The illustrious Madonna once sang of obscure, impenetrable things. “Life is a mystery,” she said. We do not know what we do not know, and more often than not, we never will. This is what I try to make peace with when I see that Angelina Jolie met with Paul Mescal, a man who wears shorts, in London, along with Jolie’s daughter Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. There are pictures!

Of course the biggest shock here is that Shiloh is somehow 16 years old. It’s strange: She was actually just born and I was actually just 16. How did we get here, to this moment when she is 16 and I am…not? Your guess is as good as mine, but what we know for sure is that Shiloh and her mom are having a little sit-down with Paul Mescal, the shorts guy

What we also know, or what the Daily Mail knows, rather, is that the mother-daughter duo had just seen Mescal in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre, and must have enjoyed it so much that their people called his people or some such thing. However it happened, it happened, and now what’s left is the mystery of what’s going on here.

Adding to the whirlwind of unknowing is that Mescal may or may not have been engaged to Phoebe Bridgers, warbling songbird of skeletal sadness, but that mere trifle of a fact remains unconfirmed by either party to this day. Maybe whether or not they were ever engaged to be married doesn’t matter at all, because the latest rumor is that Mescal and Bridgers have broken up, and Mescal is now taking his coffee break with Jolie, while Bridgers is being seen with Bo Burnham, a man who probably wears shorts sometimes, but not like that

There is of course the possibility that this meetup is the beginning of a beautiful something, which is naturally what we all want to think when two potentially single well-known people are seen through a long lens smiling together. There’s also the possibility that this is nothing more than a work thing. You may know this already, but another fact is that Jolie makes movies, and in those movies are actors. She’s previously met with actors and then hired them to be in her movies. The fact that Shiloh is there kind of muddles both possibilities, but—I don’t know—Bring Your Kid to Work Day seems more plausible than Bring Your Kid to a Date. 

The thing is, there are no certainties here. Madonna was right about this and at least a couple other things. Life is a mystery. And here, on the third day of the New Year, accept this and go forward unknowing. What is Paul Mescal doing sitting down with Angelina Jolie and her daughter Shiloh? It’s unclear. Embrace the mystery. Be free.

Read More