In this scene, Jonathan is wearing a replica of the L.L. Bean corduroy coat that I've had for twelve years. I bought it at a used clothing store in the East Village, which I don't think exists any more. Seems like most of the used clothing stores, unfortunately, have died out.
Anyway, I love that coat and thankfully it hasn't disintegrated yet, because once I adore an item of clothing I wear it until it dissolves. You see, it's hard for me to take in new pieces of wardrobe; it's not unlike someone getting an organ transplant - if the thing isn't right, my body rejects it. Also, I've lived frugally all of my adulthood and clothing is an extravagance I've rarely indulged in, though I do like sportcoats and coats like the corduroy jacket because I think of them as male purses. I carry in my coat-pockets my keys, wallet, cell-phone, notebook, pens, sunglasses, and other odd things (see one-hitter and medicine bottle in episode 1).
The problem is that all my coats develop holes in the pockets and I just never take care of things like this and so all my purse-items often get shoved in the one working pocket, if there is a working pocket. This was the case with my corduroy coat, but the costume department fixed my pockets for me, which is yet another benefit of having written this TV show. I don't mean to sound like a baby, it's just that I don't know how to sew or do the most basic things necessary for survival, so I was very grateful when they stitched up my pockets for me.
Another benefit from having written this show is book-shelves. In episode 1, you may have noticed that all of Jonathan's books are on the floor. The implication is that Suzanne took the bookshelves with her when she moved out. Well, that's what happened to me with my break-up and the books stayed on the floors for five years. It was insane in here. It was like an art installation. Well, actually, a dirty art installation. Then as we were putting 'Bored to Death' together the production designer came to my apartment, noted all the books on the floor, and surprised me by having the crew build shelves for me out of some spare wood. I have floors again! It's interesting that the show somewhat recreates my life, but because of the show, my life is changing.
Anyway, in this scene at Smooch Café, I have Suzanne mention Jonathan's smell because almost all the women in my life, if they've liked me, have commented on my smell in a positive way. Women can tell if a man is right for them by his odor. They can sense his genetic make-up and so forth. I read about this in the NY Times Science section, which is where I learn most things of a scientific nature. But if women take the pill, I gleaned, it does throw off their nose's screening ability and they pick the wrong kinds of guys. I'm not sure which guys they are picking, but supposedly they're not ideal.
Another thing about smell - I never wear deodorant. I've never liked the idea of clogging my armpit pores, and when I did try deodorants they didn't seem to work, and, too, it seemed that women, as I mentioned, liked my smell. Then again that's the women I'm intimate with. For the rest of the world, I often worry about being offensive, so I usually try to clamp my arms down when I'm standing near someone. Also, I'm almost pathogically worried all the time about having bad breath. I forgive other people for having bad breath, but there is nothing more alienating than someone blasting you with a dead odor coming from their mouths and so I try to retract my head when having to talk to someone in close-quarters so that I don't kill them with bad breath.
Anyway, the box of love-notes in this scene is a merging of my life and Jason Schwartzman's life. I used to leave notes like that for an ex-girlfriend and she would do the same, and Jason, one time, gathered up a box of loving emails to give to an ex.
The one note Jonathan reads to Suzanne is a title of one of my books - I Love You More Than You Know. Throughout the season, I've lifted a few lines here and there from my books, like little clues or secrets for people who have read me over the years. That title is something my Great Aunt Doris used to say to me all the time. I would say, "I love you," and she would say, "I love you more than you know."
In this scene, Jonathan also mentions that he's living like an animal, that he doesn't have any toilet paper. Like having no bookshelves or holes in my pockets, I often don't have toilet paper in my apartment. I just never seem to remember to shop for it. But being oddly frugal, I often collect free napkins at delis and keep those in the kitchen, and, naturally, when there's no toilet paper, those napkins have been quite good to have around.
One time, though, I didn't even have any free napkins, but I did notice that I had coffee filters, though no coffee, which is another thing I never seem to have in the apartment. So I couldn't make a cup of coffee, but a coffee filter, if squinted at, looks like a free napkin from a deli and...so there we are. I apologize if this is getting too scatological.
So I had written into the script a montage where Jonathan realizes he has no toilet paper and then goes to make coffee and realizes he has no coffee, but does have coffee filters. There would be a brief moment of contemplation while he holds the coffee filter, a glimmer in his eye, and then I was going to have a shot of him putting the coffee-filter on the toilet roll, but we didn't have time to shoot this montage. I think the coffee filter would have looked funny on the empty toilet roll and then when he says to Suzanne, "I'm living like an animal," there would be a defining visual, but we can't have it all, and, too, it might not have worked...