There’s an old joke. Two elderly women are
at a Catskill mountain resort. One says, “The food at this place
is really terrible.” The other says,
“l know, and such small portions.” That’s essentially
how l feel about life: full of loneliness, misery,
suffering and unhappiness… and it’s all over
much too quickly. The other important joke for me… is one usually attributed
to Groucho Marx… but it appears originally in Freud’s
Wit and lts Relation to the Unconscious. lt goes like this, l’m paraphrasing: l never want to belong to any club that
would have someone like me for a member. That’s the key joke of my adult life
in terms of my relationships with women. Lately the strangest things
have been going through my mind… because l turned 40, and l guess
l’m going through a life crisis. l’m not worried about aging.
l’m not one of those characters. But l’m balding slightly on top. That’s
about the worst you can say about me. l think l’m going to get better
as l get older. l think l’m going to be
the balding, virile type… as opposed to the distinguished gray. Unless l’m neither of those two. Unless l’m one of those guys with saliva
dribbling out of his mouth… who wanders into a cafeteria with a
shopping bag, screaming about socialism. Annie and l broke up, and l still
can’t get my mind around that. l keep sifting the pieces
of the relationship through my mind… examining my life and trying to
figure out where did the screwup come. A year ago we were in love. lt’s funny. l’m not a morose type.
l’m not a depressive character. l was a reasonably happy kid. l was brought up in Brooklyn
during World War ll. He’s been depressed. – Suddenly he can’t do anything.
– Why are you depressed, Alvy? Tell Dr. Flicker.
lt’s something he read. Something he read, huh? – The universe is expanding.
– The universe is expanding? The universe is everything,
and if it’s expanding… someday it will break apart,
and that will be the end of everything. What is that your business?
He stopped doing his homework! – What’s the point?
– What’s the universe got to do with it? You’re here in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn is not expanding! lt won’t be expanding
for billions of years! We’ve got to try and enjoy ourselves
while we’re here! Huh? My analyst says l exaggerate
my childhood memories… but l swear l was brought up
underneath the roller coaster… in the Coney lsland section
of Brooklyn. Maybe that accounts for my personality,
which is a little nervous. l have a hyperactive imagination.
My mind tends to jump around a little. l have some trouble
between fantasy and reality. My father ran
the bumper-car concession. There he is, and there l am. l used to get my aggression out
through those cars. l remember the staff
at our public school. We had a saying,
“Those who can’t do, teach… and those who can’t teach,
teach gym.” And those who couldn’t do anything,
l think, were assigned to our school. l must say, l always thought
my schoolmates were idiots. Melvyn Greenglass
and his fat little face. And Henrietta Farrell,
Miss Perfect all the time. And lvan Ackerman,
always the wrong answer. Always! Seven and three is nine. Even then l knew
they were just jerks. ln 1942 l had already discovered women. He kissed me! That’s the second time this month!
Step up here. – What did l do?
– Step up here. – What did l do?
– You should be ashamed of yourself. Why? l was just expressing
a healthy sexual curiosity. Six-year-old boys
don’t have girls on their minds. l did. For God sakes, Alvy, even Freud
speaks of a latency period! l never had a latency period.
l can’t help it. Why couldn’t you
have been more like Donald? There was a model boy. Tell the folks
where you are today, Donald. l run a profitable dress company. Sometimes l wonder where
my classmates are today. l’m president
of the Pinkus Plumbing Company. l sell talliths. l used to be a heroin addict,
now l’m a methadone addict. l’m into leather. l lost track of most of my old
schoolmates, but l wound up a comedian. They did not take me in the army. l was 4-P. ln the event of war,
l’m a hostage. You always only saw the worst
in people. You never could get along
with anyone in school. You were always out of step
with the world. Even when you got famous,
you still distrusted the world.