How does it happen that lovers in American movies, or any movie for that matter, when in bed whisper things like "I love you", "You're the only one..." or it can of course also be something not so decent but nevertheless, in comparison to... when I do it. I have even double-checked this with friends and colleagues: it never works. There I am doing my utter best, getting up the courage needed, and shall I do it, and yes; I will, say it: "I love you". And what do I get in return? What do I get as a response? Something romantic, a renewed fire in my lover's body, an intensity never before experienced. No, no, and again no. What I get is a: What? Or perhaps even a: Hummmmm? Or, with a delay: "What did you say?"
Now, I'm not saying that my hearing is better than anybody else's, it is the same. Nor that I avoid partners that need me to say such things as "I love you" in bed. But what I cannot understand is why it always works in the movies and never for my friends and me? How is it that Robert Redford always makes Meryl Streep hear it perfectly well, or that George Clooney even when banging some Hollywood bimbo à la Cameron Diaz against a wall manages to say "Oh, baby you make me hot", or something similar exactly at the right moment and she just goes crazy. Or, for that matter, why Julia Roberts can say it so convincingly audibly from "Pretty Woman" to goddamn "Notting Hill" — something is wrong! Something is radically, absolutely wrong!
There I am again, with a "What?" resonating in my ears, thinking about what to do. How do I solve this? I can't really say: "I said I LOVE YOU" as if I was addressing my deaf grandmother, but then I certainly can't say: "Oh, nothing, it wasn't important". Because, if I do, then we know what's about to happen. She, or he, will turn around, smilingly saying: "No, but really, what did you say?" and then I have to say: "Oh, I just said 'I love you' but, you know..." and then; the partner: "So you said that you love me. And then you said that it was nothing and it didn't really matter: what do you mean? Do you love me or don't you? If you can't say it loud and clear, the door is there, you asshole, and don't you forget your...". Right.
It never happens to Clooney, Harrison Ford or Richard Gere. They always make it. Their articulation is always so crisp and full of glitter in whatever situation. And those Kidmans, Paltrows and Thurmans always have the cleanest ears in history: they detect the slightest whisper and they never hesitate proposing a proper reaction: "Hasta la vista, baby", "Or are you just happy to see me?", or they can at least, like Sally, fake a decent orgasm. Luckily, theatre isn't film, and the stage isn't a cinema. The stage is the very place to say "I love you" too loud. In the theatre there is normally even a prompter to tell people the lines they forget, in bed I don't remember forgetting my lines, even though the combination of "What?" and "I love you" isn't that impressive. What however makes the theatre unique is that one can say, not as a response but as a statement: "I love you too" — I do because you do, but only when you guys sit down there in front of me can I say it, and I can only say: "I love you too".
But then all this is part of every story, every affair. So now I can say it for the last time, and this time I won't repeat it. So listen up, open your ears and hold on to something firm. Testing, testing, can you hear me? Yes? OK, here we go:
I LOVE YOU.
[Texto de Mårten Spångberg publicado no catálogo "Capitals", oferecido e lido por Pedro Penim em três sessões do Lado C]