Chapters Seven & Eight
Summary: Chapter Seven (First Will Grayson)
Evanston Will stands at the porn store checkout and sees Naperville Will walk in. Evanston Will mumbles to Naperville Will that the magazine is for a friend. When Evanston Will tries to use his debit card, the clerk says “William Grayson” out loud, pointing out that the name does not match his fake ID. Naperville Will approaches and asks if someone was calling him. The cashier allows Evanston Will to pay and he leaves, trying to avoid a conversation in the porn store. Once outside, Naperville Will catches up to Evanston Will and asks him his name. They are both surprised to find that they have the same name (but different middle names). They tell each other about how their day has been crazy and disappointing. Naperville Will keeps an eye on Frenchy’s, hoping to see Isaac. Evanston Will points out that it is a strange place to meet someone, and that Isaac might be a fifty-year-old pervert. Both Wills try to make sense of the coincidence, neither really engaged in the other’s company.
The two Wills’ phones ring simultaneously. Maura is calling Naperville Will; he ignores it. Tiny is calling Evanston Will. Tiny tells Evanston Will that the Maybe Dead Cats have two more songs, and then he will come find him. Evanston Will looks at Naperville Will and tells Tiny, “man, Tiny, have I got a guy for you.”
Summary: Chapter Eight (Naperville Will)
Naperville Will describes the experience of seeing Evanston Will in Frenchy’s. Outside, when Evanston Will answers his phone call from Tiny, Naperville Will answers the call from Maura. She tells him that Isaac is not coming. She then tells Naperville Will that Isaac is a fake profile that she created and all of Isaac’s messages were really from her. Naperville Will tells her that she is a “horrendous bitch” and that he will never talk to or have anything to do with her ever again. He closes his eyes and screams.
Evanston Will tries to comfort him. Naperville Will tells him that Maura played a joke on him, and that love is tied to truth. Naperville Will has a hard time accepting that all the things that he shared with Isaac were not genuine. Tiny arrives and introduces himself. He helps Naperville Will to his feet and asks if someone has died. Naperville Will replies, “Yeah, I did.” Tiny tells him, “welcome to the afterlife.”
Analysis: Chapters Seven & Eight
In Evanston Will’s chapter, mirroring is used to support the novel's preoccupation with truth as both Wills finally meet each other. Despite their differences, there are numerous similarities between the Wills. Both were driven to Frenchy’s based on lies: Isaac and the fake ID. Evanston Will says he believes Tiny and Jane have conspired against him just as Naperville Will feels Maura has done. In the mirror of each other, they see they have not been living honest lives. They begin to open up and be truthful about themselves. For the first time, Naperville Will speaks of Isaac. In that mirror, Evanston Will prepares him for the truth that Isaac won’t be who he thinks he is. On the other side, Evanston Will spills his truth about Tiny and Jane. The two are literally mirrored as they sit on the curb staring at the street and watch each other through their peripherals. Then, at the same time, they receive phone calls from their closest friends that will alter their course for the rest of the novel. Both Wills had to meet in order to find their truth in the mirror of the other.
The anvil is a symbol of the shattered illusion of Isaac and Naperville Will’s life in order to push him toward the truth. Naperville Will describes this truth like an anvil because it destroys the facade he has hidden behind. He begins to let go of Isaac and ultimately the lie he had been living as he says, “maura. isaac. isaac. maura. anvil. anvil. anvil.” The word anvil is repeated on its own line to create the effect of falling. He has never let anyone get close enough to know him and therefore hurt him. Maura duped him with the character of Isaac who was the one person he was vulnerable with. When that final lie is devastatingly revealed, he is able to have an honest conversation with Evanston Will. With this newfound honesty, the anvil has killed the fake Naperville Will as he tells Tiny he has died. In the shattering of the illusion and death of his former self, he can begin anew in the truth.