ALICE: Why did you do this?
ANNA: I fell in love with him, Alice.
ALICE: That's the most stupid expression in the world. "I fell in love" -- as if you had no choice. There's a moment, there's always a moment; I can do this, I can give into this or I can resist it. I don't know when your moment was but I bet there was one.
ANNA: Yes, there was.
ALICE: You didn't fall in love, you gave in to temptation.
ANNA: Well you fell in love with him.
ALICE: No, I chose him. I looked in his briefcase and I found this...sandwich...and I thought, "I will give all my love to this charming man who cuts off his crusts." I didn't fall in love, I chose to.
From the play "Closer" by Patrick Marber. Which, by the way, is fantastically brilliant and beautiful and ultimately sad and tragic -- everything that a rock solid story should be. Prince George is bring their production of it to the Zone festival this year, and sadly I think I'm going to have to skip it, in spite of how much I love the play -- because of how much I love the play. Because I reckon I might very well like to direct this some day, and I'm not big on having my directorial impulses affected by anything other than the text of the script.
But I'm getting off topic.
"Closer" is a play about four people looking for love in every conceivable corner and, ultimately, finding it nowhere at all. Loneliness and sadness are what await them at the close of the show, and I think there's something unfortunately true about that. That for far too many of us, the search for love leaves us with nothing at all to hold on to.
That truth is what ultimately moved me about the play. But there is an extra sense of truth in the bit I quoted above. And I guess the reason it struck me so hard was that I'd never really thought about it before.
I've long believed -- and openly told people -- that we, as people, don't have the luxury of choosing who we love. We dont get to decide who it is that stirs something in our minds, in our hearts, in our souls. These people do, for whatever reason, right or wrong. They do. And so we love them for that, because we have no other choice.
But there is still a choice being made, because we get to choose what we do with that love. We choose to pursue it, or we choose to let it go. We choose to let it destroy us, or we choose to let it empower us.
I'm not sure if that element is something I simply didn't realize, or something I'd forgotten about, but whatever the case, I'm grateful to "Closer' to reminding me of it, because it's an important part of the equation.