I drank too much tonight, but I did ok.
It’s strange what drinking too much to me means. Tonight, it meant four of the small beer-mugs given out at McSorleys as I was asked by an ex-not-girlfriend-and-presently-talented-filmmaker to go with her there.
It wasn’t that it was too much for me to handle or that I didn’t like the beer. McSorley’s has one of the best, cheapest beers you can find in New York. Even with the price hike (up from 8), Mc Sorley’s still offers you 4 pretty decent-sized beers for 9 dollars and the beer far outstrips a Coors or a Rolling Rock.
Also, I can hold my liquor. Well, in some ways, at least. I can drink a pretty decent amount and still be okay–meaning not blackout, make my way home, be okay the next day, etc–but the one think alcohol really does take it’s toll on me with is bladder control. By the way, I think it’s become okay in public to talk about peeing. There’s so many other nasty discussions that have entered the public realm (lube-use, fisting, the economy, Afghanistan) that it just seems like it doesn’t really matter anymore.
But anyway, it makes me wanna pee.
And when I gotta go, I gotta go. A swift walk back to my place only made more difficult by the fact that my urinary tract seems to know the closer I get, applying gradually more pressure as if holding a yellow knife to my throat if I didn’t go faster-faster-faster-damnit.
But really, the problem was that I felt bitter, after those beers, after the night, as I walked down Lafayette with that ex-not-girlfriend.
It hadn’t been such a bad day. I’d gone back to my high school to put up posters with a friend and manage to sneak in some good video-gaming. I got to rehearse with my lead actor and I really thought we’d made some progress. I scouted a location for my film and cracked some holocaust jokes, met up with Armond White for Sake and buried the hatchet with a flame-on-flame-off-enemy.
But in that four-beer-walk, it felt hollow.
My high school empty when I got there with Langston and I’d spent the whole time on the train describing to him the different people he’d meet. With all the associations I have with my high school and that I’d really not like to see them, in some way, I felt let down that Langston couldn’t see what I had seen, the people, the pressure.
High School can be one of those things like a story about Bigfoot; without the evidence, you might just be making it all up.
My lead actor is a good kid but he just gotten off a shoot where his job was to get raped by another ex-not-girlfriend of mine (not the beer-walking one) and this one was particularly crazy.
A funny conversation I had with Dan Pleck over email:
Nick: Dan should I be worried that my lead actor changed his facebook picture to a picture of him getting raped my sort-of-not-really-ex?
Dan: The crazy one?
Dan: Is this the actor who’s supposed to be playing you?
Dan: Fuck, then I suppose he’s perfect.
Fuckin’ Dan, but he’s right.
From there, the location was good but we’d have to deal with a building manager “out of the Sopranos” as the owner put it.
Armond was nice and sufficiently kooky, but also told me I wasn’t a film critic.
I even spent most of the day orchestrating how I was going to make right with Dan Clifton.
It feels particularly embarrassing on this blog to admit that I made up with Dan. But that I did. I’ll tell you what did it for me.
The morning after I wrote my scathing diatribe I was so proud of tearing him apart, I called my father to proclaim my awesomeness for standing up to a bully.
To my surprise, he sounded disappointed when I told him the story.
“Nick,” He asked me. “Why are you in film school?”
“Uh,” I replied, trying to sum up the last four years of my life concisely.
“To make movies, I guess?” I told him.
“Right.” He replied. “Everything else is a distraction.”
And as I thought about more-and-more, day-after-day, he was right. But that still didn’t change anything.
Finally, Dan, self-promoter that he is, but at least a shameless one, called me to “bury the hatchet” by coming to see his film at the NYU Film Festival. It took another prompting for me to finally man-up: I asked my producing teacher and the person whose opinion I admire the most when it comes to working in the film business: Sharon Badal.
“Prof. Badal,” I asked her, in the moments preceeding class. “If you have a really public fight with someone in the industry, unresolved, and they extend you an olive branch, do you take it?”
“Yes.” she replied unequivocally. “The industry is too small.” And she too was right again.
I planned my effort well, deciding against calling back Dan in order to show up for his film unannounced.
I came to festival, sat down, watched the films (his included) and at the end of it all, I came up to him with a bottle of wine, I’d been holding all day.
“Congratulations, Dan.” I told him and shook his hand. “Congratulations on the film.”
As I turned to leave the theater, Beardo Malone waited at the door.
“You’re my favorite.” He told me. “That was a real-classy-move.”
“Soul-crushing.” I replied in a phrase and we headed out.
So that pretty much brings me back to the four-beer-walk-home where I felt bitter.
I thought about the day. I thought about my life. I thought about Thursday and the paper I hadn’t written and the class I would miss to write it and how bad I felt that all my academic integrity had come to this–skipping one class to complete another. I had skipped class too to make up with Clifton, something that my teacher, a man I respect and who has helped me greatly, excoriated me for.
Also I finally got to pee as I got home on the nervous jaunt past gate after door after door after open-restroom.
I also beat my video game with the worst possible ending–the one where you slay your nemesis, only to be sent to hell for eternity, understanding and accepting of your fate.
But you can always replay a video game, start a new one, or just wake up tomorrow and be.
It’s just that sometimes hope ain’t forthcoming on a four-beer-walk-home.
2 beers (Light or Dark)- $4.50
7th St bet Bowery and 2nd Avenue.
6 to Astor Pl
P.S.- Kudos to Brennan McVicar for taking that cool picture of me with a sword on set and for generally being a good, sane dude when others lack.
P.P.S.- I’ll link to my interview with Armond when they put it up. Good stuff.