To tell you the truth, I was pretty worried.
Again, an outlier of my high-school-age anxiety.
After all, if I couldn’t spend a shitload of money and offer up free drinks and food and get people to come, well then, I’d be pretty much a melvin.
Planning the wrap party for my film was pretty tense in itself. Having recently fallen out of my beatific Nick-The-Director mode, I was daunted by how to plan a wrap party for my film. I knew I had to have one, something I had to explain to my father over and over again about why he should finance a bunch of freshmen drinking margaritas (answer: because otherwise they’d be at home drinking bathtub liqupr they brewed from their roommates’ pre-med materials). I also didn’t actually know what to do.
My first plan had been simply to do the same as I’d done before the shoot: just throw a bunch of people on my parents’ roof. Add beer. Success. But this time I heard that my parents didn’t feel comfortable with that since the whole shooting in my own parents’ apartment was nearly a giant debacle (that, the subject of an aborted blog post) and they felt weird going to the building asking them “And oh yeah, can a bunch of kids come get fucked up upstairs?”
It turned out fine, I guess. My god-father/god-uncle/family-sort-of-a-friend-guy Joel who is a part-owner of drag-bar/tex-mex joint Cowgirl Hall of Fame hooked us up with a deal and I got a two hour slot in a small lounge, with fake stars and a flash-lit fireplace. About a half-and-hour before-hand, my producer and occasional projectile-vomiting enthusiast Matt Chao called me to suggest that we should have gone Karaokeing, something I should have thought of, but resigned myself to the task at hand.
Which was trying. I didn’t know how many people would show up. People had RSVP-ed to me, non-RSVP-ed to me, said nothing at all or even given me auto-generated mail-responses telling me their mailboxes were full. I ended up sitting by myself with a pitcher of Blood Orange Frozen Margaritas and some appetizers, which were good, but lonely and the margaritas gave me brain freeze, ouch.
But people came, about ten-or-twelve, not including my friend Pleck who had decided to bring his high school graduating class with him (it was actually like 6 people), which ended up being fine since they acted as a good buffer for making me not seem like a complete loser when my crew finally did come through the door.
I guess I had a pretty good time and got a little tipsy, wobbly I guess, since those Margaritas were hardly hardy and I could pound them back. Still, the memory (or lackthereof) of my recent black-out plagued me and I ended up–sorry crowd–taking it a little easy and drinking water after a while. Despite the catcalls from Ant Jones, ladies’ man/jews’ man Dave Broad and Chadd the DP, the people who had originally helped me past the first blackout, I maintained a relative sobriety for the evening.
Which was good, since we were going to Rubulad.
Rubulad is a place I have spoken about before here, the first party I ever felt really accepted at; a madcap juncture of the psuedo-beats, neo-freaks, hipsters and soon-to-be-hip NYU-freshman, the last of which I was leading upon their first entry.
To be fair, it was Ant Jones’ first Rubulad too, but Ant, loveable and up-for-anything, seemed just as at-home there as he did everywhere else, braces and all.
I inaugurated the freshman with tidbits–not enough time for a tour–I had to meet people up on the roof. But, I relished the weather, the atmosphere, how refreshingly uncrowded it was comparatively given how nice it was outside. I enjoyed seeing the people that I wanted to see, enjoyed momentarily seeing the people I, uh, didn’t expect to see–the ex-girlfriends and ex-not-girlfriends of former or once-a-time buddies–and liked bringing the freshman to someplace outside Manhattan, even though they seemed to stick together holed up in a corner.
To be fair, even though I keep on describing them as “the freshman”, it became clear on the walk over what a case of arrested development I was.
We were talking about the blackout-blog-post I’d written recently, the aftermath of the shoot we’d all been on, when I admonished them to take care of themselves at Rubulad, lest them same fate befall them. What I received in response were blithe and complete dismissals of my warnings.
Austin, a sandy-haired all-American type claimed he’d blacked-out “five times in two weekends” to which Gloria, a cute ambiguously-ethnic girl from Strong Island (prime hipster-gal material) added- “Yeah. I blackout a lot.”
I looked at these youngsters with new eyes and wondered, egads, how these people were alive. After all, I’d lost half my glasses in my one experience–such things were obviously dangerous.
In the end though, perhaps, I let moderation sway me. Though I had fun watching a hula-hooping band and the “Pornography Gym Club”, a series of porn-star calisthenics that included someone named “Gliterbliss” somehow urinating into her own mouth multiple times, I realized it might have been more fun had I been tastefully drunker.
This problem came to a head, in fact, when I was already outside the party getting ready to leave with the youngster, guiding them back on their first return to the G train.
It was then, waiting outside the near-Rubulad gas-station that I was approached, by a drunk but pretty girl in a gunmetal-hipster-top, who asked me if I had a cigarette but I only had Altoids.
“That’ll do too.” She told me.
She also told me her name was Cassandra (I like that name, or do now) and asked me what I was up to.
“Taking these youngsters home,” I told her.
“That’s a shame.” She told me. “I was trying to talk to you.”
What I should have done next was debatable.
Maybe I should have called the kids a cab and bought Cassandra a drink.
Maybe I should have gotten her number.
Maybe I should have pointed dramatically and said “Look over there!” and when there’s was nothing over there she’d turn back to say “What” but it would be too late then because making-out would have commenced.
The question is open.
What did happen was this.
My AD, Selom emerged from Rubulad walking towards me down the sidewalk, yelling “Nick, I have to talk to you!”
Cassandra, the pretty girl with the gunmetal top, took the hint and went back inside.
Selom, while successfully assistant-directing my movie, to near-perfection I might add, was not able to successfully assistant-direct my life.
Or maybe I just wasn’t drunk enough to do the smart, horny thing instead of the probably-right thing.
Anyway, I ended up with the freshman back on the G train.
The rest of the night was not too bad.
On the way back, I saw Najia, Pleck’s girlfriend, who had gotten into a fight somehow with her boyfriend over pie, and Mike Smith, an old friend from my Magic card-playing days who told me of the fates of some of my old friends-and-frenemies, many of whom sounded all the better for Neutral Ground’s closing, but a couple of whom sounded the worse. It was a nice throwback and end to the evening.
The last thing I guess I’d mention would be that I saw Adventureland finally today. I asked good-guy Langston if he wouldn’t mind some “low art” since I had been wanting to see it for a while.
Walking out, I was very impressed with it, actually. Its yet another movie that is mis-marketed and misunderstood. It’s less a comedy then a movie about a time and place in one’s life. It’s not like Superbad or even Knocked Up or Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Those movies, though all admirable in my opinion, are about the transition from a childhood immaturity to some sort of “adulthood”, either by actual children or stunded man-children, a gap that seems to be to be much more gradual than is accomplished in a film.
Here instead, we see a character go from A to to about A-and-a-half in the course of a movie. It’s a small very moment talking about not just how life sucks, but the intricacies and the small moments detailing how life sucks. It’s also about the moment between college and the world, between finding love and staying home. It’s also about Jews. All topics close to my experience right now.
It was fun seeing it with Langston, a thoughtful sort and an easy dude to hang out with. We ended up talking about the relationship of “bromances” to normative sexuality in cinema, along with Pan’s Labyrinth and Standard Operating Procedure, along with the difference between sexual interest and admiration.
“Anyone can be sexually attracted to you, but admiration, interest, that’s special.” Langston offered.
“Anyone can be sexually attracted to me?” I asked. “I don’t think so, I think it’s a very small percent of the population. Probably more people have cystic fibrosis than find me sexually attractive.”
But then the bus was there.
And then home.