For Jake and Alfred, the male characters from Love in L.A. and "M" is for Moon Among Other Things, respectively, reality is far from their perception of the good life. Both men dream of living quite differently from the one they have been leading, yet neither deserve what they desire. Jake and Alfred are a true example of getting what one deserves.
While the situations are very dissimilar, the dreams and desires are very common, stereotypical fantasies. Jake conjures up a perfect automobile in his mind, along with a sheik lifestyle to accompany it. Alfred shares secret, fictitious conversations with Marilyn Monroe in his head.
While wasting away in bumper-to-bumper traffic in Los Angeles, Jake seeps into his own little world, imagining all the joys of having the perfect car. Initially this is understandable as he needed "something better than this 58 Buick he drove." (Gilb 628) But the fantasy goes beyond a newer, safer car with a better radio and heater. He also wanted to have "crushed velvet interior with electric controls," which would require him to lead an entirely different lifestyle. (Gilb 628) What Jake wanted was to be wealthy, surrounded by loose women, and enjoy the freedom that money could buy. Rather than sitting in traffic on a daily basis, only to toil long hours at a useless job. Instead of working as an underpaid peon, he could revel in "exotic colognes, plush, dark nightclubs, maitais and daquiris, necklaced ladies in satin gowns, misty and sexy like in a tequila ad." (Gilb 628)
Alfred suffers from his own delusions as well. Understandably, he is tired, bored, and perhaps annoyed at the monotony of sleeping next to the same woman for so many years, for working the same old job just about as long, and also toiling through a gruesome daily commute. Just as Jake had formed his ultimate fantasy, so had Alfred is, "a Smooth-as-Silk Beauty as Fast as they Come." (Stoppard 942) While the reference refers to an automobile...
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