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Lexapro: A Love Story

It's not every week I click off The Sopranos feeling as if the episode took a cue from my own life. All my mommy issues disappeared without duck-induced fainting spells; I don't even wear an Adidas tracksuit to the gym; … Read More

By / May 8, 2007
It's not every week I click off The Sopranos feeling as if the episode took a cue from my own life. All my mommy issues disappeared without duck-induced fainting spells; I don't even wear an Adidas tracksuit to the gym; and the only mafia I've ever escaped from was Commentary. Still, A.J.'s exciting new subplot had me riveted to the screen like moist gabagule to provolone.

For those without HBO or something to talk about on Mondays: New Jersey don Tony Soprano's son A.J. was dumped by his girlfriend Blanca last week after he hastily proposed to her, she impulsively accepted, and then she realized she just wasn’t into him anymore. This week’s episode featured A.J.’s mounting depression at the loss of his beloved. He couldn’t eat, he couldn’t sleep, he looked as disaffected and cosmically bored as he did before he found his soulmate and grew Backstreet Boy facial hair. And rather than do what sheltered bourgeois boys do when they get kicked to the curb by heartless womanfolk – take it up with mom and sis – A.J. remained eerily silent throughout, issuing a few mild innuendos about suicide. He did at one point suggest that his breakup was due class conflict: it just wasn’t in the tax returns for a pizza-slinging Montague from an Italian crime family to make it work with single parent Capulet from a Puerto Rican barrio. In Jersey.

As this is The Sopranos, and sooner or later you wind up in the morgue, jail, or a shrink’s office, A.J. was swiftly dispatched to the some recommended Dr. Feelgood, the most stone-faced and maladroit therapist I’ve ever seen on television. (I still don’t understand why the writers are lauded for their realistic portrayal of doctor-patient kibitzes; I find Tony and Dr. Malfi’s interaction to be the most strained thing about the series.) After asking a few prosaic questions, even for an in-take session, the shrink hits upon a novel solution: A.J. should take Lexapro.

Lexapro is the most current iteration of so-called SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) anti-depressants, in the family of industry pathfinder Prozac, yet the one psychiatrists prescribe first now due its relatively low occurrence of side effects. These may include fatigue, weight gain, stomach cramps, and anorgasmia in men. Anorgasmia, like anhedonia, is just what it sounds like. In the 19th century, the British – specifically Lord Byron, satirizing the neurotic poet Bob Southey – used to call a man who’d jackhammer away and never cum a “dry bob.” It’s enough to make you depressed all over again. Or so I’ve read on my packet of Lexapro.

Yes, not too long ago, I was hit with the liebestod for a Scandinavian beauty who said she liked me okay but would eventually want to sleep with other people. This posed a distinct dilemma for a romantic materialist such as your humble servant. Not to mix pop cultural genres, but might I call your attention to the line at the end of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Clementine warns Joel that what did in fact happen the first time they dated would happen the second time, too: “I'll get bored with you and feel trapped because that's what happens with me.” Better yet, remember Joel’s response? “Okay!”

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