I smoked pot the other day.
It’s not really something I endeavor to do often.
In fact it’s something I forswore.
But what can I say:
I had to become the perfect Flight of the Conchords demographic viewer.
It was Wednesday and I still hadn’t done my midterm. As a film student in a television class at an art school, my midterm was to watch the second season of Flight of the Conchords and write two pages “about anything” about it.
So said my teacher, Mel Damski, a fine mustachio-ed man and a decreer of such things.
However, lacking any solid evidence or information about the show–other than that it was sometimes kind of funny–I decided to undertake a sociolgical experiment:
I would become the perfect demographic viewer for Flight of the Conchords and then watch all the episodes in marathon to experience whether or not the second season was any good.
As I prepared myself to become the perfect demographic viewer for Flight of the Concords, I realized the task might not be so arduous as I might think.
After all, I have big hair, a light moustache; my face-fuzz is a result of a constant semi-apathy towards shaving. I live in an apartment in a trendy neighborhood in the Lower East Side, listen to Jeffrey Lewis and Leonard Cohen and Aha and regularly make use of such sarcastic witticisms as “Do I look good in this sweater? Oh yeah, well your mom thought so too.”
The only thing I needed really left were friends and a bowl.
My friends were unwilling, mostly; it was early, people had real work, they wouldn’t pick up the phone or they thought the show was fucking gay. But eventually with promises of burritos and a half-way-split on the bowl, I lured my rapscalliony friend Dan into watching with me.
I took my task seriously. For my first smoke-session of quite-some-time, I gathered mexican cart-food, Pirate’s Booty, a half-eaten brownie, Tropicana Twister Orange Soda, Hint of Mint Newman-Os. I felt set.
Dan, for his part, wasn’t having any of it, continuously rejecting the Newman-Os and claiming that despite his half-shaved nature, he was not actually the demographic for the show, an opinion which I informed him made him exactly that.
We ripped out of a bad pipe, a glass piece, not too bad. I was spoiled from high school where I used to smoke out of a bubbler that a richer, cooler stoner had “bequeath”-ed me upon the purchase of a more expensive bong. This was a little harsh, but in time, with a hit or two or three, I was laughing my ass off, trying to call my friends and glancing over at Dan whenever I found a joke funny, to comiserate and to confirm the joke’s funniness and not just that I was really really high.
The end result of our marathon was Dan’s conviction that the show sucked but that it was the sort of thing one might turn on at a party in order not to pay attention to it. I figured this would work for the key demographic, i.e: us.
The report in class didn’t go so well though. When I told the class of my clandestine transformation to become the perfect fan, they seemed bored. When I mentioned the drug use, I just disappointeded looks as if I were addressing a PTA meeting. A tough crowd, TV students.
My teacher told me I said “sort of” too much but that otherwise my presentation had been “good”. I didn’t get a “nice job” though at the end like everyone else.
Pot’s for losers, after all.
I must be a masochist if a favorite memory is when I busted a girl’s knees open on a New York City sidewalk.
It sounds bad, even as I say it out-loud, writing this. But yet all I feel is romantic, a surge, just like that night.
It was my birthday in New York, the summer, and the nights in New York City are as temperate and full as the days are disgusting, laden-with-grease. With the sun setting later and the air warm, cushiony, you feel like the night’s going to go on for longer and that the only thing stopping you is your self.
My former ex-not-girlfriend had just been introduced a few days ago to my entourage from back home, the kids who were and weren’t in my high school, Frank and Simon. Together, we formed a triad of nerddom which even then was becoming increasingly interesting as adolescent-awkwardness was replaced by the more young-adult-style jitters, which contained it its providence the mystery of women.
As we trudged the streets of the West Village, post-bowling, we reeled from the too-good, too-much wine my father had given us, running round the sidewalks, chasing-bantering and hugging.
It was in that amorous evening that I was forward enough–read: drunk enough–to finally ask my then not-girlfriend for something I actually wanted.
It was my birthday, I told her, and on my birthday, I wanted to pick her up on my shoulders and carry her around my neighborhood on a grand tour. She was small, but also so angry and forward and bitterly post-childhood. I thought for myself, if I could just get her to a place where she was happy and outside and experiencing things, if I could just find her there, I could kiss her, past all her hurt and uncertainty and make a night of it, make a birthday.
I took her on my shoulders and she squealed with delight, a high yell as I’d never heard from her before. We walked down Barrow, like Freak the Mighty really, for about a couple yards till I tripped on some sidewalk and busted her knees.
Really, they were only scraped. I went to the deli and got gauze and tape and alcohol and cleaned her up and bandaged her and carried her back home. She told me with those scars on her knees she’d seem “the blow-job queen of Bushwick”, but I only laughed and laughed more. After all, what a fitting rejoinder to a Feitelian romantic gesture. Even though I thought it right, she closed up for the rest of the evening.
On good nights, I’d think she stopped because she knew she would hurt me.
On bad nights, I think it’s all in my head.
This all came out on a bro-date the other night with Rob Malone, my beardo friend as we walked from the E-Walk down to Spring. Rob was commenting on the quality of the bro-date, complete with a trip to White Castle and a pre-screening of I Love You, Man.
“It’s actually pretty classy.” Rob said.
And then as we talked and I thought, it came out, unbidden. Or maybe it’s always at the tip of my tongue.
“You know it’s like an addiction.” I told him, having been to some NA meetings. “You can’t stop until you want to change.”
“If some part of you still holds on to it, well then, you’re never going to recover.” I said.
“That reminds me of a Marc Dickerson movie I made back in PA.” Rob told me.
And we walked home, event-free.