So I woke up this morning looking at a lacy black bra.
And somehow, it still managed to be a terrible night.
But first thing’s first: Che was terrible.
For a long time, I had been boycotting the film for several reasons.
First off, I don’t like Soderbergh. I don’t like anything I’ve seen of his he’s done. His slick, commercial turds like Erin Brokovich and Ocean’s 3000+ are a travesty of good taste. Sex, Lies and Videotape was boring as hell, though props on the title.
Secondly, it was five hours. Now, given it was broken into two parts, but still I thought it terribly hubristic to make a movie that was essentially unscreenable and demand the public adjust to that.
Thirdly and most importantly, I felt the film was unnecessary. Soderbergh had something along the line of 50 million dollars to make Che, shooting on the untested RED camera, which he spent on explosions and fight scenes and such for a 5-hour art film which will never recoup its money.
In a business where artists are struggling to make their films and some artists are making films like Wendy and Lucy and Medicine for Melancholy for less than the cost of a small apartment, it seems like a dick-smack in the face to independent film for Soderbergh to be recklessly spending money that could go towards making literally hundreds more movies, especially when it’s not even business as no one is making money off the film.
Ironically, it was the director of Medicine for Melancholy, who turned out to be a pretty cool guy, who convinced me to see the film finally.
Not since AP US History has revolution been so boring.
Not only did Che manage to make battles and the future of a nation mundane, but crucially, having watched Che: Part One, I know knew nothing about Che.
He was like a cardboard cut-out with a loudspeaker in back spouting quotes. He had no character, no motivation, he was a “revolutionary”, whatever that means (bandied about with other grandiose terms), but apparently not a man.
I wanted my two hours and fifteen minutes back of my life.
I didn’t see the second part, but my friend Dan Pleck, someone with a bit of a Che-like facial-hair complex going on, described it as “irredeemably bad” and that was enough for me.
Incidentally, it was this terrible experience with Che along with my lack of recent excitement that prompted me to have a night out and so, when Johnny-Jon-Jon gave me a call, eventually, I called him back.
He invited me to go see a girl we knew, a beautiful girl.
She was small and upbeat, with the sort of face that when she smiled she grinned and you could see it from cheek-to-cheek. And she smiled often and laughed and kissed and was free with her affection and every time I saw her, we would walk or talk or dance or drink hot cocoa and when she left it would be like running for the A train at West 4th Street, only to watch it pull away as your feet hit the platform.
She and John had had a thing together briefly for a while.
Until Jonny-Jon-Jon started leaving her in bars.
I had always wondered at the meaning of this but, not having the luxury of Jonny-Jon-Jon’s lucidity at any point, I was only able to use inductive reasoning to guess by the effects his meanings.
So whether it was to get away from the girl or the bar or because he was sleepy or because he was drunk (which he was) or to spite her or to just drive her crazy, he would do it and it made the girls I saw feel two things:
1. I hate that fuck.
2. Maybe I’m not good enough for him.
And the self-esteem of women being what it is sadly many times, often the second thought would prevail and the woman would become supplicants at Jonny-Jon-Jon’s step.
Though sometimes, they just grew tired as this subway-girl he spoke of seeing did and it ended.
Anyway, we were to see the subway-girl, Jon’s ex-of-sorts at some bar.
“You sure you don’t want me to give you two some space, man?” I asked.
“No, I’m done with her. You can have a go.” He said.
I was unnerved. This seemed awkward at best.
“Uh, that doesn’t sound like a particularly good idea, man.” I told him.
“Of course, it does.” He replied.
“Because it will bring me endless amusement.”
I hung up the phone shortly after.
While I knew the night I was to embark on was going to be queasy at best, sometimes you get someways thinking about a girl that there isn’t any reason that enters into it, self-esteem is stifled and you just go with your best beer-face on and hope for drunken excitement.
Or at least a story to tell the next morning.
I drummed up Pete to come with me, as he had called earlier. Pete being who he wanted to know before we went, first were there any cute girls there, his now-persistent warcry and secondly did we have time to get a McFlurry.
I had tried to explain to Pete several times over that there are cute girls everywhere in New York City–it’s New York City–but still Pete would ask this question any time we would go anywhere.
Thinking about it now, as I’ve failed to get Pete laid (let alone myself) at any of the parties I’d been taking him too, this was a somewhat valid question.
Still, we went to the bar and met up with Jonny-Jon-Jon and then the subway-girl.
She greeted me with a hug and a kiss and a little jump up on me, since she’s so short, grabbing me close and holding tight for a second before falling back down to normal height.
We got beers at the bar, but the bar was full of kids.
“They’re like, 14.” I commented.
Which was strange considering the big Ving Rhames-style bouncers outside.
I even saw a girl I knew from high school there, one of the few women I’ve ever had the pleasure of having them sit in my lap.
She was there with a skinny indie-punk though and beside I couldn’t think about much else that night but the subway-girl.
We left soon after, as word on the street was that the police were coming to bus the kids.
The next bar we went to had a bland Miller Lite and a warm shot of jack for 7 dollars which was enough after starting out the evening with wheat beers and Brooklyn Lagers to get us going. But as the night went on in, even as I talked to the subway-girl and Jonnny-Jon-Jon stood back as best he could, she would go up to him, talk to him, cling to him, brush his hair, cup his neck, dance around him, but him drinks.
“Jon says he’s only going to marry me if I become a millionaire.” She told me.
“Till then, I don’t want her, man.” Jon told me.
She laughed and went to buy him a drink.
It was clear the direction the night was going in.
When we arrived at the last bar of the evening, she was drunk and she was down and talking more and more with Jon. Pete and Jon would try to cheer me up as I stared at the writing on the wall or took off my glasses and spaced out.
It’s nice in a way to have the option of taking off your glasses and seeing the world in blurry vision. It makes less corporeal, less real; more a product of your mind than immutable reality.
The night was almost over. Jon, predictably pulled his “Houdini” act and was gone with a brief, semi-apologetic message on my answering machine, something involving Dylan, writing and terrible acts.
The subway-girl for her part was down-and-out drunk and, learning of Jon’s disappearance, deteriorating quickly.
She starting down and sad and laughing as she did about things that weren’t funny, that weren’t true.
I turned to Pete and we knew what had to be done.
Then came the moment of the night with which I have had sad acquaintance many times before.
I walked with drunk girl I loved dearly as she tried desperately to call her lover drunkenly, despite the hour and the chances of getting through.
As she held my hand and clung to me and kissed me occasionally, I just felt sad, not only because this was a place I had been layed out before, but because really there are no accidents and no one to blame but for myself.
Pete and I decided that she would stay at my place. I cleared off the couch for the subway-girl, got sheets out of the closet and a pillow from my bed.
I had taken away her phone at one point, deciding that it would be something she would regret in the morning, but upon it vibrating I gave it back to her.
It was then she took off her bra, lying on my couch.
She told me that it was very uncomfortable to sleep in.
Also that she thought in 7th grade that sleeping in it would give you breast cancer.
I told her by 7th grade logic that was understandable.
I told her good night and was out-cold-drunk, waking with a start at 8:41 in the morning to an empty couch save for a black lacy bra.
I texted her in the morning to ask if she got home alright, text messaging being the communication of the faceless and shamed.
She told me that she couldn’t sleep and left shortly after and was mad I had taken away her phone.
The good news was that I wasn’t hungover but that probably just meant I had woken up drunk.
I remember talking once to my friend Anthony Jones, a cute kid from Brownsville with braces and sunny disposition and when he asked what I wanted from a girl, he told me something I’d heard before: that I was the kind of guy that someone would wake up one day after one bad night too many and realize that they needed.
But then again, another night when Jonny-Jon-Jon wanted me to come out, I told him about this and he predictably scoffed.
“You think you’re going to go out and do the same thing and you expect the world to change? That is like, the definition of a psychopath.”
I don’t know, but I still have her bra.