad.
- Nothing happened. But I thought about it. - Do you want to come in?
I'm too pissed to come in. I hate that he calls here.
Nothing's happening or will ever happen. You have to know that, right? I would never do that to you again. Never.
I don't want you to see him ever again.
I can't do that. He's in my life. Not the same way you are, but he is. You can't keep punishing me and I can't keep punishing me. I made a mistake and I am sorry. And I know that you can't forget what happened but I hope that you can forgive me. You have to forgive me. You have to forgive me. You have to forgive me. You have to forgive me. You have to forgive me.
You had a lot of nerve telling me to get a wax. If you were in Aruba, the natives could bead your back. And it's not just there. Every time I blow you, I feel like I'm flossing.
I'm sorry, baby. Is there anything I can do to make you forgive me?
Samantha forgave. And Brad got a lesson he never forgot.
Look how much bigger my dick looks!
And soon, Charlotte's last day came.
- Number seven should go on the north wall. - I think it would be better on the south side.
You're 22, what do you know about life? I mean, art, I'm sorry. I'm just I'm freaked out. I've been working my whole life. This is a big transition.
If it's any consolation, my mother worked all the time. It would've been nice to have her home more.
Don't forget to set the alarms.
- You're not going to finish the day? - I think I'm done. Good luck.
Charlotte left her past to pursue her new life objectives, be a good mother, cure AIDS and prove Miranda wrong.
You better move my meetings till the end of the week. I'm not quite 100 percent. Yeah. Still wearing the brace. Ok, bye.
And for the first time in her life Miranda learned the joys of cooking and of not working. Of course, she'd have to go back eventually just to prove Charlotte wrong.
And as for Aidan he and I weren't quite back to where we were. We might never be there again but we were in a new place, a more honest place. And somehow, over time I had made my way back into the nook.