Startin' Something

Brooke flipped her lid -- again.

MTV had better hurry up. There are only five more episodes of The Real World: Denver left, and there's one more Outward Bound trip with the New Orleans female teenagers, plus a trip to Thailand, to cover in that span. As for Episode 23 -- well, it was more of the same old shit on a different day.

The beginning of the episode recaps Jazalle and Tyrie fighting, Tyrie getting arrested, Davis and Brooke fighting, Davis and Brooke making up, Brooke calling Davis her best friend in the house.

With no warning whatsoever, the camera cuts to Brooke and Davis in Davis' bed. And Brooke -- well, she's not wearing a shirt. Or a bra. Or a bikini top. She is naked as a jaybird from the waist up, and frankly, I don't want to think about what she's wearing from the waist down. My retinas are already burning.

"I love Davis," Brooke confides, "because he is just such a genuinely nice person. He cares about me, he cares about what I have to say, he cares how I feel." Is this the same Davis who's been talking mad shit behind everyone's back?

Tyrie peeks through the curtain, sees the two not-quite-lovebirds cuddled up in bed, and rolls his eyes. "I'm not going to do anything with her," Davis informs us for the umpteenth time. "I just think it's funny to mess with her." I think Davis doth protest too much.

Stephen and Tyrie are hootin' and hollerin' at the questionable scene. "This is completely changing the status quo," Tyrie says. "Those two seconds were bliss," Davis replies. "Was it good for you?"

Later, at Spill, Davis is drunk and talking to Jenn. "There's nobody in the house for me," Davis complains. He wants a guy friend, not just the chicks to hang out with, and he feels left out because he's gay. Then he starts describing the physical flaws of the female roommates.

Colie: Has nice boobs. Good hair. Doesn't think she's that pretty.

Brooke: Also not that pretty. "She has, like, this chunky underskin," he explains. "I think she should just always look up so you don't see it." In other words, she looks like my bulldog. We've been over this many a time.

Jenn: Nice boobs, nice hair, pretty face, could lose some weight. I'm surprised he hasn't mentioned the whole plucked-into-nonexistence-then-painted-back-on eyebrow thing Jenn's got going on; her brows still freak me out. But in the woman's defense, it appears she's learned to make the tweezers her friend and not her enemy in the new Real World/Road Rules Challenge, so maybe there's hope for her yet.

Jenn, unsurprisingly, is disgusted with Davis. She goes back to the house and immediately starts gushing to Brooke and Colie about what Davis has said. "I don't even want to know what he says about me," Brooke says, but she's pissed off regardless that he told Jenn she was fat. "Who do you think you are?" she wants to know.

Because you NEVER pass judgement on ANYONE, Brooke. Ever.

Jenn whispers to Colie what was said, then she calls for Davis, who's on the computer. She's going to start talking about him behind his back, she informs him, so why doesn't he just repeat himself?

Davis denies that he said anything about anybody's double chin, tells Colie he loves her and acts like his shit doesn't stink.

Jazalle shows up at the gate. She just wanted to say hi, was passing through, misses Tyrie. He tells her he'll call her tomorrow and she says, "No, you're not." How mature. He starts to get pissed off; Tyrie doesn't know where their relationship is going. They still have feelings for each other, but it's stressful. "Disappointed together ..." some cheesy musician starts crooning.

Then they're on the phone; Jazalle wants to know when she can see him and, when he fails to respond with the enthusiasm she expected, wants to know what's up with their relationship. "I'm thinking it's bullshit with you," Tyrie tells her. "The long-term reason that I went to detox is because you and me got into that fight." According to Tyrie, many of his problems stem from his relationship with Jazalle.

Wait a second. What happened to taking responsibility when you fuck up, and not blaming your issues on other people? Every single person in this house has a massively split personality.

"YOU are the stupid ass that peed on the street," Jazalle informs him. Good for her.

"And you are the reason that people are calling the cops," Ty shoots back.

"I never said you hit me. I don't have to listen to any of this. That's fucking ridiculous, Ty," she responds. My personal opinion: Tyrie is damn lucky she didn't press charges against him. Whether he hit her with an open palm, closed fist or just restrained her to keep her from leaving -- in my book, that's all assault. I would have broken his collarbone and gotten a restraining order on his ass that very night.

Then again, I've dealt with a psychotic boyfriend before. Maybe this is Jazalle's first.

They get off the phone. "Damn overly emotional bitch!" Tyrie proclaims. Yeah, Ty. SHE'S the one who's overly emotional. Keep tellin' yourself that.

Meanwhile, Brooke's parents are in town and she goes to meet them, very excited. I'm surprised; they look relatively normal.

She takes them back to the house. "Who do you sleep with now?" her dad asks. "I thought you were sleeping with Davis. Oh, that didn't work out."

Brooke says her feelings are hurt that there's something so unattractive about her that Davis needs to talk about it behind her back. Mom and Dad are perusing the pad; they notice that while Colie and Jenn have pictures of friends up, Brooke has high-heeled shoes above her bed.

Clearly, the girl's got issues.

Brooke introduces her parents to Davis, who tells her she looks nice. Her dad is totally giving Davis the Dad Once-Over. Brooke and Mom and Dad go to Two-Fisted Mario's and ask Brooke how she's going to deal with the Davis situation.

"I feel sorry for him," Brooke explains, "because I know that the reason why he acts like that is because he feels so alientated in the fact that he's homosexual. But that's not helping him make any friends." How deep.

At Lodo's, Alex is disclosing to Davis that the women in the house aren't too pleased with his antics. "The girls are really pissed about what you said to Jenn," he confides. "Don't tell them I said this. They're all pissed off about that."

I know I've said this before, but seriously -- there is more back-stabbing and shit-talking going on in this house than I've seen since junior high. Actually, we weren't even this bad in junior high. These people have taken mean gossip to a whole new level.

Davis' response: "I don't care. I felt honestly like that was how I felt about those girls. They're not very nice girls, and that's how I think about them."

Not very nice? Well, some people might say it's not very nice that Davis persists in talking behind people's backs and generally causing drama whenever he feels like it. But Davis probably didn't even consider that.

The next morning, Tyrie goes out for a run. "I do care about Jazalle a lot," he reflects, "but it's just got to a point where all we really doing is just arguing. And one of our arguments got me thrown into detox."

Um. No. Your drunk ass got ITSELF thrown into detox, Tyrie. They don't generally take people to detox who aren't, well, intoxicated. That's why they call it detox. Maybe it's time for a language class?

Tyrie calls Jazalle. "I think we need to chill out for a little bit," he says. "It's not necessarily what I want, it's what needs to happen." So ends an era of misunderstanding, drunkenness and potential domestic violence.

"Jazalle is added stress," Tyrie says. "However, in the sacrification of my heart and emotions, I'm going to be back out there fucking." (No, I didn't misspell "sacrifice." That is actually what he said.) He shows the camera his "player card." "Dark Kent has been officially released from his bottle." Yet another personality.

The boys are out at yet another interchangable LoDo hangout, being playas. Brooke walks in to confront Davis. "I'm sure he has a few things to say to redeem himself, and I would like to hear what those are,"

Brooke walks in and sees Davis, is going to confront him. "I'm sure he has a few things to say to redeem himself and I would like to hear what those are." Wouldn't we all.

Davis tries to come clean: "I said Brooke looks fat when she looks down. And I said Jenn, you could maybe lose a couple of pounds.

"Honestly, if you want to know the truth, I like you," he says. "I don't think you're the most beautiful girl in the world. I'm not going to lie."

Brooke is completely devastated by this non-lie. She leaves the bar; Davis clearly feels a little bit bad, but he's also clearly wasted drunk. Walking home, Brooke's sobs are audible from a block away. "I am so full of anger and sadness, I need to just let it all out and I need to just cry," she says. She heads into the bathroom, the only place in the house without a camera trained on it, and starts screaming and sobbing incoherently. Well, it's not entirely incoherent -- there's a lot of "Why? Why? Why?" going on.

I feel bad for Brooke, okay? But here's the thing: I don't remember throwing a tantrum like that ever in my life, not even when I lost my father. I think we can all agree that the death of a parent trumps a friend telling you that you have a double chin. I really don't want to see what happens when something that's actually terrible, traumatizing and life-changing enters Brooke's life -- I can't see her being able to handle anything worse than a broken nail, given how she's freaking out about Davis right now.

Brooke moves her tantrum into the office. She's making these really weird noises, yelling without any words. Kind of like in kickboxing or karate, when you're supposed to grunt loudly when you strike. It's very bizarre. She's screaming at nobody, puts a note on Davis' bed, throws his comforter on the ground, pulls his sheets off and trashes his shelf. The note reads:

"Davis, you are the nastiest person I have ever met. I will never trust you again. Burn in hell. Love, Brooke."


When everyone comes home, Brooke is curled up on the floor by the girls' closet, burnt out from her freak-out party. Colie asks her what's worng. "Basically I talked to Davis, and I just lost it," Brooke tells her. "He told me that he thinks that I have a double chin, and then I destroyed his room." Does he know? Colie inquires. "I don't give a shit," Brooke tells her. "If I could kill him with my bare hands, I would."

Dramatic much?

Then Brooke restates her philosophy: "You really can't trust anybody 100 percent in life, you just can't. And with Davis, maybe I let my guard down a little bit more than I should have, and I allowed him to screw me over."

"I feel horrible for Brooke," Colie says in the confessional. "Davis took their friendship, he took her trust, and he betrayed her."

Hold up. I don't think this is betrayal so much as being honest; you need friends in life who will tell you yes, those pants DO make your ass look fat. That being said, they don't need to gloat about your fat ass in the pants. Davis is a prick, he takes pleasure in saying things that he knows will hurt other people. But I still think "betrayal" is kind of a strong word for what he's done.

"You're stronger than this," Colie tells Brooke. She seems to say that a lot. Everyone is stronger than everything except for Colie herself, apparently.

Davis wakes up the next morning feeling guilty. "I feel bad about the things I said to Brooke because they weren't addressing real issues," he says. "They were just things I knew would get at her."

Translation: "I am one shit-stirring, drama-loving motherfucker."

He finds the note, reads it and smiles a little at Brooke's maturity level (or lack thereof). "I love how Brooke chose to handle the conflict; instead of talking to me about it, she leaves me a note in the morning." Um, she left you that note the night before -- you were just too inebriated to register it.

In the swimming pool, Davis whines to Alex. "I said I don't think she's the prettiest girl in the house. That's why she wrote the 'burn in hell' note to me." Alex laughs.

"Brooke has the anxiety thing," opines Alex, "but I feel that her issue is just her perspective in life." For once, I agree with Alex. My dad always said, "You can't control what other people say and do. All you can control is your reaction to it." Brooke clearly has no desire to control her reaction to anything.

Anyhoo. Davis apologizes. Then he reiterates his opinion: "Some of the things I said were so stupid, but that shouldn't make Brooke ruin her day." Damn skippy.

"I think that whenever stuff like this happens, it just brings back stuff from my past that makes me extremely emotional," Brooke explains. She says she has a lot in her past that involves broken trust. I'm not sure what this trauma could possibly be -- but I have a hard time respecting people who constantly blame their behavior problems on some nebulous past trauma. There's therapy for that, you know. You don't have to continue being an asshole/bitch for your entire life because Mommy didn't love you enough.

I know, I know. I'm mean. Sue me.

Well, Davis' take on the situation is that every time they've argued, he's apologized to Brooke, which must mean that he likes her. (The fact that real friends don't talk mad shit about each other maybe hasn't occured to him. Actions speak louder than words, buddy.)

"I realize talking about my roommates behind their backs -- that's a really bad trait I have," Davis says. "But in the end, Brooke and I will always be friends."

Let's hope that's always the case. These two friends deserve each other. -- Amber Taufen

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen