I guess that’s the only thing to say.
I’ve been neglectful.
I love this blog, but between working on sets, working for my film, playing Pokemon Platinum and enduring general locked-in malaise that comes from anxious pressure, I’ve neglected it and for that I am sorry.
One of the reasons though, at least, is because I’ve been working so much over for Film Society of Lincoln Center’s shindig (where my new interview with the makers of Half Nelson and Sugar is up today). In fact, when I went to one of the afterparties for the festival, my editor even came up to me boozily and told me she was offering me a job. I assumed she was kidding, partially because I was red in the cheeks, but partially because of a designated-driver-type boyfriend near her who was cracking jokes.
AMANDA (My editor): So I love your writing.
NICK: Hey thanks, been doing it a while. Used to write for another paper.
AMANDA: Which one?
NICK: Oh, you know, Gay City News. But I quit when they became bi-weekly.
BOYFRIEND: “Bi-weekly”. I see they’re expanding their audience then.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
But anyway, when my editor offered to take me out to lunch, my hormonally-driven-mind lurched towards office-intern/blogger romance, only to find out that she was in fact offering me the job she’d offered back then. The pay was nothing, literally nothing, but I’d get to write for them and cover their events and get accreditation to any festival around the world that I’d want–but not airfare.
It was a cool offer and I accepted it. Still, I felt a little crushed inside that even obtaining a job and shiny title (“Contributing Editor”), I was failing to obtain the measure of self-sufficiency that might mark my entry into manhood. But then again, I suppose the lacktherof is what makes me kind-of fun, some ways.
Anyway, when she introduced me around as her “star blogger” to the Film Society office, I have to admit, I did feel kind of cool.
“Are you staying to see Armond?” Amanda asked me.
“What.” I responded, without thinking.
I had forgotten that today was the day that the interview I had done with Armond White was actually promoting: his screening of Metropolitan.
I hadn’t planned on it (obviously) but I decided since I didn’t have class–
“Why the hell not.” I told Amanda. “It’s all free now, right?”
An awkward pause.
“I was joking.” I mentioned.
But it was free and I went right in.
To my surprise though, upon leaving my seat for a water bottle, I ran into Mr. White at the door about to give his introduction and he recognized me instantly this time, warmly.
I was shocked: Do zany iconoclasts greet the people they disparage warmly? I suppose so.
He even stayed to see the movie, sitting right in front of me.
In a way, this made me nervous–I knew I couldn’t take out my phone or make loud noises or anything like that–but I was also glad for the company realizing that one of my values–never see a film alone–was being met. Perhaps, strangely, seeing Metropolitan with Armond White sitting in front of me, constituted seeing it with a friend.
The movie was good, not fantastic, but interesting. It’s true that no one else is or was really making films like that. It felt somewhere between The Breakfast Club and The Great Gatsby with prescience of Wes Anderson and Rushmore.
“I don’t want to offend you,” I told Mr. White. “But I thought it was kind of [Woody] Allen-y.”
To describe a film to anyone else this way would be either a “huh” or a compliment, but of course to Armond–
“Now that is insulting.” He countered, but with a smile on his face.
He began to describe how Mr. Stilman’s use of music and intertitles differed from Mr. Allen’s, points I thought only illustrated the similarities.
“You know,” Mr. White said. “When this film screened here for the first time back in 1990, another film critic was asked what she though about it. She said, ‘Well, debutantes need love too.”
It was a “Hi” or a “Hey” that had me looking, turned towards the big Paulette Godard staircase that ran right through the Tisch lobby, turning away from the curly-girl I was talking to.
I walked up, looked.
“Here.” She said.
Another girl. But one I didn’t recognize.
What to do? Be honest? Pretend you know her and just don’t use her name? Run in vain?
Option A: “Oh sorry, how do we know each other?”
“We met at a birthday party.” She told me.
And I thought back.
Drunk-day. Sad-day. Party-time.
I’d been invited to a birthday party but my friend had backed out at the last minute and I had to go alone.
While I lay, back-upright, pillow-leaning on my bed, drinking Coors Light, chasing with Ballantine’s finest whiskey, I just tried to imagine how drunk I’d actually have to be to show up to this thing alone.
Sooner or later, I wind up there, an overpriced bar with 10-dollar Jack-and-Cokes (a man’s drink, I’d been told as a freshman, by my boss who’d identified himself fradulently as Maurice Kanbar). Though I found my friends there, I found myself knocking back those 10-dollar drinks despite myself, looking for the party to become less awkward, or at least for me to forget how much the drinks cost.
It was then, standing the bar, I met her. A nice, Jewish girl, I remembered through bleary, drunk eyes. An actress. We talked the talk of young people at a bar they’re just old enough to be at (read: the talk of people who know nothing). Yet the conversation was good and she accepted my offer of a drink or two, but when I went to pee, I saw her engrossed in conversation and though my eyes and my dick said wait, my drunken ego said go, go while the goings good and I left.
“Well why don’t you ask her out?” My therapist asked.
My therapist had also recently asked me why I was so obsessed with girls and what I would replace my time with if I actually managed to obtain one. I responded that I assumed maintaining such a thing would require a similar time to commitment to pursuing it, which caused the topic to progress.
Still, my therapist had a point.
“Why not?” She asked. “If you keep giving what you give you’ll keep getting what you get.”
So I did it. I sent her a Facebook message (didn’t have her email), asking her out on a date. I told her I liked the conversation we’d had about art and the world, about life outside of school, about failed loves and lovers. I told her I liked the talking. I asked if she wanted to continue.
And I never heard back.
“Oh, birthday party.” I said. And thought.
“Don’t really remember. That’s cool though. Let’s roll, Chao.”
And I turned to my friend who was chatting away near me and we left.
There are small victories in spite. Not as big as in love, I suppose. But like in Oliver Twist, “small pleasures”.
You take ’em, where you can get them.
And now, having relieved myself of both my guilt of neglect and my logohorrea, I can hopefully go to sleep.
After all, I’m exhausted from filmmaking and life. Weary and wary, looking towards the next thing with some optimism, sadism and sarcasm in some proportionate measures. But at least next day.
At least there are Pokemon to catch.