Chapters Thirteen & Fourteen
Summary: Chapter Thirteen (Evanston Will)
Evanston Will wakes up to the repeated honking of a car horn. He realizes that it is Tiny. He grabs his clothes and heads to school with Tiny at 5:45 a.m. Tiny has five things to tell Evanston Will. First, he has finished casting the musical. Second, he has never been in a successful relationship for eight days, so he and Naperville Will are some kind of record. Third, the musical cannot be about Tiny, it must be about love. Fourth, he has changed the title to Hold Me Closer and will need more people and sets. Fifth, he has come to school early to block out the new scenes.
At lunch, Nick says that Jane is skipping school to go to the botanical gardens with her boyfriend. This makes Evanston Will upset, and he vows that someday he will “shut up and not care.” He tries to call Tiny, but Tiny is very busy. Evanston Will makes an analogy comparing himself to his childhood stuffed animal, Marvin, whom he no longer has time for, but sometimes feels guilty about. He sometimes feels that he is Tiny’s Marvin.
Evanston Will calls Gary to get Jane’s address and goes to her house just before 10 p.m. He texts her and tells her that he is outside. They walk down the street in the cold, and Evanston Will asks her to explain Schrödinger’s cat. Evanston Will’s renewed attention frustrates Jane. She simplifies Schrödinger’s thought experiment. They both draw comparisons to how Evanston Will initially was not interested in Jane, but now that she is with someone, he is interested. They agree to be friends.
Summary: Chapter Fourteen (Naperville Will)
Naperville Will’s mother tells him that she wants to meet Tiny before he goes to meet him. She believes that they met on the Internet and is concerned for his safety. Tiny comes to visit, and Naperville Will and his mother frantically clean their house. When Tiny arrives, Will is shocked that Tiny is driving a Mercedes. He had assumed that Tiny came from a background similar to his own.
Tiny is friendly and compliments Naperville Will’s mother and their home, but Will becomes self-conscious about the house and its “shabby” interior. Everyone gets along, and Tiny presents a gift to Will’s mother. It is a glass bowl that he has picked out himself. She is overwhelmed: she has not received a gift from anyone in a long time. At dinner, Tiny sings them a song about traveling to Europe (that has been cut from Hold Me Closer). In Will’s room, Tiny asks about the prescription pills that are on Will’s fish tank. Will tries to explain his depression. He also warns Tiny about his own destructive tendencies. Tiny is understanding and supportive. They kiss for a while, and Tiny tells Will that he can offer him “something else” (as opposed to what Will has grown accustomed to in his life).
Analysis: Chapters Thirteen & Fourteen
Schrödinger's cat acts as a symbol for the idea of truth. The Maybe Dead Cats, named for the thought experiment, is the concert where Evanston Will revealed his truth to Jane but wasn’t allowed inside, and Will’s romantic act was usurped by Jane’s ex-boyfriend. Until Jane knows the truth, she simultaneously does and does not have feelings for Will. Will is terrified of opening the “box” to reveal what he and Jane could be. Evanston Will is afraid after witnessing Naperville Will open the box with Isaac and finding the cat to be dead. However, because truth gives way to love, Evanston Will cannot have a romantic relationship with Jane until he opens the box. Evanston Will is also afraid of opening the box to find out if Tiny will actually be there for him when he needs him. Evanston Will’s philosophies of shutting up and not caring are essentially ways to keep the box closed out of fear of getting hurt. However, keeping the box closed out of fear doesn’t keep the truth out; it simply denies Evanston Will of experiencing life.
Point of view is used to portray the issue of identity as the characters attempt to identify themselves through the assumed perspective of Tiny. Evanston Will describes feeling like a side character based on how he sees himself through Tiny. Tiny’s attention is not on Evanston Will and so Will feels like he is shrinking. Because Evanston Will doesn’t understand his identity yet, he is left to rely on defining himself through the point of view of a friend. Naperville Will sees himself through Tiny when he comes to visit. He, too, feels small and unworthy. He imagines how Tiny must judge him and his family’s economic status. Because Naperville Will has only understood love in the form of a lie, he has trouble believing Tiny when he says Will is both good and loved. Both Wills are still attempting to find themselves based on the people around them, particularly Tiny. This desperate search demonstrates that they aren’t sure of their own identity yet. Once they are able to look inward rather than outward, they will have a better understanding of who they are.