Dear Phantom (of the Opera),
Last week, a friend took me to see your play for the first time. I’ve spent the days since ceaselessly revisiting each moment in my head, attempting to make sense of it all. Alas, after hours of careful character deconstruction, I’m somehow infinitely more confused and concerned.
Phantom, I feel I’m left with no option other than to simply ask:
What’s with your “entire deal,” man?
To start, you live in a candlelit, subterranean, opera house lair with Venetian-style canals. I’ve watched enough HGTV to know that indoor canals are extremely impractical. Rushing to the bathroom? Grab a paddle. Heading outside? Rowing time. Attempting to get to a masquerade ball in time to psychologically manipulate a woman into loving you? Raise that anchor, creep!
Also, how’d you even get that boat into your lair? You carry it? But you live in secret, never to be seen by the public. So you’re telling me that nobody noticed a shrouded man hauling a full-length gondola into the basement of the Paris Opera House? It just doesn’t add up.
And don’t even get me started on those fucking candles.
How many do you have? 600? 1,000? Do you light all 4,500 of those every morning? Just paddling around, lighting candles. Why don’t you sell a few of those antique candelabras and get yourself a nice above-ground place with some natural light? I mean really, man, you’re supposed to be a savant, but you’ve never considered windows? Plus, if you cut the daily candle-lighting, you’d regain hours each day that you could use to take on new hobbies, such as bocce, or spend on old ones, such as murdering.
Speaking of murdering, what’s up with all of that?
It seems like every time you don’t get your way, you either (a) attempt murder, (b) successfully murder, or (c) burn down the Paris Opera House. Not cool.
And the way you treat women. Holy shit, man. You take Christine hostage, like, fourteen times within the span of 143 minutes. I’ve never taken a hostage, but my gut tells me that it’s towards the bottom of the list of “good things to do on a first date.” Probably only right behind “showing your date a life-size replica that you made of her wearing a wedding gown.” Which you also did.
I mean, come on, Phantom. Dating really shouldn’t be that hard for you. You’re not even that bad-looking when you cover your skin patch – almost 70 percent of your face is fine as hell. That’s way better than most people. And if you ditched that whole “rejected emo bad boy” personal brand and stopped with all the murdering, I’m sure you could make friends, too. Maybe with a local boat enthusiast, a visually-impaired townsperson, or Count Chocula.
While (unfortunately) I could go on, I believe I’ve already given you plenty to think about. Phantom, I’m not sure what makes you the way you are, but I recommend you take a long look in the mirror and really consider how you can change basically everything about yourself. Maybe that means reading a book on dating or taking a Barre class or getting a therapist (definitely get a therapist). Just sort it out, man. Jesus.