Dawson's Creek
The Tao Of Dawson

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Zen and the art of choking back the bile

Back in the day, I had this boyfriend, Slim, whose brother served in the diplomatic corps in Africa, and Slim's Brother used to tell a story about staying with a pygmy tribe in the African bush. At night, Slim's Brother and the tribesmen used to sit around and tell each other stories about the accomplishments of their respective cultures, and one night Slim's Brother talked about Americans sending a man to the moon. He had a little trouble making the tribesmen understand what he meant, but finally they got the gist, and then they started laughing at him. He asked his interpreter what the tribesmen found so funny, and the interpreter asked them to explain, and one of the elders held up his thumb and forefinger so that the moon as it sat in the sky fit between them, and he shrugged and giggled something, and the interpreter explained to Slim's Brother, "He says it's impossible -- a man would never fit on the moon. It's too small." But even the charmingly innocent pygmy tribesmen do not believe that "their first weekend apart opens temptation's door." Because nobody believes that. Nobody.

Previously on Dawson's Creek: Pacey wondered why Gretchen kissed Dawson at the holiday party; Gretchen told Dawson that the kiss meant nothing, and he pretended to agree; Mr. Brooks admitted that he's dying; Joey tearfully told Dawson that Gretchen "would be really lucky to have someone like" him; Dawson told Gretchen how he feels about her, and she wondered gently, "What am I gonna do with you?"

Fade up on a long shot of a dock with two shadowy figures holding fishing rods at the end of it. As the Foley guy makes with the reeling-in-the-line sound effects, Pacey "Nirvana" Witter says, "Maybe we're too early. Maybe the fish are still asleep." We shift to a tighter shot as Dawson "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Forehead" Leery tells him, "Fish don't sleep, Pacey." Pacey says, smothering a yawn, that he's glad they've resumed hanging out, but doesn't know why they had to do so "at sunrise," blah blah blah fishingcakes. Dawson has something to tell Pacey that he thinks will keep Pacey awake. After a bit of stammering, he outs with it: "I like your sister, Pacey." Pacey takes a moment to absorb this before clarifying, "You like her, or you like her like her?" "I'm talking about Gretchen Witter, not Winnie Cooper," Dawson cracks. Oh, a Wonder Years reference. How clever. Not. Pacey, looking less happy by the second, asks if Dawson's feelings "naturally follow" from the kiss under the mistletoe, "or am I going to find you outside my house holding a boom box over your head?" Oh, a Say Anything reference -- even cleverer! Well, except for the "clever" part, since equating Dawson with Lloyd Dobler doesn't work on any level, except perhaps the one on which Dawson has a boom box for a head.

Anyway, Dawson blurts, "I'm crazy about her." Pacey tries to attribute it to the crush Dawson's had on Gretchen "for years," but Dawson says it's more than that, and adds that he thinks Gretchen feels the same way, "even though she won't acknowledge it." Shut up, Dawson. "That's a hell of a lot to digest before breakfast, Dawson," Pacey grumbles. Actually, it's completely indigestible, period. Dawson tells Pacey that, if Pacey had come to him last spring and told him the deal with him and Joey, it would have made things a lot easier, and "that's all I'm trying to do." Pacey thinks that's different; he's Dawson's friend, but Gretchen is Pacey's sister, which makes her…"off limits?" Dawson finishes for him. Yes, Pacey says emphatically, comparing sisters to "mothers, only prettier." Dawson says with a hint of his trademark smugness that he's not "asking permission," he's just letting Pacey know. Pacey makes a face like he just ate a bug, processes the information, and asks Dawson, "So what are your plans?" "Plans?" "Yeah, to pursue my sister," Pacey prompts him acidly. "What are you gonna do?" Dawson isn't going to do anything. Pacey grins, relieved, as Dawson says that he's just going to see how things "play out," and that he learned after last spring that "some things can't be forced." Oh, whatever, Dawson. Shut up about last spring already and start applying some of that so-called wisdom about not forcing things to that ridiculous hair-"style" of yours. Pacey cracks on him: "The Tao of Dawson is to do nothing." Dawson comments that he's done nothing so far, and he and Gretchen have already kissed, so "the best thing [he] can do is just keep on doing nothing." Too bad "doing nothing" doesn't seem to include "not talking."

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Dawson's Creek




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