Gossip Girl
In The Realm Of The Basses

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Where In The Hell Is Chuck Bass? San Diego?

At Victrola, the Soho Dolls are playing. Could be small, could be big. All I know is, I fell in love with a girl at Victrola, with the Soho Dolls playing. Fell in love with a boy there too, and the film fell off the projector. She goes back there, to find him, in the last most bottom lowest place, because she knows that's where he's living. And the reason she knows that is that she's living there too, and nobody's noticed. She was a virgin, although she wishes otherwise. And the Soho Dolls were playing at Victrola, and the burlesque whirled, and she jumped into it, past the moving parts and into herself. If it were a short story by Dan Humphrey, it would be titled "11.7.07." It's worth preserving: when she took it all off, dropped that armor to the floor, and allowed herself to be exactly what she is, which is a girl. And remember when that wasn't about Chuck? He saw it, and fell in love with it, the way it twisted and glittered, but it wasn't for his benefit. And that's what he fell in love with.

Thirteen months later and she's strapped up tighter than ever, having given away the one thing she had left, having sold her last precious gift to save his soul, and what did it net her? Nothing. That's what love is like. It's not for earning, not for taking or giving or any of the things they measure: just for doing, and letting it rest there. She keeps asking for him to say it back: why? That's not how it works. Love is in what you do, and what you keep doing. And she's getting it finally, which is why she's here, in the club he sold for love and bought again, for death. For love of death. She's buttoned up past her sternum, up to her chin; the girls piled on him at Victrola aren't wearing anything at all. They're wearing less than the Victoria's Secret crap she and Serena wore that Christmas morn, long ago; they're wearing nothing at all. But only if you know and love Blair Waldorf can you possibly know how naked she is right now: wearing less than those girls could ever take off.

I'm so desperate/ Can't you see you're wasting time
It ain't ever gonna feel this good, honey
I failed to tell you... That I've been fooled/ 'Cause I'm not cool
And the scissors slide/ Away with my pride
Speeding down a dead-end track
I wanted you there's no way back
Got a destructive appetite/ Oh baby, please
Lift me off my knees

"Hello, Chuck. I thought I'd find you here." But who did she find? He tells them, languorous, to leave them a moment. B notes that he sold the place, for love of Nate, and he explains that -- as the richest boy in NYC -- he bought it back last night: "Owner took me to the cleaners, but some things are worth the price." What he means is that thing, that Charlie Trout thing where people have meaning and life has meaning and we show up at the time we're supposed to and love the people we love, that doesn't make sense anymore. She tells him to go home, and gives him those names: "Lily, Serena, Eric." These are the names of home, and they're just the ones she knows. She won't say "Nate" and she can't say "Dan" or "Charlie Trout," because she doesn't know those words yet, for home. He reminds her of his unending litany last week, that this is neither his home nor his family, so why not go to the Palace, why not go anywhere but here. Anywhere but Victrola, which is backward from growing; which is the place that for them both represents no growing or changing at all.

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